Fun project in SwiftUI

This year’s WWDC really shook the Apple Ecosystem with probably the most announcements ever happening at a single conference.

Three of the announcements when put together finally pushed me over the line to scratch a personal itch of mine that I was having for a bit more than a year: I’m a very happy customer of the smide.ch bike sharing service here in Z├╝rich, Switzerland: Their electric bikes are well maintained, extremely fun to use and readily available to the point that they have become my main means for transport for my daily commute.

On the other hand, as the Apple Watch has become more and more capable over time between updates to the OS and to the hardware itself to the point where I can now theoretically leave my phone at home and just rely on the watch.

The last remaining hard stopping block was the smide client which so far is only available on the phone, but not on the watch.

So there you see my itch that needed scratching.

In this context, this year’s WWDC was the perfect storm for me: independent Watch apps, SwiftUI and especially SwiftUI on the watch as a real native UI framework unshackled from the constraints of the purely Storyboard based hacks in WatchKit.

The moment I dug through the announcements, I knew: I need to make myself a Smide client and after 3 Beta releases from Apple, that’s what I have done:

After launching the App and assuming you’re logged in, it lists the bikes around you, sorted by distance to your current location (they have both black (smaller) and white (bigger) bikes – hence the coloring):

Tap any bike and you get a detail view including a map

Start the booking and you get some booking information

This feature-set is very limited compared to the official client:

  • Logging in only works for accounts that were created with an email address and a password. There is no way for my third-party client to possibly work with any oAuth provider
  • There is no way to report an issue with a bike
  • The client doesn’t currently take into account the free 10 minute reservation
  • The official client does some additional user interface activity reporting which my rogue client doesn’t do.
  • There is zero payment related functionality: As I personally have a 3 year subscription, I don’t need it and besides, this is a rogue client and I can’t and don’t want to deal with their payment system.

Still. This was a fun experience to develop and to keep up-to-date between the various Beta releases, all of which deprecated some essential functionality that was also shown off during conference sessions.

Over the next few days I’m going to write down a development diary like I have done for tempalias back in the days.

To put a bit of a damper on your expectations: As this work is not sanctioned by Smide themselves and as it’s based on reverse-engineering their existing client and because this year’s API for SwiftUI and Combine is still very much in flux, I’m reluctant to release the source code of this.