I recently launched the latest version of the Hope Media iPhone App. This is a streaming radio app for Hope 103.2 and their other brands. It was originally released in 2009, and has been a very popular app ever since – maintaining very solid downloads since it was first released. However, an update was well overdue.
I am proud to have worked on this and brought it from an idea to reality within just a couple of weeks. I designed it, wrote most of the code and got it into the iTunes App Store. This isn’t the first app I’ve worked on, but it is the one I am most proud of to date.
The latest version builds on the original version, and features a new design plus has plenty of new functionality:
- View recently played songs and buy on iTunes
- See which show is currently on air
- Read top articles from the website
- The station name and branding is shown on your lock screen
Here are some technical details for you:
- Entire app is configurable on the fly, so we can add/change streams, links, graphics and more
- Built in Objective-C
- Some of the views are built in HTML5 and embedded via a WebView (see below)
- Streaming is via a modified version of Matt Gallagher’s Audio Streamer class
Why use a WebView instead of native code?
A couple of people have asked me why I chose to use HTML5 instead of building native views. For me, this was an easy choice for a few reasons:
- Easily re-use views across platforms (our Android App will get an update very soon)
- Less development time (I can develop quicker in HTML5 than Obj-C)
- Easily adapt for multiple screen sizes (Yes, Obj-C does this too but it’s also easy in HTML5 with Media Queries)
- Make changes on the fly without needing approval from Apple
What about Android?
We released the first version of our Android App earlier in the year, which has steadily been gaining momentum. Over the coming weeks I plan to release an update for this app to bring it into line with the iPhone App. As I mentioned above, a lot of the views are already built in HTML, so I don’t have too much work ahead of me to migrate that code over to the Android platform.
The current version of the Android App was always intended to be a temporary app to dip our toes in the water. Now we know the core functionality works on that platform as expected, we can start improving the appearance and additional functionality.
Get your own Streaming Radio iPhone App
If you want to get an iPhone or Android Mobile App for your Radio Station, please get in touch with me. I do contract design & development work for a number of organisations and would be happy to chat to you about getting your own app.