Developing an iPhone Client for a Social Network Service

OData support
Supervisor:
Dr. Kelényi Imre
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

Nowadays smartphones are widely available as their market has exploded in the recent years. This process was led by Apple with the 2007 launch of the iPhone. At that time this device was considered to deliver revolutionary solutions, and now the iOS platform is still one of the industry leading players.

With the help of smartphones, the internet became available wherever and whenever needed, therefore computer free access to the increasingly popular social networks became a daily phenomenon. Meanwhile in addition to general purpose systems, more and more companies attempted to launch theme or location specific networks that also offer additional services. The young communities of universities are particularly fond of social initiatives. Students’ studies can help build more connections among them in a system designed especially for their needs.

During my project I have developed an iOS client, optimized for iPhone or iPod Touch. The application connects to a social network server aimed especially at university students. Prior to developing the program, I got familiar with the platform from a developers perspective. First I had to learn the Objective-C language and then examine the core iOS SDK technologies that were required for my project. Building the structure of the application, establishing network connections with the server and implementing the Core Data based local data storage were some of the key steps of the development process.

The result is the „BME Social” application, which offers basic services of social networks. After registration, users can edit their personal profile, and upload an avatar picture to complete it. They are able to search for other users, view their profiles, mark them as friends, which they are notified of. But beyond these traditional services, students can share their studies, and use them to build connections. They have the ability to view the available courses of each semester, browse through their lessons or signed up attendees, and they can also apply for them. The students can display their applied courses in a timetable with a daily view, and they are able to check the timetables of their friends.

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