The Geoffender

You read me my rights and then you said “Let’s go” and nothing more.

Blondie (as covered by The Mr. T Experience).

The Iron Coder competition from the recent C4[2] conference I attended had a required API (iPhone OS’s CoreLocation) and a theme (paranoia). I actually did take a couple hours on Sunday morning to throw together a submission. Sure, it wasn’t going to be polished, but still creative perhaps. I figured several people would do something like a crime map. I tried a variant on that, dealing only with one (particularly nasty) type of crime.

The app I threw together is quite simple. You press the “Geoffend” button. The app determines your location from the iPhone’s built in GPS. The app fetches from the internet and displays a list of registered sex offenders who live near your current location. If that doesn’t induce paranoia, I don’t know what will. I call it Geoffender (combining Geo with offender).

I got the app working in the iPhone simulator on my computer, but I ran into problems running the app on my actual iPhone hardware. I recently acquired a new iPhone, and I hadn’t yet set it up for development. When I tried to set it up before the contest I absolutely could not get it working. I tried everything. The iPhone platform is pretty well locked down. In order to do development you have to have various digital certificates and keys from Apple. I have these. The problem is installing them correctly is not completely straightforward. So the demo was a no go.

It’s just as well. There were many other submissions to the contest which were much better. I also learned a few things, so the time wasn’t wasted.

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