iOS Shortcuts Magic: Converting Your Web App into an Extension!

As a web developer, it can be challenging to get the same ease of use on mobile devices that mobile app developers get. Using iOS Shortcuts can help alleviate that problem.

Chuma S. Okoro

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Problem

One of the great things about being technologically inclined is that you can truly appreciate the craft that goes into making beautiful and robust apps. However, on the downside, when you use an app and think there’s some functionality missing, you get the unquenchable desire to build it yourself.

This was the thinking that led us to build Pod Rank, a platform to get unique insights about podcast episodes on Spotify, YouTube, and more. We made the software accessible via the internet as a web app. This was because mobile apps can take up so much space on your device, and web development tools are ubiquitous.

Upon completing the minimum viable product of Pod Rank, we realized it was difficult to get to a page on the platform where one could see unique insights about an individual podcast episode. A user would have to navigate to a browser, search for a YouTube or Spotify podcast episode, click on the matching episode, and then they could view the insights we offer, like AI-generated descriptions and recommendations. This was too cumbersome and would prevent users from wanting to get those insights. Reducing the friction and amount of time to get to the information about a podcast episode was paramount.

Solution 1: Faster Search

The first solution we came up with was to make searching easier. This came from the idea that most people want the insights Pod Rank offers when they’re currently on a podcast episode and considering whether to press play. We thought, “If our users already know which podcast episode they want insights on, why do they need to search.” By the time users would want an AI-generated description or a word cloud, they already had the specific podcast episode handy. They may have had the episode…

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Chuma S. Okoro

Sr. Software Engineer @ Bloomberg. I love talking about technology and business. Every article has my opinion backed by my experience, education, and research.