When we started building HyperTrack SDKs and API for our users we needed a way to dogfood our own code before our users integrated HyperTrack into their apps. We needed practical real world usage of our product to accelerate the development. As we started exploring other ways to test our code in our daily life we thought why not build an app that we can use to track our own daily trips from home to work and back to home.
The first version of the app we built had just three basic actions: add a destination start a trip and end a trip. We called the app SendETA.
Once a trip is started the Driver SDK within this app sent locations streams to the HyperTrack server. We used these test trips to improve our location data filtering to provide accurate locations and polylines improve our ETA models for different vehicle times time of day etc. and instrument and optimize our battery and data usage across devices OSes and network conditions. These trips also helped us populate the HyperTrack dashboard with real data and think about metrics that the dashboard users monitoring these trips would like to look at.
As we did more of these trips we realized that we could also share these live trips with our colleagues who were waiting for us at the office our friends who were waiting to catch up over dinner and our family who was waiting back at home. We couldn’t expect each of our friends and families to download this test app to track our trips. We needed a ubiquitous way for them to track our trips. And the only way to make that happen was to enable the consumption of tracking on a browser. That made us start looking for URLs that were short enough to be shared over text messages. We searched through who.is services but those were clunky. We stumbled upon shortdomainsearch.com (that we had heard about on Hacker News) shortlisted a bunch of URLs and zeroed in on a URL that was just 7 characters long and also made sense eta.fyi. Once we bought the URL we added a feature that allowed you to share a unique URL of your trip from within the SendETA app.
As we started sharing our live trips with our friends and families we saw an overwhelming interest from them to use the test app to share their own trips. We realized that the problem of sending ETAs isn’t just limited to businesses. It’s something that we struggle with in our daily life as well. That led us to develop a polished version of our app that could be used not just by the developer but by our parents as well. We added features like allowing you to send the ETA using the messaging app of your choice and allowing you to add Home Work and other places that you frequently visit as favorite places.
Today we are delighted to announce that we are making the SendETA app available to consumers worldwide for free on App Store and Play Store. Give it a shot. Your location and trips are completely private and secure. They are shared only with people you chose and only for the duration of the trip. No one else can ever track you.
We are also opening the source code of the app to developers to help them better understand the integration as well as reuse the code to build their own driver apps to manage their workflow.
This is our very first version of the app and we are looking forward to hear feedback and thoughts on what else you would like to see in the app. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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