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Migration from Layer

Posted by awesomecube on August 7, 2019

           It is hard to imagine a modern app or website without a chat feature. Nowadays it has become a standard for healthcare, business, finance and marketplace apps and websites as well as MMORPG games to have a chat feature. Chat functionality is also widely used by dating websites and social networks and gains more popularity day by day.

           We have recently heard that on July 25th, 2019, Shaun VanWeelden, Head of Layer, announcing that they are ceasing all chat operations on October 30th, 2019. We understand this is a serious blow to current Layer customers when the service that you use for several years goes down. Our ConnectyCube team understands how difficult it is to migrate to another platform for customers and ready to help with migration and support them for the long term.

           Let’s compare the features provided by ConnectyCube and Layer, so that you can understand that when migrating to ConnectyCube you’ll also immediately benefit many additional features: https://connectycube.com/2018/09/12/product-comparison-connectycube-vs-sendbird-vs-applozic-vs-layer/

           ConnectyCube supports iOS (Swift and Objective-C), Android (Java and Kotlin), Web (JavaScript), ReactNative, Cordova and NativeScript platforms and make it easy to integrate, with ready to go front-end components.

          We provide SDKs for instant messaging, peer-to-peer and group audio/video calling for iOS (Swift and Objective-C), Android (Java and Kotlin), Web(JavaScript), ReactNative, Cordova and NativeScript platforms as well as REST API for those cases when you need to add some feature not available in SDKs or to write an app on another programming language. 

          Our main use cases are healthcare, social-apps, banking, recruiting, real-estate, marketplaces, educational-apps. ConnectyCube provides all needed features to make your to make your apps reliable, user-friendly and competitive on the market. 

          We offer a 10% discount off our pricing list for Enterprise customers for your first 6 months of subscription and additional 10% discount if you pay for 6 months in advance.

          We’ll be happy to discuss your requirements and help you with quick integrate with ConnectyCube.

Feel free to contact us.

Charlie

ConnectyCube JS code samples

Posted by Charlie on June 26, 2019
Hello there!
We would like to let you know that we split all the code samples into separated repositories in order to avoid any confusion.
Now, code samples are available following the links below:
  • React Native Chat & Video Chat code samples:

  •  Native Script Chat code samples:

  • Code samples materials for Apache Cordova/PhoneGap

  • React bootstrap project

  • Webpack integration example

Should any problem arise just contact us!
iris

How to Share Favorite Content Easily with Mobile Deep Linking

Posted by iris on June 19, 2019

Need to show an image shared earlier in chat to a friend?

It is convenient if users can just provide their friends with a link to it instead of explaining its exact location in chat.

Deep linking can help with this task.

There are several types of mobile deep linking: URI schemes, Android app links, universal links, Chrome intents, Facebook app links.

So, what’s the difference between them?

URI Schemes

URI schemes utilize a uniform resource identifier (URI) that links to a particular location within the app. Just like URL is a website address, URI is the address for an app on a mobile device.

URI schemes can look as follows:

twitter://some_link

myapp://some_link

fb://profile/12345567

The advantage of this approach is that it is easy to set up. However, the user’s device can recognize it only if the app is already installed on the device.
There was a workaround for fallback using a https link to launch a browser, but Apple has blocked it in 2015 with the release of Universal Links solution.  

Android App Links

These are deep links based on your website URL. It’s a normal https link and should be recognized everywhere. Therefore this URL must be verified to belong to your website in order to be used.  

Here is an example how it may look:

https://chat.your_domain.com/some_link 

Android app links are supported in Android 6.0 (API level 23) and higher versions.

However, this solution offers the following benefits:

– these links are secure and specific;

– seamless user experience;

– compatible with other platforms;

– fallback URL if app is not installed;

– Android Instant Apps support;

– engage users from Google search.

 

Apple iOS Universal Links

Universal links are iOS standard of the app links. It was introduced in iOS 9 as a solution supporting fallback functionality. These links are standard web links pointing to both the website and a particular content inside the app. If the app is installed on the device, the link opens it. Otherwise, the web URL is opened in Safari and redirects the user to download the app from App Store.

In fact these links are not universal, since major platforms like Facebook and Twitter do not support them.

And yet, Universal links have the following benefits:

– don’t ask for permission;

– don’t open the browser;

– these links are secure and specific;

– seamless user experience;

– compatible with other platforms;

– fallback URL if app is not installed.

Chrome Intents

Chrome intents are custom URI schemes built by Chrome team intended to provide fallback behavior when the app is not installed.

Nevertheless, Chrome intents are supported only by Android version of Chrome browser and some third-party apps.

As a result this complicates deep linking implementation since the app needs to support both the standard technologies and Chrome-specific ones.

Facebook App Links

Facebook app links are an open standard to solve the limitations of URI scheme deep links. Though it was very promising in the beginning, currently it can be used only by Facebook on Android, since facebook has removed the app links routing engine from everywhere except the main Android app.

 

Let’s check the core differences in the standards:

URI schemes Universal links Android app links Chrome intents Facebook app links
Destination app must be installed

Fallback behavior

Error

Opens link in web browser via separate server-side redirection Opens link in web browser via separate server-side redirection Opens Play Store link in a web browser, if used with Android Chrome and applications supported Opens link in a web browser if used with Facebook on  Android
Link format myapp://some_link https://mydomain.com/path_to_content https://mydomain.com/

path_to_content

intent://path_to_content#intent;

scheme=myapp;package=com.myapp;end

https://mydomain.com/

path_to_content

Mobile platform support – iOS < 9 *

– Android all versions

iOS 9 and higher Android 6.0 (API level 23) and higher ✩** ✩***
Requires server-side support
Validation method on server apple-app-site-association file in JSON format hosted on the server assetlinks.json file hosted on the server Meta tags in <head> section of web page destination of standard https link

*In iOS 9.3 Apple started blocking javascript in Safari which caused errors when the user tried to open URI scheme in browser if the app is not installed on the device

**Used by Android Chrome and a few other third-party apps only

***Supported only by Facebook on Android currently.

 

Other options

Deferred Deep Links

Standard deep links work only if the application is already installed on the device. If the app is not installed, standard deep links can lead the user to App Store or Play Store.
Unlike standard deep links, deferred deep links can keep the context of specific app content through the installation process and then take the user to the right place in the app after installation is completed.

However, deferred deep links are supported not by all platform currently:

– iOS does not support them;

– Android supports them only on the Google play store and does not support on non-Google app stores;

– Facebook’s Deep Linking for Mobile Install Ads technology. The developer can choose a specific place in the app where the user should be taken after app download, if a user taps on mobile app install ads on Facebook.

Contextual deep links

Contextual deep links are kind of deferred deep links with additional functionality.

These links store also information about the user’s target in the app, where the link was clicked, who shared the link originally and some other custom data you need.

These deep links were introduced by Branch company specialized in deep linking solutions.

Contextual deep links can help showing more relevant information to users.

 

Read more on this matter in upcoming articles.

iris

Awesome chat bot built with ConnectyCube platform makes the future better

Posted by iris on June 12, 2019

It is always better to see one real example with your own eyes than to hear of thousands of such examples.

Today we are proud to present a real use case story of awesome Sharing economy chat bot built with ConnectyCube platform by one of our customers. It is called Owle.

This awesome chat bot helps people to share spare things they have and find things they need.

Owle is built on ConnectyCube platform and intended to be used in Facebook messenger.

So, let’s have a quick tour together:

At first we get an option to add Owle on messenger:

Once it is added it provides us with several options to choose from.

To start with we want to get an idea of how it all works. So, we ask Owle about it.

We have an option to provide our Feedback to Owle as well.

Now we select Share item option and Owle requests information about the item we are sharing to complete its profile.

Once the required information is gathered, Owle shows the item profile and gives us Share and Edit options.

We choose Share and the item is shared. Now we see Share another item, What others are sharing and Menu options.

Let’s try Edit option and see what we get this time.

So, we get options for item profile editing (Name and Description, Photo, Location).

Now we want to view items we are sharing and edit them.

Here we can edit or delete any of them and share new items.

Now we are going to edit the description of Tesla e-bike.

We are adding a new description.

A-a-and it is done!

Now let’s see what other people are sharing.

So, we see some items shared at our location and there are options to View details and Contact the person sharing it. Also there are options to Show more items and go to Menu.

And now we’ll try to find some particular item.

Once Owle knows where and what we are looking for, it shows the result.

And some further options in case we do not like the results found.

Here we can choose to be notified if there are any new sharings of such items near the specified location in the future, for example.

 

Technical specification

 

– A chat bot shares partially the AI logic/flow between Facebook Messenger API and ConnectyCube Chat Bots API

– ConnectyCube Storage API  is used to store sharing items pictures

– ConnectyCube Users & Authorization API is used to connect Facebook users with ConnectyCube users

 

That’s it!

We really enjoyed this tour and applaud this bot. And you?

Charlie

Top 5 communication features for your HealthCare app you should implement with ConnectyCube

Posted by Charlie on June 6, 2019

Have you thought why HealthCare applications are so popular? We here have some thoughts on it. First of all, it’s faster. No need to go to the hospital, wait in line, just pick up the doctor and book an appointment whenever you want. Second, it is much cheaper generally. And the most important: no matter where you live you can get medical attention using the app, even if the hospital is miles away.

Popularity of such applications among users makes them very attractive for investors, so that a lot of developers study specifically this area, just jumping from one HealthCare project to another. This leads to a large amount of typical applications, which are not different from each other.

If you want to make difference, create valuable product, which can save lives, you should definitely add the following hot features to it.

  1. Chat Bot

    Are you able to determine which doctor you should book an appointment with at once if you haven’t experienced such symptoms before? We bet, no. Of course, if you have only one symptom it can be natural, but what if you have some strange set of troubles, which can be related to different diseases? Not all of us a good googlers, so that app should help user to choose the appropriate doctor to talk to. ConnectyCube offers chatbots implementation approach, which will help you to add this functionality to your app to make it user-friendly and competitive on market. Just imagine: now user can have brief chat with the bot, who can group all symptoms and suggest appropriate doctor without any need to take time of others, who can’t help with that specific disease. 


    You can develop intelligence of your chat by using Rasa, RiveScript or any other similar solution. Also, you can modify UI according to your needs and as as many features as you wish.

  2. Possibility to work with low Internet speed

    This might be the most important requirement for the HealthCare app stability. ConnectyCube server infrastructure is stable and reliable due to recent backend update and general optimization. Also, clientside SDKs offer automatic reconnect to chat in case connection is lost, may check the docs iOS, Android and Web. For video solution we offer SFU server, which has great advantage before regular peer-to-peer calls.

  3. Possibility to make audio and video calls

    Depends on the type of consultation patients might need audio or video call with doctor. Main idea of separation of such calls is that you can charge patients differently on different type of calls. ConnectyCube provides video and audio calling functionality for iOS, Android and Web so that you can make it cross-platform and easy to use both for doctors and patients.

  4. Consultation’s history

    Possibility to retrieve previous chat/videochat sessions is very important part of every application. ConnectyCube saves chat history and stores it on server, so that developer can easily get all messages, convert to .json and save to file. If you do not wish to provide chat history to all users, but have a requirement to provide it by request it is possible to download needed chat history via ConnectyCube admin panel.

    While saving chat history functionality is quite simple thing for developer, videorecording is very complicated and resource intensive process, which not every modern device can handle. According to our research implementing client-side recording makes sense only with some new iOS devices and only for 1-1 calls. Some Android devices now started to correspond hardware requirements as well, so that we decided to start client-side recording feature development for them as well. To avoid device’s overload and make this functionality simple and easy-to-integrate ConnectyCube offers server-side videorecording, which performed automatically, can just purchase addon alsong with SFU server and make simple adjustments to enjoy this functionality. This will fit if you need not only 1-1 calls, but group calls recording as well.

  5. Different attachment’s type

    What can be easier? Why do we need different attachments type if we can just put everything in doc pdf and be done with that? It’s not so, actually. What, if the doctor needs to check previous consultation, not just general summary, but full examination? Or you need to send the X-rays to your doctor without decreasing the quality. That is very important to support different attachments types and ConnectyCube has implemented this, just follow the documentation for iOS, Android and Web 

 

That’s top-5 hot features, which will make your application user-friendly and convenient to use, but there are lot more! Just checkout ConnectyCube HealthCare use case page, where we described basic features for HealthCare apps.

ConnectyCube team constantly works on the product development to help our customers with projects. Stay tuned, a lot of new features are on the way!