“Wow! Two traffic light remotes in one app!”
When you’re on foot you can eliminate those long pauses at the crosswalk while you wait for the “Walk” light to appear and if you’re in the car you can speed up those traffic lights and turn those red lights to green!
Now you have the ability to speed up and change those electronic Walk and Don’t Walk signals with your iPhone or iPod touch!
Simply hold your device up to the electronic crosswalk sign or traffic light that needs to be changed and press the button! In just a few moments you’ll have people staring at you in awe and asking you questions the crosswalk and traffic lights change in your favor and seem to at your command!
This was my first attempt at an iPhone app of any sort and I wanted it to be something simple and silly that I could put together while learning the basics of app developments and publishing. I am not a hardcore programmer or app developer, but I do have some programming experience and education. What I don’t have is a lot of time to learn an entirely new programming language.
I decided I didn’t want to do just another fake traffic light app until I read Pat Flynn’s post about his iPhone app experiences. In that post and others Pat mentions that he’s actually having some success with his little apps, which are mostly simple games and silly time wasters. Yes, Pat’s app company has a traffic light remote. It consists of exactly one button on the screen.
If he was having success with a one button iPhone application then surely I could do the same. I didn’t want to create one button applications, though. I decided I would take an existing idea, twist it a little bit and make it “better.” In the realm of silly apps that means more options.
Here is some of the original artwork for the first version of the Crosswalk Remote iPhone app:
So very, very bad. I added more features later. Below is the current version in the iTunes store:
I spent a good deal of time brushing up on my graphic skills and learning the development tool I chose to use: Gamesalad. It’s an excellent tool for building games and small iPhone apps and its getting more powerful all the time.
After a lengthy learning process of figuring out how to actually publish an iPhone app I quickly realized that I could do a lot more with the Crosswalk remote. Over time I added in a basic traffic light remote (more traditional than a crosswalk remote) and I complete updated all the graphics and sounds. In six months I’ve essentially rebuilt a rather silly prank iPhone app three different times, trying to make it better and more appealing (and believable) to people who like to trick their friends with these sorts of things.
In the process I learned a lot about app development and publishing and I realized that kids really, really like hitting buttons and making sounds with daddy’s iPhone. The latest version of the Crosswalk and Traffic light remote has about 8 different buttons and various sounds and flashing lights. My toddler gets a kick out of it, and I’ve even fooled a few friends with it.