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HITC Sports App: Behind the scenes

Secrets of App production

 by Rob Sparks, October 2015

Our site, HITC.com, is dedicated to delivering the best sport coverage from our writers and around the web. Translating our web experience into an app was the next logical step for us as we adapt to changes in online usage.

As it was our first app we selected iOS because it has a stable platform and development environment, and it has an engaged install base. We felt this would give us the best chance of success and once the product had been proven we could add an Android version. Swift (the language used) ended up being a major plus as the syntax was more familiar to us than Objective-C. We focussed on creating an app we wanted to use, and after 6 months of hard work, thousands of lines of code, and gallons of coffee (probably), we launched on the App Store.

A major challenge was programming for a multi-threaded environment. There are a lot of transferable skills going from web development to app oriented work, but background processing was one that required a complete change in approach. Another challenge has been knowing when to do a full launch, what features were necessary, and what can be left for future updates – especially as we’re entering a reasonably well developed marketplace.

You can download the app in the App-store and from our website and we’re currently working on a bunch of exciting new features on the app, including team detail views, social and interactive reporting, and even more user customisation. We’re keenly listening to feedback from our community to deliver what people want, so any good idea that comes our way could potentially be a future feature.

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