Avoplayer

Avoplayer LogoEarly 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.

avoplayer-home-ipadIn 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.

Mosband

Sleep well Icon

Being in a long-term relationship himself, CEO Daniel knows how easily romance can be neglected in the daily routine of a partnership. In order to avoid this for himself and his girlfriend, he brainstormed about an easy and digital solution to bring romance back into the everyday life of relationships. As a result, the concept of mosband was born.

mosband is targeted primarily at boyfriends or husbands who want to bring more romance into their relationships. The idea behind it was to create an app which not only reminds the user to surprise their partner with a thoughtful gesture but also proposes suitable ideas for doing so. In order to receive a broad variety of potentially relationship-saving ideas, we put our heads together with friends and family members and came up with a big pool of recommendations for being a more romantic partner.

With the app’s content ready, we set out to design it with the best tools available. mosband was programmed with Swift 2.0, the latest programming language for iOS which ensures the building of a safe, interactive, and fast-running app which works on all iOS 8 and iOS 9 iPhones. We also designed the app to be as simple to use as possible. A small menu bar with settings has been included as well as the possibility to navigate through the various ideas by tapping on the screen. Furthermore, the frequency of mosband idea notifications can be set individually to daily, on weekdays only, or to weekly reminders.

mosband_date_phoneIn support of the app, we built mosband’s very own website, as well. For this purpose, we used plain HTML and JavaScript to create a simple but expressive web page that links to the app and explains the concept behind it with various screenshots.

By offering a great collection of ideas, starting from a romantic walk to giving a tender back massage, there is certainly something to make everybody happy in mosband. Moreover, the user can record their relationship’s start date in the app to see how long exactly they have been happy together and, of course, to receive a reminder for their anniversary – another possibly partnership-saving feature. In addition, for the user to be able to monitor their progress, they receive points by realizing the suggestions and marking them as ‘done’. The more ‘mosband points’ they collect, the closer they are to becoming the desired ‘model husband’ and to having a satisfying and happy relationship!

mosband is currently available for free in the Apple App Store. The app launch in September introduced the German and English and the first update made French, Spanish and Dutch available, as well. In the meantime, the integration for Android devices and the inclusion of the Chinese language are being contemplated.

We are very happy with the finished mosband app which has been a personal pleasure to design and test and we hope that it will be a helpful tool in making relationships more romantic. We are excited to see its future development and success!

KIXI

Kixi Kinderfilme & Kinderserien Icon
Having followed the incredible success of our Netzkino app, the Kixi Entertainment GmbH thought we were the perfect partner for making a similar movie app that would be specifically designed for children. The fact that they share the office with Netzkino probably didn’t hurt our positive reputation, either, and we were excited to start working on this project.

kixi-app-homeThe result is KIXI, a movie and series streaming app developed just for kids. Its entire content is exclusively children-friendly, as it complies with the German voluntary self-regulation of the movie industry (FSK) ratings. This means that parents can relax and let their children choose freely from the wide offer without having to worry about their little ones seeing inappropriate content.

Easy to Use. We designed KIXI in a way that would allow the young users to navigate through it independently. This means that the interface consists of big symbols, colorful images, and only few written text. Scenic images are used to convey the information about the respective movie or series rather than large text areas. Thus, navigating within the app becomes childishly simple.
In accordance with the child’s age, it is also possible to list the content particularly recommended for that age group.

kixi-app-movieSafe Environment. All the included films and series have been carefully selected in collaboration with parents and editors. The app is commercial-free and contains no links to other pages to ensure the safest possible environment for children.

Offline Function. Because we know that a dependency on internet access can be problematic especially when travelling, we implemented an offline function. This can turn long and boring car rides into a more fun way of travelling for the whole family.

Airplay. We implemented an Airplay support so that selected programs can easily be shown on other screens such as TVs. Because we know that, sometimes, phones or tablets are just not big enough.

Safe Payment. KIXI offers a large  and constantly growing variety of children’s movies and series based on a subscription with a small monthly fee. We enabled safe payment so there is really nothing parents have to worry about with this app.

The development of this application and the collaboration with Kixi Entertainment GmbH were very fruitful and enjoyable for us. Seeing the app’s immediate success was enough motivation for us to start working on its Android version. We appreciate this chance to continue our partnership and are looking forward to seeing KIXI rank high on the Google Play Store soon, too.

KIXI is available in the App Store and runs on iPhones and iPads. To get this fun entertaining app for your kids or for yourself to reminiscent the feeling of being child again, download the KIXI App.

 

Flatss

Sleep well IconHaving 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.

flatss_chatThe 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.

flatss_adjustmThe 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.

Flatss is available in German and English Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. We wish Kai Apeltauer all the best with this app and want to thank him for this exciting and challenging project.

Netzkino

Netzkino LogoNetzkino 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.

Display-netzkino.de_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. Gleichzeitige-Besucher-35kOur 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:

Netzkino-AndroidOur 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.

Netzkino iOSThis 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.

Windows-Tab-NetzkinoThis 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.

Windows-Phone-Netzkino-AppNetzkino 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.

 

 

 

 

Sleep well!

Sleep well IconBeing 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.

Sleep Well Start ScreenWe 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.

Sleep Well ShipEach 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.

Sleep well App Store ScreenshotWith 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.

66seconds

Sleep well IconBeing 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.

66seconds-job-anbietenCompared 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.

66seconds-startseiteThe 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.

66seconds-websiteIn 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.

The 66seconds app is now available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. We also invite you to visit the 66seconds website and revolutionize your next job application process!

Badesalz

Icon-Small@3xContinuing 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.Silver

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!

 

Play 4 Games

After they had been very pleased with our work for when we build the Free Online Games app for them, GameGenetics came back to us and asked us to build another app, this time for iOS.

Play 4 Games MemoryThe idea was to give iPhone and iPad users a curated catalog app of high quality iOS games so that they didn’t need to dig through the entire App Store in search for great games anymore.

Unfortunately, Apple decided to ban such catalog apps from the App Store right when we had finished building the app. Naturally, the app was dismissed for not adhering to the new App Store guidelines.

Trying to make the best out of this situation, we decided to tune the app to new levels by implementing so-called gamification, a concept of applying game-design thinking to classic non-game applications, making the newly redesigned app much more fun and engaging. Basically, the app needed to be a game and a catalog at the same time. So, the thought process began of how we were to achieve this goal.

Play 4 Games Games PageThe decision was made to implement a classic concentration, or memory, type of game layer. What users first see when they open the app is a start screen with app icons laid “face down”. In order to discover new games, the user needs to touch two icons and hopefully he or she will turn over pairs of matching game icons.

Each game is featured on its own page along with a short gameplay description text, game art, a screenshot gallery laid out in a classic carousel view and game videos. Everything is viewable within the app so users don’t have to constantly navigate back and forth between a website and the app’s contents. Smart recommendations for similar games can be found in the corresponding game category along with other genre or release date based categories. The app is laid out in a simple flat and clean design. Game icons are front and center here. The idea was to give users and instant sense of what the app is all about when they first open it. A newly-discovered pair of matching game icons begins to turn bigger and then smaller again, giving the user an idea that they are now touchable to read more about the game itself. Shaking the device will reset a finished game and if some game icons aren’t discovered, shaking will solve the current game.

The app was thoroughly tested by Testology and successfully made it through their various testings by complying to all of their criteria:

I would use the app because the games are presented in such a way that it is easy to see what I am looking for and I find the app is easier to navigate than the app store. – Testology report for Play 4 Games

Play 4 Games is an international app and has been released in various languages and is available in many different countries in the App Store.