Live TV App Development

We improved the Android version of a large-scale platform providing live TV and video-on-demand content streaming.

Challenge

Our client, a leading telecommunications company from the USA, turned to us for the development and extension of their branded service for live TV and video-on-demand streaming. The app versions are available on a majority of the existing digital platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Oculus, TyzenOS, and many others, while the service itself is available only for the US and Latin American markets.

When the client came to us, they were purposefully looking for a provider in the fast-growing Eastern European IT-region due to the high level of professional qualifications and a cost-effective hiring model in this location. The client turned to our company to augment their large in-house team, which had been working on the media streaming service for six years already, with our Android developers.

The main reason for choosing MBicycle’s Android experts to join this software project was the fact that we possessed the set of relevant skills and qualifications to implement several rare features in line with the client’s requirements.

The Digital Signage App in Detail

As the project was live when we joined the client’s team, we focused on the following improvements:

  1. Integration with a variety of Google services, including home screen recommendations for Android TV, Google Assistant, and remote control.
  2. Providing personalization and convenience for every user by augmenting the app with such features as audio navigation, highlighting the selected item, adjusting the font size and color temperature of the screen, and more.
  3. Incorporating occasional ad-hoc improvements into this video-on-demand app.

Integration with Google services

The application we worked on had two viewing tabs — Live TV and On-demand. We needed to integrate the functionality of Google services into both of these viewing sections. We used standard Android SDK tools to assure the integration with Google services, such as remote control, Google Assistant, and home screen recommendations for Android TV.

Since the integration of Google services as well as assuring a high-level of accessibility of the app using standard Android SDK tools is a rare practice, we started by researching how the standard Google samples would work in the context of the current project.

After the research stage, we integrated the Media Session API, which is commonly used for integration with Google Assistant, the remote controls toolset, and the Android Auto TV dashboard. Then we have tested our video player for the ability to operate well with these connected components.

Next, we implemented the home screen recommendations feature to display suggested content on the Android TV dashboard, which was also preceded by preliminary research to ensure seamless compatibility.

After the research stage, we tested how suggested content was displayed on the Android TV home screen. During this process, we decided to add content preview to the home screen along with the ability to play content exactly from where users left off last time.

Assuring app personalization

To ensure the highest level of the app personalization for every user, we have applied a comprehensive solution for changing the color scheme, screen temperature, font sizes, highlighting selected content, and supporting voice control.

All these features helped users get maximum convenience while interacting with our client’s branded video-on-demand app.

Process

The project team was quite large, mostly located on the client’s side and partly on our premises. Our experts worked as a part of the Android live TV app development team, which included 25 members in total.

Along with the technical team on the client’s side, there were designers, project managers, and business analysts united in the product team. This team collaborated with all the technical teams working on different app versions for various platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, and others.

As a development methodology, our team followed Scrum with daily sessions, backlog grooming, and spring planning to stay on the same page with the rest of the live TV app development team, apply feature updates timely, and ensure on-time delivery of every improvement.

Technologies & Tools

Programming language

Kotlin, Java

Architecture

MVP

Communication protocol

WebSockets, REST API

Third-party libraries & frameworks

Android SDK, Media Session API

Results

In the eight months of our collaboration, we have successfully implemented the set of tasks to improve the app by integrating it with Google services, as well as adding and configuring such features as audio navigation, font size and screen temperature adjusting, which ensured the app interface personalization for literally every user.

Thanks to the efficient completion of all assigned tasks, our developers continue working on the project and, together with the client’s team, adding new features to the digital platform.