On a sunny, summer day in California, it’s common to see people gearing up and heading to the beach to relax and have a good time. So me and my friends headed out to Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach to do just that. When we got there, it was around golden hour, and with me and another friend, having just gotten the new Pixel 2, we decided to take some pictures and test out the so-called “highest rated camera, ever”. An hour later as the sun was setting, we had amassed a decent number of good pictures, and decided to call it a day. Before everyone went their separate ways, we all agreed to send each other the pictures on Google Drive. It’s been 2 months since that day, and most of those pictures have never seen the light of day. Everyone who took pictures forgot to post them; however, some pictures were sent through text messages and it was clear the picture quality had deteriorated. The issue was that even though uploading to Google Drive is relatively simple, none of us really wanted to go through the effort of doing it, even when it was for others to have those pictures. Emailing wouldn’t have been a viable solution either, since most email providers have a relatively low limit for image attachments in emails. There are not many ways to request to get full quality pictures from people, as the options are somewhat limited. Having to constantly poke the person with the pictures over and over to send them is the exact reason why we wanted an app like this and when a friend actually remembers to send you the pictures, they usually get sent over Facebook Messenger or through texting and get compressed to save bandwidth. Experiences like this, along with many other similar ones, were the main driving force behind why we wanted to build this app; to solve this specific problem.
What it does
Picme is a simple and easy-to-use, finely-tuned, and multi-directional picture sharing and requesting solution. While many apps giver users the ability to send or share pictures with others, not many give the ability to request and send pictures in full, non compressed quality. Picme is the perfect middle ground for those looking for a way to get high quality pictures from friends, without having to bother them over and over to upload to Google Drive. As a bridge between many polarizing picture sharing platforms, Picme allows users to connect with friends easily and request or send pictures to each other. Whether it’s the pictures you just took at your hangout, the quality pictures of the beautiful sunset on the beach you took on your new Pixel 2, or just that random aesthetic photo you took of your dog that you have to send to all your friends, Picme can help you send or request any pictures of anything, anytime.
How we built it
We used Android Studio and Firebase. Android Studio was used to build the app and Firebase was used for the backend storage; it handled sending/retrieving images, saving user data, etc.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into a lot of problems with Firebase. Firebase, although brilliantly intuitive, can be very limited. For instance, we cannot save arrays to Firebase, so we had to come up with creative ways to send multiple images to multiple people efficiently. We also ran into many issues with the Firebase storage that resulted in a lot of time-consuming bugs that were increasingly difficult to fix and gave us a lot of trouble. For the most part, the issues with Firebase were the biggest challenges we ran into and were the ones that took the most time to fix and polish.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The biggest accomplishment we are proud of is the fact that this was our first hackathon, so we were worried at first about not being able to finish. We had no experience prior to this event of creating a project and completing it in such a short time frame, so it was a big goal for us to finish the app in time. In addition to this, we are all only second years, so we didn't have the knowledge or experience of doing something like his in the first place. We were able to finish in the time frame, so that was definitely an accomplishment we were proud of. We were
What we learned
Three of us came in with virtually no knowledge of Java or android studio. For the most part, us three now are much more competent at using Android Studio and knowing what it has to offer. Additionally we were able to learn a lot about Java and how to use it in a practical way to build Android apps. For the most part, our knowledge of programming was linear and we know only what we learned in class. This event allowed us to take that knowledge of concepts and ideas and turn in it into an app that has actual purpose in the real world. It was a great learning experience on how to practically apply the knowledge that we learned in class.
What's next for Picme
This is our second app under our software development company, Necessitate. Since this was an app idea that we had planned on making from before this Hackathon, and since we are already a team together, we are planning on continuing on with and refining this app. In addition to cleaning up the code, we plan on implementing as many of the features that we wanted to add that we couldn’t due to to the limited time. Once we have a stable version with all the features, we plan on publishing this app in the Google Play Store under our Necessitate dev account and a marketing plan to bring this app in front of as many eyes as possible.