Entertainment

Dolby On


A recording studio in your pocket

Polidea’s team delivered Dolby On—iOS and Android native mobile applications for audio recording and processing in videos and songs.

Project scope

iOS

Android

Testing

UX/UI

Record or stream with just a tap, then let Dolby On instantly take care of the sound quality with advanced and automatic audio processing. Want more control? Make it your own with audio Styles—like photo filters for audio—or go deeper with more processing controls.

When you’re ready, Dolby On makes it easy to reach your fans or collaborators in all the right places or to integrate your Dolby On recordings and streams into your favorite content creation workflows.

Polidea has proven to be an excellent long-term partner and essential part of our ongoing development strategy. From the very beginning, Polidea helped us visualize and better understand our product with great clarity and efficiency. The team has consistently provided world-class app development and design, as well as exceptional strategy and project management resources.

Philip Nicol

Director, Corporate Strategy & Development,Dolby

The project

The Dolby team approached us, looking for a partner in mobile app development. Apart from development and testing, we’ve provided support for UX design as well.

In the beginning, the task involved developing a native iOS app (45% of smartphone users in the US have iPhones). The first version of the app was released in the States only and consisted of Dolby’s proprietary audio processing feature, sound editing tools, audio processing in videos, Instagram sharing, and basic live streaming on Facebook. While working on a streaming feature, we applied a real-time messaging protocol (RTMP), which provides high-performance transmission of audio, video, and data from an encoder to a server, that distributes the signal across the Internet. In the following months and milestones, we implemented more seamless and advanced UX and UI (e.g. redesigned sound tools), as well as added more features: a metronome and an option for importing files from the camera roll.

The Android project kicked off a few months after the iOS but is not far behind! Thanks to the first project, we got to know the client’s and users’ needs very well, which is why working on the Android app was much simpler. So far, most of the above features—except for metronome, and file importing—have been developed for a native Android mobile app as well.

The Dolby apps rely heavily on audio and image recording, playback, and processing. When it comes to the latter, the apps use the revolutionary audio processing technology developed and maintained by the client. This technology automatically analyzes recorded audio to contextually apply a series of audio processes designed by Dolby, including noise reduction, dynamic EQ, compression, limiting, spatial effects, and more. Our engineers successfully connected these audio processing libraries to the app’s infrastructure and applied AVFoundation framework for iOS and Android media API and ExoPlayer for Android for high-quality audio/image recording and playback.

The look of the mobile apps required special care from our developers too—both apps have custom UI and some unique animations (for example, the audio visualization on the recording screen, implemented with OpenGL).

Throughout the whole Android and iOS development process, we relied heavily on the users’ feedback—from setting up the first milestones to testing each new feature individually. This user-driven approach motivated us to make the apps accessible for the blind and visually impaired, which is why iOS supports VoiceOver and Android—TalkBack.

Dolby On mobile app

Our process and cooperation

At Polidea, we had two teams—one for iOS and one for Android. Counting the client’s people based in the US, Australia, and Europe, it has definitely been the most spread out project in terms of time zones (trying to coordinate a meeting was a challenge itself). This is why we wanted to pay special attention to the process and make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. As always, we applied the Agile approach (sprints, demos, retros, daily stand-ups, etc). We were also organizing crowd testing meetings with people within the project, and special updates where every team member could explain his or her tasks to the rest of the team, which helped to minimize the knowledge silos.

It was crucial to us to keep in touch regularly with the Dolby team—it helped us build a partnership and mutual trust. We maintained contact mainly through Slack and weekly calls, but we also managed to organize a couple of on-site visits in the US and in our Warsaw office.

What was unique about our process was the involvement of a DevOps. The project was spread among few teams in 3 different time zones, which from time to time led to the bottleneck (if there was a temporary downtime in the project build machines, we had to wait for the client’s team on the other side of the world to start a day and fix it). This is why, after some time, our DevOps took over the maintenance of the project build machines from the client, which ensured a smoother development process. He also focused on improving the environment’s functionality for speed and stability.

What’s next?

The results of our work? Stable native mobile apps with fantastic reviews (4.8 on App Store) and a great collaboration with the client.

The Dolby On project is still…on! We’re currently working on some new features. However, you can already enjoy both apps—iOS is available worldwide, Android too, except for Cuba, Guinea, Iran, Micronesia, and Sudan.

Stay tuned for the updates!

Interested in the project?

Set up a call to learn more!


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