Today, our CarPark app went live on the App Store. CarPark may be the easiest way to remember where you parked. This app was developed almost entirely by my co-founder Tim, and he did a spectacular job on it. The Apple approval process was also really fast – just four days this time.
I thought I would blog about this app because the decision-making behind building it was strategic and interesting to me from a start-up/business perspective. Here’s why we decided to build CarPark:
- First and foremost, there is a large market for these kinds of apps on the App Store. When we started building this, 4 of the top 20 navigation apps were simple car parking apps. While we have been successful with Gaia GPS, the market for an outdoor GPS app is somewhat limited, and we are hoping this one is more mainstream. We saw an opportunity to play to a bigger crowd, using the skills we developed on Gaia.
- Second, we would like to add Google Maps to Gaia GPS. CarPark gave us the chance to work with MapKit (which you need to use to deliver Google Maps on the iPhone). We use the Route-Me framework for mapping in Gaia GPS, and we would need to use both APIs if we want to add Google Maps, so this was a good way to tinker with MapKit and see how much work the addition would be.
- Finally, CarPark was fairly straightforward to build given our experience, and we thought we could do a good job. We have spent a lot of time on similar functionality – marking places on maps, giving guidance to waypoints, etc. So, it seemed like an easy win for us.
There are a lot of parking apps out there, but we aimed to make this one simple, fast, and usable. One thing folks may notice in comparing this to all the other CarPark type apps is we don’t have a screen with two big buttons on it to start the app. That design crops up a lot of the iPhone, and it’s just for lack of imagination I think.
So, CarPark! is live in the App Store now for .99. If you have a car (or if you just want to help us get some visibility on launch day), go get it!