Managing your Aiir Mobile App
The Mobile Apps section in Aiir lets you manage your Aiir iOS and Android apps.
- Apps and Stations
- Preparing a new app
- Updating an existing app
- Now playing data
- The home screen
- Switching stations
Registration with the Apple Developer Program is required to release an iOS application. Enrollment costs 99 USD per year, and stations should register for this directly with Apple.
You must register your company as an Organisation with Apple, rather than creating a personal developer account. This allows you to invite Aiir's Apple ID in to your account so we can perform app release tasks on your behalf without having to share a username/password.
When your app is submitted to Apple, either for the first time, or for an update, it enters a queued approval process. Apple will manually check over the app to ensure it meets their guidelines, and the app will not be available in the App Store until they have given their approval. This process can take up to 2 weeks, although it is normally completed in 7 days.
Apps need to be re-submitted to the App Store if the app icon or name needs to be changed, for which Aiir will charge an administration cost.
Customers should register their own Android developer account. There is a one time cost for Android developer accounts of $25.
As with Apple, once setup it is possible to invite Aiir's Google Play account in to the newly created team to perform app release tasks.
Unlike iOS, when an app is submitted to appear in the Google Play store, there is no approval process. Your app will be available for download within a couple of hours of submission.
The first thing you'll see when you open the Mobile Apps section of Aiir is a list of the mobile apps in your organisation.
New mobile apps can only be set up by our team as there is a cost for each app, so contact us if you'd like to discuss creating a new app.
Apps contain one or more stations. Stations can be created in the Stations section of Aiir.
Once a station is assigned to an app, only people who have been given access to that station will be able to edit that app's properties.
If more than one station is assigned to an app, then anyone who has access to at least one of the stations will be able to edit the app.
An app's properties include its name, the choice of stations, and whether notifications are enabled.
Everything else belongs to each station, including the logo, navigation, streams, home screen and interaction options.
To edit any of those, head to the Stations tab within Mobile Apps where you'll find a list of stations.
If a station has been added to more than one mobile app, its properties apply to all the apps it appears in.
To prepare a new app for the iOS App Store and/or Google Play Store, you'll need to:
- Register for the respective app store developer accounts and give us access.
- Fill out the properties of the station(s) that will appear in the app, including the logos, streams, navigation and home screen.
- Add the station(s) to the app, and if there is more than one, select the primary station.
- Fill out the app's store metadata, including its name, keywords and descriptions.
- Design the required artwork assets, including splash screen (appears while the app is loading) and icon.
Some changes to mobile apps require them to be re-submitted to the respective app stores, which involves manual admin work by our team and a wait for the 3rd parties to approve the updates.
Most changes don't require this. You can update the properties of stations, such as logos, colour schemes, streams, navigation items and interactions without having to submit an update to the stores for your app.
However if you wish to change app store metadata (name, description, keywords), or the splash screen or icon artwork, then you'll need to prepare a re-submission.
From the list of apps, select "Prepare update..." alongside the app you wish to update. You'll see a screen which gives you all the options that can be updated.
You can work on an update and save your progress, should you wish to come back and complete it later.
Once you have finished all the updates you'd like to make, you can submit the information to us for processing. At this stage, you can still make further changes, until we change the status of the app to say it is being 'processed'. Once this happens, you can no longer make changes to the information you submitted for the update, until we have submitted it to the app stores and it has been reviewed and approved by Apple and Google.
Apps are most effective when a station is sending data from their playout system to Aiir.
You can set this up by going to the Stations app in the main menu.
Great care should be taken when attempting to replace app logos. They must be in PNG format with a transparent background, so that the app's background colour can show through. They must also sit well on a dark background, the top bar of the app must use a bold colour.
The minimum requirement for an app is to provide a stream which sits in the 'High' setting. If this is all that is provided, the High stream will be used at all times.
If a 'Low' stream is also provided, it will be used by the app when it is more appropriate to use a lower quality stream.
On iOS, the low stream will be used whenever the device is on a cellular (non Wi-Fi) connection, as iOS is not capable of detecting the difference between 2G, 3G and 4G for this purpose.
On Android, the low stream will only be used on 2G and 3G, while the high stream will be used on 4G and Wi-Fi.
Supported stream formats include MP3, AAC and AAC+. AAC+ is considered the most cost effective as it is capable of producing a higher quality stream at a lower bitrate than MP3.
The navigation part of the apps can be edited at any time, and each item can be scheduled to appear and disappear.
You can add links to the mobile pages provided as part of the app, or any web page.
We provide a set of suitable icons, although it is possible to add any icon you wish.
The home screen in our iOS and Android apps currently looks different. Android has a web browser which we point to our RadioFeed page, while iOS has what we call the "home feed".
The feed on iOS has a square at the top which shows what is currently playing, and underneath there is a space which you can customise.
To add and manage sections in this space, go to the Mobile App section in Aiir, then the Stations section, select your station, and then select the 'Home Feed' tab.
When you add an item to the feed, you'll see there's a "Source type" menu which gives you a few options. If you'd like to be able to link through to any content you don't see there, you'll need the Sectional option, but first you need to have created a sectional for this purpose over in the Sectionals app.
There are various advertising opportunities in the apps.
Pre-Roll, banner, scheduled feed, and playout feed ads are all managed in the Advertising section of Aiir.
If you add more than one station to your app, you can allow switching between stations.
To do this, edit each station in turn, and go to the Navigation section, where you should add an item which links to the preset "Station Select" page.
In some cases it is appropriate for the app to ask the user which station they would like to listen to when they first open the app.
The option to enable this is currently only available to our support team, so contact us if you would like to use this in your app.