// Mobile apps
How to Create a Clubhouse Clone App?
// Mobile apps
Clubhouse Application is deserved to be referred to as one of the most popular projects of 2021. At the moment of the article being published, more than 5 million users have downloaded the app. The quantity of loadings continue to increase.
The main reason of such a popularity of the application (the app is informed to have beaten such apps like TikTok and Telegram) is users’ will to communicate with famous people and their fans in live mode. This experience differs from the usual conversational podcasts on YouTube or streams on Twitch in the way that you are in the same room with the speaker.
The following functional represent the app: there is a room for the users to enter. Each of the present persons is given a certain role of: speaker, listener and moderator. Listeners are able to join the discussion after “raising a hand” and confirmation made by the speaker or moderators. It is worth notifying that Clubhouse does not provide the opportunity to communicate via text messages. One more peculiar feature of the application is that the registration process and communication in the room is allowed only after a person gets an invitation by the other registered & verified user.
Provided any of the readers of this introductory article develop a desire to compose something alike, therefore it is necessary to define the key point, which is the architecture of the application. We would like to inform our readers that we are not limited to the creation of the client side (mobile app). To get the fully functional application like Сlubhouse we will need the server part responsible for users’ connection and other operations.
As far as the architecture of our app is concerned, I would recommend using the multi-level architecture of client-server. The choice is reasoned by the fact that this approach will give us an enourmous choice of the applied tools (programming languages, DBMS, etc). Such an approach will allow us to breaking the developed app into three conditional parts: client (mobile app), server (a business logic containing program) and data free server (requests, transactions processing, and other).
The advantages of this structure include high reliability and security, scalability, and the fact that the application can be split into three separate parts. The disadvantages are that the servers must have high performance, especially, in terms of the speed between the server and the database server. However, if the application is created for the internal needs only and a large number of clients are not expected, then this should not be a problem.
Primarily, it is necessary to define the programming languages that will assist us in the process of the app development. We are obliged to determine the base of client and server development. At this point, I strictly recommend using the tools which are familiar for us. In case if you are an unexperienced developer and find yourself stuck at some point, the web-resource tiobe.com can be at use. The programming languages rates are displayed on the mentioned web-resource (provided you decide to implement the most popular language of programming). As far as you can see, at the moment of publishing this article, the most popular programming languages are:
It is not surprising at all. The matter is that all of the languages listed are time-tested and have a large number of libraries and frameworks for solving various tasks.
Let’s begin with the Client Part. Since we have made up our mind to create the application alike Clubhouse in terms of functionality, thus we are to orientate on mobile platform. Like the original version, the application to be available for IOS operating devices only. Thus, the clien part will be worked out using Swift language. This is the key language oriented onto the Apple eco-system adaptation. The language is well-documented, the syntax will be clear to a beginner, the development will take much less time than on Objectvie-C, which is losing popularity against the background of the Swift.
Despite the simplicity of the programming language for IOS, we are to deal with more tricky task which is the development for the Android. The soft for this system can be composed using three languages: C++, Java and Kotlin. Although the former is supported by Google in terms of mobile development, its use as an application development is highly discouraged. For our purposes, Java or Kotlin to be best suited.
Java has been used since the moment of Android creation, the majority of the apps have been developed (and continue to being created) using it. The language is very well documented, you can find a bunch of tutorials and articles on mobile development on the net. Kotlin – is relatively new language that screamingly becoming popular among Android-developers. What is more, Google announced Kotlin the main language in Android development in 2017.
In terms of performance, these programming languages are almost the same, as they run on the same virtual machine. Libraries and frameworks are compatible for the two languages. Thus, you are free to choose for yourself - popular and discussed or debugged and reliable.
Prior to making a choice in favor of one or the other programming language, we should determine the operational sphere for the server part. Talking about the “sphere”, I mean Windows- and Linux-systems.
If you agree to purchase a Windows-server license and are closer to the Microsoft technology stack, then the choice will probably be obvious. It is C # language. The popular programming language supports a large number of tools for designing such applications.
If you are a fan of Linux systems, then Java is the opposite of C #. You can also use C #, but .NET Core on Linux isn't as cool as it is on Windows. Both of languages are good and have been widely used for server application creation. They do a very good job of multithreading and handling large numbers of users. Plus, if you are the expert, you know that those languages can provide decent safety and reliability.
You can use C/C++ as well, but the development and debugging will require much more time (in comparison to C# and Java). However, the results will bring more benefits in terms of performance compared to the other languages.
Now I want to get back to the operational systems to be chosen for the app. Windows will supply you with ease of administration, timely technical support and operational reliability. Linux distributions, that will provide an ability to scale the architecture in the future. Linux operational server is capable of one time adjustment and lifespan functionality. Provided all settings are adjusted properly, the server part will guarantee the high reliability.
It’s high time now to put aside the client and server parts as we shall move on to the place for storing the users’ data. DBMS (Database Management Systems) are responsible for that.
There are a lot of various DBMS used in the process of apps creation. Among the most popular ones, the following can be chosen for the creation of our app: PostgreSQL, MS SQL Server. I shall start from the end of the list. MS (Microsoft) SQL Server – it is a powerful DBMS with great functionality for administering not only the database, but also the database server. However, this system has two main drawbacks: its software package is not free, and full functionality will be available only on a server running a Windows system.
PostgreSQL is a free, fast and lightweight database management system. It can be run both under windows and under Linux systems. DBMS can be accessed using most programming languages. So, when creating a product, there should not be any special difficulties both at the development stage and during operation.
The material given above can be referred to as custom development. What does custom development mean? Custom development – this is the process of creating an application in isolation from any corporate standards. We are not limited in the choice of tools, approaches, and anything else. Perhaps, in all stages of the app development, you will have to create unique tools for some specific tasks. This will bring the uniqueness to your project for sure.
In this case, you will need to create an application for the exchange of audio information in streaming mode. The task is not new, but the approach to each solution differs.
What is the "custom" of Clubhouse? Its main peculiarity is the ability to join the app using someone else’s invitation only (you can send an application form, however, the process of verification will last for long). This is the key task for us. While creating the app it is vital to have the non-standard approach, which will differentiate our all among the commonly used apps that you can download and sign up. Therefore, when creating a clone of an application, the performance of such a non-trivial task will be important.
Currently, the format of Clubhouse application is unique - there are no other social networks supporting communication only by voice. The application is available only to iPhone users, which is why interest in the social network is only growing. Such an elaboration has set the goals for the developers - Android users keep demanding the appearance of this or a similar application for their OS, whereas more and more iPhone owners are trying to get into this unique application. A huge number of programmers have working started working on the creation of their own clone programs, which will be available to a large number of users. As for me, I have provided a small general reference on their creation in this article.