Developing a feed reader application with rich multimedia support for Android platform

OData support
Dr. Forstner Bertalan
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

Solutions for acquiring and presenting contents of news channels are available on almost every IT platform supporting network communication and capable of displaying user interface. During technological changes quite a lot of standards have been born to facilitate the access to the news sources. By the introduction of the smartphone platforms, mobile environments reached the level of being capable of supporting content sharing methods which allow written news to be extended with visual and audiovisual content. Multimedia content enriches the news; however, its appliance raises several issues regarding software development and user expectations.

The aim of my thesis project is to design and implement an Android news reader client application that supports rich media content by adopting the Podcasting technology, which is a popular standard used for multimedia news casting. While numerous mobile platforms already provide Podcasting-based news reader solutions, the existing applications usually lack of functions providing efficient methods for managing media content, advanced user profiles handling (notifications, restrictions), and news sharing. The imperfections of the current applications justify the demand for further development in order to match increasing user expectations.

My thesis work summarizes the technological issues of rich media content news sharing. It discusses the Podcasting standard, a technology suitable for bringing rich news reading functionality to the mobile platforms, as well as the already existing mobile client solutions. After presenting mobile OS available nowadays, the properties of the chosen target platform (Android) is summarized. The outline of the news reader application’s development process is based on the experience gained during the research period. The thesis provides a detailed view regarding the steps of application design including related design decisions as well as their motivation. The goal of the project was to provide a robust application with rich functionality by adopting software design patterns and the philosophy of loosely coupled systems.

Considering modern design paradigms and user expectations allows the application to be well usable and also facilitates further development. Evaluation of the system including ideas for improvements is presented as the conclusion of the thesis.


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