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Native Mobile App for Managing a Whole-House Audio System

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Industry: Internet of Things

Highlights

  • Advanced solution for audio system management
  • Easy-to-use application with user-friendly interface
  • Support for all versions of hardware

Technologies Used: Swift, Kotlin

Methodology: Scrum

Customer

The customer is a US-based company from Texas that specializes in electronics for home theaters and whole-house audio. The company not only designs and manufactures their systems but also sells them directly to consumers. 

In addition to hardware, the company provides a mobile application for system management. The customer had a legacy version of the application that was barely functional and needed improvement. 

Need

The customer turned to HQSoftware to develop native mobile applications for iOS and Android, based on the existing app, with extended functionality. To achieve the goal, it was necessary to:

  • Rebuild the existing application and perform code refactoring;
  • Create a user-friendly interface;
  • Add new features;
  • Make the application support multiple versions of hardware and recognize them;
  • Ensure smooth communication with the system.

Challenges

While working on the project, specialists from HQSoftware faced the following challenges:

  • Rebuild the application without technical documentation or functional specification. This hampered app development, as it took time to investigate how the legacy version was built.
  • Connect to the system remotely. Because the app update was happening live, it was necessary to interact with hardware. At first, the system was located remotely, and it took an effort to set up the connection correctly.
    Native Mobile App for Managing a Whole-House Audio System image 1
    The audio system
  • Assemble the system on site and connect to it. After some time, the customer sent the full hardware to our developers, but the difficulty was to assemble the system without the customer’s specialists being present.

The HQSoftware team coped with all these tasks successfully and proved that it’s possible to work with a complex system at a distance.

Solution

To complete the project, HQSoftware provided the customer with an Android developer, an iOS developer, QA-engineer, and a project manager. The customer took on the role of Product Owner and was responsible for providing access to the system and checking the accuracy of app operation.

Using an existing Wi-Fi network, the application connects to the central controller of the audio system and allows the user to monitor audio speakers and system parameters. The solution is able to interact with several versions of the audio system, which differ in the number of hardware and channel connections. So, the application determines an available version automatically and adjusts to its requirements and capabilities.

Native Mobile App for Managing a Whole-House Audio System image 2
Functionality of the mobile app

One of the important features added by HQSoftware developers was zoning. Users can put parts of the audio system in different rooms and manage every part independently. The app provides for separate control of audio streams, setting independent equalizer options, duplicating or splitting music tracks, and other features. Also, users can group zones and manage settings across all the zones within each group.

Native Mobile App for Managing a Whole-House Audio System image 3
Zoning plan

In addition, the solution integrates with a doorbell. When the doorbell rings, the sound playback stops and the ringtone plays instead. Thus, users don’t have to worry that they won’t hear the doorbell because of loud music.

During the development process, specialists found and fixed a problem with memory leaks that was causing the system to slow down when interacting with it for a long time. Cooperating with the customer, the developers were able to solve the problem. 

So, the HQSoftware team not only performed code refactoring and improved the application but also helped to identify system bugs.

Outcome

By collaborating with HQSoftware, the customer received a user-friendly mobile application with rich functionality that works with all required versions of the system. The developers also created the required technical documentation.

The app for iOS is fully ready and has gone live. It’s already being actively used by consumers who purchased the company’s audio systems. 

However, the project is still in progress, as the specialists develop an application for Android. In the meantime, the customer has sent to HQSoftware one more version of hardware that they would like to add to the application. 

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Sergei Vardomatski - Founder - HQSoftware dev company

Sergei Vardomatski

Founder