Cracks Knuckles ALLRIGHT well first of all I think thats something I would definetly download if it was a real thing. But dreaming is the easy part, making it a reality is another story entirely.
Let me give you a little context before we even get into the development process. Foremost, you need to know your costs and potential profits to make those costs up. I’m assuming you would be making this yourself, so no labor costs. Software would also be pretty cheap, except for the potential server costs. Using Google Maps and the Gas Buddy api im sure would be pretty cheap if not free, most companies have no issues if you use data they make publicly available. That being said, keeping calculated data, and especailly user data, require a well designed and maintained database. Databases require servers to run on, which cost money. Im no expert on server costs, but anything roughly more than 500MB of data isnt going to be free, and anthing about a couple GB’s is going to have significant costs. But that wouldnt be an issue until you mabye had 1,000s of users.
Moving on there’s the costs of the app itself. Developing and publishing an app on the Play Store/App store isnt free. I havent looked in a while but im pretty sure it costs between $70-$100 to publish an app once it’s approved.
Theres also the option of marketing, but I’m definetly no expert on that so I would research it. You cannot disregard marketing though as what’s the point of making an app if nobody uses it?
Now that covers the business side in a nutshell. Development of the app itself is another issue altogether. User authentication alone requires knowledge of database configuration, server configuration, and user authentication/authorization. Cybersecurity actually isnt an issue as there are a lot of libraries out there like passport.js that take care of it for you. Working with API’s will require knowledge of asynchronous programming. Complex operations like this will require knowledge of a framework to organize it all like React or Angular. This can be simplified though with NodeJS as frameworks like Meteor, Feather.js, and Sails.js have come a long way.
Lastly, there’s the design and planning of the application itself. Anybody can design content on a piece of paper, but making something people want to interact with requires quite a bit of work. Basic UI/UX knowledge will be necessary, so basic things like content heirarchy, color theory, typography, and reqponsive design will need to be thought out.
Now that may seem like a lot, but thats because it is. Welcome to the life of an app developer