Featured App – reblasts

Today’s featured spotlight comes from the guys behind the reblasts app (Android | iPhone). The reblasts app allows real estate professionals to connect with one another and keep up-to-date with listings and real estate news. Hear more about how the team built this cross-platform app from the ground up using Titanium.

Tell us about your app/product?

Reblasts The reblasts app (Android | iPhone) is a core feature powered by the RESAAS platform. Similar to a tweet or status update, reblasts (real estate broadcasts) allow real estate professionals to communicate seamlessly with one another in real­-time. Our mobile app allows real estate professionals the ability to create and consume reblasts while on the go so they can keep up-­to-­date with the latest open houses, new/sold listings, real estate news… etc.

It’s still early days to see the overall effect our mobile apps have had with real estate professionals, but for many of them already using our platform, it is definitely an indispensable tool that they use to keep-to-date and communicate with other real estate professionals. Our customers are always on the go-between client meetings, open houses or racing across town to meet with colleagues so having a compelling mobile app is paramount. Our mobile reblasts app provides that for them.

Why did you pick Titanium for your development needs?

After evaluating the options Titanium provided a significant advantage in getting both an iOS and Android app to market in as little time as possible while still keeping performance and quality high. We looked at PhoneGap & Sencha Touch but after prototyping a few small apps to showcase performance, Titanium was the preferred alternative. We had experienced some poor scrolling performance with our photo heavy feed on our original PhoneGap app. Titanium allowed us to develop a cross-platform (iOS and Android) mobile app for our customers in less than 2 months with a team of 3 engineers.

What Titanium modules did you use in your app?

Durning Titanium development we utilized the ti.physicalsizecategory module. It allowed us to detect the physical size of each android device which helped a great deal with different android screen sizes. The aspect of Titanium that was most useful was their support for UI. The alertDialog and imageView provided great customization that other frameworks do not include built-in. Building screen views was also simple for developers. We could work in familiar languages using XML/HTML and a form of CSS, it proved to be a great framework that front end developers can grasp instantly.

Using the Titanium webView we could easily bring up a user’s profile page within the app. We were also able to store the user’s login information and automatically log them into the browser for a seamless experience. When developing this app, Titanium allowed us to easily work in tandem with iOS and Android and meet our deadlines.

Can you walk us through how you developed this application?

We started with a prototype to test what we thought would be the most CPU & memory intensive portion of the app which was our photo-heavy reblast feed which contains many individuals reblasts with multiple images. Once we determined that what we were trying to accomplish could be done with Titanium, we created a 3 person mobile team which designed & implemented our reblasts app in just under 2 months. We then shipped both an iOS and Android version of our app and users have been using it ever since to create and consume reblast content on our real estate social network. We’ll continue to support our current iOS and Android apps with bug fixes and are thinking about the next major version of our app.

What kind of database, content, or cloud services are you accessing?

We have our own platform built on Microsoft Azure’s cloud which is powered by JSON based web services. We use the same web services in our web application as we do in our mobile app which has made development really easy. These web services are used both for reading and writing data to /from our web application. We use New Relic (app performance) and Mixpanel (event-based analytics) extensively on our web application and plan to integrate these into our mobile apps as well.

Big thanks to the reblasts guys for taking the time to give us some insight into his experience and success with Titanium app development. Interested in having your Titanium app showcased? Send us an email at community@appcelerator.com and share your story with us!

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