By dealing often with apps of various uses, kinds and purposes, people come across bugs and problems quite often. Thanks to the development and creation of Plugable, we try to end the long waiting times and frustration of people towards the inability of a program to function properly.
What it does
Our project is a service that enables the user of a mobile application to directly connect with a developer in charge of the issue. Thanks to this the tech specialist will be able to control the app (and only the app) and test the various problems described by the user. By extracting and then re-rendering the interface from the phone to the computer our platform consents a very low use of bandwidth, making this a service accessible to practically anyone in the world. From rural areas to big cities, anyone with a problem will have the opportunity to directly get in touch with a developer and get their bugs fixed. This way, not only users will want to keep using their current apps, but they will also feel more satisfied and will overall enjoy more their time spent on the device.
How we built it
Our platform consists of a server and two clients. The server is implemented via web sockets, which allow the connection between the two clients, and uses the CockroachDB database to store the issues and names of the complaints. The server is hosted on AWS, which enables the exchange of data between the clients. The web type of client (developer/tech assistant) is built using React.js while the mobile side (user) is built using the Android framework.
Challenges we ran into
One of the biggest challenges we faced was being able to get the UI from a running application, which took up a good chunk of time. Even setting up a P2P WebSocket connection between the two clients turned out to be more challenging that we had first thought. We kept on getting error messages that we had difficulty tracking down and finding their root cause. Luckily, by working as a team we always managed to find a solution and resolve our problems.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
As a team, we're all very proud of being able to successfully render the UI from the mobile to the web client. It was definitely one of the hardest and most complex parts of our codebase and the moment that successfully transmitted the mobile view was one that brought to us great joy. We're also proud of having been able to come up with an idea that we all believed in, that was different from many others we had been hearing of, and sticking to it until the very end, making us capable of delivering a finished, functional and visually pleasant product.
What we learned
Over these 36 hours we each learned new skills that we did not know previously as well as touch upon some previous knowledge. We got to work closely with one another, developing better communication and teamwork skills. Dealing with weird bugs and lack of sleep definitely hasn't been easy, although by working together all these factors have been highly mitigated.
What's next for Plugable
We plan to continue working and improving the app so that we can include a system of authentication for the developers of various companies to log in to, add support for iOS to reach more customers, enhancing the developer interface to include more features to communicate and send reports to the clients and making the product open source to enable any company to implement it in their own apps.
How to use
Refer to our GitHub repository for instructions on how to use.