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Request for Proposal
The Client Need
Users who love to eat & cook food, for them cooking app (Synonyms-Kitchen) provides a platform through Mobile app to learn cooking and eating food. In this application we can learn to cook/eat our favorite recipes through video call from famous Master-chef and also they can interact with other Star cooks(other users who are available in app). The main idea is to provide learning while interacting with others or master-chefs who has an interest on learning eating/cooking different kinds of foods.

Interesting features we implemented:-

  • User can use the application from their Selected language like Spanish, English and France similarly they can select their Speaking language(Speaking language is used because if user’s Selected language is Spanish and he can understand Spanish and English both then they can easily interact with English user also).
  • In home page Instaction(where you can interact with Master chefs) and Menu(where list of recipes is shown) tab is shown.
  • There were several recipes and user can book a slot as per the days and time, so that on selected date they get notified.
  • We have used Push Notification to alert users as per their schedule.
  • App user can easily interact through video call with other user for their selected recipes. (How they get interact-First of all they need to select recipes and under recipes they need to select items then user will get the ingredients list of that selected items, under ingredients list there is option to Start cooking where video call gets connected or they can Schedule it)
  • User can share their cooking food through social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • If they want to interact with particular Master-chef then they can book a slot with in-app purchase.(How they can interact-They need to tap to Interaction then they need to select ChopChop where they learn to cook food with Master Chefs or they can select Chew-It where they can learn eating food with Master Chefs)
  • When Master-chef interacts with video conferencing then there can be max 10 people who can attend the call.(First 10 user as per the queue is selected in video conferencing)
  • It has the facility for interaction with others via text chat.
  • App users can add Star cooks(other users), where they search for friends through Email or Name and they can send a friend request and from the other side user gets a friend request and they can add it and interact via video call or via text chat and they can also Delete/Block user if they don’t want to interact.
  • Added user can see other user preferences(user profile) by tapping from the friend list.
  • Favorite items were shown in user preferences so that it helps other user to know about their friend’s favorite items.
  • There is a Search feature where users can search the favorite recipe easily.

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Challenges & Solutions

The client asked us for the as much as customization possible post development of the app, it was a challenge for us to provide all images from server since it depends on the speed of the user’s Internet to download heavy images from server before they can actually see the UI. Image caching was important at the highest level so that user’s experience with the app remains good, at the same time we have to figure out a way to not to exhaust disk space of device.

Generally when we develop multi-language app we use iOS localization feature to provide text for different languages. This was something different and we went to store all the labels, messages on the server which are refreshed every time user logs in to the app. This gives Admin a facility to edit/correct any label or message anytime and there was no need to launch new version of the app taking into consideration that Apple’s app approving policy is getting harder day by day and takes minimum 8-10 days to approve the app.
This was really a unique experience for us to embed video calling feature in an iOS app, something we have never done before.Right from the requirement analysis phase (Yes we take it very seriously) we started to approach Video Calling framework providers but there was no easy way for this. As per our commitment to deliver the service in cost effective manner we dealt with more than 10 providers and some of them were demanding as high as $10,000/month (Yes that much amount). It was seriously very high and no startup could afford that much amount of money for just a framework. We kept looking and implementing the test SDKs to find the best suited video calling framework for iOS. Finally we broke the deal with one of the providers which was really cost effective for our client.
It’s never easy to develop an app that runs on all supporting devices, to add to this complexity, our client came up with different UIs altogether for iPhone and iPad. But we still managed to deliver the universal app within the deadline.
We always make sure to deliver the app with the minimum build size so that our clients don’t miss app users just because the app’s build size was way high and user just denied by seeing it. We have managed to build the app within the 20 MB threshold.

The list of technolo gies we used

  • Admin Panel and Mobile API: CakePHP Framework, jQuery, Ajax.
  • Database: MySql
  • iOS Development: Objective C(Xcode IDE 7.1).
  • Video Calling Framework: ooVoo SDK for iOS.
  • Social Sharing: Facebook, Twitter(managed by fabric) and Instagram.
  • Image Caching: AFNetworking and SDWebImage.
  • SIP Protocol: Managed by Apple VoIP Notification.