Wednesday, September 5, 2012

myVidster mobile app support reloaded!

Greetings Vidsters, I have spent the last two months improving mobile support for both the Android and iPhone/iOS devices.  I will admit that the first version of the mobile app had its laundry list of issues and user experience was OK at best.  Keep in mind that it was my first attempt at developing a mobile app and my goal was to get a 'working' version out just to see if I could do it.  Now that I have gained some experience, I decided to resume development with the goal of creating an app that you will want to use everyday.  Here are the goals I set for myself.

Only display mobile compatible videos
One of the biggest challenges was filtering out the video bookmarks that would not play on your mobile device.  To tackle this issue I had to create a MySQL memory table that keeps tracks of the video bookmarks that are mobile friendly (encoded in h.264).  This table is used to display only the mobile friendly videos on the homepage and in your subscriptions.  Please note that this filtering does not take place when running a search or when you navigate through a users video collection.  To enable filtering go to your setting screen in the app.

Improve the user experience
If you have been a active user of the mobile app then you already know that the user experience (UX) needed an overhaul.  With the help of my friend Ryan, we went though the interface of the app to make navigation more intuitive by adding left/right swipe navigation and redesigned the video display screen.  Features like video history was added and I did some changes to the css to make the app more attractive.

Improve performance and stability
Load times for displaying a video bookmark was around 3-10 seconds which is unacceptable for any web or mobile app.  With the used of smart caching and code optimizations load times have been reduce to 2-3 seconds.  Can I get loads times to under a second?  As I gain more experience with mobile development I should be able to reduce the loads times in future updates.  As for stability that is a no brainier, if the app crashes for any reason, I would track down the issue and fix it!

Where can I get this wonderful app?
For Android you can install it from Google Play or you can download APK file from us.

For iPhone please use our web app.  When Apple decides to relax their submission policies then I will submit the app to their app store.

That is all for now, take care and keep collecting!