The Yates Problem Solver is a handy iPhone app that you can take with you into the garden. You can browse through some common (and some unusual) problems, pests and diseases that you find in an Australian garden. You can search via plant type, or category (pest, disease or weed). Once you’ve seen your problem, you can click through to get detailed information.
Most problems have something from Yates that can fix it, and these are listed with the problem as well. You can read a bit more about how to apply the solution, as well as add it to a wish list if you need to duck off to your local hardware store to buy it.
The Problem Solver is a free app, so you can jump on to the Apple store and try it out yourself. Visit the App Store
The Red Ants love to try their hands at work that is new and different. So when Yates Australia asked us to develop their online garden problem solver as an iPhone application, we were excited by the opportunity to work in this newish technology.
As the Yates website version of the Garden Problem Solver is very comprehensive, it was important to create an application that synced with the website data, so any updates/additions to the site where reflected in the iPhone app.
However, this is was not as easy as clicking a few buttons, so a large part of the work was developing a tool that sucked the data from the website in a format the application could work with. But as the most important and influential part of any lifestyle iphone application is the quality of data, we wanted to spend the time getting this right.
One of the best and fun parts of the project was designing the look and feel of the application. It was interesting for the Ants to take the tool from the website and mould it in different ways, to see what would be the best user experience. Testing on iPhones and iPods was essential and presented interesting scenarios that would have been more difficult to consider, and ultimately led to design tweaks and improvements.
The submission process to Apple can be a little protracted -especially if it needs to get done under the client’s name. We ran into a few problems here, from having the right ABN details through to exactly who was going to do what during the submission process. Out tip is to allow plenty of time to iron these issues out, as it can be a little fiddly.
Our advice is to be patient with the submission process. We worked alongside Yates to get all the pieces of information needed by Apple. Although it took longer than expected to tick all the boxes, in the end it was well worth it with the Yates Garden Problem Solver being a featured application in the Apple AU Lifestyle applications within a week of being added to the iTunes App Store, and is currently rated four stars by users.
Update: some iphone app tips and advice if you’re about to get an an app made