Ingredients for a Remarkable TV Experience

“The Ingredients Series” is an ongoing design endeavor at Macoscope; its purpose: to push the user experience envelope across different industries in order to envision potential business value.

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As we were catching up with all our favorite TV series and movies over the holidays, we asked ourselves: “What kind of TV experience users would want to pay for?”

This question, combined with our obsession with UX and UI tweaks, resulted in a bold vision of an all-in-one experience designed around opportunities mostly unexplored by all the major players. An ever-rising number of platforms, content providers, and syndicators are entering the mobile application market, but their primary oeuvre consists of streaming apps that enable users to comfortably switch screens and consume content on the go. Yet it is both smaller screens and our digital environment that are doing a much better job of providing users and companies with superior experiences.

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Our Farewell to an Eventful 2015

Our Farewell to an Eventful 2015 The beginning of the year is always a good moment to look back and get a new, fresh perspective on things past. 2015 was truly a great year for designers and developers, and with widespread adoption of collaborative software like InVision and Slack, more amazing products got shipped faster and in a more effective manner. Looking forward to all the things that 2016 has in store for us, we prepared a short list of events that had the most profound impact on the industry in 2015:

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Model-View-Presenter Architecture in Android Applications

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Recently, clean architecture has been a hot subject in the Android development world. As developers, our responsibility is not only limited to delivering apps with a bunch of features, we also need easily maintainable code with clear separation between presentation and business logic.

In this post, we’d like to illustrate the usage of the Model-View-Presenter architectural pattern as a method for developing Android apps with a clean architecture approach.

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Automate Testing & Build Delivery with fastlane and Travis CI

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Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) are both relatively fresh practices in our, iOS developers’ that is, toolkits. This is mostly because we didn’t really have good tools to facilitate their proper deployment until recently. Gone are the days of breaking the build or tests without even noticing. Forget about archiving and sending builds manually to your testers or clients. Build servers are here to save us from the mundane toil.

The process of setting up our build server will consist of two steps:

  1. Continuous Integration: First, we’ll set up Travis CI to run our test suite on each pull request. This will allow us to be sure that neither a build nor tests will break after merging with the main branch (develop in our case). One cool thing here: Travis CI doesn’t actually use the branch a pull request is based on. Instead, it merges it with develop first and then uses this temporary branch.
  2. Continuous Delivery: Then, we’ll set up Travis CI to build, archive, and push a build to HockeyApp after each commit is pushed to (or merged to) develop. This will allow all interested parties to always be able to get the latest build of the app. We’ll also show how to set up the same capability on our local machine.

The knowledge collected and presented in this article is derived from other sources available online. Given some of the most common reactions 👏 in our team after one of us manages to set up CI & CD, I came to the conclusion that there’s real value in getting every little detail about their deployment covered in a single piece.

We’re going to use GitHub, fastlane, Travis CI, and HockeyApp, as that’s what we use in most cases here at Macoscope. A sample project with the history (mostly) matching the one described in this article is available on GitHub: ContinuousIntegrationExample.

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Summer at the Q Branch – Solving the Problems of our Special Agents

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Every weekday, except for Fridays, somewhere around 13:37 the doorbell rings at the Macoscope offices. It announces the arrival of a very special person. Someone with the uncanny ability to unite the entire Macoscope staff, across floors and teams, for around half an hour. His name is Tadeusz and he’s our Chief Executive Lunch Delivery Guy.

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