iOS and Android development

Brainbean Apps is a full-cycle & full-stack mobile software development company. Creating applications for Android and iOS using various frameworks and approaches we also take care of design, infrastructure, and quality assurance. We accompany your product from idea to publishing & warranty support.

 
Undisclosed
 
$25 - $49 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2015
Show all +
Tallinn, Estonia
headquarters
  • Brainbean Apps
    Tornimäe 5
    Tallinn 10145
    Estonia
    +372.880.70.88
other locations
  • Brainbean Apps
    Zhylianska St 146
    Kyiv 01032
    Ukraine
    +1.804.409.0499

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Startups, SMB

Reviews

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Android App & Bluetooth LE Expertise for IoT Wearable

"They have good discretion and they’re able to anticipate what you want and provide it to you."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
June 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Brainbean Apps built an Android app and solved a connectivity issue between an IoT device and Androids using Bluetooth LE. They continue to provide support, UI/UX work, and more.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Luke Fromowitz
CTO, Chronos Wearables
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The technical know-how on display over the course of the project is impressive. The development team's clear commitment to the project and ability to meet tight deadlines is appreciated and the IoT product has been launched successfully.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CTO of a company called Chronos Wearables. It's a new hardware company that produces a consumer electronic product that's meant to convert anyone's regular timepiece, whether it's mechanical, analog, quartz movement, etc. into a smartwatch by giving it some smartwatch functionality like step tracking and notifications. It’s an IoT device that pairs to your Android or iOS phone. My role requires technical development, product design, product planning, strategy, and logistics, among other things.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Brainbean Apps?

So our initial request was to help us with our Android application. We had already developed the iOS app first and had held off from Android until the iOS version was at a point where we felt it was foolproof enough to move forward with building out the Android app to increase the audience size. We had had another agency give the Android version a first shot and they sort of failed. Then Brainbean tool over, basically starting from scratch. They were able to make a really solid performing app, actually.

What obstacles did Brainbean Apps overcome that the previous developers could not?

The product is a complex hardware device, so we have firmware on the device and we need it to communicate over Bluetooth LE between the product and the user’s cell phone, through the app. The previous group got stuck at step one, which was, “how do we just pair it to the product and make sure it communicates reliably?” They were able to build a proof of concept but then it would work on only one phone or it would drop out pretty fast. They used up their timeline and their budget and we extended it, maybe even doubled it. They couldn't get to a point where it was reliable enough and that’s when we started working with Brainbean.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

There were some big deliverables and support throughout. They literally built the whole Android application – interface and everything. They also provided ad hoc support. For example, I had them help with some UI/UX on our website, development work on our website, UI/UX on iOS, some light iOS development, and other things. Generally, we either have our own designs or I'll kind of give them direction and if it's something that feels comfortable, they'll take that on too, which they have capabilities in-house for.

What is the team dynamic?

We're a lean company. At the time, we had maybe 5 or 6 people. They work alongside our technical firmware lead for a lot of the work, and I also work with them hands-on as well. The team on their side depends on the project. For the Android app, there's two main developers and project manager, plus Alexey if needed for escalations. For the website, it was three as well. It was a developer, designer, and project manager. For iOS, it was two resources or less, because it was pretty lightweight work.

How did you come to work with Brainbean Apps?

Actually, Alexey [Pelykh, Founder] reached out to me. I think he either found me through LinkedIn or was referred to me from another company that we had shared incubator space with in a hardware accelerator. I told him in brief what issues we were going through and he outlined the steps of how they would accomplish my project and he seemed pretty confident. Then he gave me some examples of previous work they worked on, which increased my confidence. Most importantly, they actually had a project that had quite a big issue, larger than ours, and they had already solved the problem. That client had shipped product that had firmware on it that could not be updated over the air. So whatever they ship from the factory, the customer is stuck with that sort of firmware on the product. Then something happened with phone software and every single product was no longer working. Brainbean had to do some clever workarounds that required talking to the device over Bluetooth and Android and iOS. The solution was highly relevant to my issues and a lot more difficult so I had a lot of confidence in them.

How much have you invested with them?

I don’t know the exact answer to that, to be honest. I don’t think it’s over $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them around June last year and we’re still working together.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The device has been in use for a while. It’s going well – I haven’t heard any negative feedback from users. I don’t have metrics around usage in front of me.

How did Brainbean perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve performed very well. We prefer to be lightweight. They use email and Trello for Scrum board. This has been my first time working with anyone from Ukraine and I didn’t know what the communication skills were going to be. Everyone’s English is perfect and they’re very flexible with their hours, especially the developers – they’re awesome. We had a critical deadline and I think one of their developers worked something like 36 hours straight so he could be on both time zones. It really helped us a lot to meet our deadline. The communication was quick. I rarely had to ask them for their status, so that was great.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I don't know if I'm just ignorant, but I feel like they are really good at working on these Bluetooth applications that have to cross-mingle between firmware and over-the-air communication with Android and iOS. That's not a very common skill. It's technically difficult because there's just so much fragmentation in the industry right now with different parts manufacturers and different production methods. It was pretty exciting to see how well their solutions worked. Plus, their QA is really good, too. They're quick, agile, flexible, and provide feedback.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I would say if they could have longer hours. They're not working any less than we do in America. It's just they're on a different side of the world. So that's the only issue and out of their control. They made up for that by allowing developers to have their own schedule, so it's nice to catch them when they're in their night owl mode during our daytime. It's nice to have that flexibility.

What recommendations would you have for someone considering hiring them?

I would definitely tell them to hire Brainbean.

4.5
Overall Score They’re very competitively priced and they're also able to do it right with not a lot of effort from the client's side, too, which is important.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I’ve never had to wait for bandwidth to open up, they’ve actually met timelines, and they’ve extended themselves in crunch times to meet our deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The cost is equivalent to developers in Asia, but their skill sets are equivalent to what you would get in America.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They have good discretion and they’re able to anticipate what you want and provide it to you.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve worked at Samsung and with plenty of other development agencies. For smaller shops, I would definitely rate them as top or top two in my experience.

Application Development for Transportation Advertiser

“From our point of view, everything was great, from their communication and attitude to their ability to meet deadlines.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. 2016 - Jun.
Project summary: 

Brainbean Apps was tasked with creating three applications interacting with a web server, with two designed for drivers (iOS and Android), as well as an Android application for passengers. 

The Reviewer
 
Startup
 
London, United Kingdom
Director, Transportation Advertiser
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They served as more of a partner than an outsourced company, helping guide the company’s strategy with the project. The client will continue to work with Brainbean as they accrue more funding. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a British start-up company based in London, which provides advertisement services to public transport companies. I am the director.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Brainbean Apps?

The goal of the partnership was to hire a development team that will take care of all the tech-related stuff involved in the project, so we could concentrate on the business model.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The project consists of three independent applications interacting with a web server: two driver’s apps (for iOS and Android phones) and the passenger’s app (for Android tablet). The driver’s apps allow them to set a destination point and track the current location of the vehicle.

The passenger’s app is used to interact with travelers. The main function of the app is movie and music video playback, which might be interrupted every now and again by showing relevant ads.

The relevancy of the ads depends on the current location and the departure and destination points of the vehicle. To achieve the best result we decided that the following tools had to be used:

  • Xcode and Objective-C for the iOS application.
  • Android Studio, Android SDK, Dagger2, ButterKnife, Realm and  Otto Bus for the Android application.
  • Retrofit, Gson, Picasso, Google Location API and Google Places API for the Google Geolocation API.
  • Git for Fabric.
  • PHP7 and Lumen Framework for the API.

How did you come to work with Brainbean Apps?

We were looking for a company for about two months that could potentially fulfill all our demands. During that period, we looked into 15 different companies located in Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Latvia, and Estonia. Most of the companies estimated that it would take 6 - 8 months for development. This did not fit within our timeframe. Brainbean Apps promised to deliver a fully functional project in 3.5 months, and spend two more weeks for possible bug fixing and testing, all for a lower cost than what other companies were asking for. We looked into their portfolio and their feedback score on the global freelancing platform “Upwork”, which was very positive. We decided to give them a go.

How much have you invested with Brainbean Apps?

We have spent $65,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We got in touch with Brainbean Apps in late February and started working on the project in late March. We had it fully finished by the middle of June 2016. The project is currently frozen as we are looking for investments. As soon as everything is sorted from our side, we will surely get back to Brainbean Apps and ask them to continue working on the project.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Currently, the project is in stand-by mode, as we are looking for investments to continue working on it. However, as Brainbean Apps helped us to build the product - it allowed us to build a strong partnership with some companies that are going to be very important for us.

What did you find most impressive about Brainbean Apps?

Despite the fact that we asked Brainbean Apps to just deal with the tech side of the project, they provided some advice and suggestions about the business model as well. Some of their advice was taken on board and helped us to achieve a better result than we expected.

Brainbean Apps can communicate in different languages. Russian and English were the key languages for our multicultural team.

Are there any areas Brainbean Apps could improve?

We were very pleased with the Brainbean team. From our point of view, everything was great, from their communication and attitude to their ability to meet deadlines. There is nothing we could criticize about their work. There is nothing I would recommend that they should change in particular. However, I believe there is always a room for improvement, so I am sure they could still make their process quicker, better, and more enjoyable for both parties.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

iOS & Android App Development for Payment App

"The cost that we’ve had for this entire project would be less than half of what we ended up paying if we had used them from day 1."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
June 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

BrainBean was brought in to put better finishing touches on partially built apps inherited from a previous provider and ultimately became the maintenance partner for the released apps.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 employees
 
Washington DC Metro Area
CEO, Payment App
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client has been very satisfied, especially given the rates. He is extremely happy with their knowledge of Android development and notes that their iOS team is still improving.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of a mobile payment app company that partners with bars and restaurants. Our mobile payment app allows a user to integrate directly into the existing point-of-sale system and open up a tab. It’s a nightlife mobile payment app. Let’s say you walk into a bar or restaurant. You press “Check In” and you automatically have a tab open at the bar. When you order anything like you normally do and you would be able to see it on your open tab on your phone. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with BrainBean?

We were with a previous company before we started the project. We didn’t like where it was going, so we switched over to BrainBean for both Android and iOS. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

BrainBean only needed to come in for the mobile app development for Android and iOS. We’ve done all of the backend and design in-house. BrainBean took what the existing company had done, added a data layer, reformatted some stuff, and made the final product. For example, the iOS was already at 90%. They took the existing 90% and finished up the last 10%. For Android, I would say we were at 40% when they came in. BrainBean took the existing code, did the data layer, and added a lot of the technical stuff. They basically rebuilt the entire app from that existing 40%, making the app publishable.

How did you come to work with BrainBean?

Around 4 or 5 months ago, I was trying to bring on Alexey [Pelykh]. He is their founder for Android and he started BrainBean around the same time that I started working with him. I found him through LinkedIn. He has gotten great reviews on LinkedIn, Upwork, and other places. Because of reviews that I found online about Alexey, I came to know BrainBean. 

How much have you invested with BrainBean?

We have paid $30,000 to $50,000 for their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our engagement with BrainBean started in June or July.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We haven’t had a single crash of the app since we’ve launched. We get amazing feedback from bars and restaurants, but that’s also because of the UI and UX we’ve built in. That’s our design so it’s not technically them; we’re really proud of our design team. But I’m impressed by the fact that we haven’t had a single crash of the app since it’s been launched in the app store. That I do give BrainBean 100% credit for. If we had gone with the other company, I’m 100% sure that we would not be at that rate.

How did BrainBean perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve done an excellent job and have managed the project really well. We’re pretty extremely organized, so originally we didn’t want a project manager on it. I think that was one of our biggest problems with the other company, that the project manager was horrible. We originally asked for no QA and no project management so we could just be on top of it ourselves. They insisted on having a project manager and the project manager’s been good. We have Skype groups where we address any concerns if something’s urgent, but we use JIRA for all the tickets. Basically, we input the tickets that we want them built in and they put in their feedback. It’s very transparent. We’re able to see what their developers are working on daily. They can leave comments in JIRA and we can manage anything that we need to. It’s been a very smooth ride.

I think the biggest issue we had with the prior company was their ability to match our designs, actually just copy our designs when they were developing. That’s been one good thing with BrainBean that the other company didn’t have. The developers are very strong. Another good thing about them is that as we’ve needed more development time from them to make the product even better, they’ve brought in additional developers. For example, we wanted to launch much quicker for Android, so they brought in extra developers. We’ve had 2 developers from BrainBean exclusively working on our Android app. Alexey has been great in terms of managing our expectations and what we need at the time. Now the iOS app is already launched and the Android app is launching in a week. Even with that, we’re going to continue to use them for our maintenance package. They’ll probably keep at least 1 developer for us on a weekly basis for that.

What did you find most impressive about BrainBean?

I think their Android skills are amazing. They’re really good leaders when it comes to mobile app development. When we wanted to launch our app in the iOS store, the other company that we worked with didn’t know the proper steps. They didn’t have enough knowledge of the device that we were getting to launch the product in the Play Store and Apple. In contrast, I found that BrainBean is always 5 steps ahead of us. They are very aware of the process that is there for a startup to launch. They know the ins and outs of it. If they don’t know, they’ll do the research and let you know. We feel very confident about the device that we’re getting from them, which we didn’t have from the other company at all. That’s probably the best thing that they have. 

Are there any areas BrainBean could improve?

They’re extremely, extremely strong with Android, but they can be better at iOS. One of the new guys that they brought in was very good, but I guess they could grow a little bit more on the iOS side. They could have more developers on the iOS side because their team is mostly Android-focused. We’ve worked with the new developer from the past couple months now. There is a big difference between where he is now versus where he was 2 months ago. It’s not a major concern, but just 1 small thing if I had to find something wrong with them.

5.0
Overall Score I had a great time working with them. I wish we had started with them in the first place. The cost that we’ve had for this entire project would be less than half of what we ended up paying if we had used them from day 1.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're available for what I really need. When we need more developers, they're able to bring on additional developers within a few days. I never had any concerns that developers aren’t going to be there.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Over the last year, we’ve gone through 2 app companies in order to launch this product. This company’s rate is almost 3 times less than the other company and it provides 10 times better quality. In terms of cost, they are extremely good.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I couldn’t be happier with the quality of work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would refer them 100%. I was joking with Alexey the other day that the bigger they get, they’re not going to have as much time and they’re going to have more and more customers.