Early in our collaboration with Netzkino, we discovered the need for a video player technology that easily integrates ads and works across all popular platforms, regardless of the output device. After extensive research, we realized that no such player existed which met our expectations as none of the available software was compatible to all relevant platforms and devices. We didn’t want to accept less than flawless software so we decided to build the perfect video player ourselves!
The result is Avoplayer, a state-of-the-art video and ad player that encompasses a 360° solution for monetizing content with the help of advertisements. It works similarly to regular video players with the added quality that it runs across all platforms, no matter the device or operating system a video is viewed on.
In order to deliver optimal performance, we take advantage of each output device’s native environment and are thus able to offer a smooth integration of video ads without delay. For Samsung, this means that when we noticed that the HTML5 player didn’t run perfectly, we used the Samsung player instead and integrated our own logic into it. Thus, we were able to smoothly include delay-free ads and create a satisfactory user experience that would not have been achievable otherwise.
Adhering to our aspiration to offer the best possible user experience, we built the Avoplayer to support Chromecast and AirPlay so that advertisements run directly on the output screen instead of the smaller mobile screen. Thus, the viewer is seamlessly presented with ads in a way that feels natural rather than disruptive.
Customers find our software very easy to use as we built a coherent framework that works across all relevant platforms. As such, our users enjoy the very experience, no matter the device they use or the platform they are on. This brings ad integration to a whole new quality level!
All ad-related tasks can easily be governed by the user. Ad calls can be effortlessly defined and placed within video content. Besides the support of various streaming formats such as HDS, HLS and PMD, users can also enjoy the straightforward placing of pre-, mid- and post-rolls as well as the inclusion of typical techniques such as “waterfalling”.
Of course, we also included tracking systems such as Google Analytics to allow maximal transparency to the user as basis to increase their revenue.
We have put a lot of work and inspiration into our Avoplayer and want to ensure its successful future development. Hence, when a customer purchases our player, we continue to offer support and make using this technology as fun as it can possibly be.
To learn more about Avoplayer, visit www.avoplayer.com! Vodafone, Netzkino, ComputerBilld, and TV Movie are already among the more than satisfied users of our latest project.
Having heard about our talent in building exceptional, technically complex apps, Kai Apeltauer turned to simpleTechs for the realization of his Flatss project, the concept of which was to simplify the online housing hunting process with the help of short videos. As we are always on the lookout for new challenges, we were excited to build the right app for him.
After examining the online application process for shared flats, Kai Apeltauer realized that the main problem lay in rating all possible candidates and in deciding on the best fit – an often time-consuming and unnerving process. In order to provide users with a better first impression of potential candidates as well as flats and flatmates, his goal was to revolutionize the market by introducing short, personal videos instead of the traditional written ads.
The result is Flatss, an online housing platform in which flatmates provide interested users with a short video about their flat and themselves and explain what they are looking for in their new flatmate. People looking for shared flats are asked to introduce themselves and what they are looking for in their future home in short videos, as well. All users are invited to set up profiles in order to either offer a room or search for one. By adjusting the settings, they can view the different existing flat ads sorted by region, price, and room size. Of course, every flat posting can be shared through social media by using its individual landing page. These landing pages link back to the app so that interested parties can apply directly.
The first version of Flatss is currently available for all iOS and Android devices. The iOS app has been programmed with Swift 2.0 while the one for android was built in Java. For the backend, we used NoteJS as it is famous for its performance and ability to handle great demand.
One of the main challenge of this project was to play potentially large videos files on small devices with a high resolution. We solved this issue by compressing the videos, reducing the bit rate, and including fewer pictures per second. Thus, we are able to guarantee a high video quality while reducing the file size by up to 90% and keeping the data volume low. Now users can film videos spontaneously or upload existing files without having to fear a quality loss. In addition, we ensured that every video dimension looks the same, regardless of whether the video was filmed in a portrait or landscape format.
Furthermore, we integrated a chat system which allows the sharing videos, photos and text messages with interested candidates and flat owners. Every time a new message or a new video is sent, the recipient gets a push notification on their mobile device or receives an email through the app. By using Flatss, both parties save time and money in the application process.
Netzkino is a German movie streaming company which offers an always-increasing range of movies that can be legally streamed and viewed for free without registration and without any hidden costs or obligations to the users. This is a long-lasting and deep collaboration that we are especially proud of.
When we first started, Netzkino only existed as an idea. Now, Netzkino is available almost anywhere where German consumers might enjoy watching their favorite movies. As their technological consultant and service partner, we delivered an all-encompassing technological solution from scratch, ranging from backend services and the creation of APIs all the way to various front-end solutions like the netzkino.de website and apps for iOS, Android, Windows 8.1, Windows Phone and SmartTVs. We always made sure that Netzkino would run seamlessly and use the best technologies that each platform has to offer. To make a long story short: Netzkino always feels familiar no matter where a customer might use it, but it also feels right at home on a smaller iPhone screen and on the big screen a SmartTV can provide.
Netzkino.de – it all began with this website. During the course of working with Netzkino, we often broke new ground. We were among the pioneers to implement video commercials (Online Video Advertising) that are shown before and after movies, so-called pre-rolls and post-rolls. We were also the first ones to advertise legal and free as the marketing beacons of what we were doing here. We stood up to much larger companies as they followed suit in this marketing approach. “Legal and free” is now in widespread use as our competitors, like MyVideo.de, have started to use those same terms. We built from scratch using the best technology available and made sure that every detail was done right. Our caching APIs and the cloud-powered back-end technologies for storing the movie files make sure that this website can handle 2 million and more visits and request each day. Load times are exceptionally fast due to deep optimization. We tweaked the website and its contents through the help of SEO methods so that users would quickly find movies hosted on Netzkino using their favorite search engines. Deep social media linking like Facebook Connect make it easy for the user to tell their friends what movies they are watching and which ones they recommend. All of this is also true for every app that we built:
Our Android app is optimized to work best with all Android versions, but will work especially well on devices running Android 4.0 Jelly Bean and above. We wrote this app with maximum performance in mind. It works really well on all Android-powered devices and on various screen sizes, ranging from 4″ over 7 and 8″ all the way to 10″. To accomplish that, we created an adjusted UI layout in portrait and landscape for each of the major screen sizes, making this app work well on phones, “phablets” and full 10″ tablets. For low-end devices, a special fallback option was implemented so that non-HD content was shown instead of the more demanding HD options, just to make sure this app would run on as many Android devices as possible.
This Netzkino app for iOS is available for all iPhones, iPads and iPod touches running iOS 6 and above. It specifically supports Retina displays and uses screen real estate best on both devices, portrait mode on iPhone and landscape mode on iPad. We accomplished something that other said wasn’t possible at the time: we were the first ones to implement pre-roll video commercials, even when everyone was saying that that wasn’t possible under the Apple guidelines. The app was ranked the No. 1 iPad app and ranked among the Top 10 free iPhone apps in the German App Store. We support full HD playback and users can even stream all content to their TVs via AirPlay, should they want to. Facebook Connect allows user to share their movie watching habits with all their friends.
This Windows 8.1 Netzkino app was written with the special features in mind that this OS has to offer. Smart Search is available on all pages, sharing is possible via the Charms Bar, server-side Live Tiles push new content straight to the user’s Start Screen and Snap View support makes sure the app works well in multitasking environments. Semantic Zoom can be used to scroll through the categories faster. We used Microsoft’s Ad SDK to implement advertising and brought over the familiar Netzkino aesthetics while combining them with the special clean, flat and multi-size grid layout used in Windows 8.1 apps. We were picked by Microsoft as a top partner since we were closely following their app guidelines and were therefore featured on the Windows Store start page as a top app in the entertainment section.
Netzkino for Window Phone is our latest member in the ever-increasing family of Netzkino apps. Just like with the Windows 8.1 app, we made sure that users would feel right at home: content is beautifully laid out in grids. Categories, new movies and highlights are just one wipe away from the start page thanks to the panorama view concept. Search and sharing are always available via the bottom bar. Content is key. That is especially true on smaller devices, so we automatically hide the Windows Phone status bar. The app supports all native Windows Phone screen resolutions. To achieve feature parity with all the other mobile Netzkino apps, we also built in Facebook Connect and feedback and app review buttons on the imprint page.
Being recommended by one of our clients, Hubertus von Treuenfels approached us with the idea to revolutionize the classical job application procedure. The concept behind the project called ‘66seconds’ is to enable employers to publish open job positions in short video films to which interested aspirants apply with individual video messages in turn. Being a team of innovative minds ourselves, we were excited to build the best website and app for this alternative to the old ways of job application processes.
Compared to traditional job boards, the advantage of 66seconds is the initial audiovisual contact between candidates and employers. This much more accurate first impression can spare both parties time-consuming cover letters, resumes, and plodding interviews. The candidates have the possibility to present themselves in a more personal way which increases their chances of making a positive first impression. This procedure also allows the company to asses right away whether the applicant fits the position and the company’s culture, and the other way around, and is particularly suitable for online applications with smartphones and other portable devices.
The app is currently available for all iOS and Android devices. By using Swift 2.0, the most recent and powerful programming language available for iOS, we succeeded in building an app that runs lightning-fast. The Android app was developed with Java which ensures fast and errorless working. The backend of the application was programmed with NoteJS in order to ensure an excellent performance and the ability to handle great demand, which is what we expect from 66seconds.
With the help of CanJS, we crafted the perfect one page application website in support of the app. The web page is clearly structured and aimed primarily at employers who can easily add and edit their job offers there.
Interested users can view the most recent job ads directly but more can be loaded quickly on demand. Due to our fast loading times, whenever the user clicks on a job ad, the player opens automatically and the video start playing immediately. If an aspirant wants to apply to a job opening, they are presented with the links to the available apps and asked to apply within them.
The name-giving feature of the app is that all videos have a limited length of 66 seconds. This ensures that information is presented in a compact format but also allows for the upload of potentially large video files. Hence, our first technical challenge was to compress the file size while still maintaining its high quality. We succeeded in compressing the video content from over 200MB to 20MB, which equals a reduction of 90%, and are thus able to guarantee quick loading times of high quality videos while keeping the data volume low. Now, videos can be filmed spontaneously and saved directly to the app or existing videos can be uploaded. Moreover, we ensured that every video dimension looks the same – regardless of whether the video was recorded in a portrait or landscape format.
In order to enhance communication, we built an entirely integrated chat system which allows employers and potential employees to share videos, photos, and text messages. Every time a new message or video is sent, the other party receives a push notification or an email through the app. By using 66seconds, both companies and applicants save time and money in the application process.
Users are able to sign in via email address, social media profiles (Facebook, Google and Twitter) and the professional networks Xing and LinkedIn. Inside the app, candidates are invited to set up their individual profile and find open positions in their area through a selected search radius. Furthermore, every job can be shared through various social media channels by making use of individual landing pages for every job video. These landing pages link back to the app so the user can directly apply for the offered position. This feature allows the distribution of the offered job positions to portable and nonportable devices alike.
Continuing our collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment GmbH, which started with the development of the Sleep Well! – Baby lullabies app, we were happy to work with them again on a new project for the Badesalz application.
Badesalz is a free entertainment app that we built to promote the release of the CD by “Badesalz”, a group of top German comedians, by informing users about updates and news related to the release and by giving them a first taste of the actual CD.
To shorten the waiting time, we equipped it with an assortment of buttons that reproduce sounds or phrases that have been prepared by the comedians beforehand. These sounds can come in handy in everyday-life situations and rescue the user from awkward silences as well provide witty responses when the own mind does not want to come up with anything quickly enough.
In addition to the integration of the sounds, we implemented push notifications in order to provide the user with promotion information about the CD as fast as possible and to ensure that they not miss anything important. Furthermore, we designed the app for mobile devices running with iOS or Android and made it scalable for phones as well as tablets. It thus runs smoothly on all devices.
We highly enjoyed the app’s developemnt and the opportunity it gave us to play with sound-producind buttons, as well as the continued cooperation with Sony Music Entertainment GmbH. We are very proud of the outcome and are thrilled to see so many incredible positive responses to and reviews for it.
“Badesalz” describes this app a survival help for mastering one’s everyday life and if the App Store had such a category, we are certain it would fall into it. If you feel in need of such a survival app or if you just want to play with buttons that play funny sounds, download the Badesalz iTunes App or the Badesalz Android App!