Local developer creates handy travel app

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC)

Local software developer Metrocket, LLC is getting attention for their travel app iExit. Based at Innovation Depot in Birmingham, the company debuted the app in January 2010. iExit has been highly rated by USAToday.com, CBSMoneywatch.com, The New York Times and Chicago Tribune for its unique features, usability and value.

The app uses the GPS feature on smartphones to share dining, shopping and fueling information with users while they travel down the interstate. The app shows information for up to 50 exits closest to the user, but only in the direction they are traveling. Unlike some other apps, iExit has detailed categories that users can search through; for example, you can search for unleaded gas, biofuel or diesel. Users can also tag favorite restaurants, gas stations, and other destinations and search for any available deals in the area.

iExit is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The full app costs $1.99 but there is also a free "lite" version. There are also versions just for food and hotel searches.

FOX6 spoke with Evan Metrock, president of the company about what inspired him to create iExit and what he loves about it.

What inspired you to create the app?

Back in 2009, my dad had just finished a road trip and called me up and asked if an iPhone app could tell you what's at upcoming exits. I thought about it, realized it could, but didn't act on it immediately. A few weeks later, I was driving to Atlanta and started looking at all of the billboards that read "Some Business, Some Exit." It occurred to me that all of those businesses were paying good money to try to communicate with me, the driver, in an outdated, inefficient manner. It was that day I realized I had to build iExit.

What is your favorite feature of the app?

When I'm on a road trip and I get hungry, I usually find myself craving Chick-Fil-A. I don't want just any fast food, but instead I want a particular chain. Therefore my favorite feature in iExit is the ability to filter upcoming exits by my favorite chains. I select Chick-Fil-A as a favorite, and I can then easily see all of the upcoming exits that have one. I can add as many favorites as I want and iExit quickly and cleanly displays which upcoming exits match my favorites.

How do you plan to grow and/or improve the app in the future?

I said my favorite current feature is the ability to quickly see which upcoming exits contain my favorite places. My future favorite feature will be the ability to see upcoming exits that can save me money on gas, food, hotels, etc, regardless of the chain brand. Metrocket is currently focusing on securing more deals with businesses at interstate exits so that more coupons and special promotions can be included in iExit. As you can see, the "Deals" tab is already included in iExit, but the number of deals actually supported in iExit is relatively small.

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