Everybody has those days when they feel down. Maybe they just had a rough day or got into an argument with someone they love. Many people retreat to social media in order to escape those tough times. We saw this as an opportunity to create a mobile application in order to counteract such negative feelings. EmotiBlast helps bring about a positive change in one's mood.
How it works
EmotiBlast is an Android mobile application that allows the user to select an emoji icon that represents how they are feeling. Based upon their selection, the app will load a variety of media for the user. If the user feels happy, cool, or excited, they will receive images and quotes that further encourage their positive mood. However, if the user is feeling sad, angry, or stressed, then EmotiBlast will load pictures to help change their mood for the better.
On the back-end, EmotiBlast utilizes a Google API to connect to an online list of URLs. This list is editable by us, the creators of the app. The URLs within the list are links to image files that will be shown on various screens. Based on which emotion the user selected in the app, EmotiBlast will use the API to connect to a specific section in the list of URLs and load the images from there. The use of the API allows the set of images to be updated without the need to release frequent updates of the entire application. It also eliminates the need for hard-coding certain images in the app, therefore decreasing download size of EmotiBlast.
On the front-end, EmotiBlast first displays a layout of six emoticons. When one is tapped, the user is brought to the new view, the feed for emotion-based content. The structure is a simple display, containing an image view, an emotion icon, and forward and back arrows. By keeping the flow simple, the users can focus more on being positive, rather than getting lost within the app.
Challenges we ran into
During this process, one of the most challenging parts was formatting the Android app to work on both smartphones and tablets, as well as implementing the Google API. We wanted to make sure EmotiBlast was runnable on both types of devices without a significant loss of aesthetic appeal between the two. Therefore, we had to make sure that the layout of the app was not hardcoded to a specific set of dimensions. Implementing the Google API was even more challenging - using it to access an online list of URLs and making the app only retrieve a certain set of those URLs (based on the user's initial choice of emotion) was something that required the most technical experience for us, for EmotiBlast needed to be able to display the images without storing them permanently on the mobile phone. Altogether, the API allowed for the images to be updated without needing to reinstall the app, and it helps save space on the user's phone.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
As the creators of EmotiBlast, we are proud to have made a fully-functional Android mobile application that is available on the Google Play Store. Our app is also able to effectively use a Google API to access specific data based on the user's actions within the app. This app can benefit the community by promoting positive emotions and reducing stress.
What we learned
During this process, we learned how to use Android Studio to create an Android app. We also learned about Google APIs and how to use them to retrieve specific sets of data. Finally, we had a great first-time experience of creating an app from start to finish in under 24 hours!
What's next for EmotiBlast
We would like to expand the functionality of our app by creating a server specifically for EmotiBlast. We would use this server to increase the number of images available for each emotion. We can also include other forms of media, such as videos and sound clips. Furthermore, we want to add a community aspect, where people can see which emotions other people have tapped and pictures they have liked.