This blog post was written under the Pusher Guest Writer program.

If you are a user of applications like Periscope, Instagram and Facebook, then you may have noticed they have a feature in their live streams where anytime someone likes the live content, the ‘likes’ float on your screen. This article will show you how you can implement the real-time floating hearts feature on your iOS application using Swift and Pusher.

Here is a screen recording of what we will be achieving in this tutorial using Swift and Pusher.

From the recording, you can see that when the like button is tapped, the likes float to the top and they are also replicated on another device viewing the video being played.

Now, let’s begin the journey.

Requirements
To follow along in this tutorial you will need the following things:

  • Knowledge of Swift and Xcode storyboards.
  • Xcode installed on your machine.
  • A Pusher application – you can create a free Pusher account here.
  • NodeJS and NPM installed on your machine.
  • Cocoapods installed on your machine – install it using Ruby by running: gem install cocoapods.

Hopefully, you have all the requirements checked off. Let’s get started.

Creating the floating hearts application in Xcode

Launch Xcode and in there create a new project. We are going to call the app streamlove (yes, it’s lame we know). When you are done with the initial setup, close Xcode and launch terminal. cd to the root directory of your application and run pod init. This will create a Podfile in the root directory. Open it in your text editor and replace the code there with the following:

    platform :ios, '9.0'
    target 'streamlove' do
      use_frameworks!
      pod 'PusherSwift', '~> 4.0'
      pod 'Alamofire', '~> 4.4'
    end 

After that save and close the file and run the command pod install. This should start installing all the dependencies required for the application we are creating. Now open the streamlove.xcworkspace file in Xcode.

The next thing we need to do is design our applications storyboard. Open the Main.storyboard file. We are going to add some mock views because we do not really want to implement anything on them and they are just there for the aesthetics. The main things we will focus on are the button and the background video. After designing our storyboard, this is what we hope to have:

In this storyboard, we have a button to the bottom right of the screen, and that button has an @IBAction in the ViewController so you will need to ctrl+drag to make the connection between the button and the ViewController.

This should add the @IBAction to the ViewController as shown below:

    @IBAction func hearted(_ sender: Any) {
        // This function will be fired every time the button is tapped!
    }

Creating a background looping video in iOS using Swift

Next, we will create the video background that will just simulate a live stream (since creating an actual live stream falls far out of the scope of this article). Open the ViewController file and paste the following in it:

    import UIKit
    import PusherSwift
    import Alamofire

    class ViewController: VideoSplashViewController {

        override func viewDidLoad() {
            super.viewDidLoad()
            loadVideoStreamSample()
        }

        private func loadVideoStreamSample() {
            let url = NSURL.fileURL(withPath: Bundle.main.path(forResource: "video", ofType: "mp4")!)
            self.videoFrame = view.frame
            self.fillMode = .resizeAspectFill
            self.alwaysRepeat = true
            self.sound = true
            self.startTime = 0.0
            self.duration = 10.0
            self.alpha = 0.7
            self.backgroundColor = UIColor.black
            self.contentURL = url
            self.restartForeground = true
        }

        override var prefersStatusBarHidden: Bool {
            return true
        }  

        @IBAction func hearted(_ sender: Any) {
            // This function will be called everytime the button is tapped!
        }
    }

In the first line, we have imported the libraries we will need, but mostly later in the tutorial. Now, let us focus on the others. The ViewController extends a VideoSplashViewController that we have not yet created. In the viewDidLoad method we have called a method loadVideoStreamSample and in that method, we are basically loading a video and setting some parameters for the video. These parameters will be implemented in the VideoSplashViewController.

Now for the VideoSplashViewController, we will be using a Swift library that is available on Github. However, because the library does not support Swift 3, we will be picking out the files we need and converting them to support Swift 3. The first one is the VideoSplashViewController. Create a new file VideoSplashViewController that extends UIViewController and in there paste the following:

    import UIKit
    import MediaPlayer
    import AVKit

    public enum ScalingMode {
        case resize
        case resizeAspect
        case resizeAspectFill
    }

    public class VideoSplashViewController: UIViewController {

        private let moviePlayer = AVPlayerViewController()
        private var moviePlayerSoundLevel: Float = 1.0

        public var videoFrame: CGRect = CGRect()
        public var startTime: CGFloat = 0.0
        public var duration: CGFloat = 0.0
        public var backgroundColor = UIColor.black { didSet { view.backgroundColor = backgroundColor } }
        public var contentURL: URL = URL(fileURLWithPath: "") { didSet { setMoviePlayer(url: contentURL) } }
        public var sound: Bool = true { didSet { moviePlayerSoundLevel = sound ? 1 : 0 } }
        public var alpha: CGFloat = 1 { didSet { moviePlayer.view.alpha = alpha } }

        public var alwaysRepeat: Bool = true {

            didSet {

                if alwaysRepeat {
                    NotificationCenter.default.addObserver(forName:.AVPlayerItemDidPlayToEndTime, object:nil, queue:nil) { [weak self] (notification) in
                        self?.playerItemDidReachEnd()
                    }
                    return
                }

                if !alwaysRepeat {
                    NotificationCenter.default.removeObserver(self, name:.AVPlayerItemDidPlayToEndTime, object: nil)
                }
            }
        }

        public var fillMode: ScalingMode = .resizeAspectFill {
            didSet {
                switch fillMode {
                case .resize:
                    moviePlayer.videoGravity = AVLayerVideoGravityResize
                case .resizeAspect:
                    moviePlayer.videoGravity = AVLayerVideoGravityResizeAspect
                case .resizeAspectFill:
                    moviePlayer.videoGravity = AVLayerVideoGravityResizeAspectFill
                }
            }
        }

        public var restartForeground: Bool = false {
            didSet {
                if restartForeground {
                    NotificationCenter.default.addObserver(forName:.UIApplicationWillEnterForeground, object:nil, queue:nil) { [weak self] (notification) in
                        self?.playerItemDidReachEnd()
                    }
                }
            }
        }

        override public func viewDidAppear(_ animated: Bool) {
            super.viewDidAppear(animated)
            moviePlayer.view.frame = videoFrame
            moviePlayer.view.backgroundColor = self.backgroundColor;
            moviePlayer.showsPlaybackControls = false
            moviePlayer.view.isUserInteractionEnabled = false
            view.addSubview(moviePlayer.view)
            view.sendSubview(toBack: moviePlayer.view)
        }

        private func setMoviePlayer(url: URL){
            let videoCutter = VideoCutter()
            videoCutter.cropVideoWithUrl(videoUrl: url, startTime: startTime, duration: duration) { [weak self] (videoPath, error) -> Void in
                guard let path = videoPath, let strongSelf = self else { return }
                strongSelf.moviePlayer.player = AVPlayer(url: path)
                strongSelf.moviePlayer.player?.addObserver(strongSelf, forKeyPath: "status", options: .new, context: nil)
                strongSelf.moviePlayer.player?.play()
                strongSelf.moviePlayer.player?.volume = strongSelf.moviePlayerSoundLevel
            }
        }

        public override func observeValue(forKeyPath keyPath: String?, of object: Any?, change: [NSKeyValueChangeKey : Any]?, context: UnsafeMutableRawPointer?) {

            guard let player = object as? AVPlayer else {
                super.observeValue(forKeyPath: keyPath, of: object, change: change, context: context)
                return
            }

            if player.status == .readyToPlay {
                movieReadyToPlay()
            }
        }

        deinit{
            moviePlayer.player?.removeObserver(self, forKeyPath: "status")
            NotificationCenter.default.removeObserver(self)
        }

        // Override in subclass
        public func movieReadyToPlay() { }

        func playerItemDidReachEnd() {
            moviePlayer.player?.seek(to: kCMTimeZero)
            moviePlayer.player?.play()
        }

        func playVideo() {
            moviePlayer.player?.play()
        }

        func pauseVideo() {
            moviePlayer.player?.pause()
        }
    }

Now create another file called VideoCutter that extends NSObject and paste in the following:

    import UIKit
    import AVFoundation

    extension String {
        var convert: NSString { return (self as NSString) }
    }

    public class VideoCutter: NSObject {

        /**
         Block based method for crop video url

         @param videoUrl Video url
         @param startTime The starting point of the video segments
         @param duration Total time, video length

         */
        public func cropVideoWithUrl(videoUrl url: URL, startTime: CGFloat, duration: CGFloat, completion: ((_ videoPath:URL?, _ error: NSError?) -> Void)?) {

            DispatchQueue.global().async {

                let asset = AVURLAsset(url: url, options: nil)
                var outputPath = NSHomeDirectory()
                let documentPaths = NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)
                if (documentPaths.count > 0) {
                    outputPath = documentPaths.first!
                }
                let fileManager = FileManager.default

                guard let exportSession = AVAssetExportSession(asset: asset, presetName: "AVAssetExportPresetHighestQuality") else { return }
                let outputFilePath = outputPath.convert.appendingPathComponent("output.mp4")

                if fileManager.fileExists(atPath: outputFilePath) {
                    do {
                        try fileManager.removeItem(atPath: outputFilePath)
                    } catch let error {
                        print(error)
                    }
                }

                do {
                    try fileManager.createDirectory(atPath:outputPath, withIntermediateDirectories: true, attributes: nil) }
                catch let error {
                    print(error)
                }

                let start = CMTimeMakeWithSeconds(Float64(startTime), 600)
                let duration = CMTimeMakeWithSeconds(Float64(duration), 600)
                let range = CMTimeRangeMake(start, duration)
                let outputURL = URL(fileURLWithPath: outputFilePath)
                exportSession.outputURL = outputURL
                exportSession.timeRange = range
                exportSession.shouldOptimizeForNetworkUse = true
                exportSession.outputFileType = AVFileTypeMPEG4
                exportSession.exportAsynchronously(completionHandler: {
                    switch exportSession.status {
                    case .completed:
                        DispatchQueue.main.async { completion?(exportSession.outputURL, nil) }
                    default:
                        DispatchQueue.main.async { completion?(nil, nil) }
                    }
                })
            }
        }
    }

In the files above we just created, it basically helps you manage the video background and sets a video of your choosing as the background video and loops it forever. This can also be useful for application landing pages. However, we are just using it for a make-believe video stream.

💡 If you are using a Swift version below 3, then you can use the source code as is in the repository, however, if you use Swift 3 or above you may need these modifications to make it work.

Now the last thing we need to do is add an mp4 file to our workspace. You can use any mp4 file you wish to use. Drop the video file video.mp4 into the workspace and make sure it is copied and added to the application target.

If you build and preview your application now you should see the video looping in the background. Great.

Adding floating hearts to your iOS application

Now that we have the video looping in the background, the next thing we will do is add the floating heart functionality to the application. Basically, every time someone clicks the heart button, a heart icon should float to the top and slowly disappear.

Open the Main.storyboard file and in the bottom right above the heart button, add a View with no background. This will be the viewport where the floating hearts will travel. You can make it a rectangle of about 250×350.

Next, we will be using another library from Github to add the floating hearts functionality to the application. The file we actually need is the Floater.swift file. The library does not yet have any package manager way to install it so we will be copying the contents of the file and adding it to a file in our workspace.

We are building with Swift 3 so we need to make some modifications to the class, so copy and paste the code below if you are using Swift 3, and use as is if you are not. Create a new file Floater.swift and extend the UIView object. Paste this into the class:

    import UIKit

    @IBDesignable public class Floater: UIView {

        var image1: UIImage?
        var image2: UIImage?
        var image3: UIImage?
        var image4: UIImage?

        var isAnimating: Bool = false
        var views: [UIView]!
        var duration: TimeInterval = 1.0
        var duration1: TimeInterval = 2.0
        var duration2: TimeInterval = 2.0
        var floatieSize = CGSize(width: 50, height: 50)
        var floatieDelay: Double = 10
        var delay: Double = 10.0
        var startingAlpha: CGFloat = 1.0
        var endingAlpha: CGFloat = 0.0
        var upwards: Bool = true
        var remove: Bool = true

        @IBInspectable var removeAtEnd: Bool = true {
            didSet {
                remove = removeAtEnd
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var FloatingUp: Bool = true {
            didSet {
                upwards = FloatingUp
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var alphaAtStart: CGFloat = 1.0 {
            didSet {
                startingAlpha = alphaAtStart
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var alphaAtEnd: CGFloat = 0.0 {
            didSet {
                endingAlpha = alphaAtEnd
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var rotationSpeed: Double = 10 {
            didSet {
                duration2 = 20 / rotationSpeed
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var density: Double = 10 {
            didSet {
                floatieDelay = 1 / density
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var delayedStart: Double = 10 {
            didSet {
                delay = delayedStart
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var speedY: CGFloat = 10 {
            didSet {
                duration = Double(10/speedY)
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var speedX: CGFloat = 5 {
            didSet {
                duration1 = Double(10/speedX)
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var floatieWidth: CGFloat = 50 {
            didSet {
                floatieSize.width = floatieWidth
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var floatieHeight: CGFloat = 50 {
            didSet {
                floatieSize.height = floatieHeight
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var borderColor: UIColor = UIColor.clear {
            didSet {
                layer.borderColor = borderColor.cgColor
            }
        }

        @IBInspectable var borderWidth: CGFloat = 0 {
            didSet {
                layer.borderWidth = borderWidth
            }
        }

        @IBInspectable var cornerRadius: CGFloat = 0 {
            didSet {
                layer.cornerRadius = cornerRadius
            }
        }

        @IBInspectable var floaterImage1: UIImage? {
            didSet {
                image1 = floaterImage1
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var floaterImage2: UIImage? {
            didSet {
                image2 = floaterImage2
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var floaterImage3: UIImage? {
            didSet {
                image3 = floaterImage3
            }
        }
        @IBInspectable var floaterImage4: UIImage? {
            didSet {
                image4 = floaterImage4
            }
        }

        override public func awakeFromNib() {
            super.awakeFromNib()
        }

        func startAnimation() {
            print("Start Animating")
            isAnimating = true
            views = []
            var imagesArray = [UIImage?]()
            var actualImages = [UIImage]()
            let frameW = self.frame.width
            let frameH = self.frame.height
            var startingPoint: CGFloat!
            var endingPoint: CGFloat!
            if upwards {
                startingPoint = frameH
                endingPoint = floatieHeight*2
            } else {
                startingPoint = 0
                endingPoint = frameH - floatieHeight*2
            }
            imagesArray += [image1, image2, image3, image4]
            if !imagesArray.isEmpty {
                for i in imagesArray {
                    if i != nil {
                        actualImages.append(i!)
                    }
                }
            }

            let deadlineTime = DispatchTime.now() + .seconds(Int(self.delay * Double(NSEC_PER_SEC)))

            DispatchQueue.global().asyncAfter(deadline: deadlineTime, execute: {
                var goToNext = true
                while self.isAnimating {
                    if goToNext {
                        goToNext = false

                        DispatchQueue.main.asyncAfter(deadline: .now()+0.3, execute: {
                            let randomNumber = self.randomIntBetweenNumbers(firstNum:1, secondNum: 2)
                            var randomRotation: CGFloat!
                            if randomNumber == 1 {
                                randomRotation = -1
                            } else {
                                randomRotation = 1
                            }
                            let randomX = self.randomFloatBetweenNumbers(firstNum: 0 + self.floatieSize.width/2, secondNum: self.frame.width - self.floatieSize.width/2)
                            let floatieView = UIView(frame: CGRect(x: randomX, y: startingPoint, width: 50, height: 50))
                            self.addSubview(floatieView)

                            let floatie = UIImageView(frame: CGRect(x: 0, y: 0, width: self.floatieSize.width, height: self.floatieSize.height))

                            if !actualImages.isEmpty {

                                let randomImageIndex = (self.randomIntBetweenNumbers(firstNum: 1, secondNum: actualImages.count) - 1 )
                                floatie.image = actualImages[randomImageIndex]
                                floatie.center = CGPoint(x: 0, y: 0)
                                floatie.backgroundColor = UIColor.clear
                                floatie.layer.zPosition = 10
                                floatie.alpha = self.startingAlpha

                                floatieView.addSubview(floatie)
                                var xChange: CGFloat!
                                if randomX < self.frame.width/2 {
                                    xChange = randomX + self.randomFloatBetweenNumbers(firstNum: randomX, secondNum: frameW-randomX)
                                } else {
                                    xChange = self.randomFloatBetweenNumbers(firstNum: self.floatieSize.width*2, secondNum: randomX)
                                }


                                self.views.append(floatieView)
                                UIView.animate(withDuration: self.duration, delay: 0,
                                               options: [], animations: {
                                                floatieView.center.y = endingPoint
                                                floatie.alpha = self.endingAlpha
                                                goToNext = false
                                }, completion: {(value: Bool) in
                                    if self.remove {
                                        floatieView.removeFromSuperview()
                                    }
                                })
                                UIView.animate(withDuration: self.duration1, delay: 0,
                                               options: [.repeat, .autoreverse], animations: {
                                                floatieView.center.x = xChange
                                }, completion: nil)
                                UIView.animate(withDuration: self.duration2, delay: 0, options: [.repeat, .autoreverse], animations: {                 floatieView.transform = CGAffineTransform(rotationAngle: CGFloat(M_PI_2)*randomRotation)
                                }, completion: nil)
                            }
                        })
                    }
                }
            })
        }

        func stopAnimation() {
            print("Stop Animating")
            views = []
            isAnimating = false
            if !views.isEmpty {
                for i in views {
                    i.removeFromSuperview()
                }
            }
        }

        func randomFloatBetweenNumbers(firstNum: CGFloat, secondNum: CGFloat) -> CGFloat{
            return CGFloat(arc4random()) / CGFloat(UINT32_MAX) * abs(firstNum - secondNum) + min(firstNum, secondNum)
        }

        func randomIntBetweenNumbers(firstNum: Int, secondNum: Int) -> Int{
            return firstNum + Int(arc4random_uniform(UInt32(secondNum - firstNum + 1)))
        }
    }

The library simply creates a floating heart when the startAnimation method is called and stops it when the stopAnimation method is called. Now that the file is created, open your Main.storyboard file and add the Floater.swift View to the floater view we created earlier. This should add some new options in the side bar. These options are due to @IBDesignable and @IBInspectable that were added to the Floater.swift class.

💡 **IBDesignable** and **IBInspectable** **, a way to create custom elements and the attributes. This can be directly added to the iOS Interface Builder.** Read more about IBDesignable and IBInspectable.

Now in the new options fields, add the following values:

For the floater image, add a 30×30 heart image to your workspace and then select it in the floater image section.

Now open the ViewController and add the following methods:

    @IBOutlet weak var floaterView: Floater!

    private func startEndAnimation() {
        floaterView.startAnimation()
        DispatchQueue.main.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + 1, execute: {
            self.floaterView.stopAnimation()
        })
    }

Now call the startEndAnimation from the hearted method so it is invoked when the button is pressed. Make sure the @IBOutlet floaterView is linked to the view port that we created earlier in the article. Now, when you build and preview, you should see the heart floating every time the button is clicked.

Adding realtime functionality to our floating hearts using Pusher

Now that we have successfully added the floating hearts, the next thing to do is add realtime functionality using Pusher. If you have not already, create a Pusher account, create a new application and copy the credentials as you will need them.

Open the ViewController and in there add the following:

    static let API_ENDPOINT = "http://localhost:4000";

    var pusher : Pusher!

    let deviceUuid : String = UIDevice.current.identifierForVendor!.uuidString

    private func listenForNewLikes() {
        pusher = Pusher(key: "PUSHER_KEY", options: PusherClientOptions(host: .cluster("PUSHER_CLUSTER")))

        let channel = pusher.subscribe("likes")
        let _ = channel.bind(eventName: "like", callback: { (data: Any?) -> Void in
            if let data = data as? [String: AnyObject] {
                let uuid = data["uuid"] as! String

                if uuid != self.deviceUuid {
                    self.startEndAnimation()
                }
            }
        })
        pusher.connect()
    }

    private func postLike() {
        let params: Parameters = ["uuid": deviceUuid]

        Alamofire.request(ViewController.API_ENDPOINT + "/like", method: .post, parameters: params).validate().responseJSON { response in
            switch response.result {

            case .success:
                print("Liked")
            case .failure(let error):
                print(error)
            }
        }
    }

First, we define some class properties for storing the API endpoint base URL, the Pusher instance and the device UUID. The listenForNewLikes is where we define a listener that waits for events sent from Pusher and then fires a callback when it receives the event. We will be using that to trigger the floating hearts startAndEndAnimation method. The postLike method is where we use AlamoFire to hit an endpoint (we will create this next). The endpoint will be where we send “like” events to Pusher so they can be broadcast to other listeners on the channel.

If all is well, your ViewController should now look like this:

    import UIKit
    import PusherSwift
    import Alamofire

    class ViewController: VideoSplashViewController {

        @IBOutlet weak var floaterView: Floater!

        static let API_ENDPOINT = "http://localhost:4000";

        var pusher : Pusher!

        let deviceUuid : String = UIDevice.current.identifierForVendor!.uuidString

        override func viewDidLoad() {
            super.viewDidLoad()
            loadVideoStreamSample()
            listenForNewLikes()
        }

        @IBAction func hearted(_ sender: Any) {
            postLike()
            startEndAnimation()
        }

        private func startEndAnimation() {
            floaterView.startAnimation()
            DispatchQueue.main.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + 1, execute: {
                self.floaterView.stopAnimation()
            })
        }

        private func listenForNewLikes() {
            pusher = Pusher(key: "PUSHER_KEY", options: PusherClientOptions(host: .cluster("PUSHER_CLUSTER")))

            let channel = pusher.subscribe("likes")
            let _ = channel.bind(eventName: "like", callback: { (data: Any?) -> Void in
                if let data = data as? [String: AnyObject] {
                    let uuid = data["uuid"] as! String

                    if uuid != self.deviceUuid {
                        self.startEndAnimation()
                    }
                }
            })
            pusher.connect()
        }

        private func postLike() {
            let params: Parameters = ["uuid": deviceUuid]

            Alamofire.request(ViewController.API_ENDPOINT + "/like", method: .post, parameters: params).validate().responseJSON { response in
                switch response.result {

                case .success:
                    print("Liked")
                case .failure(let error):
                    print(error)
                }
            }
        }

        private func loadVideoStreamSample() {
            let url = NSURL.fileURL(withPath: Bundle.main.path(forResource: "video", ofType: "mp4")!)
            self.videoFrame = view.frame
            self.fillMode = .resizeAspectFill
            self.alwaysRepeat = true
            self.sound = true
            self.startTime = 0.0
            self.duration = 10.0
            self.alpha = 0.7
            self.backgroundColor = UIColor.black
            self.contentURL = url
            self.restartForeground = true
        }

        override var prefersStatusBarHidden: Bool {
            return true
        }  
    }

⚠️ You should replace the “PUSHER_CLUSTER” and “PUSHER_KEY” with the actual values gotten from your Pusher application dashboard.

That should do it for the Xcode side of things. Now we need to create a backend application for our application. This backend app will just receive the payload from the application and send it to Pusher.

Creating the NodeJS backend for our realtime floating hearts app

Create a directory for the web application and then create two new files:

The index.js file…

    let Pusher     = require('pusher');
    let express    = require('express');
    let app        = express();
    let bodyParser = require('body-parser')
    let pusher     = new Pusher(require('./config.js')['config']);

    app.use(bodyParser.json());
    app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({ extended: false }));

    app.post('/like', (req, res, next) => {
      let payload = {uuid: req.body.uuid}
      pusher.trigger('likes', 'like', payload)
      res.json({success: 200})
    })

    app.get('/', (req, res) => {
      res.json("It works!");
    });

    app.use((req, res, next) => {
        let err = new Error('Not Found');
        err.status = 404;
        next(err);
    });

    app.listen(4000, function() {
        console.log('App listening on port 4000!')
    });

The index.js file also has one route where it receives messages from the iOS application and triggers the Pusher event which is picked up by the application.

The next file is the packages.json where we define the NPM dependencies:

    {
      "main": "index.js",
      "dependencies": {
        "body-parser": "^1.16.0",
        "express": "^4.14.1",
        "pusher": "^1.5.1"
      }
    }

Finally, we have the config.js where we will put our Pusher configuration:

    module.exports = {
        appId: 'PUSHER_ID',
        key: 'PUSHER_KEY',
        secret: 'PUSHER_SECRET',
        cluster: 'PUSHER_CLUSTER',
    };

Now run npm install on the directory and then node index.js once the npm installation is complete. You should see App listening on port 4000! message.

Testing our floating hearts application

Once you have your local node web server running, you will need to make some changes so your application can talk to the local web server. In the info.plist file, make the following changes:

With this change, you can build and run your application and it will talk directly with your local web application.

Conclusion

In this article, we have been able to replicate the floating hearts feature that apps like Facebook, Instagram, Periscope etc have. You can use this as a base to expand the actual feature into a working application of your own.

Have a question or feedback on the article? Please ask below in the comment section. The repository for the application and the Node backend is available on Github.