KiteSpotter getting ready for version 7
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KiteSpotter has not seen any actual updates for some time now. The last one was back in November 2016, which was more of an internal update and did not introduce any new features.
Since the beggining of 2017, I have been back to full time developing KiteSpotter. The main thing that slowed me down was the migration from parse.com to my own server.
parse.com was acquired by Facebook back in 2013 for $85 million, then in 2016 Facebook decided to close it down. How this affects KiteSpotter? Well the back end of KiteSpotter (the place where all spots and information were stored) was using parse.com. We moved to a temporary server on November 2016 and release an update on the App Store to connect the app to the new server.
Since February 2017, I have been developing a new server and adding various features to the application. I have also been traveling a lot and kitesurfing. I statyed in Cape Town for 2 months, where the conditions were great, I broke my highest jump record (got 16 meters on my piq) and I was always getting stronger winds than the ones predicted. Then I went to Panama for two weeks, where I kitesurfed in Punta Chame and Pedasi. Then Colombia for another 6 weeks, where I kitesurfed in Cartagena and Salinas Del Rey.
I then joined the Nomad Cruise where we crossed the Atlantic Ocean, from Colombia to Lisbon. I kited in St. Martin and Antigua. Unfortunately Madeira had no wind at all. Nomad Cruise was very inspiring for me and I met a lot of interesting people. I also made a plan on the new features that are worth adding to KiteSpotter.
I then kited at various places in Portugal for a week and spend another week in Tarifa. I currently am in Greece, where I will stay till the end of September.
It was nice to see that in all my travels KiteSpotter had information for all the spots I visited.
Enough with my travels, lets go back to KiteSpotter.
So far all our weather forecast data came from one weather source.
Private weather networks, unique weather data and applications, advanced forecast modeling, and meteorological…www.weatherflow.com
We have been very happy with the reliability of their data, but we decided that it is better if we provide users with more that one weather sources. So we also added darksky.
Dark Sky is the most accurate source of hyperlocal weather information: with down-to-the-minute forecasts for your…darksky.net
To change the weather source tap the spot icon on the top right corner and then from the menu go to “Forecast Source” and pick the one you want:
We plan to add more sources and ask our users to vote the best source for every spot. We will then add a “best source” option which for every spot it will display the highest rated forecast source.
A lot of users have emailed us with this request. There are a lot of spots that the tide is very important. When I was in Cape Town, tide affected the wave quality. In Panama, on a high tide there was no beach left to launch. Tide information is very impotant for a lot of KiteSurfers. So far we had to use two apps, one to get the weather forecast and another one to check the tide.
So we decided to intergrate that to KiteSpotter so you do not have to check another app and all information are there. We only display tide information for spots that the tide is more than 0.5 meters, as tides less than that ussually do not affect KiteSurfing.
Fot the moment we only display tide information on the hourly forecast.
We plan to add tide height in a similar way that we have wind directions. So you can indicate the tide height that is kiteable. Once that is in place, tide information will change to red if conditions are not met and black when conditions are met.
For our wave riders out there, that includes myself. We plan to include wave forecast. You will be able to indicate in your profile the wave size you prefer, similar to the wind power function that we have right now. Then for each spot the best wave directions will be stored to our database. We will indicate that good waves are there both on the Daily Outlook and on the Detailed forecast screens.
We expect to have this feature added by the end of September 2017.
Development of KiteSpotter involve a lot work and various costs. Our current model, lifetime in app purchase, unfortunately cannot support the active development of KiteSpotter.
From our next release (July 2017), we will introduce a subscription model. To get the premium features of the application, users will have to subscribe. We will be offering monthly and yearly subscription. The price is not set yet, we are looking at a price that will be cheap enough for most of our users and at the same time enable us to actively develop and maintain KiteSpotter.
Current premium users, will get a free subscription till the end of 2018. After that they will have to purchase a subscription.
New Feature Poll
We would like your opinion on which of the above features is more important. This way we will start developing it first.
Please select the feature you want to see in KiteSpotter first.
We are looking for users that would like to test our new features before they come out to the App Store. If you would like to be one of our beta testers please fill out the following form with you Apple ID and we will send you an invite on our next release:
We are also welcome comments and suggestions.