Part 1: Embracing app extensions

Part 2: Exploring new ideas with app extensions

Why Food Review Sharing?

When we began working on this project, we wanted to create an app that showcased our ability to adapt to iOS 8 in a use case that has maximum enterprise value. Given our involvement in HungryGoWhere, a user-generated content driven food review site, we decided that a food review sharing extension would be a great way to do that. It enabled us to tap into iOS 8’s powerful new extension feature and at the same time demonstrate the potential for a HungryGoWhere integration.

App Extension Ideas iOS 8 However, since we are doing this as an internal 2359 Media project, we could not use HungryGoWhere’s server. Thankfully, FourSquare’s API was readily available for us to use. Thus, bringing together iOS 8’s sharing extension feature, FourSquare’s API and our own innovative magic, we created HungerSnap.

HungerSnap: Eat First, Post Later

HungerSnap introduces a novel way to post reviews on FourSquare using iOS 8’s sharing extension. Simply tap the share button on the photo of your meal and share it to FourSquare via HungerSnap. But HungerSnap is more than a sharing extension for FourSquare; it also intelligently uses iOS 8’s interactive notification to allow users to set a reminder for 30 minutes to complete their review. HungerSnap app iOS 8 App Extension In other words, the app enables you to take a photo first, then return to your food to finish your yummy meal before completing your food review – all without leaving your Photos app. So whether you are an avid foodie who can’t wait to share your latest photo of your yummy meal, or a reviewer who likes to finish your food before giving a proper tip on FourSquare, HungerSnap has you covered throughout the whole process, from snapping that mouth-watering photo to posting your useful tip on FourSquare.

Designing User Experience Around iOS 8

App User Flow One of the most exciting thing about iOS 8 is its ability to let developers explore new ways in which users can interact with apps. The amazing interplay between iOS 8’s new features and an enhanced user experience can be seen in the way we designed the HungerSnap user experience flow based on iOS 8. iOS 8’s sharing extension feature allows iDevices to share data to external services – something iDevice users haven’t been able to do until now. With this in mind, we made sure that the user experience of HungerSnap is closely built around the native Photos app. By eliminating the number of steps needed to share a tip to FourSquare (including the cumbersome need to switch between the Photos and FourSquare app), we are able to create a much more streamlined user flow. So right from the Photos app, HungerSnap allows users to post a photo, tag a restaurant location, write a review, and post to FourSquare. But the true user experience design magic happens when we examined the use case of food reviewers even more closely. When we thought about the last time we reviewed a restaurant, we realised that there was an easily forgotten break in user flow: the gap between taking the photo of the meal and posting the review of the food. There are many reasons for this break in user flow. For one, users want to taste the food before writing a review of the restaurant. Or users simply want to satisfy their hunger before doing anything else. Eat First Post Later It is with this in mind that we built the “Publish Later” feature into HungerSnap. At any point in the HungerSnap user flow, users are able to tap the “Publish Later” button that sets a reminder for 30 minutes to ask users to complete their half-done review. The reminder comes in the form of an interactive notification – another new iOS 8 feature – where users can choose to open and complete their review, or snooze the reminder for another 10 minutes. What if users no longer feel like posting their review? Simply ignore the notification, and HungerSnap intelligently deletes the review after 15 minutes.

The Future of iOS Apps: Streamlined User Experience

HungerSnap makes use of a couple of iOS 8’s latest features to create a review-posting user experience that is seamless and novel. First, it uses iOS 8’s sharing extension, which allows iDevices to share data with external services, to communicate with FourSquare and post reviews directly via the native Photos app. We also used iOS 8’s interactive notifications in an innovative manner, the app enables users to publish reviews later and set reminders to complete their reviews. The flexibility and power of iOS 8’s app extensions and interactive notifications enabled us to design a user experience flow that is as seamless and intuitive as possible. HungerSnap is but one project that builds on iOS 8’s features. In the future, as developers and designers discover more great ways to improve the iOS user experience, and with future builds of iOS, we can expect more exciting, game-changing apps that redefine user experiences on a smartphone.