Being recommended by a satisfied customer to another potential client is a wonderful thing. Having heard about our talent, Sony Music Entertainment Germany approached us, asking if we were interested in building an iOS app for them that they were planning. The idea was to create an app called “Sleep well!” wich would help babies calm down and fall asleep easier by playing well-known lullabies such as “Rock-a-bye, baby”, “Twinkle, twinkle little star” or “Wiegenlied” while in the car or at home.
We started off from scratch and created the conception, the graphics and the code and put it all together into dedicated iPhone and iPad apps for iOS 6 and iOS 7 – each with their own user interface. This way, we could make sure that the app would run on older iOS hardware while at the same time also fitting right in with the newer and refreshed iOS 7 UI on more modern iPhones, iPads and iPod touches. For instance, in the iOS 7 version, we implemented the new parallex effect which adds a quasi-3D look and adds depth to the whole interface. Once opened, the user gets to choose between 9 different music box lullabies.
Each box has its own graphics and song except for the last one where the user can choose their own song from their music library. One lullaby box is integrated for free, the others can be purchased from within the app. Volume controls are present as well as 5, 10, 15 or infinite timers on the individual pages for the different lullabies. Also included is a lock button on the lower right-hand corner that can be used for when the device is laying right next to the infant to make sure nothing gets pressed or activated accidentally. Upon unlocking, a rather easy arithmetic question needs to be answered. To make switching between the lullabies most enjoyable for the baby and the parents, songs crossfade and images merge into one another upon swiping left or right in the app. We built in AirPlay so that the app can be used to play music on separate speakers which might offer better audio quality. This way, parents may be able to change tunes even when they are not in the same room as the child, for example. Happy users are always a great source for viral marketing, so we added the ability to recommend the app via SMS or email. This is done in a way that feels like giving a present, complete with an individual greeting message and a link to the app’s iTunes Store page. We chose to implement it this way because actually giving apps is not possible for free apps under the Apple guidelines.
With hundreds of thousands of apps available, it is sometimes hard to get users’ attention. Especially with this kind of app, we thought it would be essential to give potential users and buyers a great first impression. That means that the app’s idea and its functions need to be clear at first sight. So, we decided to not just use a screenshot as the first image shown in the App Store. We went further and added a short claim (“Lulls your baby to sleep!”) above a shown iPhone 5 on the first App Store screenshot. This and the implementation of the aforementioned parallax effect scheme throughout the UI that had just been introduced in iOS 7 at the time is yet another good example of how we always try to deliver more than our customers expect from us. We know that building something that is beyond our customers’ imaginations will make them happy, and if they are happy, we are, too! Our CEO Daniel even went so far as to test the app on his own daughter, also still an infant. She would probably recommend the app wholeheartedly if she could actually talk or write reviews, yet.
simpleTechs convinced us with their professional work and expertise, outstanding communication and a wonderfully-designed product at the end. We are very happy. Thank you so much! – Nicole Rudischer, Sony Music Entertainment Germany
Sleep well! is an international app and has been released in various languages and is available in many different countries in the App Store.