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Snaprelease: developing a product for faster feedback from start-to-end

  • Blog
  • 22 de Fevereiro de 2015
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Este post foi publicado originalmente no Medium. Veja aqui.

Today, more than ever, we have ways to create and share our ideas. The tools and the information we need to turn our vision into reality are all easily available on the internet. This is part one of a series of posts in which I’ll tell you a story about developing an idea into a product and delivering it using many different tools.

The Problem

I’m a mobile developer, working on apps and delivering it to clients and testers. Collecting their feedback on the process and improving the product is one of my concerns. When I first started, a few years ago, the default distribution process (pre App Store*) was upload it to a tester or client’s phone via USB cable. This one to one process was very tedious, repetitive and it did not scale. A better approach was needed. Several tools came to address this problem, like TestFlight, HockeyApp, etc. The company that I work for, Concrete Solutions, has its own custom distribution solution, which works great by the way. The problem was solved for good!

What if ? The “but” problem ?

All those services handle the problem in quite the same way. You have to create your account, setup an application, setup credentials, select people who are allowed to test the app, etc. After that, you can start creating releases, with names, versions, descriptions and a few other requirements that change from product to product. They all keep the release history, so people can install old releases anytime.

Here comes the “but” part. All that stuff is great and works really well, but what if I don’t want to go through all those steps? What if I’d like to only upload an app and share it only for the next day? Without need for accounts, configurations, applications, permissions and so forth? After thinking about it for a while I’ve decided to create Snaprelease, a simpler approach.

Elevator pitch

– Snaprelease? What is it?

– It’s a product that allows you to distribute your mobile apps (Android or iOS) to your team and clients before it reaches the Apple Store or Google Play, without any need for configuration. Just paste your app and snap it.

– Ok. And why on earth would I need that?

– Being able to test your app before launch on the stores is crucial to develop a great product and you should do it on as many devices as you can. It promotes faster feedback, insights, bug-fix opportunities, etc. Wouldn’t you like to discover those things before your app’s reviewers?

– Ok, I got it! It is like Testfligt, Hockeyapp and many others?

– Yes! But the release only lasts for 24hs and you don’t have to setup an account, configure an app and all that boring stuff.

– Ohnn. That’s why the name Snaprelease, it is an ephemeral app distribution service.

– Yep, that’s pretty much it. Not for everyone I should say, but for the adventurous ones, snap It =)

The Tools

Stay tunned for next posts, in which I’ll explain about the tools that I’ve chosen to develop and release this product. I’ll speak more about:

So we’re going to develop this product using parse backend service, that runs on top of facebook infrastructure and provides a lot of awesome functionality out of the shelf. Checkout the F8 Keynote of 2014 for more information about parse stack.

In addition to that, we’ll use several tools to automate the frontend development pipeline and discuss the benefits of doing so. Finally I’m going to show some benchmarks and statistics to track the performance improvement that adopting this frontend automated pipeline brought to the product .

Any doubts or comments about this text? Let me know!

Checkout the second part here. =)