Kartbites - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

I have been developing software professionally for 8 years. I also completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science, so all my college years were spent developing software as well.

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

Strangely, the most challenging aspect was building the team that would eventually build the app. With the budget constraints I had, getting experienced developers or even many developers was not an option. So I trained a small team to write an app in React Native and a server in Golang and it all finally worked out. Technically speaking, correctly handing the keyboard in React Native seemed quite the challenge and so was dealing with the quirks of the Realm database.

My name is Akshay and I started Kartbites about a year ago with generous help from my father Atul. I learnt to build production-scale mobile applications at Intel where I worked for 5 years, since graduating with my PhD in Computer Science from Portland State University, Oregon, USA. My love for software engineering runs deep, second only to the love for my family. A close third is the love for food, especially street food and this is really how Kartbites was born.

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

I usually love apps that are easy to use. Airbnb really stands out, they have a fantastic design. Among other apps, Lyft, Uber, Google Maps, WhatsApp do very complex things in simple, beautiful ways, so I love those too.

How long have you been working on this app?

A little less than a year.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

I wanted street food enthusiasts to be able to easily tell others about their new food finds. The app is thus focused on making it easy to publish about street food, automatically keep lists about those places as well as where you want to eat next, and share all of that information with friends. Of course, finding street food around you is also as easy as pressing the search button.

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

I grew up in India eating street food. To say it was about sustenance is an understatement. Me and a group of friends were constantly arguing over whose street food vendors were the best. Kartbites differentiates itself by focusing on street food as it is sold in the Asian subcontinent: by people barely making a living cooking food on wooden hand-trucks beside the street. These people don't have smartphones, and when they do, they don't really use the internet like the rest of the educated population. They can't put themselves on the map, they don't know how. They are good at one thing: cooking the usually one item that's on their menu. They are so good that they have passionate followers who spend parts of their day talking about them. They need to be found and given the credit they deserve and a chance at a better life.

Kartbites is designed to make it easy for that enthusiastic street food community to put their favorite vendors on the map. All the user has to do is post a picture about the food or the place they are eating at and that's really all we need. The location information in the picture helps us do the rest. We rarely ask the phone's GPS for a location and are never tracking the user, not only does that save immense power, its great for privacy. This lazer-focus on building a crowdsourced, worldwide street food directory in the Asian market is what sets us apart. Kartbites is designed to work in the Asian environment of low-end phones by minimizing memory and power usage. I could go on about the engineering and design aspects of the app, but Kartbites is really about people, those who cook the street food and those who eat it.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

We want to introduce a "bombshell dish" feature. The main reason to go at a food cart. We want to run photo competitions and give awards to street food enthusiasts who post the best picture. We also want to make list management more useful than it is now and that's what we are working on at the moment.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

I would love for them to take a picture of the food before they eat and post it on Kartbites. It will be great to have new folks in the Kartbites community.


About App: Come join us on a journey to build the largest directory of street food vendors in the world. A place where someone eats, automatically becomes a place for others to discover. Let's never miss out on authentic food ever again. Kartbites is not just an app, it's an enthusiastic community of people exploring street food around the world. Yes, we are talking about those food trucks or carts that serve up the most authentic local favorites but are terribly hard to find. Not any longer. At Kartbites, every place you eat at, automatically becomes a place for others to discover. All you have to do is post an image from your gallery! The location information (geotag), from the image helps us know where the food cart is. What's more, is that the food cart is automatically added to your "been there" list. You'll always know where you've been and how to get back. Of course, feel free to share places in the list with your friends on Kartbites or elsewhere. Food, friends, memories, this is what Kartbites is about.

Categories: Food & Drink

Date: April 19, 2019

Developer: Akshay Dua

About developer: My name is Akshay and I started Kartbites about a year ago with generous hel ... Read more

Website: http://kartbites.com


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