About the Client
The client is a start-up focused on developing consumer mobile applications, and was planning to develop a product that advocates safe driving and minimal usage of a mobile phone while driving. The product was targeted at parents who wish their teenage children to drive safely.
The client wasn’t sure about the viability of the mobile app, and did not have technical expertise on the Android platform. The venture was self-funded, and the client sought a cost effective, yet reliable development partner. The client chose Silicus for its proven expertise in developing products for the Google Android platform. Moreover, while scouting for suitable development partners, the client was comfortable with the level of communication and involvement demonstrated by Silicus.
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The application was developed using a Google Android emulator with Eclipse as the development IDE. The challenge was implementing the GPS based vehicle pin-pointing functionality, where start and end points needed to be accurately identified to calculate vehicle speed.
The application would capture mobile usage activity while driving, and correlates it with speed of the vehicle and traffic conditions at the time of mobile usage. It generates a score based on the above parameters, allowing parents to understand mobile usage habits of their kids while driving.
User Interface demands from the application was modest as it mostly runs in the background of the smart phone. Screens were required for configuring and changing parameters such as speed unit settings (kmph or mph), time interval units (days or weeks or months) and score calculation.
UI was designed using the user interface designer for Android in the eclipse IDE.
Application functionality was coded in Java. A service was written for the application to receive date/time settings from the smart phone.
The core functionality revolved around GPS based speed calculation, and implemented through leveraging in-built GPS features of the smart phone. The team was challenged with testing and validating the GPS readings.
The team tested the work-in-progress software on an Android based HTC handset, driving around the city to check if GPS was working fine. Based on feedback, the application was fine tuned and uploaded on the HTC handset for further tests.
The engine of the application was the score calculator. Based on an algorithm provided by the client, Silicus Android developers created the business logic that would display the score associated with a particular user’s driving habits.
Alerts and Notifications
Alerts and notifications were triggered in response to the score assigned to the user. Silicus used in-built dialog boxes and pop-ups such as NotificationManager and AlertDialog, coded with the required rules to trigger and display a message to the user.
A help module was developed, providing instructions on interpreting scores and changing application settings.
The application was delivered as .apk file with proper versioning. Silicus Android developers guided the client through the application signing process using a cryptographic private key, prior to publishing for the Android market.
Java (Default programming environment for Android applications)
Eclipse plugin for Android 9.4
Android Emulator, Android Virtual Devices (AVD), Android SDK
Accelerated Time to Market
The Android application development team encountered challenges related to GPS based speed calculation and tracking. Strong technology expertise ensured that challenges were solved, and development was speeded up through our Android technology prowess.
Silicus delivered a top quality product in a short time span, driving earlier commercialization and revenue generation.