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Month: September 2016

Tips for Getting Investors for Your App

Many of our clients come to us wanting to build an MVP so that they can take it to investors and get funding. Truth is, investors aren’t looking just at how beautiful your app is. This article from Entrepreneur.com explains “5 Things Startup Investors Look for Before Investing”


In summary, investors are looking for:

1. Dynamic market opportunity.

2. Team’s execution capability.

3. Commercial traction.

4. Investor relevance.

5. The X factor.

Read the full article here

Essential Apps to keep up with the Presidential Election

If you are keeping up with the Presidential Election, here are some apps that can help you easily get the information you are looking for.


Where to watch the debates:

Most likely, you already have these apps and you can use them to watch the debate live from anywhere for free.


Download here







Where to keep up on news about the candidates:

Election Central

The best 2016 election app! Follow the 2016 Presidential Election with the latest news on debates and candidates. Get the complete 2016 presidential debate schedules with details and push notifications. Also includes a selection of the latest news on all candidates in an objective, nonpartisan format.

Download Here

US Elections 2016 – Trump v Hillary

US Elections! Who will be the most powerful man, or woman in the world? Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Scott Walker or Ted Cruz?
Follow the presidential campaigns all the way, with a non biased feed, without missing a thing! Debates, press releases, media appearances, polls, opinions, analysis and more!
Stay on top of the 2016 US Elections!

Download Here

CNN Politics: Election 2016 data, news and video

Campaign 2016 is the data election, and CNN Politics is telling the story in an entirely new and compelling way with this exclusive experience.

Download Here



Where to support the candidates:

Use these apps to help support your candidate.


America First

This is the official mobile app for Donald J. Trump for President!
Stay up-to-date and always be one of the first to know the latest campaign news and events. Connect with other Team Trump supporters, earn badges and prizes, sign up to vote and much more. Help bring change and Make America Great Again — download the app today!

Download Here

Hillary 2016

With Hillary 2016, you can:
Complete daily challenges to help elect Hillary Clinton
Get rewards (digital and real-life ones!)
Design your own campaign HQ
Test your knowledge and become an expert on the issues
Compete against your friends and other supporters

Download Here


RAW by 500px – An interview with the Team Lead Mobile


Every once in a while, we like to reach out to other companies who are doing some awesome things with mobile apps, and ask them about their journey through from idea to launch. This week we got to interview Akbar Nurlybayev, Team Lead Mobile @ RAW by 500px.

Description of app:

RAW by 500px brings a simple and powerful photo capture, editing, and licensing workflow to your phone. Take beautiful photos with the manual camera controls. Process your photos using the fast professional style editing controls. Create and manage model releases and license your photos on the Marketplace.



Where did you come up with the idea for this app?

The idea for RAW by 500px came from our Growth team and our VP of Design Adam Shutsa. 500px was traditionally at the very end of the creative process — essentially, a platform to publish your best work. With the new app, the goal was to position 500px at the beginning of the creative process. But we didn’t want to build just another app. We wanted to innovate when it came to user experience and design, and we wanted to use the latest iOS10 technologies, including support for RAW images.

What problem is this app trying to solve?

Our photographers are essential to our community. Currently 500px lets them license their work through our Marketplace. We wanted to take that one step further, and within the new product, streamline the process of giving money back to photographers.

How big is your team? What are the positions/experience of each?

The team that built the RAW by 500px app consisted of two developers — and then three developers as we approached the launch date. Design was led by Adam and we had a dedicated product manager who prioritized work and made sure we stayed on course. We also had members of our “data guild” make sure the assumptions we made building certain features of the app were proven by data.

Did you develop this app in house or hire someone else?

To fully control the user experience and overall polish, and to retain intellectual property, the decision was made to build the app in-house.

How long did development take? What factors influenced the development time?

From first commit to the version 1.0 that we shipped to the AppStore, it took 64 days. Since we had a hard deadline, which was the launch of iOS10, we had to stay focused and prioritize things that made it to version 1.0. Having a dedicated product manager to steer course helped tremendously.

Did you have a beta tester process?

We did reach out and recruit members of our community to test out the app and build an initial set of filters. We actually shipped the app with some of these filters.

How are you spreading the word about the app?

We’ve used our social channels and reached out to our media partners. We’ve also asked our influencers to promote the app through their social channels.

What are your future goals and aspirations for this application?

RAW by 500px is our mobile and photographer facing side of our Photography on Demand. This means we will be adding in photography Assignments in the near future. In addition, we are iterating on capture and editing tools so that taking and editing photos will not only be easy but also enjoyable.

Why should people download this app in one sentence?

RAW by 500px brings a simple and powerful photo capture, editing, and licensing workflow to your phone.

Word of advice to people looking to have an app built?

Stay focused and have fun!

You can download the app on Apple’s App Store here!

Have an app that you want featured? Contact us at contact@DiscoverPioneer.com

SiriKit Tutorial – Right to the Point (Part 2)

Part 2: Adding and responding to intents

Specify which intents your app supports. 

1. In Xcode, select the Info.plist file of your Intents extension.

2. Expand the NSExtension and NSExtensionAttributes keys to reveal the IntentsSupported andIntentsRestrictedWhileLocked keys.

3. In the IntentsSupported key, add a String item for each intent that the extension handles. Set the value of each item to the class name of the intent. (For now, we are going to use the messages intent)

You can view more intents here


Resolving and Handling Intents

  1. Open up IntentHandler.swift

2. Observe the different functions automatically generated. This is where the logic for your Siri intent is.

Custom Vocabulary

If your app has custom vocabulary, such as terms that Siri might not inherently understand should register these terms. Ex: a ride booking app that refers to a specific vehicle type as a “Vroom” could define that term and provide examples of how it might be used.

There are two ways to define your app’s custom vocabulary:

  • To register terms that are specific to a single user, use the INVocabulary object.

  • To register terms common to all users of your app, add a global vocabulary file to your iOS app. They must belong to the category of either “Ride Options” or “Workout names”


To register terms specific to a single user:


Creating a Global Vocabulary File

  1. Select New –> File
  2. In iOS –> Resources, select the Property List file Type –> Click Next
  3. Set the name of the file to “AppIntentVocabulary.plist” –> Click Create
  4. Select the AppIntentVocabulary.plist file in your project.

 5. Add two keys under the Root element.

  • Set the name of the first key to ParameterVocabularies. This key defines your app’s custom terms and the intent parameters that apply
  • Set the name of the second key to IntentPhrases. This key contains examples for invoking your services


Creating an Intents UI Extension

Since we checked off UI Extension when we first added the Intent, we do not have to do anything in terms of adding new files.

  1. Open up IntentsViewController.swift
  2. Under the “configure” function, you can customize your view here <configure image>
  3. In MainInterface.storyboard, you can add UI Elements and hook them up to outlets to customize the appearance


Once you run your app, you will see the updated UI



Disclosure: This is a brief, straight to the point tutorial. The object is not to go in depth, but to give a quick overview of how to get SiriKit up and running. For more information visit developer.apple.com

SiriKit Tutorial – Right to the Point

In this tutorial you will learn how to get SiriKit working in your iOS App! To learn more about how SiriKit works behind the scenes, check out this article!

Requirements: Xcode 8, Swift 3 Project (this is what the tutorial is built on)

Part 1. Getting a quick and simple demo running

Create & setup iOS app

  1. Create a new ‘Single View Application’ Xcode Project. For this tutorial, lets use the project name “SiriKitDemo”
  2. Once the project is created and opened up, select your iOS app target in project settings.
  3. Enable the Siri capability under the “Capabilities” tab



Now its time to add the intent files to your project

4. Select File –> New –> Target

5. Select “Intents Extension”


6. Click Next and specify the name of your extension and configure the language and other options. ***For this tutorial, Check “Include UI Extension”***


Request access to Siri

7. Include the NSSiriUsageDescription key in your iOS app’s Info.plist file. The value for this key is a string that describes what information your app shares with SiriKit


8. Open up your ViewController.swift file, import Intents and under viewDidLoad, call the requestSiriAuthorization: class method of INPreferences


Running & Testing

9. Select your iOS app’s target & Run your application

10. Select your Intent Extension and run that by attaching it to your iOS app


11. Activate Siri and say “Search for messages in <appname>” —Siri should respond with what is listed in the IntentHandler.swift file

***Sometimes it takes a few minutes for Siri to process your extension, if it doesn’t work right away, don’t be alarmed***


Want to get a little bit more in depth? Learn how to add more intents, customize the way Siri handles intents, & more in Part 2!



The importance of your App Store Video


With millions of different apps in the Apple App Store & Google Play Store, it’s becoming more and more difficult to stand out let alone receive downloads for your app. One way to help stand out is by having a preview video on the App Store for your app. Over half of the top 50 grossing apps in iOS and 84% of the top 50 grossing apps in the Android Play store are utilizing app store videos.

By having a preview video, it is possible to increase your download conversion by 20% in the Apple App Store and by 35% on Google Play!

Read the entire article on How Not To F*** Up Your App Store Video: The Ultimate Guide


Building your app for iOS 10

As the date approaches quickly for the public release of Apple’s iOS 10, it’s important to think of how your app can harness the power of all the new features! Apple has taken a major step, opening up many different SDK’s and libraries. Let’s see how we can take advantage of them!

What’s New:


SiriKit enables your iOS 10 apps to work with Siri, so users can get things done with your content and services using just their voice. In addition to extending Siri’s support for messaging, photo search and phone calls to more apps, SiriKit also adds support for new services, including ride booking and personal payments.



CallKit lets VoIP apps integrate with the iPhone UI and give users a great experience. Use this framework to let users view and answer incoming VoIP calls on the lock screen and manage contacts from VoIP calls in the Phone app’s Favorites and Recents views.CallKit also introduces app extensions that enable call blocking and caller identification. You can create an app extension that can associate a phone number with a name or tell the system when a number should be blocked.


The notifications framework got an overhaul and you can now make your notifications more custom and rich. With customizing the UI of a notification and integrating 3D touch to add quick actions, your users will be able to interact with notifications like never before.


Integrating with the Messages App

In iOS 10, you can create app extensions that interact with the Messages app and let users send text, stickers, media files, and interactive messages. You can also support interactive messages that update as each recipient responds to the message. You can create two types of app extensions:

  • A Sticker pack provides a set of stickers that users can add to their Messages content.
  • An iMessage app lets you present a custom user interface within the Messages app, create a sticker browser, include text, stickers, and media files within a conversation, and create, send, and update interactive messages.An iMessage app can also help users search images that you host on your app’s related website while they’re in the Messages app.


Speech Recognition

This new framework supports continuous speech recognition and helps you build apps that can recognize speech and transcribe it into text. Using the APIs in the Speech framework, you can perform speech transcription of both real-time and recorded audio.



Record or stream video and audio directly from your app, so that users can share their experiences through email, messages, and social media.


These are just a handful of cool new frameworks that your apps can work with. For more information check out https://developer.apple.com/ios/


Have apps using some of these frameworks and what it featured? Let us know!

Apple plans to remove old, outdated, & abandoned apps from App Store

With Apple’s App Store having over 2 million apps available, it can be pretty difficult to find the one specific app that you are looking for. Of these 2 million+ apps, a lot are outdated. Yesterday, Apple sent an email out to developers stating that they will start reviewing old apps on September 7. If they crash on launch they will be removed immediately. Other apps will get a notice from Apple first and you will have 30 days to update.

Apple released an FAQ to explain the changes.