How to Add Chat Service and Cross-Platform Leaderboard with User Profiles to Your iOS or Android App

How to Add Chat Service and Cross-Platform Leaderboard with User Profiles to Your iOS or Android App

By GT December 14, 2017

A user chat, friend system or leaderboards increase app retention and engagement rates. This applies for games as well as business apps. V-Play Engine makes it easy to add such features with ready-made social services.

Boost Retention and Engagement Rates with Gamification Services

App retention and user engagement are important key drivers to build up your user base. Many games include features like leaderboards, friend systems or an in-app user chat. They help to keep players engaged and boost long-term retention. It is important to allow your users to connect, compete and form social relationships.

V-Play Engine offers a ready-made solution to help you do that. With the SocialView services, you can add Gamification features within minutes. You can for example:

  • Add User Accounts, Authentication and User Profiles
  • Show Leaderboards with User Highscores
  • Integrate an In-app Chat and Friend System
  • Store Custom User Data in the Cloud
  • and much more.

See this 10-minute video tutorial for a quick overview how it works:

How to Add a Leaderboard Cloud Service with User Profiles

Use a Cross-platform User Login Service for Authentication

It’s easy to integrate gamification features to your app. As everything starts with your users, the first step is clear. Your app has to provide user authentication and user account management.

To make this as easy as possible, the SocialView services work without registration. Every user that installs your app gets a unique user account linked to his device. The following example app takes care of the service configuration and shows the profile of the logged-in user:

import VPlay 2.0
import VPlayApps 1.0

App {

 // service configuration
 VPlayGameNetwork {
   id: gameNetwork
   gameId: 285
   secret: "AmazinglySecureGameSecret"
 }

 // social view setup
 SocialView {
   id: socialView
   gameNetworkItem: gameNetwork
 }
}

These few code lines are sufficient. Here is how the application looks like on iOS and Android:

SocialView User Profile

The default profile view supports changing the user name, country or profile picture. Furthermore, the profile is also extensible with a Facebook login. This allows to share the same synchronized user profile across different devices.

Show a Leaderboard in Your iOS or Android App

Apart from the user profile, there are many other SocialView pages you can use in your app. The following example extends the app with a leaderboard page. The user score of this demo matches the total number of app starts. It also adds a main navigation with two menu items. This means, that users can now switch between the profile and leaderboard page.

import VPlay 2.0
import VPlayApps 1.0
import QtQuick 2.9

App {

 // app navigation
 Navigation {
   NavigationItem {
     title: "User Profile"
     icon: IconType.user
     NavigationStack {
       initialPage: socialView.profilePage
     }
   }

   NavigationItem {
     title: "Leaderboard"
     icon: IconType.flagcheckered
     NavigationStack {
       initialPage: socialView.leaderboardPage
     }
   }
 }

 // service configuration
 VPlayGameNetwork {
   id: gameNetwork
   gameId: 285
   secret: "AmazinglySecureGameSecret"

   // increase leaderboard score by 1 for each app start
   Component.onCompleted: gameNetwork.reportRelativeScore(1)
 }

 // social view setup
 SocialView {
   id: socialView
   gameNetworkItem: gameNetwork
   visible: false // we show the view pages on our custom app navigation
 }
}

You get a native tab navigation on iOS, while Android users get a drawer menu. If this is not what you want, you can also change the default navigation mode for the platforms.

socialview-cross-platform-leaderboard

How to Integrate an In-App Chat Service and Store User Data in the Cloud

Add In-App Chat with Friend System and Push Notifications

Adding an in-app chat and friend system to your app is easy as well! With a few more configuration settings, the SocialView turns into a full-featured messenger.

SocialView Chat with Push Notification

This example replaces the leaderboard with a chat and adds the required configuration:

import VPlay 2.0
import VPlayApps 1.0

App {

 // app navigation
 Navigation {
   NavigationItem {
     title: "User Profile"
     icon: IconType.user
     NavigationStack {
       initialPage: socialView.profilePage
     }
   }

   NavigationItem {
     title: "Chat"
     icon: IconType.comment
     NavigationStack {
       initialPage: socialView.inboxPage
     }
   }
 }

 // service configuration
 VPlayGameNetwork {
   id: gameNetwork
   gameId: 285
   secret: "AmazinglySecureGameSecret"
   multiplayerItem: multiplayer
 }

 VPlayMultiplayer {
   id: multiplayer
   appKey: "dd7f1761-038c-4722-9f94-812d798cecfb"
   pushKey: "a4780578-5aad-4590-acbe-057c232913b5"
   gameNetworkItem: gameNetwork
 }

 // social view setup
 SocialView {
   id: socialView
   gameNetworkItem: gameNetwork
   multiplayerItem: multiplayer
   visible: false // we show the view pages on our custom app navigation
 }
}

When you open the chat, you first see the inbox page with all ongoing conversations. From this view you can start new chats or write with existing contacts. The chat service also allows to configure support for push notifications. Users are then notified whenever a new message comes in.

SocialView Chat Inbox and Friend System

As soon as you add the chat to your app, your users can also become friends. This is possible by sending friend requests using the chat system. The SocialView is your single access point for all services. It also shows your friends in a separate section of your leaderboard.

Use Cloud Storage to Store and Search Custom User Details

Another cool feature of the SocialView is the integrated cloud storage: You can enrich your user accounts with custom data for your project. For example, you can let users enter their favorite music genre or food:

SocialView User-based Cloud Storage

The following snippet extends the user profile with custom UI elements to enter and view this data:

 // …

 SocialView {
   id: socialView
   gameNetworkItem: gameNetwork
   multiplayerItem: multiplayer
   visible: false // we show the view pages on our custom app navigation

   // extend user profile with fields to allow storing additional user details
   profileUserDelegate: SocialUserDelegate {
     height: otherUserCol.visible ? otherUserCol.height : userDetailCol.height

     // parse the JSON data stored in customData property, if it is set
     property var userCustomData: !!gameNetworkUser && !!gameNetworkUser.customData ? JSON.parse(gameNetworkUser.customData) : {}

     // column visible for logged-in user, allows editing the custom fields
     Column {
       id: userDetailCol
       x: dp(Theme.navigationBar.defaultBarItemPadding) // add indent
       width: parent.width - 2 * x
       spacing: x
       // only show if profile of logged-in user
       visible: gameNetworkUser.userId === gameNetworkItem.user.userId 

       AppText {
         text: "Edit the fields below to set your details."
       }

       // custom data fields
       Column {
         spacing: parent.spacing

         Row {
           spacing: parent.spacing
           Icon {
             id: inputIcon
             icon: IconType.music; color: Theme.tintColor
             anchors.verticalCenter: parent.verticalCenter
           }
           AppTextField {
             id: songInput
             text: !!userCustomData.song ? userCustomData.song : ""
             width: userDetailCol.width - parent.spacing - inputIcon.width
             placeholderText: "Enter your favorite music genre."
             borderWidth: px(1)
           }
         }

         Row {
           spacing: parent.spacing
           Icon {
             icon: IconType.cutlery; color: Theme.tintColor
             anchors.verticalCenter: parent.verticalCenter
           }
           AppTextField {
             id: foodInput
             text: !!userCustomData.food ? userCustomData.food : ""
             width: userDetailCol.width - parent.spacing - inputIcon.width
             placeholderText: "Enter your favorite food."
             borderWidth: px(1)
           }
         }
       }

       // save button
       SocialViewButton {
         text: "Save"
         onClicked: {
           var customData = JSON.stringify({ "song": songInput.text, "food": foodInput.text })
           gameNetworkItem.updateUserCustomData(customData) // store stringified JSON data
         }
       }
     }

     // column visible when viewing other users, show data of custom fields
     Column {
       id: otherUserCol
       x: dp(Theme.navigationBar.defaultBarItemPadding) // add indent
       width: parent.width - 2 * x
       spacing: x
       // only show if profile of other user
       visible: gameNetworkUser.userId !== gameNetworkItem.user.userId 

       // show custom data
       Grid {
         spacing: parent.spacing
         columns: 2
         Icon { icon: IconType.music; color: Theme.tintColor }
         AppText { text: !!userCustomData.song ? userCustomData.song : "" }
         Icon { icon: IconType.cutlery; color: Theme.tintColor }
         AppText { text: !!userCustomData.food ? userCustomData.food : "" }
       }
     }
   }
 }

With a single API call, you can load or store JSON objects to the cloud storage. The above example consists of two bigger Column elements. The first one holds all input fields for entering and storing the data. It is only shown when viewing your own profile. Other users see the second item, which only displays the data.

SocialView Profile User Details

With this, your app offers a customized profile view and stores personal user details. But there are much more customization options to extend the SocialView. You can provide a unique user experience for your app with little effort. To learn more about the SocialView and available customization features, see this blog post.

Create Your Own App with Gamification in Minutes!

Gamification features like an in-app chat, a friend system or leaderboards increase app retention. As shown above, V-Play Engine makes it easy to add such features with the SocialView.

SocialView Inbox Chat and UserSearch

SocialView Leaderboard Profile and User Search

You can copy the full example code with all features mentioned above from below. It also shows how to add custom pages to the view and only requires ~230 lines of code!

import VPlay 2.0
import VPlayApps 1.0
import QtQuick 2.9

App {

 // app navigation
 Navigation {
   NavigationItem {
     title: "User Profile"
     icon: IconType.user
     NavigationStack {
       initialPage: socialView.profilePage
     }
   }

   NavigationItem {
     title: "Leaderboard"
     icon: IconType.flagcheckered
     NavigationStack {
       initialPage: socialView.leaderboardPage
     }
   }

   NavigationItem {
     title: "Chat"
     icon: IconType.comment
     NavigationStack {
       initialPage: socialView.inboxPage
     }
   }

   NavigationItem {
     title: "Search"
     icon: IconType.search
     NavigationStack {
       initialPage: mySearchPage
     }
   }
 }

 // service configuration
 VPlayGameNetwork {
   id: gameNetwork
   gameId: 285
   secret: "AmazinglySecureGameSecret"
   multiplayerItem: multiplayer

   // increase leaderboard score by 1 for each app start
   Component.onCompleted: gameNetwork.reportScore(1)
 }

 VPlayMultiplayer {
   id: multiplayer
   appKey: "dd7f1761-038c-4722-9f94-812d798cecfb"
   pushKey: "a4780578-5aad-4590-acbe-057c232913b5"
   gameNetworkItem: gameNetwork
 }

 // social view setup
 SocialView {
   id: socialView
   gameNetworkItem: gameNetwork
   multiplayerItem: multiplayer
   visible: false // we show the view pages on our custom app navigation

   // add button to user profile, which opens a custom user detail page
   profileUserDelegate: SocialUserDelegate {
     id: userDelegate
     SocialViewButton {
       anchors.horizontalCenter: !!parent ? parent.horizontalCenter : null
       text: "Show User Details"
       onClicked: {
         // show custom social page and pass gameNetworkUser
         parentPage.navigationStack.push(userDetailPage, { gameNetworkUser: userDelegate.gameNetworkUser  })
       }
     }
   }
 }

 // page for entering and showing user details
 Component {
   id: userDetailPage
   SocialPage {
     title: "User Details"
     // add a property for the user we want to show on the page
     property GameNetworkUser gameNetworkUser: null

     // parse the JSON data stored in customData property, if it is set
     property var userCustomData: !!gameNetworkUser && !!gameNetworkUser.customData ? JSON.parse(gameNetworkUser.customData) : {}

     // for logged-in user, allow editing the custom fields
     Column {
       id: userDetailCol
       x: dp(Theme.navigationBar.defaultBarItemPadding) // add indent
       y: x // padding top
       width: parent.width - 2 * x
       spacing: x
       visible: gameNetworkUser.userId === gameNetworkItem.user.userId // only show if profile of logged-in user

       AppText {
         text: "Edit the fields below to set your details."
       }

       // custom data fields
       Column {
         spacing: parent.spacing

         Row {
           spacing: parent.spacing
           Icon {
             id: inputIcon
             icon: IconType.music; color: Theme.tintColor
             anchors.verticalCenter: parent.verticalCenter
           }
           AppTextField {
             id: songInput
             text: !!userCustomData.song ? userCustomData.song : ""
             width: userDetailCol.width - parent.spacing - inputIcon.width
             placeholderText: "Enter your favorite music genre."
             borderWidth: px(1)
           }
         }

         Row {
           spacing: parent.spacing
           Icon {
             icon: IconType.cutlery; color: Theme.tintColor
             anchors.verticalCenter: parent.verticalCenter
           }
           AppTextField {
             id: foodInput
             text: !!userCustomData.food ? userCustomData.food : ""
             width: userDetailCol.width - parent.spacing - inputIcon.width
             placeholderText: "Enter your favorite food."
             borderWidth: px(1)
           }
         }
       }

       // save button
       SocialViewButton {
         text: "Save"
         onClicked: {
           var customData = JSON.stringify({ "song": songInput.text, "food": foodInput.text })
           gameNetworkItem.updateUserCustomData(customData)
         }
       }
     }

     // for other users, show data of custom fields
     Column {
       x: dp(Theme.navigationBar.defaultBarItemPadding) // add indent
       y: x // padding top
       width: parent.width - 2 * x
       spacing: x
       visible: gameNetworkUser.userId !== gameNetworkItem.user.userId // only show if profile of other user

       // show custom data
       Grid {
         spacing: parent.spacing
         columns: 2
         Icon { icon: IconType.music; color: Theme.tintColor }
         AppText { text: !!userCustomData.song ? userCustomData.song : "" }
         Icon { icon: IconType.cutlery; color: Theme.tintColor }
         AppText { text: !!userCustomData.food ? userCustomData.food : "" }
       }
     }
   }
 }

 // page for searching users based on entered details
 Component {
   id: mySearchPage
   SocialUserSearchPage {
     filterToUsersWithCustomData: true // only show results for users with custom data
     userSearchUserDelegate: SocialUserDelegate {
       height: userSearchCol.height + 2 * userSearchCol.spacing

       // parse the JSON data stored in customData property, if it is set
       property var userCustomData: !!gameNetworkUser && !!gameNetworkUser.customData ? JSON.parse(gameNetworkUser.customData) : {}

       // background of user item
       Rectangle {
         anchors.fill: parent
         color: "white"
         border.width: px(1)
         border.color: socialViewItem.separatorColor
       }

       // show user details
       Column {
         id: userSearchCol
         x: dp(Theme.navigationBar.defaultBarItemPadding) // add indent
         y: x // padding top
         width: parent.width - 2 * x
         spacing: x
         anchors.verticalCenter: parent.verticalCenter

         // profile image + user name
         Row {
           spacing: parent.spacing
           SocialUserImage {
             height: dp(26)
             width: height
             source: gameNetworkUser.profileImageUrl
           }
           AppText {
             text: gameNetworkUser.name;
             anchors.verticalCenter: parent.verticalCenter
           }
         }

         // show custom data
         Grid {
           spacing: parent.spacing
           columns: 2
           Icon { icon: IconType.music; color: Theme.tintColor }
           AppText { text: !!userCustomData.song ? userCustomData.song : "" }
           Icon { icon: IconType.cutlery; color: Theme.tintColor }
           AppText { text: !!userCustomData.food ? userCustomData.food : "" }
         }
       }

       // open profile when selected
       MouseArea {
         anchors.fill: parent
         onClicked: socialViewItem.pushProfilePage(gameNetworkUser, parentPage.navigationStack)
       }
     }
   }
 }
}

You can also find the full source code of this example on GitHub:

 

To try out the SocialView and test all features, have a look at this year’s Qt World Summit Conference App:

Qt World Summit 2017 Business Meet and Chat

You can download the app for iOS and Android here:
App Store Google_Play_Badge-1

The full source code of the Qt World Summit demo is also available on GitHub:

 

 

 

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The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this app type. You can use its source code and build your app in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/appdemos/maps/Maps.pro

Messaging App demonstrates how to create the UI of a Facebook Messenger like app

We got a demo app for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this app type. You can use its source code and build your app in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/appdemos/messaging/Messaging.pro

Weather App how to include powerful animations into your user interface

We got a demo app for you!

The V-Play SDK includes an open-source demo for this app type. You can use its source code and build your app in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play.

<Path to V-PlaySDK>/Examples/V-Play/appdemos/waether/Weather.pro

Any other Idea? let us know how we can help you

You are looking for another app demo?

The V-Play SDK includes many open-source demos for different app types. You can use their source code and build your app in record time. After installing V-Play, you can simply open the .pro file with Qt Creator, the development environment used for V-Play..

If you do not find your app type in this list and wonder if V-Play is the right choice, just contact us, we are happy to help!

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