Next TTC follow-up + TACOW Meet-up tomorrow

It’s been a long day and I think I’ll *just* make the deadline for my #idevblogaday post. This morning, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) released the much anticipated bus data for their Next Vehicle Arrival Service (NVAS), which previously only included streetcar arrival time predictions. Read more about the app my previous Next TTC: Behind the Scenes.

In anticipation of the release of the bus data, I had done some updates for my app, including hosting some of the data on my own server for speedier transfer, etc. However, with a jump from 300KB to nearly 4MB of data for the initial config XML file, I have some work ahead of me to improve the app and it’s handling of the data. Furthermore, some of the bus routes also have a bit of different configurations, in terms of their route format (some routes have a/b/c/etc. directions/destination for the same route), so I have to change the parsing up a bit to properly display this to users on those routes. I also have to change the way I store data and access it on the fly, so lots of work ahead of me this week! I need more time in the day!

But, apart from the slowness of the app (until I finish the update), it’s been pretty good today. I was able to update to include the new data this morning, which meant I got some good press today.

I was mentioned in National Post, CP24, CityTV, and finally interviewed for a great article in Globe and Mail which was posted tonight (hopefully making it to press for tomorrow’s paper!). I’m really happy about these mentioned. As far as I could see from my app’s ranking (went from ~#30 in Navigation to #2 in that category, and made it into Top 100 overall – both for the Canadian App Store of course, which is quite different from the US Store, in downloads) sales have been pretty good today, but most exciting is all the awesome feedback I have been getting from users who are ecstatic about finally being able to use the app for their bus commute (and night buses and streetcar, not previously included).

All in all, today’s made me pretty excited about my app again. You always end up getting a bit tired with a project after staring at the code for a long time, or literally using every aspect of your app possible, or painstakingly tweaking every little pixel of the UI if you’re me. I have a bunch of ideas on the table that I want to do after fixing what needs to be fixed. And I can honestly say, it’s made it a bit more interesting now there’s finally a larger user-base to cater to – and more copies to be sold.

Finally, if you’re in Toronto and free tomorrow night, I am presenting at tomorrow’s TACOW (Toronto Area Cocoa and WebObjects developers group) meet-up. I’m doing a presentation on Core Location, how-to-use-it-basics plus some insight/tips and experiences from myself using it. Should be fun! The details for the meet-up is on the website, and we’ll be heading out to a pub afterwards for some drinks.