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Multi-Platform Mobile News App

Project Overview

QBurst developed mobile applications for the client across popular mobile platforms such as iOS, Android, and BlackBerry. We used iOS SDK, Android SDK, and Java to develop these mobile applications, which were subsequently published in the Apple App Store, Google Play, and BlackBerry App World.

Business Requirement

The client’s website delivered local news only in Spanish. They wanted to expand their readership to other countries and languages. With the advent of mobile technology in media, our client aspired to gain a firm foothold in the emerging mobile space. QBurst was engaged to develop apps for popular smartphone and tablet platforms.

When the client first contacted QBurst for application development and maintenance services, they already had basic and premium iPhone apps for their news site. QBurst not only extensively enhanced and stabilized their existing iPhone apps but also developed new apps for Android and BlackBerry app stores.

Business Benefits

  • 40% increase in revenue in the year following the release of the apps.
  • 33% increase in readership - the company continues to widen their user base in Puerto Rico through the iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry apps.
  • The iPhone and Android apps have been downloaded more than 0.3M times since release.

Client Profile

Our client is a popular Spanish newspaper agency based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The agency runs one of the fastest growing newspapers in Puerto Rico. It commenced operations in 1997 and has since garnered a huge readership for its daily.

Our Solution

With the new and improved iPhone apps, users get updates about the most viewed stories on the news website with visual briefs. Key functionalities of the app allow the user to:

  • Access image and video galleries
  • Read content in English and Spanish
  • View results of main local lotteries
  • Share news in social networks such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Comment on news posts
  • Send photos and videos to the editorial team
  • View weather forecasts for all cities in Puerto Rico
  • Find theaters with their locations and movie listings
  • Manage user profiles and accounts from multiple social platforms
  • Use the app in offline mode

Technical Highlights

iOS

  • Environment: Xcode using Cocoa Touch layer
  • Framework: UIkit, Core Graphics and Foundation to design the user interface, manage input/output, implement search feature, and create basic animations; other frameworks used include Mapkit, Media Player, and ShareKit
  • Development: Objective C
  • Data storage: Locally using SQLite and Plist
  • Location based feature: Core Location framework
  • Ad display: Real Media AD-SDK
  • Analytics: Flurry

BlackBerry

  • Environment: Eclipse IDE using BlackBerry Java Plug-in
  • Development: Development, debugging, and simulation was integrated in the plug-in provided by RIM; BlackBerry SDKs to implement functionalities added through the updated site
  • Data storage: Locally in SQLite and default persistent storage
  • User interface: UiApplication class in the UI package
  • Location based feature: J2ME location packages and third-party Google Maps
  • Video streaming: YouTube for Mobile was embedded to stream videos.
  • Ad display: AdWhirl network
  • Social media integration: Facebook SDK added to the IDE
  • Analytics: Google Analytics and Flurry

Android

  • Environment: Eclipse environment using Android SDK
  • Development: Android SDK emulator used to prototype, develop and test the app; basic functionalities developed using View and Animation packages
  • Data Storage: Locally using SQLite
  • Location based feature: Android location package and MapActivity class to integrate maps; com.google.android.maps offered built-in downloading, rendering, caching of map tiles with several display options and controls
  • Video streaming: Android media library and Android YouTube app
  • Ad display: Real Media AD-SDK and third-party ad platforms
  • Social media integration: Janrain Engage, Facebook SDK, third-party Twitter library, Disqus commenting system, ShareKit, and Brightcove
  • Analytics: Google Analytics and Flurry