The FreeBeer app idea was conceived with a vision to help people easily find free beers in London city. To keep the users engaged at all times, the client wanted the app to not simply show the nearby free beer offers but also special offers from the partnering bars, when the first come first serve free beers were not available. New bars could sign up as a partner on the app and upload offers to start showing up in the bars list.
With features like try new drink brands, explore new bars & venues and join free beer events, the app allows users to explore the various beer brands and venues they like and claim a free drink or ongoing special offers on them. The users are entitled to claim 2 free beers or other selected drinks per night.
Keeping the user base in mind, the client decided to develop the FreeBeer mobile application for both iOS and android platforms. OnGraph’s mobile app development team used Swift 5.0 and Kotlin programming languages to develop the native iOS and android app respectively. We developed the backend in PHP for admin control and reports. FreeBeer is now available as a free to download full-fledged application for users on both App Store and Play Store.
Building a mobile application like FreeBeer for both iOS and android posed some unique challenges for the team. As we started the development process, and progressed through modules, we encountered these issues one by one. Addressing these challenges was important to make the application highly intuitive and engaging for users.
For the app to be highly relevant and useful, It was utmost important to show the users a list of nearest bars serving free beers and other special discounts. This required knowing a user’s real time location to fetch a list of nearest bars running the offers at the time.
For a bar finding app like FreeBeer, users expect to find a myriad of options so that they can choose a free beer bar that also qualifies for their other preferences such as ambience, live music, cuisine type etc.
We had to develop an offer system for partnering bars and venues. Every bar had their own unique offers, discounts and ways of redemption that they wanted to show but, to a limited number of users or to users in a particular nearby area.
Almost every app needs a share functionality. Being able to share information drives engagement as well as user retention. We had to create a share bar and share beer feature for both ios and android applications so that users can easily send the information to friends in their network.
We built the FreeBeer app with the latest technologies and frameworks to ensure application stability and performance. Our dedicated mobile app development experts successfully found solutions and fixed the above mentioned challenges within the delivery timeframe. The team solved the challenges with futuristic approach as described below:
We used Google place and map API’s to track the real time location of users. We used this to sort and index the bars as per a user’s location. Starting from the nearest bar serving free beers or offering special discounts, we then displayed a list of bars for the user. This way users did not have to set their location manually and got instant access to relevant offers quickly.
Since there were a lot of free beer bars for every location in the city of London and neighbourhoods showing all of them on MapView was a bit tricky. We used Google Map clustering and customised it to cluster and group all the nearby or attached bars with a marker to show more that 1000+ bars on a single mapview
We created an admin panel for FreeBeer partner bars. Using the admin panel, these bars can create and manage free beer offers and special discounts for users. Users on the other hand can claim the free offers using the app. For paid offers and discounts we integrated Paypal as the payment gateway to process transactions.
We used Branch to enable deep linking in android and ios versions of the app. We created a unique link for each bar and the offer id. Once a user clicked on the share icon, the bar information was compressed and the share bar information screen was opened. This way users could share particular beer offers or bar information easily.