New York City-based iHeartRadio provides unlimited music and thousands of radio stations, all in one app. The company’s operations include radio broadcasting, online, mobile, digital and social media, live concerts and events, syndication, music-research services, and independent media representation.
Listeners around the world have downloaded the app over a billion times since it launched in 2008. By late 2017, however, the codebase was aging, and managing the code and integrating new features proved to be difficult.
What they did
iHeartRadio chose Android Architecture Components as they began upgrading their code. The straightforward, easy-to-implement Room persistency library was attractive to their engineers for its capabilities for handling such things as asynchronous queries and support for RxJava, which iHeartRadio uses extensively in their code.
They also adopted lifecycle-aware components, which perform actions in response to a change in the lifecycle status of another component. The iHeartRadio engineers found these components very useful for shrinking dependencies injected into activities and fragments. In addition, the company created prototypes using ViewModel, which allows data to survive configuration changes, such as screen rotations.
iHeartRadio found it easy to migrate over to Architecture Components and to use the libraries to test how well integration was working. Room and other components require the use of very little boilerplate code, meaning that the app’s code is now significantly shorter. Architecture Components also resulted in fewer memory leaks. An additional benefit was that new developers joining the team could quickly get ramped up and start coding.
Overall, adopting Architecture Components has helped iHeartRadio to create a cleaner, leaner code base that helps them to prevent errors. That’s good news for any app, especially for one offering all-in-one digital audio to a worldwide audience.