Our Babeland Photo and Babeland Photo Pro users often ask us about how we handle scenarios where your iPad may have limited/no internet connectivity. This is an important topic; as photo booth operators, we all know that internet connectivity at events is something outside of our control. Our developers have implemented various steps to ensure the best performance for your guests, including improvements based on user feedback and experiences. Below, we detail how our app handles processing media, as well as improvements made in our latest releases.
In version 1.053 (released early May 2019), we've made immense strides in how we handle sending media from the app. Succinctly, after your guests take a photo with the app, we take the following the steps;
- The photo is uploaded to secure cloud storage, which enables the functionality of sending photos via text message, e-mail, and viewing in your web gallery.
- The photo is converted to several low resolution "proxy" formats, which increases loading times and capabilities when viewed on mobile devices.
- Each photo receives a unique "short code." This enables guests to view their photo view a short link (such as babelandphoto.com/123456), instead of a a lengthier link to the file (this is important for text messages, where only a certain number of characters are allowed per message).
- Before allowing each photo to be sent via e-mail or text message, we confirm that each photo has (1) successfully reached cloud storage, (2) has been converted to its relevant proxy formats, and (3) has had a "short code" created and stored on our servers.
The enhancements made in version 1.053 have demonstrated immense improvements in processing times of media, as well as stability of the app in general. However, the above four steps put additional strain on the iPad and its network capabilities, resulting in scenarios where too many tasks running at once can adversely impact the user experience.
In version 1.054 (released late May 2019), we've altered how we handle processing of media. This is based on feedback from our users. In cases where they may be a large number of photos waiting to send, users have informed us of cases where the app may crash or significantly delay the processing of photos. After extensive research, we have made the following changes;
- The amount of time allocated for each photo upload has been increased from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. In cases where your internet connectivity may be limited, this may improve the chances of media being uploaded to the cloud before timing out.
- The additional processing tasks, such as creating "proxy" resolution images and generating the image's "short code," have been moved to be cloud-based tasks. This ensures that your iPad is only responsible for uploading the media to the cloud; the cloud handles the rest.
- Additional checks (including a file "checksum," which ensures the full file is uploaded the cloud and will appear as expected to your guests) are now performed in the cloud.
While this may seem like a minimal change, this significantly changes the foundation of how we process media. Our goal is to, first and foremost, ensure your files and delivered to your guests without being spammed or overlooked. Beyond that, we want to ensure that your guests receive files that are fully visible and in a format optimal for network connectivity and social sharing.
As we continue to roll-out and test new software, your feedback is incredibly helpful to us. Different environments, iPad models, and network connectivity cases can be difficult to diagnose. We make every effort to test our methods in environments that accurately mimic those of your events, but only your feedback can best help us to ensure we eradicate the question of Where's my picture? and help to stop unexpected app crashes.