Saturday, 21 January 2012

Mention Observer, A Social Network Observer for Android

I wanted to give you a sneak peak of a private Android app project I'm working on. I'm calling it "Mention Observer". It is a social media observer that tells you what people talk about your website. While it is a very much work in progress I have a functional app that already adresses my needs.

Key features of the app are:

  • Fetches twitter mentions of your domain
  • Fetches reddit topics of your domain
  • Fetches latest feedburner RSS subscriber numbers

Although functional the app is not going to be released yet. There's a lot to do. Visual design is probably the most visible thing that is missing. 


Core screens
I used ActionBarSherlock and ViewPagerIndicator to build the core UI. This is probably the easiest way to build core UI screens for an app like this. 

Overview screen needs a lot of work but it already provides an overview to your blog mentions.

Screens for each social network provide additional info on each of them. These screens also need a lot of work. For feedburner graph I'm using GraphView library but I'll build the chart using custom views in future as I'm not happy with the library customizability and visual style. 

Notifications
Naturally, the app automatically checks for new mentions and notifies the user whenever it finds new ones.
Pull-to-Refresh
I'm using pull-to-refresh library to enable easy manual refresh functionality.

Setup
Making setup as easy as possible is important. For now it sucks visually but functionally things already exist. This need to be streamlined a lot.

Todo before release
I'm planning to put the app to the market as soon as it is usable. It needs visual design and icons. All the screens need to be tweaked so the data is understandable


Future
After the first release I plan to add more sources for information, Facebook and Google+ first and then maybe more. I also need to add details screens for each of the data items and link to the original items.

Well.. let's see how this end up going.