Tracker Touch App
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Building Tracker’s new Touch App

Head shot of TomBy Tom O’Malley

When leading stolen vehicle tracking company in the UK, Tracker, wanted to update their iOS and Android apps, they came to Si digital for the technical implementation.

Tracker has been providing GPS and VHF tracking of vehicles and machinery for 27 years, and in that time they have amassed a large number of customers. Most of their customers now use an app to manage their account, set the status of their vehicles and much more.

We spoke to Ash, who was the lead developer at Si digital working on this project.

Can you summarise the mobile app to me in just a few sentences from a dev POV?

Tracker is an iOS and Android app for tracking your car or motorbike, trips you have taken, and whether it’s secure. Some of the functionality which Tracker’s customers rely on include setting a Geofence area, theft reporting and battery health.

Were there any interesting bits of functionality you worked on?

The idea of geofencing is great for Tracker’s customers. They can set an area around their vehicle and if the vehicle moves out of that area, the customer will get notified. Not just useful in case of theft, but probably helpful if you have children who sometimes borrow your car.

Mapping was also a challenge which I feel we overcame in a really elegant way. Mapping is a fundamental aspect of the Tracker app, being used to position your vehicle and to display crime statistics for geographic regions. We adopted Apple Maps for iOS and Google Maps for Android which allowed for cross-platform mapping functionality, all while giving Tracker’s users an experience they are familiar with.

What technologies were used on this project?

We’re big believers in using React Native here at Si digital. It allows for more rapid app development and smaller overheads as a single React Native codebase can be used for both iOS and Android. As a team, we’ve also got a lot of expertise using JavaScript and the two go hand in hand.

We integrated with Tracker’s existing REST API to connect the app to Tracker’s backend systems. Due to the complicated nature of the data, we chose TypeScript to help us reliably handle data from Tracker.

How did the build go?

It was a fairly short project timeline which presented us with a challenge, so we needed to keep the builds and customer feedback loops short. We used sprint methodology for this project. Each week we would provide Tracker with a test build and then incorporate their feedback in to the backlog for the next sprint.

We continue to work with Tracker on new features and developments.

The App

You can find out more about the Tracker Touch App on their website.

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