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Orienteering Events UK iOS app in prototype

Yay! After several months of development, my Orienteering Events UK app is in what I would term a prototype stage. Which is to say: it all works, and well enough for me to use without worrying about bugs or missing features, although it will need some tidying up in the code if it’s to go public.

Whether that happens really depends on the reaction of other orienteers. After all, there are other sources of fixture information out there: to start with, there are lots of web sites (BOF, clubs, associations, and the wonderful events.info, from which I drew inspiration for my own filtering system).

Then more recently, Neil Bricknell has released his Event-O iOS app.

So the obvious question is: why? Why would I go to the trouble of making another fixture list source, and specifically another iOS app?

You can see more about the app’s features in a separate article, but to answer the “why?” questions briefly:

I was accustomed to using oevents.info, but wanted a few things it couldn’t (directly) provide:

  • simple filter editing, so that I could modify an existing search (more easily than editing a URL);
  • direct addition of an event to my calendar (I use Google calendar a lot, via the Apple Calendar app on my iPad);
  • direct access to travel time/route information (via a maps app);
  • a nicer printed list for the fridge magnet 😉

Then Event-O came along, so why not use that? Well…

  • it’s iPhone only (for iOS). On iPad (which I use for most of my armchair planning) it runs in a phone sized part of the screen. By contrast, my app is currently iPad only (though followers of Apple tech may already be thinking, as I am, “maybe macOS soon too…?”);
  • I prefer a list-based view, rather than a calendar, which although nicely visual, doesn’t provide as much space for detail;
  • I wanted the very granular filtering that events.info provides;
  • I wanted to be able to save a list of the events that I’m planning to attend, or at least thinking about, in a “favourites” list, and print that out.

So all in all, I think it’s sufficiently distinctive and different to merit its place. I’ve put a lot of effort into making it, so naturally I’m hoping others agree, and may have some constructive suggestions for future development. (And yes, I’ll continue to use Event-O on my phone for when I’m out and about!)

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