App Spotlight #2 - Service Status by Odin Dutton

Whenever possible, I’ll be doing email (and maybe some video) interviews of people in the RubyMotion community who’ve put something out there in the iOS or OS X App Stores. If you’re interested in being featured in an App Spotlight, send me an email to info@fluffyjack.com.

Today’s RubyMotion master is Odin Dutton, who created the brilliant Service Status app for iOS.

Service Status is a set and forget app to monitor the status of TransLink train lines in Brisbane, Australia.

Set the lines you care about and we will send you push notifications when the status changes on services you want to know about.

Who are you and where are you from?

I’m a Rails developer from Brisbane, Australia. I work at Ennova building construction management software.

Tell us about the app

Service Status is a set and forget app to monitor the status of TransLink train lines in Brisbane, Australia.

Set the lines you care about and we will send you push notifications when the status changes on services you want to know about.

Where did you get the idea?

I used to use an IFTTT script that sent me a push notification when the official Translink twitter account mentioned the name of my train line. When Twitter killed IFTTT’s integration I decided to build an app.

What were you doing before you found RubyMotion?

Rails. I had never done any iOS development.

How has using RubyMotion helped your career or financial life?

Financially it hasn’t really helped. I’m not making any money off the free app I spent time and money developing.

Learning RubyMotion in my spare time has been useful at work. I’m currently working on an app at my day job that would have been a lot more difficult had I not already spent time learning RubyMotion.

How long have you been using RubyMotion?

Initial commit on Service Status was "Thu Mar 21 18:13:37 2013 +1000” and since then I’ve built a simple iPad app at work and I’m currently working on a more complicated iPhone app for work.

What Gems did you use?

bubble-wrap and motion-testflight

How have/did you market the app?

After I sent out a Tweet announcing it within 10 minutes I was on the phone with someone from Queensland Rail who put me in contact with Mx (the “Newspaper”) I think being on the front page of that helped my initial sales.

How much time have you put into this app?

Hard to say. 10s of hours. I had the basic app working on the first day I worked on it. It’s all the tweaking that takes time.

What's one piece of advice you would give someone learning RubyMotion?

Learn Objective-C syntax. You will end up needing to know it to understand documentation. I’m lucky and have a friend who has worked on some Objective-C iPhone apps so he has pointed me in the right direction a few times.

Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your app and experiences with RubyMotion Odin! Make sure to check out Service Status, it’s free on the App Store right now!

If you’re wanting learn how to make awesome RubyMotion apps like Odin, make sure to check out the MotionInMotion screencast, and the RubyMotion for Rails Developers eBook which is available for pre-order now, under a Pay What You Want pricing model.