SnowMates for iPhone
As mentioned recently, I’ve been working on an iPhone app with a friend, James Raine. I didn’t want to talk about it until it was approved by Apple, until it was real. We submitted the app on 4th December – an email on the 15th told us that is was ready for sale…
The app is called SnowMates.
Why you should use SnowMates
It’s designed to help you and your friends meet up when you’re on a snowboarding holiday/trip. It’s a simple concept – a message board allowing you to post your plans.
- “We’ll be lapping the park until 13:00, stopping for lunch”
- “We’ll be using the blues on Peak 7″
- “We’ve gone up to Avoriaz, find us in the Prolays area”
I usually snowboard in a group, somewhere between 6 and 10 people. Not everyone goes up the hill at the same time in the morning, the group isn’t always together. But people do want to meet up – and communicating by phone doesn’t always work too well.
Your phone is in your pocket – you didn’t hear it ring. Now you’re on the lift, you check your phone and notice a missed call. You call back… but now they’re snowboarding so they miss the call.
A text message can help that situation – but there’s still an element of conversation. You normally ask something like “where are you guys”. Now you’re waiting for a response. Plus, you’ve got the problem of who to text. Everyone?
With a message board, you leave a note telling others what you’re doing. If they’re interested, they know who you’re with and where to find you. They don’t need to waste their time, or yours, trying to call.
“Coming down around 16:00 and heading to the bar for a pint”
What you need to know
A message board can be useful in a whole load of situations – I designed this one for use on the mountain. Personally, I’ve found communication with phones to be less than ideal: “why aren’t you answering your phone?!” The SnowMates app was designed with me and my friends in mind. It’s simple, but hopefully, effective.
Of course it’s only any good if two or more of you have an iPhone with the app.
The message composition is similar to Twitter, or a post on your Facebook Wall. So what’s the benefit of using SnowMates? It’s targeted. It’s a private message board for you and your snowboarding friends. Your plans to meet up aren’t lost in a sea of other messages. At the same time, you don’t spam Twitter or Facebook with comments that aren’t of use to people outside your group.
There’s also a handy little feature to quickly show who you’re with. You can see in the screen shot above that messages are tagged with names – when you post your plans we’ve made it easy to also indicate who you’re with. Again, it’s all about making it easy to coordinate on the hill.
You can aslo take a look at the Sicknote Software website. There’s not much there, but it does have the app description that’s in iTunes, some screenshots, and a small help page on how to use SnowMates.
We developed SnowMates, now, for a few reasons:
- we believe a message board will help us when snowboarding, and hopefully others too
- we wanted experience in submitting an application to the App Store
- we wanted it to be available for this season
I’ve got no expectations for this. It’s been a learning experience, it’s been fun, and I hope some people find it useful. That’s it. There’s nothing concrete yet, but James was talking about a plan to release a version on Android…
We’re in the middle of working on a second project; that one is a secret, but I will say that it’s related to snowboarding.
I’d love to hear your feedback, good or bad, on SnowMates. If you’ve got any questions, just ask, I’ll do my best to answer them. And of course, if you want to download it and give it a try, be my guest Just remember you need a mate to read the messages you post on the message board…