Brand new: Our BRO app also for Android
A next big milestone has been reached. The BRO app for Android users was developed with much dedication, verve and programming skills by Ioannis, our Android developer. This makes it possible for even more BRO-Drivers to use their own smartphone to control BRO.
The BRO app with all its features has been around for a while now, but so far only for devices with iOS operating systems. Ioannis, an Android developer, joined the team last August and proved his skills by developing a version of the BRO app for Android devices that is as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing. It is now ready and available in the Google Play Store.
Five questions for Ioannis
In our interview with Ioannis, we asked him how he went about developing the app, where he encountered the biggest challenges and how he made sure that our BRO-Drivers are as happy with the app as we are.
The app and its features already existed. So did you just have to copy and paste or how does it work?
Ioannis: No, it wasn’t quite as simple as that. I was able to use the iOS app as a reference to see what the app needed to be able to do in the end, but there are a lot of differences between the two operating systems. First, I had to find out the best way for data to be communicated between BRO and the app. As with the iOS app, I opted for data transfer via WiFi for the time being. In the future, however, a connection via Bluetooth would also be conceivable. To check whether this connection really works, the first thing I did was to implement the hooter, as this allowed me to get quick feedback. Once the connection was established, I did the layout on the app with all the required buttons. Finally, I had to programme each button to perform its intended function.
What were the biggest challenges during the process?
Finding out how the app behaves under “normal” conditions is relatively easy. Covering all special situations, on the other hand, is rather complicated. To do this, I was on the road a lot and tried to emulate as many different special scenarios as possible. This way I could see if the connection between BRO and the app was stable even in these situations. An example of this is when the centre of gravity is not stored correctly and BRO cannot change from parking mode to driving mode.
How did you make sure that the app also meets the requirements of our BRO-Drivers?
When David and Leo redesigned the iOS app, they collected a lot of feedback, which I could now also take into account for my app. When the app was ready for release, I had our BRO-Drivers test it in their everyday situations. This feedback was then incorporated into the final version
Is there a specific feature or something that you particularly like?
I was particularly pleased with the stable connection between the app and the rear view camera. The rear view camera transmits an enormous amount of data and is therefore highly demanding in terms of data exchange. With a few tricks, I was able to make this data exchange very stable and I also like the look of the app overall.
The app has now been officially launched. Does that mean your work at Scewo is over or what’s next?
No, I can still stay for a while. How the app evolves goes hand in hand with the new features of the BRO software. If a new feature is implemented in the software, I also have to add this to the app. We also constantly receive feedback from BRO-Drivers, which we try to integrate as far as possible.