Official Highway Radar iOS app development thread

Randomdude421

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Weekend Update (but not the SNL kind): logic to collate "current road" candidates complete, along with some basic "point to line" math to determine the closest road of the candidates. Need to add a bit more logic to be more exacting on choosing the correct road. Also managed to introduce a bug that's preventing all of the async components from talking to one another (I think). Will require a bit of a debugging but that's for another day because it's late and I've been going at it for a few hours now.

Otherwise, the current speed limit is now piped through to the UI (and will hopefully be accurate once the above-mentioned current road precision is implemented). Current speed is very straightforward and already implemented, though will have to wait for real-world testing to make sure it's working as-expected.

Did a long test of ferius' HR app (alongside Waze) over the weekend and have some UI improvements in mind now. Looking forward to getting those implemented since they make the progress visible.

Also, I was reminded on that test trip how valuable crowdsourced data + a good radar detector are! There was lots of LEO presence on my route and I still managed to make fantastic time. A number of Waze warnings followed by radar, but one Waze alert didn't pop up until after my detector went off. Detector also got me a very good save from a LEO approaching in the oncoming lane running Ka.
this is amazing..thanks for all you do. hopefully the new app can be integrated with waze data.
 
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dchemist

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Nice work @JaySC ! Much to my dismay, I've got three other driver's in my house that are iPhone diehards. I'll keep tabs on this and have three customers for you when you get it ironed out.
 

JaySC

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this is amazing..thanks for all you do. hopefully the new app can be integrated with waze data.
Already up and running! That was the easy part, haha.
Nice work @JaySC ! Much to my dismay, I've got three other driver's in my house that are iPhone diehards. I'll keep tabs on this and have three customers for you when you get it ironed out.
Great to hear!

Apologies for the lack of updates. We're getting close to launch after a 1.5 year-long project at work, so I've been going pretty hard at that and admittedly don't really want to look at more code after work. Was hoping to have the energy for it this past weekend and it just didn't happen. Might have to take a couple more weeks off but rest assured that this project is on my mind regularly and I'll be back onto it ASAP. Hoping that, at the least, after launch I can get back to giving it daily attention.
 

Randomdude421

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Appreciate the support all!

First major milestone achieved: basic map/alert functionality. The app now continuously checks for police alert data and updates the map based on a "box" around your current location.

The next step is to slightly expand the data that I'm collecting about each alert so that I can give all relevant information (e.g. "hiding behind a sign") where appropriate. Aside from that, this is first point where there's not a super clear "thing that has to be done next."

The basic plan is to get police alerts working completely, then aircraft, then heat maps, so I guess I need to put some thought into how I'm going to announce/warn about police alerts. I'd considered using a notification banner for off-the-currently-visible-map alerts, but have decided that I'm going to populate all alerts on the visible map (actually within a "box" that's fixed size, currently 5 miles square) as pins, audibly alert to any within a specified radius, and save the banner alerts (which will stay present on the screen until physically dismissed) for aircraft. I think that this makes for the simplest UI but of course I'll be open to changing this if it doesn't turn out to be the best way to go.

So, that means that audible alerts are next. I like how ferius' app sort of works like a radar detector, giving you an audible alert and a mute button. I'm still back and forth with this approach vs. the "Waze style" of just announcing it and leaving it at that, but the former ensures that it keeps alerting until you acknowledge that you heard it so that's likely how I'll go. Trying to balance making buttons that are big enough to be "mashable" while driving and not cluttering up the screen too much. Maybe a transparent button (just an outline) that fills in red when a new alert pops up? We'll see.

Already up and running! That was the easy part, haha.

Great to hear!

Apologies for the lack of updates. We're getting close to launch after a 1.5 year-long project at work, so I've been going pretty hard at that and admittedly don't really want to look at more code after work. Was hoping to have the energy for it this past weekend and it just didn't happen. Might have to take a couple more weeks off but rest assured that this project is on my mind regularly and I'll be back onto it ASAP. Hoping that, at the least, after launch I can get back to giving it daily attention.
You don't understand what you're doing and how much this helps me right now... I have been going through hell trying to figure out what am I going to do as an iOS user..I promised I'd donate $20 after it's all complete and I stand by that. Can't wait for it to be released.
 

undercoveragentgta

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Having kicked off a journey to bring Highway Radar to iOS a few weeks ago, I thought it proper to create a thread for posting updates as I'm ready/able to share them.

This thread is a continuation of the discussion/updates here, but will hopefully eventually include many more updates and details.

My thanks to @ferius for working with me to make this happen! You've been extremely helpful and responsive thus far, and I look forward to continuing to work with you as this project continues.

Here are a few Q&As just to kick things off, but feel free to ask/bring up anything I may have missed:

What exactly are you doing?

I'm developing a version of Highway Radar for iOS. It will be lightweight at first so that I can get something released to you, likely starting with police/airplane alerts and heat maps. Because HR is written specifically for Android (native), there isn't a process by which some things can be changed/tweaked to run it on iOS. The entire application has to be written from scratch, although ferius is providing access to some of his data which will help speed up the process a bit. This means that the process is not a short one, but it also means that I can make full use of some iOS-specific features/frameworks to provide the best experience possible.

When will you be done?

Since the time I'm spending on this is not generating income and I have to be respectful to my family, job, and step away from the computer at times to stay sane, this is a "no-guarantees" process. I'm taking the project seriously (hence deciding to stick with it for a few weeks before posting this thread), and am motivated by a desire to have this for myself as well as to contribute to the community, but I'm aware that sometimes life happens.

That said, I'm targeting a final beta in early-July, in time to really put it to the test on the Houston to Toronto Dustball Rally (2020 gimmick champs!). If I miss it I miss it, but I'm hopeful that this is a doable target.

When will you update us? What's the current state?

I'll provide updates as I have things worth sharing. I'm going to avoid posting too frequently so as to not pressure myself day-by-day. I'm going to take time off, maybe a week or more at a time. I'm going to binge work on this more than once, I'm sure. I'll do my best to share the latest as soon as I have something worth sharing. While I won't be put off for requests for status, just know that the answer will likely be a bunch of technical jargon that you may not want or care about.

Will/can you include [feature x]?

Probably. Probably not in the initial release, which will be a "minimum viable product" sort of release targeting the US (though as @Vancity23 suggested I'll likely add KMs from the get-go).

What are your long-term plans?

I'd love to continue development over time to bring the app in line with all of the feature offerings of the Android app, and even begin pushing into uncharted territory once we're there. Admittedly, I'll need to figure out a pricing model that makes sense for continued development since I do need to be able to justify my time, but I imagine that that will depend on lots of factors that I have no insight into at this point (and so this probably isn't even worth mentioning).

Again, thank you @ferius for your support in this process! I'm looking forward to sharing updates and getting this launched for you all!

JaySC
Post automatically merged:

Current state:

  • Map, alerts, settings, speed limit indicator, and notifications UI elements complete.
  • Able to request and receive crowdsourced data, filtering and converting results into usable data
  • Fetching crowdsource data for a "box" around current location (math was interesting for this since miles:degrees longitude changes based on latitude) and populating map with alerts when app starts
  • Able to store alerts after fetching and populate map with only those alerts that are still "valid" after each fetch
Next steps:
  • Fetch and store data on a background thread so that the app remains usable while continuously updating
  • Update the map continuously with valid alerts, remove stale alerts
Post automatically merged:

Looks like Apple is adding a feature for crowdsourcing alerts. I'm hopeful that this will be available to developers but not holding my breath. Wouldn't surprise if they waiting until WWDC (summer) to release such a thing, if at all.
Put your iOS app in test flight and send me a link. I got an iPhone 12 Pro Max and the more people who test flight the more data etc and logs to full proof the app you get
 

Z51VetteFan

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Not familiar with this app because I’ve only owned iPhones for the past 14 years. But I’m definitely looking forward to this, from what I’ve seen on Ariels videos about it.
 

Euurx

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Really looking forward to this becoming a reality at some point! Could be much cheaper then buying a seperate phone just for highway radar support! 👍
 

JaySC

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Thanks again for the support all. I'm moving from my normal back-end Java code to iOS development for a week or two at work starting tomorrow. I've never worked in our iOS codebase so maybe I'll pick up a trick or two! This project is still on pause given the fairly hard push towards launch at work. I'm doubtful that July is a realistic target at this point, but I'm also aware that I'm in the most difficult part of the development right now (building the road data grid and accurately calculating position within it) and things may start moving quickly again once I'm through it.

Also have to finish off my laser install at some point; driving season is coming!

Relevant story to this audience: I was on the interstate today and passed a black current-gen Camaro with a big aftermarket (obviously) wing going the opposite direction. I thought to myself "man, he's really moving!" A second later we passed a LEO (sheriff, I believe) lit up and said to my wife "Huh, I wonder if he's running." Then a second LEO screamed by and I said "oh he's running alright." We passed a third LEO a few miles later (mind you, these guys are all in Tahoes) and figured he was too late to the party to have any chance and was more likely headed to the scene of the accident. I totally get that sometimes people contemplate just putting their foot down, and sometimes despite the risk it's even "safe" and can work out, but this was on a quite busy interstate and he wasn't that far ahead. Maybe 1/2 a mile or so. A bit more of a head start and a bit clearer instate and I imagine he could've been gone, but I'm doubtful that he's sleeping in his own bed right now. Each to their own, I suppose!
 

tiptopjj3939

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I started using Highway Radar on Android but recently switched over to the iOS platform. Never thought this thread would apply to me but I'll be following the development process for iOS now haha. Any chance there will be a donation link down the line for your efforts on this project?
 

JaySC

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I started using Highway Radar on Android but recently switched over to the iOS platform. Never thought this thread would apply to me but I'll be following the development process for iOS now haha. Any chance there will be a donation link down the line for your efforts on this project?
It's going to have to be a paid app, so I've been holding off with opening up a donation avenue in order to keep me focused on delivering. I appreciate the thought though! A number of users have asked/suggested it and I've been pointing them to @ferius' donation page in the meantime since the things he's paying for will support this app as well. If there's enough desire to contribute to this project specifically before launch then maybe I'll consider opening an avenue to support that.
 

JaySC

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Long time no update! Things are finally starting to calm down at work (I'm back to my normal job and working on some final bugs prior to launch) so I'm planning on getting back to work soon. Just wanted to drop in to note that this project hasn't been abandoned.

Things to do before late July:
  • Get HR into beta (alpha, at this point?)
  • Complete ALP install
  • Rear tires, fluids
  • Maybe a dealer trip to sort out anything that they can find
 

Vancity23

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Looking forward to an iOS version. I dont know if this has been asked but when developing can anything be copied from Android to save some work or do you have to start from scratch?
 

JaySC

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Looking forward to an iOS version. I dont know if this has been asked but when developing can anything be copied from Android to save some work or do you have to start from scratch?
Yes and no. Both apps are being developed "natively" (meaning built specifically for each operating system rather than using shared - and so somewhat compromised - components). Android apps are written in Java and make use of Google's pre-existing code, while iOS apps are written in objective-C/Swift and make use of Apple's pre-existing code. As you can imagine, there's no overlap, so it's a ground-up rewrite of the functionality of the "stuff you see." There is lots of pre-computed data, however, that ferius computes on his servers and provides to his Android app "over the air", and he's made that data available for my iOS implementation as well. That saves tons of time, essentially reducing my development time down to a "months" timeframe rather than a "? a year? maybe more?" timeframe. He's also shared some of the algorithms that he uses, but even then I have to "translate" them into swift code (which also typically involves finding or writing alternatives to the pre-existing code libraries that his code/algorithm uses).

All of that to say that he's been super helpful in helping me avoid duplicate work and grease the wheels on the trickier stuff, but there's still a lot of time and effort involved. I put in a lot of hours before I had to pause and my hope is that I'm paused in the trickiest bit then it'll go back to being fairly quick development. Hopefully that's not too convoluted of an answer!
 

Vancity23

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Thanks I know nothing about that world so appreciate the comments. Appreciate you working on this and looking forward to hearing more. Any estimate of when it might be available for iOS?
 
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Flonase

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Thanks I know nothing about that world so appreciate the comments. Appreciate you working on this and looking forward to hearing more. Any estimate of when it might be available for iOS?
Don’t do it! Don’t fall into the trap of putting a timeline out there. No matter how conservative you try to be, you’ll jinx yourself by saying a timeline!

Or maybe that only happens to me…
 

JaySC

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Thanks I know nothing about that world so appreciate the comments. Appreciate you working on this and looking forward to hearing more. Any estimate of when it might be available for iOS?

Don’t do it! Don’t fall into the trap of putting a timeline out there. No matter how conservative you try to be, you’ll jinx yourself by saying a timeline!

Or maybe that only happens to me…
Haha yeah, exactly this. I've said previously that I hoped to have a beta out by late July, and while I'd still love that I do recognize that I've taken a break that's going to push it back some. No promises at this point other than that it's staying on my radar and I'm looking forward to getting back to touching on a daily/weekly basis.
 

Flonase

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Any updates on this project?
I wouldn't expect any for at least a month. Two posts up was JaySC's best guess as of late May - he was shooting for late July, but then things came up and it'll be later than that. If his life and projects go anything like mine, I'd be thinking September at the earliest... :spazface:

Haha yeah, exactly this. I've said previously that I hoped to have a beta out by late July, and while I'd still love that I do recognize that I've taken a break that's going to push it back some.
 

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