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High school cyclist enters app economy

Published May 15, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA (BRAIN) Tuesday May 15 2012 8:46 AM MT—A cyclist and coding expert who also happens to be a high school sophomore is offering a smart phone app that enables users to measure routes for biking or other activities.

Mike Feffer decided to build the app to fulfill a need he saw. He likes to run and bike, mostly as training for swimming, his primary sport.

"I wanted to run somewhere, but I didn't know where to go and how far it would be," he told BRAIN recently.

Feffer, who already had some coding skills, attended a two-week app development summer camp last year. After the course, it took him about two weeks to come up with the Route Maker app, which is now available on the Apple App Store for 99 cents.

The app allows users to trace a route with their finger on a map on their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. The app measures the distance of the route in miles or kilometers.

The app has a downside: once you start tracing a route, you can't zoom or pan around the map, so you need to encompass the entire route on the screen before you start tracing. This means the app works better on an iPad's larger screen than on smaller devices.

On the upside, there are oddly few apps that allow you to measure a route at all.

Feffer has sold a few hundred of the apps so far, and is just starting to promote it.

Eddie Magulick, owner of Eddie's Bicycles & Sport Equipment in State College, helped Feffer identify bike publications to start promoting the app.

"I don't have an iPhone so I'm not an app guy," Magulick said. "But I watched (Feffer) play with it and it was pretty impressive."

Topics associated with this article: Mobile bike apps

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