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.
With this completely rewritten Windows 8.1 app, teachers get access to the meinUnterricht.de portal which offers more than 70.000 pages of content for various school subjects from renowned publishing houses like Auer, AOL, Friedrich and more. This collaboration came about when our CEO Daniel took part in the Dark Side Bakery, a coding workshop by MSDN Germany to help developers and start-ups getting to know about Microsoft’s developing tools. Daniel helped out the guys behind meinUnterricht.de and quickly became a guide for many other developers and the event. Later on, after deciding that they didn’t have the necessary capacities, meinUnterricht.de asked us to help them build this app.
Registered users can create virtual desks and store their files on the meinUnterricht.de website. That data and those desks can then be accessed via this app since they are stored in the cloud, making meinUnterricht.de a very mobile and easy to use platform for any teacher. That is especially true for this Windows 8.1 app that we created:
With this huge amount of content, we had to make sure to give users the best possible way to discover the things they are looking for. So, in Windows 8, we incorporated Smart Search in this app. That meant that users could search through the meinUnterricht.de catalogue via the build in search found in the Charms Bar. For Windows 8.1, we integrated an independent search function right into the app. To make the experience complete, we implemented the print and share capabilities that users can also easily access right from within Windows 8.1.
PDFs can be printed out and downloaded right from the app for offline view. Printing is supported through the use of the Windows 8.1 printing capabilities for almost any printer, also accessible from the Charms Bar. The app itself features a clean reading mode that users can use to smoothly scroll through their documents, jumping from page to page via page previews. With our app, the user gets to decide how they want to read and use their documents or hand them out to their students, either on Windows 8.1 powered devices via this app or on paper.
Windows 8.1 heavily makes use of so-called Tiles to display content. We incorporated that idea by using a multi-size grid layout, making use of tiles in various sizes to display short amount of data through headlines, categories and iconography in a very clean grid array. Content is key here, and our layout best represents that demand: with a glimpse of a view, teachers can easily see and navigate what’s going on in a specific subject. Documents can be viewed and scrolled through in a matter of seconds, making this the single app that every teacher will want to not miss anymore. The app first launched for Windows 8 but has been completely rewritten from the ground up for Windows 8.1.
When GameGenetics went out to look for developers to build a new app for them for the about to be launched Windows 8 in 2012, they asked Microsoft Germany for suggestions. Luckily, Microsoft knew about our talent and that is how our long-lasting cooperation with GameGenetics started and the Free Online Games Windows 8.1 app came to be.
In this app, users can comb through a curated list of game categories for selected free browser games. All games have been tested and have been chosen carefully to be promoted in this app. Promotion plays a big role here, so we incorporated three different tile sizes for the curators to display the games in. The larger the tile, the more attention a game may get. The largest tile is reserved for the Game of the Week and only few other games are shown in the Spotlight section on the start page of the app. All tiles are laid out in a multi-size grid, making for a very clean and pleasant to look at design.
Each game is featured on its own page along with a short description text, large game art, a screenshot gallery and a video trailer. 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 suggestions for similar games are displayed on the far right side of each game page.
The game categories are easily accessible via a swipe from right to left or via a pinch gesture (Semantic Zoom) which brings up a short overview of all available categories in square-like tiles, displaying large game art of the most promoted games.
We made sure that the app supported Snap View so it could be pinned to either side of the screen for multitasking purposes. Sharing and Smart Search can be used via the Windows 8 Charms Bar on every page within the app. Live Tiles are also supported in three different sizes and content for them is getting pushed from a server.
This Windows 8.1 app has been an international success and is now offered in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and English. It is also featured by several OEM partners like Dell and Lenovo in their own Windows Store sections on devices built by them.
GameGenetics was so satisfied with our work that they sent us a big gift basket and came back for more ideas of cooperation for the Play 4 Games and Game of the Day apps.
The Game of the Day app for Windows 8.1 offers quick access to a new promoted free game title every day. With just one click from within the app, users are either forwarded straight to the browser game or to a download page for games some games that need to be installed but also offer more spectacular graphics. This internationally successful and OEM-promoted app has been the third time we cooperated with GameGenetics, of which we could not be happier about.
The idea of this app is a bit similar to what we did with the Play 4 Games iOS app. In both cases, the app is about discovering new games in a playful manner (gamification). One game is being promoted every day in this case. To make game discovery a bit more fun, we implemented a “Tomorrow’s Game” feature where the user has to scratch off a controller in order to get a glimpse of what the promoted game of the next day will be. This can either be done via a cursor or via touch input. A countdown placed next to the mysterious controller displays the remaining time until the new game is being advertised and ready for consumption, either as a browser game or as a standalone download.
The users can also still look at “Yesterday’s Game” should they have forgotten to pick it up. Everything is displayed in a clean multi-size grid layout right on the front page. Tiles for yesterday’s, tomorrow’s and today’s Game of the Day are present and link to the corresponding game pages. To give users an idea about the games, detailed gameplay descriptions along with screenshots in a nice full-screen carousel view, videos and game art are shown on the game pages which are laid out in a clean panorama view that is horizontally scrollable. All this content is viewable within the app so users don’t have to constantly navigate back and forth between a website and the app’s contents.
We made sure that the app supported Snap View so it could be pinned to either side of the screen for multitasking purposes. Sharing and Smart Search can be used via the Windows 8.1 Charms Bar on every page within the app. Live Tiles are also supported in three different sizes and content for them is getting pushed from a server. We embedded Google Analytics so that the app publisher can track exactly how successful the games are being marketed. As we are always trying to do a little more than is expected from us by our customers, we implemented a design that will scale at any size, making the app UI look great at any screen size and resolution. We overachieved by giving GameGenetics a resolution-independent app because we figured that that extra attention to detail would make a whole lot of sense. Yet again, we worked hard so that our customers didn’t have to by building something that they had not even thought about themselves but greatly appreciated afterwards. We are looking forward to the next great app developing activities for GameGenetics!