From the community: Interview with Kii App Challenge first place winner Gonzalo Huerta

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 9.53.06 AMIt was exciting to review all the submissions to our Kii Cloud App Challenge and we were really surprised by the quality of the apps. But, as in any contest, winners must be selected and fuOve (developed by a team from Chile) clearly showed us what a quality app powered by Kii should look like.

Gonzalo’s fuOve is a geo-social network based on the concept of location based communities. fuOve allows you to create a group with nearby people and share files and messages without exchanging emails or social network information. The concept is quite interesting and fits many use cases (imagine students trying to share digital files when studying together).

I had the opportunity to interview Gonzalo, and asked him about his background and his experience working with Kii. Here’s the transcript (I hope you enjoy it as much as I did):

German
How did you become a mobile developer?
Gonzalo
I got in touch with the world of mobile development when I was working at my company (we were building a platform for managing fleets of taxis and they asked me to create the Android mobile app for it).

German
Do you have a formal education in computer systems or software engineering?
Gonzalo
I received a MSc in Computer Science in South Korea. In Korea they are really into mobile apps which caught my attention at the time.

German
What do you do for a living?
Gonzalo
I currently work for a taxi fleet management company (Fantaxico) where I develop Android mobile apps. The Kii Cloud App Challenge app is a personal project. My team included 4 people and I was the only developer on the team.

German
Can you briefly describe the app that you created?
Gonzalo
The whole point of the app is to allow the creation of localized groups to connect and share information. Next steps are to provide a layer of integration for existing groups.

German
Are you only focusing on Android?
Gonzalo
Initially that was the case but I’m now migrating the app to Windows Mobile and also outsourcing the development for the iOS version.

German
What were the pros and cons in using Kii Cloud during your development process?
Gonzalo

– Pros: availability of both synchronous and asynchronous methods. Facebook integration (I tried Facebook integration with Azure and Amazon and liked Kii better.)
– Cons: IMHO the developer console is hard to use, difficult to find info. I didn’t try the web side of Parse but I think Azure does a pretty good job at exposing information on the web side. I had problems with displaying ads but I realized later that there was a problem with the ad provider (it wasn’t Kii)

German
What’s the target audience of fuOve?
Gonzalo
The user segment for my app is groups of people that have to meet frequently (eg. students) and use an app to share stuff during those meetings. I want to make it available worldwide and so far it’s in English (my team is in the process of localizing it to Spanish and Portuguese)

German
Did you release fuOve in any public app market?
Gonzalo
Yes, it has been released on Google Play. And the next one is going to be the Amazon Store (coming)

German
What other Kii features are you planning to try out?
Gonzalo
The Kii ads SDK and using Kii files attached to object bodies (as recently described in your documentation)

German
How hard it was to include Kii Cloud in fuOve?
Gonzalo
I was building the backend with Azure and when I saw the challenge decided to try it with Kii. Adding Kii Cloud hooks took me about 8 days. With Kii I can develop faster (I felt comfortable with the learning curve of Kii SDK). What I noticed immediately was that the login process using Kii was faster than what I had before.

German
Did you try other mobile backend previously?
Gonzalo
I tried Azure for a while. I didn’t try Parse but had some good comments from a friend of mine. I also tried an Amazon backend for an app but I barely tested it (and then dropped it). What I didn’t like about Azure is that the Android SDK has many limitations (you can tell it wasn’t built for mobile, but was adapted to it later). The data sync is pretty good though but only works with SQL Server

German
Thanks Gonzalo for your time and enjoy your prizes!
Gonzalo
You’re welcome! Thanks

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog when we interview Kii Cloud App Challenge Second Place Winner Radu Trandafir.

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