It’s been too long since the last development diary so I thought it was time to re-evaluate where we are with the app and address some the issues we’ve enountered since last time.
It’s all in the name
You may have noticed that since the last update, the name of the app has changed ever so slightly. It became apparent that there was another, very similar, app currently in development with the name Rate My Kebab so we couldn’t use the same name. This is an idea we’ve been throwing around for a good while so who knows where the name came from first, but since this other app already had a web presence (despite not being released yet) we needed to take action. The solution was simple: change one word! So, Rate My Kebab changed to Rate Your Kebab, keeping the functional and simple name, but changing the emphasis from first to second person.
Delays, delays and more delays
Internal projects are great. They present a perfect opportunity to dive into new technologies and new practicies to allow us to learn and grow and improve ourselves, ready for the next paid project. Unfortunately, there are only ever very small windows where any significant development on internal projects can be carried out, as the day to day paid jobs obviously take up the vast majority of our time. As a result, we’ve had a release candidate of RYK ready for some time but haven’t been able to properly test and evaluate this build until very recently.
A principle issue that we’re still working through is the search functionality. This comes in two parts; firstly, the app will return a list of kebab houses in your vicinity and secondly, there’s a search function to allow to you find an establishment when, for whatever reason, it’s not showing up automatically. We’re using the Google Maps API for this purpose, and by default Google do not offer an easy way to specifically filter kebab houses, so at the moment we’re tweaking this aspect of the app to allow for a wide pool of possible results, while still trying to keep them as relevant as possible.
One of the final steps that we’ve just completed is protecting our API with an SSL certificate. As far as sentisive user information goes, we’ll not be storing anything particularly damaging. Most websites that just require a simple login to access features won’t even bother with SSL as the risk level of any hacks are very low. We’ll just be storing usernames, passwords and email addresses but we felt it was necessary to protect this information as much as possible as users still have the bad habit of using the same password across multiple online services, making any data leaks a bigger problem. We don’t want anyone sniffing out the traffic between the app and our API so all that traffic is now encrypted, and passwords stored in our database are also protected using multiple layers of obfustication and encryption.
We hope to be releasing version 1.0 to the App Store very soon, and we now have a holding page live showing a few screenshots. This is very much designed as a work in prigress so even after the inital release we will be looking to build on the app significantly and, hopefully, we’ll be able to do a better job of keeping you updated in this dev diary!