Developing myCANAL, a revolutionary app from the CANAL+ Group
2011 - today
In 2011, the CANAL+ Group chose Fabernovel with its strong experience in VLC for iOS, as a key partner in the development of its mobile and Apple TV apps.
The CANAL+ Group was hoping to find a long-term partner to help develop and maintain its mobile apps. The Group’s aim was to create an app that was pioneering in terms of technical quality but also in terms of the user experience when viewing mobile video content. CANAL+ was looking for a partner that could advise the Group on technical and ergonomic issues, but also one that could handle the ongoing development of the app at a rate of two updates per month.
With CANAL+ Video on Demand (VOD) and Live Streaming content evolving over time, we needed to offer their editorial teams great flexibility in the structure and display of content on mobile and Apple TV apps. So, the myCANAL project is based on a flexible and adaptable framework. The different interface blocks (grids, slideshows, display) have been designed as individual blocks which are then grouped together. This method allows for continual changes in editorial requirements. For Fabernovel, the challenge was to write code that is modular enough to be used across the Group’s different apps. Today, the platform is used for almost all the Group’s apps in France and across the world.
1 single project
a dozen apps
+ 6 million
myCANAL subscribers across the world
of files created for each app
We now work with CANAL+ teams on a daily basis to improve their quality of service and provide users with an attractive, optimized VOD and Live Streaming interface for mobile apps and Apple TV. In France, the myCANAL app is regularly promoted in the App Store.
Launched in late 2016, the myCANAL Apple TV app has been at the top of the App Store TV list for a number of months now, ahead of Molotov TV, Netflix and YouTube. In fact, during Apple’s annual keynote event in June 2018, Apple TV was referred to as a leading product for the second year running. And finally the screens used for the tvOS guidelines are the CANAL+ ones.
Interview of Julie Rollin-Moustéou, Project Director
What kind of impact has this project had on your job?
The myCANAL project is a multifaceted initiative as there are a number of contributors and it’s technically complex (the customized player, Chromecast, Airplay, HTTP Live Streaming etc). It has allowed me to rapidly improve some of my organizational skills – schedule management and roadmap planning, large team of developers – and mobile-specific issues such as limiting video output according to the network, working with two programming languages (Objective C and Swift) in the same project, web service constraints and the management of errors etc. For this project, we’re working in a mixed team made up of our own developers and individuals from CANAL+. Good communication and sharing have been key factors in the success of this project.
What’s cutting-edge about this project?
The myCANAL app is cutting-edge! It offers a complete, optimized user experience for viewing content, and is as good on the move as it is at home. When used at home, myCANAL has been one of the first apps to allow video streaming of live content via Chromecast, and today it’s one of the only apps to allow the streaming of live content using Chromecast. When the user doesn’t have an adequate internet connection, when traveling, for example, the app also offers downloadable content that can be viewed without a connection. myCANAL on Apple TV also offers a unique sporting experience! Thanks to Multi-Live, you can follow a number of events at the same time or several different cameras at the same time at one single sporting event. It’s the ideal app for “experts” in the sporting world! At the moment, any user can subscribe directly to myCANAL via the mobile apps or Apple TV.
How does this project bring you job satisfaction?
The partnership between FABERNOVEL TECHNOLOGIES and CANAL+ is based on a trusting relationship that has lasted over 6 years, which is very rewarding. It means we can move quickly when developing new features. We can also regularly suggest innovations and ways to improve the user experience: Multi- Live sport on Apple TV, relevant information on VOD content, in-app purchasing etc. The partnership between FABERNOVEL TECHNOLOGIES and CANAL+ has been strong since it first started in 2011: increasingly, the roadmap is (often exclusively) supplied when integrating new features: Chromecast Live, Siri for finding content on demand, “expert” mode for sport, etc. We’re launching a new version of the app at least once a month!