Author Archives: Kevin Avila

Repped: Demo Day Success!

We did it y’all, thanks to everyone to came out and shoutout to all the teams for their great presentations!

And congrats to Snowball for winning three awards!

Like the title says, Demo Day was a complete success and the music lovers behind Repped seemed to really wow the crowd with the live demo. The supplemental dance videos also added that extra spice we were hoping for. The feedback we received from attendees was amazing and inspiring, with so many people expressing interest in using the app once it is available.

Check out some of the tweets about Repped below:

Not to mention we took home Best Design! Awww yeahhhhh. I’m sure that caught all of us on the team by surprise, but after thinking out it, the nature of our idea lent itself to a rather unique design flow, which is where I think we were able to capitalize. Seems like all that work on the digital mockups (even that one time they all got deleted….) did not go in vein!

A lot of hard work was put into this, as I’m sure the rest of the teams will agree, but to see it all culminate at Demo Day was extremely worth it. This week alone, Repped team members were meeting up constantly to make sure every part of our presentation was ready, from the video/dancer demo to the live demo. With countless rehearsals and hours of refinement, we were able to go in with confidence yesterday.

However, yesterday was more than just about showing off our app. After sitting at our booth (shoutout to Kevin for providing the jams and the journalism girls for the sweet setup and decorations) and talking to potential users, as well as hearing questions during our presentation, we learned just how much potential Repped has looking forward. From expanding on the whole ‘Rep’ social aspect to creating a new platform for users to listen to their favorite artists in real-time, the ideas were just flowing in.

Overall, this experience has been roller-coaster ride with multiple highs and lows, but a rewarding experience nonetheless. Being able to have freedom creatively has resulted in so many awesome creations. In our case, being able to combine tech and journalism with music was exactly what we wanted. The technical challenges associated with our app in particular stunted progress at multiple points throughout the semester but our dev team rose to the challenge. Similarly, our journalism team went above and beyond with our videos, presentations, etc. Professor Quigley and Jeff’s constant advice and feedback also influenced and guided our project in multiple ways. Their answers to our questions often saved us hours of work. Thanks for that guys!

Well, time to sign off. It’s been real! Don’t worry though, the amount of excitement for our app has served as motivation to get the app on the App Store ASAP! Make sure you follow us, @ReppedApp on Twitter and @repped.app on Instagram, to stay updated on what’s happening with Repped and more importantly to see when the app is publicly available. Until then, keep calm and keep jammin ^_^

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Hacking away for this last stretch!

Let’s start off this Sunday blog post with a soothing tune by Terrace Martin.

Perfect. Now time for some updates.

With roughly a week left before our submission to the App Store, the Repped team is frantically making sure we’re ready for a successful launch. If you asked us at the beginning of the semester where we hoped to be at this point in time of the development process, we would probably say “yeah, our app would be fully functional, probably needing some final UI touches, but that’s about it.” Well, that’s not the case, but with some overtime hours and a lot of coffee this coming week, that’ll be the case by April 3rd.

 Development Status

We had a little bit of an issue this week concerning the framework manager Carthage, which kind of blocked development for a couple days. Wes made use of a really cool, third party music controller for iOS. However, it is managed via Carthage instead of CocaoPods. Despite Wes’ attempts to remove Carthage and migrate the music player to CocoaPods, we ended up just sticking with both frameworks. The idea behind removing Carthage was that from a developer standpoint the less you have to deal with the better. But at this point we just need to get everything working.

This did not halt all progress though. Over the weekend we got a lot of work done with the Profile and Add Friends screen. We are successfully pulling in friends from Facebook (note: only friends that have already authorized the app are pulled) and populating the screen. We just need to finish implementing the ability to actually add a friend in the database, as well as add a filter at the top. Also, once we get the online indicator working for users, the profile screen will be complete.

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More internal work has been done on the home screen as well. We’ve refactored some of the ways we read and update data from Firebase. We’ve also added sample data (users, rooms, etc.) for better testing of the rooms, which you can see above in the home screen. Once all the work concerning friends is complete, we can make the switch from the dummy data to using real friends and rooms. Hopefully we can get a couple of days of testing via TestFlight among the team members as well.

Oh yeah, we also have a launch screen now so users don’t see a blank white screen upon launch of the app. Shoutout to Elena!

What else is happening?

Most of our work this past week has been in the form of code, but we’re making sure we don’t lag on other aspects of the project. Our journalism team is actively posting and updating our social media accounts with our promo videos, in-class pictures, etc. Once we submit, our social media will definitely be pushed harder in anticipation of a release. Ideas are also being thrown around already for our next promo video. Lastly, we’ve collectively looked at a general guideline of what we have to do in order to submit our app to the App Store. Wes has the developer account we will be submitting it through. This week we’ll be coordinating with him to make sure we follow the iTunes Connect process properly and complete any additional requirements.

That’s where we’re at! Wish us luck in the coming week. If you liked that song by Terrace Martin, make sure to add me on Repped in the near future, there’s plenty more where that came from. ^_^

Repped: Same Idea, New Image

We’re off to a slow but steady start! After some initial user research and many team discussions we’ve decided to reenvision our app. Previously named ‘Pass The Aux,’ which was a bit long, our app is now called ‘Repped.’

Repped? What?

Let’s provide some reason behind the name change. First off, the purpose and functionality of our app is exactly the same, all we’ve done is spiced it up a bit. In order to further differentiate ourselves from competition as well as improve the social and interactive aspect of our app, we’ve decided to incorporate a simple feature that let’s users “rep” room leaders. In other words, users can basically give a +1 to a room leader if they like a song that he or she is playing. All users will have a rep (i.e. score) associated with their account. A higher rep lets other users know that you have a pretty good taste in music/are a solid room leader that can provide the jams. We hope this feedback mechanism will increase user engagement without compromising the passiveness of our app.

Alright, makes sense. What else is new?

Solidifying a new direction we want to follow with our app was a nice accomplishment this week. The new name, which is cleaner and simpler than the previous phrase we had, will allow for a lot of fun possibilities when it comes to marketing and promoting our app. With that said, we’ve started knocking off sprint 1 goals. For the past week all team members have been meeting with fellow students, friends, and individuals that represent our target audience to get some information on if and how they would use Repped. User-driven design is something that we feel will prove to be very beneficial for our app in the long run. Right now all this raw data is in the form of notes. We plan to utilize them to form a user survey that will be used to inform our UI/UX, features, branding, etc. We’ve also set up some helpful collaborative tools  such as a Trello board and a Slack channel for more efficient team communication and sprint tracking. Our Xcode project has been created and is up on GitHub for your viewing pleasure:

https://github.com/kevinavila/Repped

Not too exciting yet, I know, but the commits will be rolling in very soon. We’re currently in the process of brainstorming different wireframes. Once we have the flow of our application down, development will start taking off. Because of the name change, also we had start from scratch with icon ideas. Here are a couple concepts in the works:

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On the technical side of things, we’ve found some useful online resources that will help us overcome our real-time, in-sync audio streaming challenge, which is good news for the developers. Additionally, Apple Music will remain as the music provider for Repped, although it is not impossible for this to change. You never know what technical challenges will arise that may result in some last minute changes…

Oh yeah, we’re also on Twitter and Instagram now!

 

Not too exciting either, but that’ll change in the near future! d[-_-]b