Foresee: A Sophisticated Approach to Activity Planning

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Created by BorderLeap, Foresee helps you plan outdoor activities by intelligently comparing your ideal conditions with the local weather forecast. Foresee was recently selected as New and Noteworthy and reached #2 in Paid Productivity apps on the App Store.

Tell us a little about BorderLeap.

BorderLeap is a mobile game and app studio that I founded in 2012. After spending 15 years designing and developing web and mobile sites as well as Flash games for well-known companies, I decided to branch out and start my own studio.

To date, all your mobile apps have been built with Corona SDK. Can you please share your experience developing apps with the platform?

Working with Corona SDK has been one of my favorite aspects of mobile development. I’ve been building with Corona for over a year now and have released two apps: Blendamaze and Foresee. As a designer and developer, I found Corona SDK very easy to pick up and to build entire apps with quickly.

Your first Corona-powered app was a game called Blendamaze, which won App of the Week in late 2012. When building Foresee, a utility app, why did you turn to Corona?

In the world of mobile app companies, there’s often an assumption that you’re either a game studio or an app studio. I wanted to work on both and felt that Corona was ideal for developing any genre of mobile apps. I was very pleased with the platform’s capabilities when it came to building Foresee.

Please tell us more about Foresee. How did Corona help you in the development process?

The concept of Foresee was born in February 2013. I noticed that my wife and I were often asking questions like “When will be a good time to go walking today?” Or, “When can we walk the dog?” Realizing that planning for activities like these is often dependent upon the weather, the idea for Foresee was born. The way the app works is it combines weather data with your preferences – in other words the weather you prefer for any given activity. By combining your preferences with weather data from the Wunderground API, the app intelligently plots out on a timeline how “ideal” any given hour is.

From the start, we outlined what would be the core areas of functionality of the app and Corona fit all of them well. In the area of design, while the UX and UI of the app went through numerous changes to lead to our final product, we knew that Corona would be able to handle it all and provide us with a cross-platform foundation. There is so much information that we are processing yet not showing immediately to the user, all with the intention of creating that perfect user experience. On the technical side, I partnered with friend and former co-worker, Chris Allnutt, who has helped on the development side and managed integration with the weather API. We used the network and database APIs heavily and both of them have handled the load very well.

Tell us a bit about your development cycle.

The first couple months were spent working on design and crafting the user experience, and this continued to evolve throughout spring of 2013. We were 90% done in early May and wrapped up development and submitted to the App Store at the end of June. Foresee took approximately 4 months from conception to completion.

We’re continuing to upgrade the app based on feedback. For example, some of the top-requested features have been reminders/notifications and indoor activities.

Shortly after launch, Foresee reached #2 in the Paid Productivity category in the App Store. Can you share any other achievements and recognitions that Foresee has enjoyed?

Upon launch, Foresee was featured as New and Noteworthy and has since done very well. And as you mentioned, moving into week two of launch, Foresee was featured within the Productivity category in Apple’s App Store. There has also been a tremendous amount of press that has shown interest in the app, with stories and reviews in USA Today, Mashable, Gizmodo, GigaOM, TUAW, and AppAdvice.

Would you recommend Corona SDK to other developers and designers? If yes, why?

Most definitely. Corona SDK is a solid, easy to learn framework that is great for cross-platform development. Corona has tremendous capabilities to produce nearly any type of app, including a utility app such as Foresee.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Nate!

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