Uptech Studio has been a great partner for both innovation and pursuing our audience objectives. In addition to providing actual developer resources and solutions, they also fill in the gaps for product and design — working with our internal teams where we have capacity and figuring things out for us when we lack the expertise or availability.
– Duke Fan, VP Product & Engineering
KQED is a purpose-bound and mission-aligned organization. We exist to inform, inspire and involve because an informed, inspired and involved citizenry is the foundation of a healthy democracy.
Their mission is to serve audiences with trusted, quality programming, so that individuals can achieve their full potential. We know that when media is used as a force for good, we can spark curiosity, foster understanding and build bridges across differences.
KQED combines media, journalism and technology for the common good, and we aspire to be the leading convener of civic dialogue in the Bay Area across three different platforms:
KQED approached Uptech Studio because they found that their mobile apps for KQED Radio were undifferentiated from other streaming sources. As a result, many of their listeners were turning to other sources to listen to the live stream rather than use KQED’s own apps. While KQED as an organization has a strong connection with a large and loyal following, because those fans were getting KQED content elsewhere, KQED was losing out on the opportunity to drive live stream listeners to engage with other KQED content, such as podcasts and news.
At the same time, coordinating development across Android and iOS had become difficult. Since the team was unsure about which specific features would drive more engagement with their listeners, they needed a more flexible solution which would allow them to easily experiment, measure, and adjust the app experience across both platforms.
To achieve KQED’s goals, Uptech Studio put together a squad consisting of product, design, and software development resources to re-imagine, re-architect and rebuild their Android and iOS apps using Flutter — a cross-platform, open-source software development kit created by Google.
Switching to a cross-platform approach like Flutter has freed the team to innovate more quickly. With a single codebase to manage across Android and iOS, a smaller development team can now focus on working hand-in-glove with Uptech Studio’s integrated product and design team to quickly experiment with new ideas and engagement approaches, rather than spend time coordinating development and releases across two teams doing development across two separate native development platforms.
Development of the project kicked off in late June of 2021 and the first version of the new app went live on both platforms in October of 2021. Since the initial release, the team has continued to quickly add and enhance features on the mobile apps. A concrete example of the agile approach is how the Uptech Studio team worked with KQED to provide the ability to listen to previous broadcasts.
Additionally, through KQED’s partnership with the team at StreamGuys, Uptech Studio implemented the SteamGuys SGRewind service in just a couple of weeks on both iOS and Android. This allows KQED listeners to jump back to any point in the live stream of the current program and makes it easy for KQED to showcase previous content from the same day.