I started developing LMR a few months into the Coronavirus pandemic when feeling socially distant was on my mind almost every day. Yearning for more connection and a greater sense of community online was a big part of my inspiration for this project. People already use social medias like Snapchat and Instagram to share their lives with and connect with others, even if you can't be physically near them. I created LMR because I wanted to help users share their posts across social medias, specifically, from Instagram to Snapchat. This tool will help grow people's online community, and allow for more engaging interaction across social media.
What it does
LMR allows you to log into your instagram, and share a post from your feed to Snapchat. This post is imported to snapchat as a sticker which you can take a picture with and position anywhere on the screen. Once you share this snap, friends can then swipe up on this view the post in Snapchat's native browser without having to go search for it elsewhere.
How I built it
I decided to build this app near the beginning of quarantine so most of the brainstorming and planning I just did on the whiteboard in my room. I started by listing everything I needed to learn/test for this project, the three major components being Swift/Xcode, the Instagram API, and the Snapchat API. Once I felt sure I could work with all three I began developing the app, starting with the simplest possible version and working my way up from there.
Challenges I ran into
I had a tough time working with the Instagram API because they just came out with a new one and didn't provide an SDK like SnapKit that makes it easy for developers.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I'm proud that I was able to complete the app on my own, and that I get to share it with my friends very soon.
What I learned
Since this was my first major project in the field of computer science, I had the same realization that I think a lot of young programmers have which is that everything takes about ten times longer than you think. Whether it was getting familiar with an API, learning how to store encrypted data, or finalizing the UI to be compatible with any iOS device, I could never estimate how long each step would take, and often found myself spending days on something I thought I could accomplish in just a few hours.
What's next for Like My Recent (LMR)
LMR is currently being reviewed by Snapchat and once that goes through I will put it on the App Store and share it with friends. I'm hoping the practical feature that it adds to both snapchat and Instagram will be useful for a variety of users.