Continuing the spirit of non-stop hacking, my friend and I participated in a summer-long Windows Phone app contest, called XAPfest. We developed a social app that finds interesting meetup locations, provides turn by turn directions, and a real-time location status of all the friends involved.
We performed well.
The real-time updating of location was developed using one of Microsoft’s Hawaii APIs. More specifically, the tool was called SMASH which will be released in the Hawaii 2.1 SDK. It essentially provides a way to broadcast messages to other phones, similar to sending out a “hello” in an online chatroom. Instead of “hello”, we sent out “<lat>, <lon>” coordinates to this chatroom so that everyone’s location was updated and broadcasted in real-time on a map.
We used Foursquare’s API to find nearby points of interest. This allowed our app to filter searches by shopping malls, bars, parks, and restaurants.
Bing maps’ RESTful API was used to find estimated time of arrival (ETA) and turn-by-turn directions.
To sign in a user, we used Microsoft’s LiveID SDK to gather their first and last name without much hassle.
The friends list, user details, and other important stats were stored persistently on Google AppEngine, our back-end.
Sept 21, 2012