Introducing the Flips App: Picture Your Words

by: | May 21, 2015

We’ve been busy this week. Busy sending each other Flips — and I gotta say, it’s pretty addictive.

iOS App Store download buttonWe’re excited to share the news of our most recently launched app project, Flips, a messaging app that combines your photos and videos with your words. It’s now available in the iOS App Store.

Designed for anyone interested in adding a little more life and fun to their messages, the Flips app lets you capture a photo or a one-second video Flips App Iconsnippet, pair it with a word, and send it to a friend. Want to send a whole sentence? Pair each word with a photo or video snippet and Flips will turn your message into a flipbook-style video. It’s easy and fun!

As you build up your library of assigned words, your Flip messages become more customized and engaging. And since your images and video snips are assigned to individual words, you’ll rarely create the same message twice – the combinations are truly endless. And if you’re the first, then you get to be the trailblazer and invite your friends to join so you can start sending awesome Flips to each other.

The Flips App Project

The team behind Flips came to ArcTouch and the project formally kicked off with a Strategy session. Over the course of three  days, we worked side by side with the Flips team to take the original idea and evolve it into an MVP app for iOS.

As we entered the Design phase, we spent a lot of effort working through the user experience. To be true to the spirit of the app’s output — a visually engaging message — we wanted the process of creating the messages to be much different than sending a plain-old text. And because there are several steps to create and send a Flip, we iterated through multiple designs to make sure it was intuitive and stimulating.

Flips App Development Milestones and Challenges

This was the first app we built from start to finish using Apple’s Swift programming as the primary language. We did use some Objective-C in the source code, but overall, the team was pleased with the ease and simplicity that Swift offers.

The biggest challenge in developing the app was in dealing with how to cache the media files in order to maintain good performance, while remaining mindful of the device’s available local storage. Sending text is easy — dealing with larger photo and video files becomes much more difficult, especially when you factor in the screen-size variations of the iPhone 4, 5, 6 and 6 Plus. We did a lot of internal testing and beta testing to find the right balance between optimizing for file size of the message being sent and the quality of the videos and photos as they are viewed on the recipient’s iPhone.

We know first-hand this app can be wildly entertaining. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Read More about Flips here: