Alias WOW

Alias Facebook Launcher is an Android app that replaces your standard android home screen with real time Facebook feeds packaged into a beautiful UI.

Category: Social Networking

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Alias Facebook Launcher is an Android app that replaces your standard android home screen with real time Facebook feeds packaged into a beautiful UI. This app takes user experience to newer heights as it outdoes all the disadvantages of the Facebook Home app. The best aspect about this social launcher is that, users can easily access almost all the basic functionalities of the phone within the app itself. Along with that, users can also create their own customized workspace by adding widgets/shortcut icons of their choice.

Challenges

Creating custom workspace:

One of the most challenging task was to smoothly takeover the standard home screen after installation was installed and set as an active home launcher. What came in as a greater task was putting all 5 workspaces at one place which would completely change the layout of the users’ home screen.

Dynamic blurring of live images:

Allowing the users to view the latest pictures posted by their Facebook friends was one of the priorities for developers. It was a significant challenge for us to blur the live images because in java, bitmap class had limited functionality to manipulate bitmaps.

Pagination of Facebook feeds:

In order to fetch live data from facebook’s social graph, our task was to paginate the facebook feeds.

Creation of custom app tray:

Incorporating customizable features in the app was another critical aspect to deal with. We wanted the users to be able to access other android apps right from the shortcuts on the homescreen.

Solutions

In order to provide custom workspaces, we created multiple workspaces which would let users enjoy the launcher, while having all the basic android functionalities at the fingertips as well. The other workspaces would give provisions to add app shortcuts, folders, widgets and wallpapers.

Dynamic blurring of the live images was must. Knowing the fact that using bitmap.java class to make continuous rendering would throw OutOfMemoryError; we decided to use native code of c++ to blur the background image as a solution to the latter.

In order to paginate facebook feeds, we decided to use Graph API. Cursor pagination in Graph API provides data that is sorted according to pages and fetched feeds accordingly.

The challenge was to create two embedded app trays. Hence, we decided to create one app tray that would showcase all the apps from the shortcuts on the homescreen, and another customized App Drawer that allowed users to add frequently used apps and widgets.

Results Obtained

We were able to create an app that showcased ingenious UI and featured critical user experience. Alias WOW turned out as a standalone app in play store as it allowed users to access the basic functionalities of the phone within the launcher itself. The execution of multiple workspaces proved successful that allowed users to customize app trays along with surfing, commenting and liking their facebook feeds right from their home screen. As a result, this Alias WoW hit fifty thousand installs within a few days and has been widely acclaimed by dedicated facebook enthusiasts till date.