Youtube videos in the SUSI iOS Client

The iOS and android client already have the functionality to play videos based on the queries. In order to implement this feature of playing videos in the iOS client, we use the Youtube Data API v3. The task here was to create an UI/UX for the playing of videos within the app. An API call is made initially to fetch the youtube videos based on the query and they video ID of the first object is extracted and used to play the video.

The API endpoint for youtube data API looks like:{query}&key={your_api_key}

Using this we get the following result: ( I am adding only the first item which is required since the response is too long )

Path: $.items[0]


 "kind": "youtube#searchResult",

 "etag": "\"m2yskBQFythfE4irbTIeOgYYfBU/oR-eA572vNoma1XIhrbsFTotfTY\"",

 "id": {

"kind": "youtube#channel",

"channelId": "UCQprMsG-raCIMlBudm20iLQ"


 "snippet": {

"publishedAt": "2015-01-01T11:06:00.000Z",

"channelId": "UCQprMsG-raCIMlBudm20iLQ",

"title": "FOSSASIA",

"description": "FOSSASIA is supporting the development of Free and Open Source technologies for social change in Asia. The annual FOSSASIA Summit brings together ...",

"thumbnails": {

"default": {

"url": ""


"medium": {

"url": ""


"high": {

"url": ""



"channelTitle": "FOSSASIA",

"liveBroadcastContent": "upcoming"



We parse the above object to grab the videoID, based on the query,  we will use code below:

if let itemsObject = response[Client.YoutubeResponseKeys.Items] as? [[String : AnyObject]] {
    if let items = itemsObject[0][Client.YoutubeResponseKeys.ID] as? [String : AnyObject] {
         let videoID = items[Client.YoutubeResponseKeys.VideoID] as? String
         completion(videoID, true, nil)

This videoID is returned to the Controller where this method was called.

Now, we begin with designing the UI for the same. First of all, we need a view on which the youtube video will be played and this view would help dismiss the video by clicking on it.

First, we add the blackView to the entire screen.

// declaration
let blackView = UIView()

// Add backgroundView
func addBackgroundView() {

   If let window = UIApplication.shared.keyWindow {


           // Cover the entire screen
           blackView.frame = window.frame

           blackView.backgroundColor = UIColor(white: 0, alpha: 0.5)
           blackView.addGestureRecognizer(UITapGestureRecognizer(target: self, action: #selector(handleDismiss)))



func handleDismiss() {
   UIView.animate(withDuration: 0.5, delay: 0, usingSpringWithDamping: 1, initialSpringVelocity: 1, options: .curveEaseOut, animations: {
   }, completion: nil)

Next, we add the YoutubePlayerView. For this we use the Pod `YoutubePlayer`. Since, it had a few warnings showing as well as some videos not being played I had to make fixes to the original pod and use my own customized version ( available here ).

// Youtube Player
lazy var youtubePlayer: YouTubePlayerView = {
    let frame = CGRect(x: 0, y: 0, width: self.view.frame.width - 16, height: self.view.frame.height * 1 / 3)
    let player = YouTubePlayerView(frame: frame)
    return player

// Shows Youtube Player

func addYotubePlayer(_ videoID: String) {
    if let window = UIApplication.shared.keyWindow {

       // Add YoutubePlayer view on top of blackView
        // Calculate and set frame

       let centerX = UIScreen.main.bounds.size.width / 2
        let centerY = UIScreen.main.bounds.size.height / 3 = CGPoint(x: centerX, y: centerY)

       // Load Player using the Video ID 

        blackView.alpha = 0
        youtubePlayer.alpha = 0

        UIView.animate(withDuration: 0.5, delay: 0, usingSpringWithDamping: 1, initialSpringVelocity: 1, options: .curveEaseOut, animations: {
            self.blackView.alpha = 1
            self.youtubePlayer.alpha = 1
       }, completion: nil)

We are set with the UI and the only thing we are left with is to actually call the API in the client and after getting the `videoID` from that we call the above method passing this `videoID`. Before calling we need to check whether our query contains the play action or not and if it does we make the API call and add the player.

if let text = inputTextField.text {
    if text.contains("play") || text.contains("Play") {
        let query = text.replacingOccurrences(of: "play", with: "").replacingOccurrences(of: "Play", with: "")
        Client.sharedInstance.searchYotubeVideos(query) { (videoID, _, _) in
            DispatchQueue.main.async {
                if let videoID = videoID {


We are all set now!Below is the output for the Youtube Player:

Continue ReadingYoutube videos in the SUSI iOS Client

Websearch and Link Preview support in SUSI iOS

The SUSI.AI server responds to API calls with answers to the queries made. These answers might contain an action, for example a web search, where the client needs to make a web search request to fetch different web pages based on the query. Thus, we need to add a link preview in the iOS Client for each such page extracting and displaying the title, description and a main image of the webpage.

At first we make the API call adding the query to the query parameter and get the result from it.

API Call:

And get the following result:


"query": "amazon",

"count": 1,

"client_id": "aG9zdF8xMDguMTYyLjI0Ni43OQ==",

"query_date": "2017-06-02T14:34:15.675Z",

"answers": [


"data": [{

"0": "amazon",

"1": "amazon",

"timezoneOffset": "-330"


"metadata": {

"count": 1


"actions": [{

"type": "answer",

"expression": "I don't know how to answer this. Here is a web search result:"



"type": "websearch",

"query": "amazon"



"answer_date": "2017-06-02T14:34:15.773Z",

"answer_time": 98,

"language": "en",

"session": {

"identity": {

"type": "host",

"name": "",

"anonymous": true




After parsing this response, we first recognise the type of action that needs to be performed, here we get `websearch` which means we need to make a web search for the query. Here, we use `DuckDuckGo’s` API to get the result.

API Call to DuckDuckGo:

I am adding just the first object of the required data since the API response is too long.

Path: $.RelatedTopics[0]


 "Result": "<a href=\"\"></a>, also called Amazon, is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company...",

 "Icon": {

"URL": "",

"Height": "",

"Width": ""


 "FirstURL": "",

 "Text": ", also called Amazon, is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company..."


For the link preview, we need an image logo, URL and a description for the same so, here we will use the `Icon.URL` and `Text` key. We have our own class to parse this data into an object.

class WebsearchResult: NSObject {
   var image: String = "no-image"
   var info: String = "No data found"
   var url: String = ""
   var query: String = ""
   init(dictionary: [String:AnyObject]) {
       if let relatedTopics = dictionary[Client.WebsearchKeys.RelatedTopics] as? [[String : AnyObject]] {
           if let icon = relatedTopics[0][Client.WebsearchKeys.Icon] as? [String : String] {
               if let image = icon[Client.WebsearchKeys.Icon] {
                   self.image = image
           if let url = relatedTopics[0][Client.WebsearchKeys.FirstURL] as? String {
               self.url = url
           if let info = relatedTopics[0][Client.WebsearchKeys.Text] as? String {
      = info
           if let query = dictionary[Client.WebsearchKeys.Heading] as? String {
               let string = query.lowercased().replacingOccurrences(of: " ", with: "+")
               self.query = string

We now have the data and only thing left is to display it in the UI.

Within the Chat Bubble, we need to add a container view which will contain the image, and the text description.

 let websearchContentView = UIView()
    let searchImageView: UIImageView = {
        let imageView = UIImageView(frame: CGRect(x: 0, y: 0, width: 44, height: 44))
        imageView.contentMode = .scaleAspectFit

       // Placeholder image assigned
        imageView.image = UIImage(named: "no-image")
        return imageView
    let websiteText: UILabel = {
        let label = UILabel()
        label.textColor = .white
        return label

   func addLinkPreview(_ frame: CGRect) {
        websearchContentView.backgroundColor = .lightGray
        websearchContentView.frame = frame

       // Add constraints in UI
        websearchContentView.addConstraintsWithFormat(format: "H:|-4-[v0(44)]-4-[v1]-4-|", views: searchImageView, websiteText)
        websearchContentView.addConstraintsWithFormat(format: "V:|-4-[v0]-4-|", views: searchImageView)
        websearchContentView.addConstraintsWithFormat(format: "V:|-4-[v0(44)]-4-|", views: websiteText)

Next, in the Collection View, while checking other action types, we add checking for `websearch` and then call the API there followed by adding frame size and calling the `addLinkPreview` function.

else if message.responseType == Message.ResponseTypes.websearch {
  let params = [
    Client.WebsearchKeys.Query: message.query!,
    Client.WebsearchKeys.Format: "json"

  Client.sharedInstance.websearch(params, { (results, success, error) in                      
    if success {
      cell.message?.websearchData = results
      message.websearchData = results
    } else {
  cell.messageTextView.frame = CGRect(x: 16, y: 0, width: estimatedFrame.width + 16, height: estimatedFrame.height + 30)

 cell.textBubbleView.frame = CGRect(x: 4, y: -4, width: estimatedFrame.width + 16 + 8 + 16, height: estimatedFrame.height + 20 + 6 + 64)
  let frame = CGRect(x: 16, y: estimatedFrame.height + 20, width: estimatedFrame.width + 16 - 4, height: 60 - 8)



And set the collection View cell’s size.

else if message.responseType == Message.ResponseTypes.websearch {
  return CGSize(width: view.frame.width, height: estimatedFrame.height + 20 + 64)

And we are done 🙂

Here is the final version how this would look like on the device:


Continue ReadingWebsearch and Link Preview support in SUSI iOS