Electronic Guide App

Electronic Guide App


Our customer is an international company working in the digital publishing industry. It delivers business information to the finance, law, transport and energy sectors.


One of the customer’s departments provides corporate taxpayers with a special annual guide (hard copies and electronic — via their website). The guide contains information about the world’s leading companies in financial and related areas. It allows finding trusted advisers and checking the advisers’ performance against their competitors.

The idea was to create a mobile app so that users can easily get access to latest guide issue and previous year issues as well.

The main requirements for the new application were:

  • universal iOS application (supporting iPhone/iPad device family)
  • PDF reader capabilities with a table of contents and bookmarks support
  • integration with a backend (SOAP)
  • the ability to update in-bundle guide for the current year
  • Google Ads support


First, we made a review of available PDF reader frameworks and libraries and chose PDFTouch framework (taking into consideration the best value for money).

The customer wants to build a few similar apps in future, so this app would be used as a barebone. So we designed an architecture with the ability to easily add or remove additional screens and content.

We got PDFTouch source code and had to make a few customisations in it to fit the customer’s UI standards.

The backend integration was based on the native iOS SDK (NSURLSession that was added with iOS 7). We developed two-step approach for the guide updating functionality: the app receives an URL for the guide from the backend and after that compares its modification date with a local copy - with a such model we avoiding hardcoded links to the latest guide issue.

Results / Benefits

The customer got a new way of the guide distribution and convenient tool for providing updates to their customers.

Besides, the customer got a barebone app that was later used for development of other similar apps.


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