Recently we had an opportunity to speak with
Wilson Toussaint Jr.
, the Founder at
Erin Gerald Affiliates
Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.
A 2015 Pew Research Center study showed that 90% of people use some form of GPS navigation on their smartphones*, but most GPS apps still do not provide a simple way to store and organize the places people need and want to visit.
Our goal with PIN was to completely simplify the process of storing, finding, and navigating to your important places. The results are incredibly streamlined iPhone and Apple Watch apps that keep all of your important places at your fingertips, regardless of which device you're using.
How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?
If Evernote and Google Maps had a baby, the result would be PIN. PIN provides a simple way to store and organize your important places - so you can easily find & navigate to them later - with advanced driving, public transit, and walking directions.
We've all been there: you want to quickly find an address and get directions, but what should have taken a few seconds, takes waaaayyyy longer. You either have to find and copy your destination address into your GPS app from another source (e.g. Google, another app, etc.), or you want to go back to that great restaurant you visited last month, but it's no longer in your GPS app's "recent places" list, so you have to search for it all over again - very aggravating.
PIN solves these problems by giving you a single spot to store and organize all of your important places, and simple mechanisms to easily find and navigate to them later. When you're ready to go back, just tap the desired PIN and you're on your way whether you need directions on your iPhone or Apple Watch:
- via Car with Real-Time Traffic, Detour information, and Voice-Guided directions;
- via Public Transportation with Transit Lines, Stops, Maps, and Schedule information (e.g. subway, trolley, bus, train, ferry, etc.); or
- via good old fashioned foot power with Turn-By-Turn Walking directions!
Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?
Talk to, network with, and learn from those that have gone before you. There are a lot of subtle and counter intuitive elements that go into having a successful app, so don't be shy about learning from those that have succeeded in this space. You'll save yourself a lot of time, money, and headaches!
How did you decide which platforms to release your app on and do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms?
Research has shown that while Android has the dominant footprint globally in terms of device market share, iOS monetizes at a substantially higher rate. Thus, we tend to deploy our apps to iOS first, then assess market demand on the Android platform.
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
In addition to adding features requested by our users, we plan to:
* Add support for additional GPS applications - so if you're a Google Maps fan, you can use PIN with Google Maps,
* Add social features - so you can share your PINs with friends & family, and
* Translate PIN into additional languages.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?
The marketplace reception of our app. From the beginning people saw the value, embraced the app, and have provided us with excellent feedback that we're incorporating into future releases. Our latest release, version 2.0, shot to 8th place in the Navigation category of the US App Store 3 days after its release!
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
Overall, our app's most innovative feature is its simplicity and ease of use - born out of our obsession with streamlining things - as the example below illustrates.
Let's face it, sometimes it's a hassle to take your phone out, unlock it, and get to the app you need. That's why we also created a fully featured Apple Watch app that does many of the things the iPhone app does - letting you simply raise your wrist to add a PIN, navigate to a PIN, and more. Our SmartSync™ technology adds even more value to the mix by working behind the scenes to ensure that all of your PINs are always at your fingertips, regardless of the device you're using.
What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?
The Navigation category of the App Store is very crowded, with over 21,000 GPS apps, yet our latest release, Version 2.0, rocketed into the Top 20 in 8 countries just 3 days after its launch - including 8th place in the US, 6th place in Canada, and 4th place in Mexico!
This was especially gratifying for us. We always hoped our app will do well, but to see it take off - validating the hard work we put into it - is quite special.
Which other mobile apps or technology have inspired you?
I think we're just scratching the surface with wearables. There's tremendous potential here as chipsets, components, and batteries get smaller and better. Imagine a time when we will no longer rely on smartphones and tablets when we're on the go, but will instead look to a wearable device capable of projecting its user interface into the air or onto a surface, at an appropriate size given the task we are performing whether it's content consumption, communication, etc. This will take us well beyond where we are today where we must choose - up front - the screen size of a physical device then remain locked into that choice (e.g. the 6 inch phone or the 4 inch phone, the big tablet or the little tablet). Such a development would be a substantial leap forward in much the same way as touchscreens and gesture-based interfaces (e.g. iPhone, Android) dramatically improved upon mobile devices whose interfaces were driven by physical buttons (e.g. Blackberry).
You can view PIN here
For more information, visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/keynote/id1073871150?mt=8