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iPad App for a Leading Stock Photo Site

Business Requirement

With the introduction of Apple’s iPad in 2010, online businesses started developing applications for iPad to ensure they were up to speed with advancements in mobile technology.

Since the client company was a full-fledged online business, creating an iPad app was top priority. Key expectations from this engagement were:

  • To ensure sophisticated search features, speed, and functionality associated with its website were made available to iPad users
  • To attract more iPad users and prospective buyers globally

Our Solution

QBurst developed an application that serves as a convenient tool for iPad users to view images. The app has two main screens.

  • Splash Screen: The splash screen welcomes users with a high-definition company logo when the app is launched. While this screen is displayed, the app downloads images from the company database through image APIs.
  • Landing Screen: From the splash screen, the app redirects users to the landing screen which displays the main features of the app. The orientation of content in the landing screen changes based on how the customer uses the iPad and consequently images switch between portrait and landscape modes.

    Main features in the landing screen are:
    • Slideshow
    • Thumbnail popover
    • Image meta description
    Slideshows display latest images retrieved from the data server. When a user taps the slideshow icon, images are queued up and displayed in a filmstrip view, also referred to as thumbnail popover. On tapping a thumbnail image, the popover disappears and the tapped image maximizes to occupy the entire screen. Up to 100 images get queued in the filmstrip view.

Client Profile

Launched in 1999, the client is one of the largest stock photo sites on the internet with over 30 million images. The client’s website offers a platform for photographers to share their photos and sell them to global customers. It uses latest technologies and tools to provide the best user experience and search features to its customers.

Technical Perspective

  • This iPad application was developed using Xcode and iOS SDK. Xcode allows designing, coding, testing and debugging, all within a single window. The Cocoa Touch layer in iOS SDK defines key frameworks necessary for developing iOS apps.
  • UIKit, Core Graphics, and Foundation are the core frameworks that were used to create the basic functionalities of the app.
  • The app uses NSXMLParser to parse the XML web services API and import images and thumbnails to the local system.
  • The imported images along with their sort order are updated into the SQLite database – only newly included images in the API are updated to both the file system and the database.
  • The API purges out older files that are no longer referenced – these images are removed from the local system and database.
  • A complete download takes place only during the first launch.
  • Core Data model is used for data related operations with SQLite.

End Result

  • The client’s objective to increase user base and ensure availability of its services across devices was successfully met.
  • The app received favorable reviews after it was published in the App Store.