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Pioneering a Mobile Photo App

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With the successes of applications like Instagram and Snapseed there's no arguing that photo applications are an interesting niche - Regardless, bringing and application to market with such an intense …

With the successes of applications like Instagram and Snapseed there's no arguing that photo applications are an interesting niche - Regardless, bringing and application to market with such an intense technical focus is no simple task.

B.J. Morden, former Director of IT and Business Transformation at Black's Photography delivered this presentation as part of the Mobile Learning Lab - a collaborative resource centre built to facilitate education and networking opportunities for mobile professionals in the greater Toronto area.

The event is fueled by Ward Technology Talent - www.WardTechTalent.com.

Published in: Technology

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  • 1. Pioneering a MobilePhoto AppMay 1, 2013Presented by: BJ Morden – Director, E-Commerce
  • 2. 2 © 2013 BJ MordenAgenda• The Bright Idea• Native App vs.. HTML5• Multi Device Support• Ecosystem Architecture• Development• Hang on Tight• Questions
  • 3. The Bright Idea
  • 4. 4 © 2013 BJ MordenThe Bright Idea• 2009, Nine Years into the Digital ImagingRevolution• The Digital Imaging Landscape• Imaging Retailers Need a way to DifferentiateSales Photos Taken
  • 5. 5 © 2013 BJ MordenThe Bright Idea• Smart Phones starting to become common– 40% of Canadians have smart phones– 50% of those are monthly internet users• OS Breakdown– 31% Blackberry– 31% Apple– 28% Android• 3MP Camera’s on board Smart Phones– Able to reproduce 4x6 very wellPercentage data by comScore – www.comscore.com
  • 6. 6 © 2013 BJ MordenThe Bright IdeaSmart Phone App Server Printed 4x6Completed in 10 Minutes
  • 7. Native App vs. HTML 5
  • 8. 8 © 2013 BJ MordenNative App vs. HTML 5• Why the choice?• Native App Pros, for a photo app– Application speed– User interface visuals– Discrete access to hardware elements– Ability to manage cellular networks better• HTML 5 Pros, for a photo app– Quick development– Easily updated in the future– Direct tie in to pricing/commerce engine
  • 9. 9 © 2013 BJ MordenNative App vs. HTML 5• Native App Cons, for a photo app– Native code base for each device/OS– Long development time– Required addition infrastructure• HTML 5 Cons, for a photo app– Unable to directly access hardware– Requires constant connection to complete order– Speed of the interface– Complicated formatting issues
  • 10. 10 © 2013 BJ MordenNative App vs. HTML 5VS
  • 11. Multi-Device Support
  • 12. 12 © 2013 BJ MordenMulti-Device Support• How many OS’s were there?– iOS 3.x– iOS 4.x (on the horizon)– Android Eclair– Android Froyo (around the corner)– Android Gingerbread (on the horizon)– BlackBerry OS 5.x– BlackBerry OS 4.x– Windows Phone 7– Symbian
  • 13. 13 © 2013 BJ MordenMulti-Device Support• How to determine what devices to support– It all comes down to the OS and market share• Recall from earlier the market share numbers– 31% Blackberry– 31% Apple– 28% Android
  • 14. 14 © 2013 BJ MordenMulti-Device Support• Market Share made the choice relatively easy– Unfortunately RIM had about 10 devices on themarket at the time and not every device had tothe same OS or resolution– We had to pair down to a reasonable number sodecided to only support what we classified asdevices with a HD screen.• Finally settled on the following– iOS 3+– BlackBerry OS 4.x+ & HD Resolutions– Android 2.2.x+
  • 15. Ecosystem Architecture
  • 16. 16 © 2013 BJ MordenEcosystem Architecture• Considerations– How to combat dropped cellular connections– How to take payment, circumventing high cost vendortransactions– How to update pricing on the app– How to switch backbends without app updates– How to deal with different app versions due to usersnot upgrading– How to handle future network speed increaseswithout app updates– How to manage SKU’s in the app– How to manage stores locations in the app
  • 17. In StoreLabCameraPhonemGW17 © 2013 BJ MordenEcosystem ArchitectureBillingGatewayPrint OrderManagerCommerceOrderManagerHTTP(S) RESTfulWeb ServicesHTTP PostImage UploadHTTPSRESTful APIHTTPSSOAPHTTP(S) RESTfulWeb ServicesHTTPSRESTful APISecure FTP
  • 18. Development
  • 19. 19 © 2013 BJ MordenDevelopment• What languages were used– Xcode for iOS– Java for Blackberry– Java for Android• In house vs. outsourcing– Relatively new space– Lack of qualified software engineers– Lack of managerial understanding for the need– Vendors were specializing in mobile apps
  • 20. 20 © 2013 BJ MordenDevelopment• Use cases• Business Needs• Design Requirements• Major FeaturesBRD• Architecture• Software• API• NetworkConsiderationsTRD • Every Screen• Mains Devices• Each Action• Align with BRDMockups• Working Proof ofConcept• StandaloneFunctionalityAlpha Code• Use cases nearlyimplemented• Functionality to mGW• Integrated Featuresand FunctionalityBeta Code• Match BRD to App• Test each Use Case• Verify Cross HardwareCompatibility• Ensure Full FunctionQA • Final build• Complete Functionality• App communicates tomGW• mGW forward onUAT• Submit apps to OSStores• Ensure Systems areready• Light up promosProduction
  • 21. Hang on Tight
  • 22. 22 © 2013 BJ MordenHang on Tight• App stores submission are funny things– Sometimes it is quick– Sometimes it gets rejected• Comments are king and they come fast andfurious• You won’t (and can’t) make everyone happy• Stay the course, but address pain points• Most important – HAVE FUN
  • 23. Questions?

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