Rabble 1.2 Released

Today version 1.2 launched. Launching 1.1 was pretty hectic and I missed detailing some of the more technical changes from 1.0. Each iteration brings important lessions learned.

Version 1.1

Your version 1.0 is always the hardest. This is because you want to get to market as quickly as you can, but not at the expense of quality and user experience. Before 1.0 was started 1.1 was already roadmapped and I began basic development a few weeks before 1.0 was released.

Features, Fixesa and Improvements

  • Added ability to open broadcast detail link from the web directly into the app. I wrote my own router classes for this which I am able to use for more deep linking functionality and simplified the code for the OAuth dance that must be performed for social media authentication
  • Fixed bug where an archived broadcast would start playing if it was paused, the app was put into the background and then you brought the app back in the foreground. This was caused by the state of the AVPlayer and KVO calls automatically calling play on the instance
  • Fixed display issues with Rabblecasts.
  • Fixed crash that would occur when trying to load more “featured” broadcasts.
  • Fixed issue where sometimes broadcasts for PLU would be co-mingled.
  • Added loading feature for play/pause. AVPlayer has to do some setup work before the HLS stream will start playing and depending on the network connection this could take a bit of time so I overlay a UIActivityIndicatorView.
  • Wrote my own custom label with link tap support so comments are much better. This was one my favorite improvements. I ended up migrating most of the other labels to this new subclass.
  • Caching lists. I consider to caching to be a shield and sword. On one hand it allows for a much better use experience and the conversvation of resources, it also introduces lots of potential bugs and in a multithreaded environment race conditions. Further down on the roadmap I will be integrating CoreData, but as “step 1” I’m using NSCache. I created a fairly nice cache manager and protocol that sits on top of it so that I can swap out NSCache or bolt CoreData on top of it when the time comes.
  • Reminders. This was the biggest feature to the app. When a user schedules a broadcast there isn’t a 100% guarantee that it will start or start on time. This is not a fault of Rabble’s service, but rather the broadcaster has failed to start it and/or is running late. On each upcoming broadcast detail screen you can set a reminder. If/when the broadcaster starts you’ll be notified via push notification. This is big improvement for user engagement and retention.
  • Fixed issue with certain sports broadcasts were showing (null).

Version 1.2

The goal of 1.2 was geared to more polish, speed enhancements and putting the app’s UI/UX in the direction for some big features coming over the next two to three months.

  • Simplified the app navigation which will allow for adding in additional features (hint hint).
  • Custom transitions.
  • Fixed nasty keychain bug. Fortunately this didn’t effect, but one user. The issue came about during some UAT. The bug occured if you deleted the app without logging out first, reinstalling the app and trying to login. The old keychain value wasn’t being deleted so you would find yourself in “authentication” loop.
  • Custom font.
  • Moved to swipe actions for comments and role action. The comments’ cell looked pretty crowed and the touch areas for up and down voting weren’t optimum. I moved everything over to a swipe to reveal control similar to the native mail application. This also allowed me to add in more role based actions for deleting and muting comments.
  • Fixed overlay bug that occured on the main broadcast list screens.
  • Tweaked caching.
  • Migrated my RabbleKit static library over to a framework