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Hinkley Point C App

Our long term client, EDF Energy, came to us with a requirement for a mobile app for their New Nuclear Build projects which would display news from teamhinkleyc and feature authentication with their Drupal website.

A New Challenge

At ComputerMinds we specialise in all things Drupal so this project differs slightly to our normal bread and butter but provided an ideal opportunity to show off some of our other skills. At its heart this app would make news on EDF’s teamhinkleyc site more accessible on mobile devices as well as streamlining the login process for the teamhinkleyc Drupal site.

Expo and React Native

NNB App notification screen
After doing a bit of digging we made the decision to build the app in Expo using the React Native framework, which we have used in a number of other projects, this allowed us to write code in JavaScript, which is much more familiar to us as web developers. Expo gives us all the goodness we would expect if we were developing directly in XCode or Android Studio such as accessing device sensors and push notifications . It also had the huge advantage of meaning we could work on one codebase and build apps for both platforms from this.

Another advantage of using Expo is that we can make use of over-the-air (OTA) updates to deploy updates to the apps without needing to submit a new binary to the respective app stores for approval and review. This massively speeds up the process of deploying updates to our codebase.

News Aggregation

A key requirement of this project was to display news from the teamhinkleyc website which we developed for EDF. This features an integration with the existing Drupal website to pull down news articles and display these in an intuitive way within the app.

Authentication

The app offers users a convenient way to store their Drupal login credentials. By using the app users are prompted to login to the Drupal site once via the app which will then remember this authentication so that the user is then able to setup a pin or touch ID on their device to streamline this login process in the future.

Huge Popularity

App stores
The final stage of this project was to get the iOS and Android builds onto their respective app stores. This involved a bit of back and forth whilst the app got approved which was a reasonably painless process. After the app was launched it really took off with over 750 users downloading it on the day of release with the app reaching the top 30 spot in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

The app was also met with positive reviews in both app stores particularly citing how much easier the app made the login process for the teamhinkleyc site.