Thursday, November 24, 2022
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How We Developed Audio Tour Guide App That Gained 1.5 Million Downloads

Imagine you are on a holiday.

You want to explore the hidden places of the city.

Or you want to know the history behind these spots.

You want a tour guide who will help you truly explore the city. Unfortunately, you are not able to find one who can help you to explore the places. As we have an app for everything nowadays, why can’t we have an app that works as a tourist guide and helps us to travel as per our choice?

Before we talk about the tour guide app, let’s share some statistics related to the travel guide. As of 2021, the travel and tourism market is about to reach more than $430,753 million. Additionally, the revenue is seen at an annual growth rate of 17.13%, which is projected to reach a market volume of $949,579 million by 2026.

Are you still waiting for the perfect time to build a customized audio tour guide app solution? Don’t wait anymore and take action right away.

We have built an audio guide system that helped our client to get immense exposure as well as helped his business to get 1.5 million users. In this case study, we will explain how our mobile app developers built an audio guide system using Java and Swift.

Initial Idea of Offline Tour Guide App

No doubt that Hawaii is the world’s largest island chain and everyone would love to explore the breathtaking views of Hawaii.

But how to do it?

How would you choose the starting and end of the journey at your convenience?

How to get the exact information about the location as soon as you reach the destination?

How to customize itinerary?

Our client recognized this issue after reaching Hawaii. The tourists were finding it tough to get the right tour guide to help them explore the scenic beauty of the Hawaiian islands. That is when the idea of building an offline audio tour guide app stuck in our client’s mind. He contacted us to develop a custom tour guide app. An app that works offline as well.

Understanding the overall details, we build a custom mobile app solution specifically for Hawaiian and their neighboring islands. Because in Hawaii, tourists were finding it challenging to search for the right personal guide who can help them explore from the beautiful beaches to the deep forests without being disconnected.

Our Client found these 5 core challenges:

  1. 64% of tourists were finding it challenging to relax and travel at their own pace.
  2. Hiring a personal tour guide can go over budget.
  3. Tourists were not able to explore interesting places.
  4. Travelers can’t select the starting point and ending point based on their choice.
  5. Different travelers want a different type of trip.

Prior to building a self-guided tour app, our client had a meeting with our mobile app development team about how to create a location-based app. That helped our mobile app developers to comprehend the exact solutions they wanted to build.

Additionally, we answered 4 essential questions of our clients.

    Which technology to use to build the mobile app solution?
    How will travelers know the exact location without using the internet?
    How to integrate each geolocation according to the users’ preferences?
    How to make the mobile app completely offline? Is there any possibility?

Overview of Offline Audio Tour Guide App Solution

This application educates you about the Hawaiian islands, not only for the sublime beaches but also for exotic culture and stunning landscapes.

Results Achieved from Audio Tour Guide App
No. of Successful App Downloads 1.5+ Million App Downloads
Success Timeline 2 years

Within 1 mobile solution, we have covered all the Hawaiian tourist destinations. The app is successful and is currently accessed by 1.5+ million users. This app is built for Android and iOS users and can easily be downloaded from PlayStore, and App Store. Seeing the success of the app, the client contacted us for a mobile app development service to build 3 more similar audio tour guide solutions. This time it was for the different islands.

Now, let us imagine what would have happened if the concept of a self-guided tour app would not exist in the first place? What challenges would be faced by the tourists? And is it possible for the tour app guide to replace the real tour guides? Let’s discuss all the possibilities below.

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Technologies We Have Used to Develop This Audio Tour Guide Solution

After thoroughly discussing the mobile app requirements, our experienced team of developers concluded and formulated the plan to use Java for Android application and Swift for iOS application.

Why Java for Android App Solution?

When we had the meeting with our client, they were quite aware of mobile technology, hence it became easier for us to suggest and share any tech stack. Since we have more than 11 years of experience developing mobile app solutions, we know how to make our clients understand which technology will be ideal to develop the app based on their requirements.

We arranged a meeting with them and explained the below-mentioned points about why build mobile apps using the Java programming language.

  1. Make Application Scalable
  2. Our team has used Java to make the audio tour guide app scalable and to ensure that the app runs seamlessly even after getting an increased amount of users and data. Java is an OOP (object-oriented programming language) that makes the Android applications adaptable, extensible and scalable which is a suggested approach to follow while building Android applications.

  3. Robust and Secure Mobile App Solution
  4. Security is an essential part while designing a mobile app. To keep security in mind, this tour guide app asks you to signup by registering or integrating your Google account. This way users will get complete privacy tour preferences and even book the tour packages securely within the mobile app. The app also promises that users’ private information won’t be revealed.

  5. Multiple Platform Support for Mobile App
  6. The idea was to create a solution that works even when the device or platform changes. Platforms such as Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and Windows support Java programming language. Similarly, the app we have to build also supports and runs on multiple platforms.

After understanding the reason for using Java, we discussed the prime reasons behind using Swift language.

Why Swift Programming Language for iOS App Solution?

Swift is used regularly by 5% of developers worldwide, this number seems low, but Google is still highly suggested to use Swift for mobile app development. There are many reasons to develop custom iOS app development using Swift. We have implemented Swift because we aimed to build a scalable and secure mobile application for our client. Here are our reasons to use Swift to develop an audio tour guide app.

  1. Swift is Fast and Secure
  2. Our client wanted this iOS solution within a very tight timeline. He also wanted to make sure that there is no compromise on the security. That’s the reason we used Swift for iOS development. Swift is fast and secure.

  3. Easy Maintainance
  4. In one of our initial consultations, we found that our client might not be able to give enough time to this application once developed. He wanted a scalable and easy-to-update code. These two points were very important to us. When the code is written in Swift, it can easily be reused.

  5. Swift is a Safer Platform
  6. To build the secured mobile app solution, Swift is the ideal programming language. While developing the app, we implemented many Swift 5 features. We even integrated a payment gateway in an app as well.

    What Swift does is that it steals the show by reducing the problematic behavior and crashes. Also, Swift ensures to decrease the mistakes of developers when it comes to building the audio tour guide application. This is another reason why we used the Swift programming language.

The Key Features and Functionalities of a Tour Guide App

After finalizing the technologies, we discussed with the client which features and functionalities they want to implement in the mobile app. As you know that only the right features can attract the appropriate audience.

The tour guide app aimed to offer a personalized experience to each traveler who is planning to explore the Hawaiian islands. To achieve that, our developers needed a fair amount of data to implement in the application such as below.

  1. Setting Starting And Ending Points of the Tour
  2. Users can select the starting and ending points of the tour manually. The client aimed to offer a flexible tour experience to the users without relying on any tour guide and cover all the places in one go without going back and forth to visit all the locations.

  3. Geo-Location for Each Travel Destination
  4. To cover all the major places of the travel destinations across the islands their geo-locations were required. Our client helped us by sharing all the well-known and important destinations of different Hawaiian islands. After gathering all essential information, we integrated the geo-location which uses internal GPS devices or network routing addresses to track the location.

  5. Audio Guides to Help Travelers to Reach Different Destinations
  6. After getting the information about each location, the next step was to add the personalization. That’s when our team suggested that, how about integrating the audio? Since, by integrating the combination of map and audio guide in an app, there is a chance that users will feel more engaged. Even have a personal tour guide-like experience.

    After that, we received all the audio recordings from our client and planned to integrate them into the app. Now, this was not as easy as it might sound.

    Because the audio is intended to play exactly when the traveler reaches the specified destination. Additionally, there were other challenges as well. Interested to know? Let’s dig deeper.

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Challenge Our Team Faced While Building an App

Developing this self-guided tours app was not a piece of cake for sure. Our team faced significant hurdles to complete the app development. Such as integrating offline maps and adding geo-location at the perfect place.

Here are the issues we faced during the tour guide app development.

  1. Integrating Audio Tracks and Offline Maps
  2. The initial challenge was to integrate the audio and map.

    So, whenever a person is traveling, the audio will play depending upon the current location.

    The next challenge was that we had to pinpoint all the locations manually, so even without the internet connection, travelers can easily find their way to the starting point.

    To solve this challenge, our team used the Navigation SDK to enhance the navigation experience. This Mapbox SDK was integrated with the Navigation SDK, which shows accurate device locations, and even allows users to download custom maps in offline mode. Initially, travelers are required to have an active internet connection to download the maps and audio, after then throughout the journey map and audios are available to use offline.

  3. Integrating Google Navigation
  4. The main challenge was to choose the right path that will guide users to go to different destinations in a shorter period. To solve this problem, developers integrated Maps SDK, which is the distributed part of the Google Play services SDK, this needs to be added into SDK manager. Our developers followed the Android Quickstart guide to integrate the Google Maps successfully.

  5. Implementation of Geo-tracking
  6. Next, we wanted users to get suggestions about the best location they can travel to. The real challenge was to add the specific location and play the audio-only when the traveler reaches that location. This may sound easy but, it took quite a few days for our developers to identify the exact geo-location and the audio recordings which exactly match the location.

    We can proudly share that after launching the audio tour guide on Play Store and App Store, the app garnered over 1.5 million downloads within 2 years.

To help travelers uncover the beauty of the Hawaiian islands, our development team built 3 other audio tour guide apps targeting different Hawaiian islands.

This was the process of the 1 tour guide app. We built another 3 tour guides covering different traveling destinations of the Hawaiian islands. The client wanted to integrate all the features and functionalities into the other 3 mobile applications as well. All of these applications include the audio tour guide of the different parts of Hawaiian islands.

Benefits of Audio Tour Guide Application

Building an audio tour guide not only offers tourists flexibility and convenience but also permits travelers to explore a wide variety of places. To understand how travelers benefitted by using the tour guide application, we reached out to users and asked what features and functionalities they liked about the application. Based on the opinion of users, here is the list of benefits users received by using the audio tour guide app.

  1. Select the Destination as Per Your Choice
  2. Rather than covering 1 application, being a tourist you will get 4 mobile applications to explore all the Hawaiian islands. In fact, using the application you can select the starting and ending point of the destination as per your choice.

  3. Simple Direction Guidance Even Without Internet
  4. Of all the tourists we have asked, the one thing that was common in all of their feedback was that this tour guide app offered them simple direction guidance, and easily downloadable audio tracks as well as maps. Using this tour guide app, it was easier for all the tourists to find the destination and nearby places by using offline maps and audio guides.

  5. Rich Audio Content to Keep You Engaged
  6. One of the prime advantages of integrating audio is allowing tourists to experience real-life travel and explore the hidden places of all the destinations. The audio helps the traveler to understand the roads when to turn to the right, left, or continue with the journey. The audios enrich road trips and help you to discover the smallest parts of the journey.

Tour Guide App Solution Ideas

Based on our client’s idea, we have developed this Hawaiian tour guide application.

A similar audio guide application can be beneficial in the following industries –

  1. App for guiding people afflicted with blindness
  2. App for a museum/monument tour
  3. App for guided art shows

Let’s Build Another Tour Guide Solution

Have any ideas that you want to discuss?
Not sure where to start?
How to convert it into a reality?

Consult us with our experienced mobile app development team, ask your queries and kickstart your tour guide app development process.



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