Skate Now: another app you didn’t ask for but glad is here
I got to interview Nic Smal of Derick Watts and The Sunday Blues fame and now app creator about his new app, Skate Now. He also has some valuable advice for new app developers, explains how bird turds inspired the app and reveals that a new character will be added soon (please be Game of Thrones related!)
Use a gif to best introduce yourself to Tech Girl readers
It’s an app that places a little skateboarding character on your phone camera. You line up the character with a flat surface in your environment and trigger different moves by swiping or pressing your screen. Essentially you can skate on anything in your environment and record what you create.
Where did you come up with the idea for Skate Now?
In my car. I always get distracted by specks or bird turds on the window. I tend to close one eye and line it up with walls or barriers, then move my head to make it “jump”. I have always done this since I was a kid. I thought it could be a great way to pass the time if you were on a road trip or on public transport etc.
How did you come up with the Skate Now characters? Can we expect new additions anytime soon?
I started with the guy and the girl just to have two options. Then we ran into some issues with the coding, so while my team mate Jacques (co creator of the app and developer) was sorting that out I had some free time.
So I just decided to add in some new characters. I just thought what characters could we introduce that would have entertaining “special moves”. I am currently adding in a character just in time for the release of a certain season of a widely loved series.
Here’s the kind of stuff you can create with Skate Now
How to develop an app
For budding creators, here are some tips from first time app creator Nic Smal.
What was the most challenging part of developing the app?Having literally no knowledge of what it takes to create an app. Everything you do, you are doing for the first time, so it takes so long.
Why did you decide to go with iOS first? It was just because we had iPhones, so for testing we needed to be able to test it on ours. Coding it for Android is another whole ball game, so we wanted to just something finished and put it out there.
When will Android users get to use Skate Now? We are hoping to get it on Android as soon as possible. We are considering crowd funding to be able to speed the process up a bit.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to develop their own app? You will spend SO much time with it yourself, and you forget what it is like for first time users.
Give it to people to test and use as much as possible.
You cannot assume people will know or understand everything.
Simple and straight forward and user friendly is always key.
1. What is your favourite app? Probably the Netflix app.
2. Do you take your phone into the bathroom with you? Let’s just say I first check if I have my phone with me before I check if there is enough TP.
3. What was the last thing you shared on social media? An image of my two boys. The one was wearing Darth Vader mask, the other a Storm Trooper mask.
4. Pick one: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat or LinkedIn (the last one was a joke)? Why? Youtube, that way you got music, shows, and people getting hit in the balls. What more could you want?
5. Use one word to describe how you feel about What’s App groups. Drowning.
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