Case Study: How we developed Gander

No matter who you are – an outgoing extrovert or a silent introvert, we all like hanging out at certain cafes, restaurants, clubs and whatnot. And we all have some favourite stores, shopping malls, bars, parks, schools, beauty salons, gas stations – some best places.

Our client came up with the idea to craft such a social place finder app!

Well, we decided to take place finder app development to the next level by allowing people to check-in at the places they are currently visiting and therefore letting visitors mingle much easier and faster using all kinds of social networks.

You can also find places to visit. You could, for example, find a restaurant or a cafe and therefore add some new places to the list. Just save favourite places and you’ll never forget to visit again!

Gander – the location based app lets you meet new people at your favourite places much easier.

You can also find out something new about the place visitors and maybe pick up a girl by bringing up in a conversation that you like classical music and get the “Wow. Just like me!” reply.

Check in at places app development

In this article we’ll share the experience of our favorite locations app development. If you are curious what is the best way to build local places finder app then this article is just right for you! Let’s get started on our check in at places app development case study.

What we did

Our team used all kinds of different frameworks when developing Gander. Now let’s break down the app to the basic elements and see what we got.


We’ll start from the first thing users are gonna see when they just downloaded the app on their phone and launch it for the very first time – the onboarding.

As we all know onboarding is a great thing to have in your app, and in some cases they are simply necessary. It helps to actually get users “on board” quickly.

While building Gander, we came up with the idea to build our own custom open source onboarding framework for iOS.

Develop favourite places app

Our team has developed this solution to simplify and speed up the process of onboarding creation, as well as get a highly customizable onboarding creation system. And we have been using the library ever since.

Sign in

All users should sign in using their Facebook account. We’ve made this decision in order to prevent users from creating fake accounts inside of the app system.

Map screen

The map displays places around you taking this information from Google Places API. The map is interactive, it automatically updates places around the user. There’s a few different modes, smooth animations, functional search (reverse geocoding and Google Places Search).

In addition, when creating the map for our favourite location-aware mobile app we used clustering algorithm for navigation. The map responds to the change of GPS location.

Full screen mode includes a preview of the closest place. If you swipe you’ll get redirected to that closest place on the map, where a pulsating point is gonna appear.

Build favourite places app

If you switch to the list mode you’ll see the closest places as well as the most popular around you (in 100 km radius area). You’ll also get a distance to each of those places, plus a number of check-ins from each of them.

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Place screen

Now this is the screen that describes a particular place. It’s got different photos of the place switching periodically. The key element of the screen is the list of check-ins where you can see a list of contacts: names and ages of those checked-in users.

There’s also the number of users displayed on the place screen. Besides, there is a check-in button that serves a purpose of checking you into the place.

Check In animation

The button has a smooth beautiful animation, which is an awesome thing to look at if you have to be waiting for the server response that takes more than expected.

You can also open any of the profiles of checked-in users.

Profile screen

This one allows you to look at the list of recent check-ins of the users. Besides you can take a look at the photos and go to a user’s social network page.

There’s a whole bunch of different social media integrated into the app: facebook, twitter, snapchat, google+, pinterest, instagram. Users can easily link their Gander account to a social network account and hide it as well.

If you don’t want people to be able to see your Facebook page (Some people just want to keep it private), you can easily hide it. However, in this case you won’t be able to detach the account and be able to log into the app from another device.

List animation

Edit profile screen

This screen lets you linking different social media accounts to your app user account. Besides, you can edit the name and description, which are shown to the people who visit your account.

Warnings notification

In addition, you can add your photos as well as change their order. For this purpose we have created custom UICollectionViewFlowLayout and UICollectionView where you can drag and drop pictures.


For this item we used our custom tab bar solution. To find out why we used a tab bar as opposed to a side menu (aka “the hamburger button”) click here.

Our menu has a number of important functions.

With the help of the menu you can contact the app developers to either get help or share some ideas. Besides, you can check out the onboarding and terms of usage. In addition, you can log off. You can also proceed to the “Share” screen using the Menu.

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This screen serves a pretty straightforward purpose – sharing. Here you can get some more of your friends into Gander by sharing posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or Instagram.


Gander icon

We showed you how to develop a favourite places finder app. Our team hopes our experience is gonna contribute into your own city guide app development and make it become a big success.

If you have any questions regarding your future project (whether it’s related to local places finder app development or not), feel free to contact us. We kick asses when it comes to developing apps with smart custom design!


Vladimir Sharavara

Vladimir Sharavara