VRT radio has been present on the web for quite a while now. It’s only logical that a suite of mobile apps should follow, offering mobile listeners an interactive experience on-the-go. In other words, the ‘Radioplus’ platform would get a ‘mobile first‘ presence, with the following requirements:
- One codebase with the possibility to release multiple, separately themed apps.
- Designed and targeted specifically for each individual mobile platform (iOS vs. Android), guaranteeing an optimal user experience.
- Straightforward with a focused set of core functionalities.
- Streaming, overall user experience, etc. should be very stable. No hiccups.
- A first release was required as soon as possible, with subsequent quick iterations / release cycles containing additional features
Thanks to its already present mobile development teams and mobile software factory, VRT’s ‘Digital Production Centre’ was able to release 6 separate radio apps for each platform in a mere 4 month development period.
These apps were developed by two dedicated mobile development teams (iOS & Android), both consisting of a mix of AppFoundry and VRT in-house expertise.
The project was managed using a Kanban approach, in close collaboration with the radio stations’ brand managers.
One codebase has been developed per platform, with a custom theme engine for leveraging each separately flavored radio app.
A new version of each app is released every time a new feature is developed and tested (‘continuous release‘). These short release cycles quickly added new features such as on-demand playlists, traffic announcements, user feedback, etc.
A strong focus was put on Test Driven Development (continuous integration, automatic testing) and Quality Assurance (dedicated QA testers), resulting in 99,5% crash-free apps.
- Functional Reactive Programming
- Test Driven Development
- Continuous Delivery
- iOS frameworks: Reliant dependency injection, Reactive Cocoa, AFNetworking, AVFoundation, …
- Android frameworks: Dagger, Mosby, Picasso, Butterknife, Exoplayer, …
- Integration with a mobile middleware layer (websockets via socket.io) on top of a legacy backend system
- Livestreams supported by HLS
The result is a series of separately flavoured radio apps for both iOS and Android, each with a continuously growing feature set.
At the time of writing (August 2016) the apps were 99,5% crash-free after 105.000 total app installs and 6000 daily active users.
More info at radioplus.be.
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