A hundred years ago taking a photo was quite an expensive and time-consuming venture. Nowadays we always have camera-installed gadgets with us and take pictures every minute. We capture what we eat, drink, read, do, and see.
It may seem that as the result of such availability the art of photography becomes underestimated: we don’t appreciate it as much as we used to. But it works the opposite way: with the accessibility of photos more and more people become engaged in capturing the world around them and appreciate its beauty.
How the PolarPro app idea was born
PolarPro team is a group of adventure-seeking photographers and videographers who are chasing the beauty around them. They travel, explore, and take great photos. You can visit their Instagram page to see all the amazing shots they make. Their obsession over image quality forced them to start developing products and accessories that help all those interested in photography to get the shot they want. They sell drones, camera filters, cinema rigs, lens protection, and many more.
To help other enthusiasts, PolarPro team decided to create an ultimate tool – an app that provides all necessary settings for a camera or drone. We were excited to participate in such a project – so we dived deep into the PolarPro app development.
Cross-platform app development: difficult but rewarding
There are two main approaches to app development. One is to create separate apps for iOS and Android platforms. It’s more cost- and time-consuming way. Also when your app works only on one platform, you lose the audience that uses another one.
The second approach is to build a cross-platform app that will work seamlessly on all operational systems. It requires more expertise – it’s not an easy task to make all the features and details of the app design adaptable to any platform where you run it. But the cross-platform app has powerful competitive advantages:
- less time- and resource-consuming
Developers utilize the same code on multiple platforms – that reduces costs and time frames of the development.
- further updates and maintenance is fast and easy
Since there is one codebase, the initial deployment and further changes to the app is much faster and are made simultaneously on all platforms.
- wider audience reach
The app reaches users on all devices which leads to increased revenues.
Pros of cross-platform development are apparent. Luckily our team was one of the first to start using React Native – robust technology that allows creating flawlessly-working cross-platform apps. Knowing about our experience and expertise, guys from PolarPro team came to S-PRO to turn their idea into a real solution.
Crafting an ultimate tool for photographers
The perfect camera that will take flawless shots hasn’t yet been invented, so the photographer must use filters and special settings to get a beautiful picture. We needed to provide PolarPro with all functions necessary to customize filters for a specific situation with specific conditions so users would be able to take the picture they want. The app settings must be flexible as the users may take photos of different complexity level: fast-moving objects, sea splashes, sunlight, etc.
We provided PolarPro app with features that make it a must-have tool for photographers:
- choosing the needed filter to get the shutter speed double the frame rate
This function ensures that the photo will be exactly as the photographer expects it to be. The app analyzes the features and settings of the camera or drone and determines the most optimal filter and its options.
- the calculator of exposure time for long-exposure photos
Long-exposure photos are achieved by using longer shutter speed and allows to render things in a way traditional photography doesn’t: an extended period of time. It allows seeing the trails of brights moving objects. PolarPro app calculator defines a needed exposure and ensures that the photo will be exactly the same as the user expects it to be.
- live wind and weather forecasts for user locations
PolarPro app provides the user with information about weather conditions so the photographer can take them into account when preparing for the shooting.
- KP index
KP index measures the amount of geomagnetic disturbance for the user’s location.
- countdown and alerts for the golden hour
Golden hour is a period just after the sunrise of before the sunset when the sun is the softest. Its lengths depend on location, time of the year, and weather conditions. PolarPro app will notify the user about the beginning of the golden hour.
- showing zones where using of drones is prohibited
An important feature to avoid involuntary law violation.
Challenges, challenges, challenges
We at S-PRO love challenging projects, and PolarPro app was one of them. We faced a few challenges that we have successfully accepted:
- complicated UI/UX design crafting
Android and iOS devices have a pretty different layout, so creating one app that will work seamlessly on any gadget, is quite a task. The design of PolarPro app is minimalistic and uncluttered, but it has animations. That added complexity to the cross-platform development.
- finding a “one-size-fits-all” solution
It’s easier to have a small target audience, whose tastes and preferences are known, and create a product specifically for its needs. When it comes to the app for photographers, the task becomes harder – this hobby unites people of all ages and professions. So we needed to create an app that will be intuitive and convenient for a large number of potential users. Trying to create a universal app that will reach a wide range of masses is hard because there is always a risk of creating a faceless product with no identity.
- implementing weather widget and golden hour alerts
The challenge was to integrate weather widget in such a way so it won’t affect the speed of the app download and work. Users can choose several locations, and the app provides accurate information about current weather conditions in all of them.
After 3 months of development, we released PolarPro app in the App Store and Google Play. It’s a powerful tool both for professional and amateur photographers, and we hope that more and more people will discover it and start using.
PolarPro team’s experience in photography and our expertise in cross-platform app development allowed us to craft a handy tool to take photos of different complexity. We are really proud to be a part of this project.