Cloudinary Blog

Shortening the Development Cycle of Media-Related Apps With Cloudinary

Shortening the Development Cycle of Media-Related apps with Cloudinary

Currently, the Android platform boasts the highest demand for mobile solutions, as evidenced by Google’s announcement in 2017 that there were two billion monthly active Android devices, a number that is likely to increase in the years ahead. For app developers like you, now is the right time to build and release solutions for Android. you might have also noticed that a higher percentage of apps being developed nowadays are filled with visual media: images and videos.

The challenges of managing image and videos on Android are well known. It is for that reason that libraries such as Glide, Picasso, and ExoPlayer (for videos) became available with the aim of accelerating the loading process and better managing device memory. Are those libraries meeting your needs? Yes? Excellent! So you ask: What then is the problem? Read on.

The Challenge of Efficiently Delivering Images

An increasing number of resources used by app developers are from Web services and other remote locations, which limits your visibility into important information about the image, such as size. Imagine a 5616 x 3744 image being served to you, which you must then serve to your audience. With an image library, loading the image a second time (from the cache) might be a smooth sail. However, loading it for the first time before compression and caching might require an inordinate amount of time and bandwidth. Even now in the 21st Century, reliable broadband connections are virtually nonexistent in some countries, in which case your users there might find themselves staring at an empty screen or a perpetual holder image across the entire app for long minutes.

With Cloudinary’s robust solution, you can bypass that issue. Cloudinary offers too many features to describe in a single blog post. This one focuses on Cloudinary’s image optimization capabilities only.

A Test of Resource Usage and an Analysis of the Results

We just performed a test to check the resource usage in a device—before and after Cloudinary. We loaded a large image into an app without Cloudinary and then did the same with Cloudinary in order to evaluate a worst-case scenario. The device in question is a Samsung SM-GF32F with a RAM capacity of 1.5 GB. Finally, we measured the metrics with the Android Profiler.

Loading that unoptimized image took about 13 seconds, resulting in high CPU and network activity and a memory usage of 48 MB. More details are in the image below.

Metrics of an un-optimized image

Loading an optimized image yielded these results:

Metrics of an optimized image

The optimized image loaded in only four seconds, using up 23 MB of RAM and minimal network and CPU activity. Those are important metrics to take note. Because many Websites display numerous images, optimizing the latter would significantly shorten the download time and deliver a boost in user experience.

Process of Optimization

By leveraging Cloudinary’s impressive optimization capabilities, we were able to effectively optimize the image while still maintaining excellent image quality. Specifically, we employed these three techniques in Cloudinary:

  • Reduction of mage widths
  • Automatic format selection
  • Automatic quality selection

We achieved optimization by adding this code snippet:

Java:

    MediaManager.get().url()
            .transformation(new Transformation().width(500).quality("auto").fetchFormat("auto")).generate("dog.png");

Kotlin:

    MediaManager.get().url()
            .transformation(Transformation<Transformation<out Transformation<*>>?>().width(500)!!.quality("auto").fetchFormat("auto"))
            .generate("dog.png")

The parameter values in the above code are all defaults. In addition, Cloudinary contains an algorithm that scales the quality of images. For more details on image optimizations, see this section in the Cloudinary documentation.

Conclusion

With Cloudinary, you can appropriately scale images, thereby reducing the bandwidth in a device’s memory and CPU and shortening app-development cycles. Try it out for yourself; you’ll be impressed.

Recent Blog Posts

Integrating Cloudinary with Forestry’s Media Library

At Forestry, we believe that there is a bright future for static HTML sites built with tools like Jekyll and Hugo. These tools can create sites that run well, and are easy to host and maintain, because they don’t require any server-side code.

Read more
Video Optimization With the HTML5 <video> Player

Lack of experience and compression knowhow can cause significant user-experience problems. For instance, on a major retail site, I recently ran into a 48 MB video-hero banner. Pulling out the video and encoding it as an H.264 MP4 reduces the size to 1.9 MB. So, despite the desire for more video content, developers have not yet caught up to best practices. How do we get the best of both worlds without creating a disaster like the one above?

Read more
Build a Facial Emotion Recognition Based Video Suggestion App

Developers are always looking for new and creative ways to deliver content that resonates with the way users feel. Often using the latest technical innovations the market has to offer such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). What better way to demonstrate innovative uses of these technology in a consumer market than capturing expressions from your users and then serving content based on that expression!

Read more
Improve Customer Data Protection with GDPR Implementation

TL;DR

Yay! We've done it! Gold-Star for us! We've talked with all the people, made all the changes, paid all the lawyers and checked all the boxes. GDPR? ✅Done!

Not so fast. Of course, conforming to the GDPR regulations introduced in Europe is just the beginning. This is a process and a state of mind that must become part of our long-term cultural ethos.

Read more
Magento Image and Video Optimization

As the number of channels and devices continues to grow, it is becoming much more challenging to deliver an optimal visual experience. On an eCommerce site, engagement and conversions are critical. Factors such as page load time strongly influence search engine rankings, shopping experiences, conversion rates and, ultimately, your revenue. An optimized visual experience positively affects conversion rates. But it also can introduce resource bottlenecks, as every image and video needs to be delivered in the most efficient format, quality and resolution, based on the viewing device.

Read more