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Alan iOS SDK


Alan can be integrated with iOS apps developed in Swift and Objective-C. The integration procedure for iOS Swift/Objective-C apps is the same. To add Alan voice to an iOS app, you need to do the following:

  1. Get the Alan iOS SDK framework
  2. Integrate with the app: Swift or Objective-C. As part of this process, you will:

    a. Add the Alan Config object to your app

    b. Add the Alan button to your app

Get the Alan iOS SDK framework

First, you need to get the Alan iOS SDK framework and set up your XCode project to be used with Alan. You can do it in two ways:

Set up an XCode project with CocoaPods

Do the following:

  1. On the machine, open Terminal and install CocoaPods:

    sudo gem install cocoapods
  2. Go to the project folder and create a Podfile for the project:

    pod init
  3. Open the Podfile and edit it:

    use_frameworks!
    platform :ios, '11.0'
    target '<Your Target Name>' do
    pod 'AlanSDK-iOS'
    end
  4. In the project folder, install the dependencies for the project:

    pod install
    pod update
  5. Close any current Xcode sessions, go the project folder and open the generated XCode workspace file: <appname>.xcworkspace. You should use this file to open your Xcode project from now on.
  6. In iOS, the user must explicitly grant permission for an app to access the microphone. The Info.plist file of the app must contain the NSMicrophoneUsageDescription key with a string value explaining to the user how the app uses this data.

    To add the key:

    a. In Xcode, go to the Info tab.

    b. In the Custom iOS Target Properties section, hover over any key in the list and click the plus icon to the right.

    c. From the list, select Privacy - Microphone Usage Description.

    d. In the Value field to the right, provide a description for the added key. This description will be displayed to the user when the app is launched.

    mic

  7. To allow the background mode for the iOS app, go to the Signing and Capabilities tab. In the top left corner, click + Capability and in the capabilities list, double-click Background Modes. In the Modes list, select the Audio, AirPlay, and Picture in Picture check box. mic
  8. The background mode must also be turned on in the Alan Studio project. In the Alan Studio, at the top of the code editor, click Integrations, go to the iOS tab and enable the Keep active while the app is in the background option.
  9. In Xcode, go to the Build phases tab. In the top left corner, click the + button, select New Run Script Phase and add the following:

    sh "${SRCROOT}/Pods/AlanSDK-iOS/AlanSDK-iOS/Frameworks/AlanSDK.framework/frameworks-strip.sh"

    Why is this script needed? The frameworks are not just single executables. They are actually FAT binaries that are archives of linked executables on different architectures. This includes architecture slices for arm64 and armv7 that are necessary for deployment on the phone, as well as i386 and x86_64 that are necessary for running the app in the simulator. The frameworks-strip.sh script main responsibility is to take care of removing unnecessary slices. This reduces the final package size.

Set up an XCode project manually

Do the following:

  1. Open the Alan iOS SDK release page on Alan GitHub.
  2. Download the AlanSDK.framework_<x.x.x>.zip file from the latest release. download
  3. Extract AlanSDK.framework from the ZIP archive.
  4. Drag AlanSDK.framework and drop it onto the root node of the Xcode project. copy1
  5. Select the Copy items if needed check box if it is not selected. copy2
  6. In the project tree, select the XCode project file and go to the General tab. Under the Frameworks, Libraries, and Embedded Content section, find AlanSDK.framework and select Embed & Sign from the list. embedded
  7. In iOS, the user must explicitly grant permission for an app to access the microphone. The Info.plist file of the app must contain the NSMicrophoneUsageDescription key with a string value explaining to the user how the app uses this data.
    To add the key:

    a. In Xcode, go to the Info tab.

    b. In the Custom iOS Target Properties section, hover over any key in the list and click the plus icon to the right.

    c. From the list, select Privacy - Microphone Usage Description.

    d. In the Value field to the right, provide a description for the added key. This description will be displayed to the user when the app is launched.

    mic

  8. To allow the background mode for the iOS app, go to the Signing and Capabilities tab. In the top left corner, click + Capability and in the capabilities list, double-click Background Modes. In the Modes list, select the Audio, AirPlay, and Picture in Picture check box. mic
  9. The background mode must also be turned on in the Alan Studio project. In the Alan Studio, at the top of the code editor, click Integrations, go to the iOS tab and enable the Keep active while the app is in the background option.
  10. Go to the Build phases tab. Click the + button, select New Run Script Phase and add the following:

    sh "${BUILT_PRODUCTS_DIR}/${FRAMEWORKS_FOLDER_PATH}/AlanSDK.framework/frameworks-strip.sh"

    Why is this script needed? The frameworks are not just single executables. They are actually FAT binaries that are archives of linked executables on different architectures. This includes architecture slices for arm64 and armv7 that are necessary for deployment on the phone, as well as i386 and x86_64 that are necessary for running the app in the simulator. The frameworks-strip.sh script main responsibility is to take care of removing unnecessary slices. This reduces the final package size.

Integrate with the app

You need to integrate Alan with your app written in:

Integrate with Swift

In the Xcode project, open the ViewController.swift file. You need to add the following Swift snippet to your view controller:

  1. At the top of the file, import AlanSDK:

    import AlanSDK
  2. In the ViewController class, define the AlanButton variable:

    fileprivate var button: AlanButton!
  3. in viewDidLoad(), set up AlanButton. For more details, see Alan Config object and Alan button.

    import UIKit
    import AlanSDK
    
    class ViewController: UIViewController {
    
    	/// Alan button
    	fileprivate var button: AlanButton!
    	override func viewDidLoad() {
    		super.viewDidLoad()
    	
    		/// Setup the Alan button
    		self.setupAlan()
    	}
    
    	fileprivate func setupAlan() {
    
    		/// Define the project key
    		let config = AlanConfig(key: "")
        
    		///  Init the Alan button
    		self.button = AlanButton(config: config)
        
    		/// Add the button to the view
    		self.view.addSubview(self.button)
    		self.button.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
        
    		/// Align the button on the view
    		let views = ["button" : self.button!]
    		let verticalButton = NSLayoutConstraint.constraints(withVisualFormat: "V:|-(>=0@299)-[button(64)]-40-|", options: NSLayoutConstraint.FormatOptions(), metrics: nil, views: views)
    		let horizontalButton = NSLayoutConstraint.constraints(withVisualFormat: "H:|-(>=0@299)-[button(64)]-20-|", options: NSLayoutConstraint.FormatOptions(), metrics: nil, views: views)
    		self.view.addConstraints(verticalButton + horizontalButton)
    	}
    }
  4. In let config = AlanConfig(key: ""), define the Alan SDK key for your Alan Studio project. To get the key, in the Alan Studio, at the top of the code editor, click Integrations and copy the value from the Alan SDK Key field.
  5. Run the app and tap the Alan button.

Integrate with Objective-C

Add this Objective-C snippet to your view controller.

  1. Import AlanSDK:

    @import AlanSDK;
  2. Define the AlanButton variable:

    @property (nonatomic) AlanButton* button;
  3. In viewDidLoad, set up AlanButton. For more details, see Alan Config object and Alan button.

    AlanConfig* config = [[AlanConfig alloc] initWithKey:@"YOUR_KEY_FROM_ALAN_STUDIO_HERE"];
    self.button = [[AlanButton alloc] initWithConfig:config];
    [self.button setTranslatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints:NO];
    [self.view addSubview:self.button];
    NSLayoutConstraint* b = [NSLayoutConstraint constraintWithItem:self.button attribute:NSLayoutAttributeBottom relatedBy:NSLayoutRelationEqual toItem:self.view attribute:NSLayoutAttributeBottom multiplier:1 constant:-40.0];
    NSLayoutConstraint* r = [NSLayoutConstraint constraintWithItem:self.button attribute:NSLayoutAttributeRight relatedBy:NSLayoutRelationEqual toItem:self.view attribute:NSLayoutAttributeRight multiplier:1 constant:-20];
    NSLayoutConstraint* w = [NSLayoutConstraint constraintWithItem:self.button attribute:NSLayoutAttributeWidth relatedBy:NSLayoutRelationEqual toItem:nil attribute:NSLayoutAttributeNotAnAttribute multiplier:1 constant:64.0];
    NSLayoutConstraint* h = [NSLayoutConstraint constraintWithItem:self.button attribute:NSLayoutAttributeHeight relatedBy:NSLayoutRelationEqual toItem:nil attribute:NSLayoutAttributeNotAnAttribute multiplier:1 constant:64.0];
    [self.view addConstraints:@[b, r, w, h]];
  4. Run the app and tap the Alan button:

Add the AlanConfig object

You need to add the AlanConfig object to your app. This object describes the parameters that are provided for AlanButton.

  1. Create a new AlanConfig instance with your Alan project SDK key:

    - (instancetype)initWithKey:(NSString *)key;
    Name Type Description
    key NSString Project key from the Alan Studio
  2. Create a new AlanConfig instance with your Alan project SDK key and custom data object:

    - (instancetype)initWithKey:(NSString *)key dataObject:(NSDictionary *)dataObject;
    Name Type Description
    key NSString Project key from the Alan Studio
    dataObject NSDictionary Given data object which will be passed to the Alan Studio project

    For example:

    AlanConfig *config = [[AlanConfig alloc] initWithKey:@"YOUR_KEY_FROM_ALAN_STUDIO_HERE"];

Add the Alan button

To add the Alan button to your app, use the AlanButton class. This class provides a view with the voice button and instance methods to communicate with the Alan Studio.

Сreate a new AlanButton instance with the config object:

- (instancetype)initWithConfig:(AlanConfig *)config;
Name Type Description
config AlanConfig AlanConfig object for configuration which is described above

For example:

@interface ViewController ()
@property (nonatomic) AlanButton *button;
@end

@implementation ViewController
- (void)viewDidLoad
{
    [super viewDidLoad];
    AlanConfig *config = [[AlanConfig alloc] initWithKey:@"YOUR_KEY_FROM_ALAN_STUDIO_HERE"];
    self.button = [[AlanButton alloc] initWithConfig:config];
    [self.button setTranslatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints:NO];
    [self.view addSubview:self.button];

    NSLayoutConstraint *right = [NSLayoutConstraint constraintWithItem:self.button attribute:NSLayoutAttributeRight relatedBy:NSLayoutRelationEqual toItem:self.view attribute:NSLayoutAttributeRight multiplier:1 constant:-20.0];
    NSLayoutConstraint *bottom = [NSLayoutConstraint constraintWithItem:self.button attribute:NSLayoutAttributeBottom relatedBy:NSLayoutRelationEqual toItem:self.view attribute:NSLayoutAttributeBottom multiplier:1 constant:-20.0];
    NSLayoutConstraint *width = [NSLayoutConstraint constraintWithItem:self.button attribute:NSLayoutAttributeWidth relatedBy:NSLayoutRelationEqual toItem:nil attribute:NSLayoutAttributeNotAnAttribute multiplier:1 constant:64.0];
    NSLayoutConstraint *height = [NSLayoutConstraint constraintWithItem:self.button attribute:NSLayoutAttributeHeight relatedBy:NSLayoutRelationEqual toItem:nil attribute:NSLayoutAttributeNotAnAttribute multiplier:1 constant:64.0];
    [self.view addConstraints:@[right, bottom, width, height]];
}
@end

Use the Alan button methods

You can use the Alan button methods to do the following:

Playing text via Alan

- (void)playText:(NSString *)text;
Name Type Description
textString NSString Text to be played

For example:

- (IBAction)didTapPlayButton:(id)sender
{
    NSString *play = @"someString";
    [self.button playText:play];
}

Sending a voice synchronized data event

- (void)playCommand:(NSDictionary *)command;
Name Type Description
command NSDictionary Data event to be sent

For example:

- (IBAction)didTapDataButton:(id)sender
{
    NSDictionary *data = @{@"someKey": @"someValue"};
    [self.button playCommand: data];
}

Setting a visual state of the app

- (void)setVisualState:(NSDictionary *)visualStateData;
Name Type Description
data NSDictionary Data with the visual state description

For example:

- (IBAction)didTapVisualButton:(id)sender
{
    NSDictionary *visual = @{@"someScreen": @"someValue"};
    [self.button setVisualState:visual];
}

Calling a function from the voice script

- (void)callProjectApi:(NSString *)method withData:(NSDictionary*)data callback:(void(^)(NSError *error, NSString *object))callback;
Name Type Description
method NSString Function name
data NSDictionary Function params
callback (void(^)(NSError *error, NSString *object)) Callback to handle the result

For example:

- (IBAction)didTapCallButton:(id)sender
{
    NSString *function = @"script::updateGPS";
    NSDictionary *data = @{@"lat": @"55.0000", @"lon": @"55.0000"};
    [self.button callProjectApi:function withData:data callback:^(NSError *error, NSString *object) {
        NSLog(@"result: %@", object);
    }];
}

Handle events from the Alan iOS SDK

To handle events coming from the Alan iOS SDK, add an observer for a notification with the kAlanSDKEventNotification name. For example:

- (void)viewDidLoad
{
    [super viewDidLoad];
    [[NSNotificationCenter defaultCenter] addObserver:self selector:@selector(handleEvent:) name:@"kAlanSDKEventNotification" object:nil];
}

- (void)handleEvent:(NSNotification*)notification
{
    NSDictionary *userInfo = notification.userInfo;
    if( userInfo == nil )
    {
        return;
    }
    NSString *jsonString = [userInfo objectForKey:@"jsonString"];
    if( jsonString == nil )
    {
        return;
    }
    NSData *jsonData = [jsonString dataUsingEncoding:NSUTF8StringEncoding];
    NSError *error = nil;
    id unwrapped = [NSJSONSerialization JSONObjectWithData:jsonData options:NSJSONReadingMutableContainers error:&error];
    if( error != nil )
    {
        return;
    }
    NSLog(@"unwrapped: %@", unwrapped);
}