3 questions – 3 answers: Thoughts from a different angle (Part 1)

You always wanted to know, what WE think about the new app? What we’re proud of? What our visions are? Great – exactly this is the topic of our little interview-series which starts today.

Philipp Kandal – our CTO and leader of the whole development-team – breaks the first ground:

Philipp, the new app is (almost) completed. What are you especially proud of?

Basically there are three things: above all the hybrid navigation. We will be offering navigation online AND offline – depending on what the customer wants to use. Besides, we have worldwide maps for the first time. This means, the new skobbler version can be used all over the world without expensive roaming charges, as you can use the already-mentioned offline maps.

But I’m also proud of the completely new user interface. It looks simply awesome, works on all iOS devices (iPhone, iPhone Retina, iPad..) and you can use it either in the portrait- or in the landscape mode.

What has been improved in the new app?

First of all: the navigation. :) Naturally, our focus was to improve the navigation – we hopefully succeeded in that. The routing is much faster (especially on-board), even with a bad GPS-signal the app works properly and also the quality of the routes has been significantly improved. But I also want to mention the map display. Especially the “map mode” is a real highlight, as we’re able to display the map in all imaginable zoom levels now.

Which market environment and technical circumstances have been considered for the conception and development?

There are many things you have to consider when developing a new app. It was important to us to support all Apple devices with GPS. This means an iPhone 3G as well as an iPad 2 with 3G. When our last nav app hit the market, Apple hadn’t invented the retina display – now we have to support it. You always have to adapt to the latest technical innovations, if you want to develop a new app.

Another thing that naturally has to be considered is the OpenStreetMap. It grows at blistering pace and becomes more and more detailed. The consequence: Our rendering engine had to be tuned notably to be able to cope with the mass of data.

Last but not least – the price. The price shall be affordable. Consequently, we have to keep the costs for our server infrastructure at a reasonable level.  It was a challenge to provide all our 1.5 million customers with the few servers we have – but fortunately we’ve been successful.

Thanks for the interesting interview, Philipp.