On a lengthy bus trip after DevReach Lino Tadros from FALAFEL inspired me to do some work with MonoTouch.
Years ago I did a project for a customer which includes a tool that supports their drivers with “Section Control(s)”.
This system has different names and (AFAIK) exists in Australia, UK, Italy the Netherlands and in Austria.
In Germany the plan to install such a system in the nearer future.
In the UK it’s named SPECS http://www.speedcheck.co.uk/ and has over 180 Installations.
In our region (Upper Austria) a new installation will be activated at Dezember 18th.
Information in German
So I remembered the “old solution” (it’s still in use) and decided to build this thing for the iPhone.
The main reason for this application is security. Let me explain.
The systems work with very small tolerances.
In Austria for an example you have 3% or 3 km/h for limits of 100 km/h and above.
So this means to always watch your speed very carefully. And that means look at your speedometer.
BUT: with 50 km/h one look to the Speedo means 28 meters “blind flight”.
I’ve heard rumors that some of my customers drivers abuse the system in the following way:
There is traffic and a limit of 80 km/h on a section 3 Kilometers long.
Due to the traffic they can go only about 50 km/h for about 2 Kilometers.
After this Section Controls shows (of course) that his average speed is 30 km/h below the allowed, so …
Anyhow – the reason for Section Control is safety. You don’t have to watch the speedometer that much; Section Control will give an acoustic warning if your exceed the allowed average speed.
Back to building the application.
MonoTouch enable me to use a lot of the Windows Mobile C# Code for the new project.
Messing around with “Key-chains, provisioning, contracts,…” and all that other funny Apple stuff it took me about a week to build a development environment that does all I need.
This means – Max and PC Share a G15 Keyboard and my my 24” Main Monitor (I usually work with 2 19” Monitors and one 24”)
I have Windows Keyboard-Mapping on the Mac, shared drives…
Last not least I built a little tool to use MonoTouch Solutions in Visual Studio.
Anyhow, the infrastructure was done and it doesn’t take to much time to build the application.
UI Graphics took a lot of time in designer software, but coding was very easy. That’s one of the screens and it’s navigation animation :
About 300 Kilometer of test driving later I was ready to put the app to the app store.
I read that it takes about 14 days for review. I did all I can to fulfill the rules for an iPhone application and so I was optimistic that Section Control will pass the review.
And YES – I submitted my application on Wednesday December 3rd (at about 1 am).
On Monday December 7th it changed the state from “Waiting for review” to “In review”
Finally on Thursday December 10th an email arrived: “Your application is Ready for Sale”
And since I early signed the “Artwork contract” I’m now allowed to use:
YES – the Image has a working link!!
So thanks to MonoTouch which allowed me to use my existing .NET skills for iPhone development and thanks to the (at least in this case) very fast reviewers at Apple my first iPhone application is on the appStore!!
I just submitted an article about some parts of the solution at http://dotnetslackers.com/ – it will be reviewed and if gets published I will link it here.