Today is our fourth post in a series titled “Ask the Editor”. This is a great way for you to ask questions and get help for all things iPhone. Whether you’ve just purchased your first iPhone and need help setting it up or are a pro with an advanced technical question, I’ll tackle your problem and see if I can help!
We’ve had some great questions submitted since last time, so read on to find out what my responses are and how you can submit your own questions for the next article.
Is there a fitness app that allows you to manually enter exercise without using GPS?
Great question Doug. There are plenty of really stellar apps like Runmeter that use your phone’s GPS to track your exercise activity, be it running, cycling, skating, etc. The problem with GPS is apps like these is that they don’t take into account that many of us use treadmills and other machines in our home or at the gym. Because we’re technically staying in one place, our activity can’t be tracked!
Fortunately, RunKeeper, one of the best and most popular free exercise tracking apps on the market, recently added the ability to manually enter activity. RunKeeper has lots of great features and is an unbeatable value considering that you don’t have to pay a single cent for it!
Is there an app that allows me to draw on maps?
You’d think that this would be a popular request, but it’s actually quite difficult to find an app with this functionality. A note to developers, I think this is a prime niche that someone could jump into and easily take over.
That being said, I was able to find one app with the functionality you’re looking for: GeoDoodle. It’s free and essentially just lets you draw shapes and lines of various colors right on top of an interactive map. It hasn’t been updated for over a year so it would seem development has gone stagnant, but it just might get the job done. With a free app, you lose nothing by giving it a shot!
Where’s the best place to find high quality app developers? There’s so much listed out there that it’s hard to sift through the chaff and zero in on the best.
I think Nathan has hit on a question that lots of people struggle with. You have an idea for an app, where do you go to get it developed? The app gold rush means that a Google search will yield more results than you can possibly sift through, making it almost impossible to know where to start.
The first piece of advice I have is to judge developers by their site. A great-looking website doesn’t mean they can make a quality app, but an ugly website does mean that they’ll probably deliver an ugly app. If the company’s in-house designers can’t even make their own brand look good, what will they do to yours?
Also, run searches for criteria that you find important. If budget is your main concern, search for “affordable app development”. Nathan seemed to want the best so I did some research on “award-winning app developers”.
If you want the best and you’re concerned with quality, find and hire a developer that worked on some apps that you’re actually familiar with and have used. For instance, my research led me to XCubeLabs, an iPhone development company that worked on titles such as Mario Cooks, Tap Defense and Tap Zoo, solid apps that each earned a decent amount of recognition. They might be a good developer to hit up if you’re working on a food-related or game app.
I also found BottleRocket Apps, who worked on NRP, ESPN and Fuel Finder. If you want something news or location-based, you might check them out. Here are a couple of others that seemed pretty good!
- Raizlabs (RunKeeper, MIT)
- The CocoaBots (HyperSpaces for Mac)
- Front-Ended (VegOut)
- AM Mobile Software (restaurant and fast food apps)
Didn’t See Your Question?
If you asked a question but didn’t have it answered today, don’t worry! I’ll do my best to get to it in a future week. If you’d like to submit a new query, you can do so here: