Matt Keith, the Lead Architect for USA Cycling, built the non-profit’s official app – My USAC – in just two months using Corona. My USAC proves essential to cyclists and features athletes’ current ranking, includes a special viewer for featured news photos, shows license status and current racing categories and much more. USA Cycling’s app is just one example of how Corona is a great solution for building business and utility mobile apps.
We chatted with Matt on his experience using Corona to build a comprehensive app for the thousands of USA Cycling members.
What’s your background as a developer?
I am a computer and electrical engineer and have been developing software for about 20 years. I have worked on everything from embedded firmware on network protocol analyzers to .NET windows applications to websites on the LAMP stack.
Tell us a little more about the USA Cycling organization and the My USAC app.
USA Cycling is the National Governing Body for the sport of cycling. We have development programs to train and select the cycling teams for the Olympics in all disciplines (Road, Mountain, Track and BMX). In addition, we support over 70,000 members that participate in local racing along with the officials, coaches, mechanics, and race directors that put on these races.
The app was created to help our members access their cycling information. They can show their license status and current racing categories, view their recent race results, search for upcoming races, and keep up with the latest cycling news.
How did you first hear about Corona?
My boss found Corona when searching for mobile development options.
Based on your research, why did you and your boss decide to use Corona to develop your app?
The main reasons were for cross-platform compatibility and rapid development. Previous versions of the app were created in Xcode and then ported to Android. We had many requests to make the app more visually engaging and wanted to move to a single code base. Corona allowed us to accomplish both of those goals seamlessly.
How do you feel Corona compares to other platforms on the market?
Corona is very easy to learn and we were able to get our app up and running quickly. We brought in a designer to help with development and she had no formal programming training before joining us. However, she was able to jump right in and start creating screens for the app in the first week. With this rapid development, we were able to complete the app a month ahead of schedule, in just two months.
Are there any specific features within Corona that you found particularly useful in the development process?
We make heavy use of the storyboard widget. The storyboard helped with the tabbed views and with transitions between screens. It also gives us a standard global object where we store data that is shared between different screens in the app.
Tell us about the functionality of My USAC.
New features in this version of the app include displays of cyclists’ current rankings, the ability to search for events, a new national championship event screen, and a photo viewer for featured news photos. I think these will be welcome updates for our members.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience using Corona!