Mobile Code by Kevin

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Mobile Code by Kevin, Developing beautiful apps for iPhone

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Kevin Walzer, software developer.

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Wed, 30 Mar 2016

The Lake Effect 3.0

I've released version 3.0 of The Lake Effect, the travel app I've developed with my wife to explore getaways in the Great Lakes region. This new version features a significant rewrite in jQuery Mobile to enhance its UI. It's a free download for iOS, so please give it a try.

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Tue, 15 Mar 2016

Snowbird Shores 1.0

I've released version 1.0 of Snowbird Shores, a travel application highlighting various getaway destinations in the Southeast U.S. and Atlantic Shore, for iOS. This app is based on a related website that I help support, http://www.snowbirdshores.com. If you are interested in finding out more about cool places to travel in the warmer coastal southern climes of the U.S., check it out.

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Moving from Jo to JQuery Mobile

I have decided to move away from Jo as my mobile app toolkit of choice to JQuery Mobile. Jo is a lovely, powerful, lightweight JavaScript framework, and its design fit my head better than most other libraries I've worked with. Unfortunately, development on it has essentially halted and it no longer has a visible community surrounding it. When I started doing mobile developent a few years ago, I looked at JQuery Mobile, but it was in its infancy, its performance was dreadfully slow, and its design--mixing HTML and JavaScript in a single HTML file--was not to my taste. Its design remains (to me) an acquired taste, but I've grown more comfortable with it, and its performance has improved greatly. Moreover, it is actively developed, and has an enormous community surrounding it. So I'll be using it going forward.

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Alive

It's hard to believe it's been nearly two years since the last blog entry in this space. My work in mobile development hasn't ceased, as it plays an important strategic support function in other parts of my business, but once my mobile apps reach a certain stage of maturity I expect them to remain stable for a while.

I'll outline some additional news in subsequent entries, but a couple of things I'll state up front:

  • I've dropped support for Android. The spurring reason is that my old Anrdoid backup phone is now completely obsolete, and lacking at least one device on a target platform makes me reluctant to support that platform. While simulators are helpful, there is no substitute for testing on a real-world device to get a feel for interacting with the application. Additionally, the Android versions of my apps had very few installations compared to the iOS versions.
  • I've dropped a couple of applications--one a whois client that never sold anything, and the other a branding app for my main publishing business that did not achieve what I hoped for in terms of brand awareness, recognition, and indirectly sales. In both instances the investment of time and other resources required to keep the applications current was not worth it.

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    Wed, 11 Jun 2014

    WTPoem 2.0

    I've released version 2.0 of WTPoem, a "poem-of-the-day" app featuring the poets that WordTech Communications publishes. The app shows a different poem each day from current and older WordTech titles. The app also includes links to further information about the poets and their books.

    This version includes a major redesign for iOS/iPhone, to better fit in with the current look and feel of that platform, and also includes support for Android phones, which have a large and growing percentage of the smartphone market. My goal in adding support for Android is to increase the reach of the poems we feature.

    WTPoem 2.0 is now available on Android, and submitted for review at Apple for iOS, and should appear in its new version very shortly. (Version 1.0 is still available on iPhone and will automatically update when 2.0 is released.)

    WTPoem is a free download, so feel free to check it out.

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    The Lake Effect 2.1

    I've released version 2.1 of The Lake Effect, the travel app I've developed with my wife to explore getaways in the Great Lakes region. This new version includes a few UI enhancements and expanded coverage of Great Lakes getaways. It's a free download for iOS and Android, so please give it a try.

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    Thu, 15 May 2014

    The Lake Effect 2.0

    I've released version 2.0 of The Lake Effect, the travel app I've developed with my wife to explore getaways in the Great Lakes region. This new version includes a few UI enhancements and expanded coverage of Great Lakes getaways. It's a free download for iOS and Android, so please give it a try.

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    Sat, 29 Mar 2014

    The Lake Effect 1.0

    I'm happy to announce version 1.0 of The Lake Effect, a travel app that provides photos and descriptions of many enjoyable getaway spots in the Great Lakes region. The app is based on material assembled by my wife and myself at http://www.thelakeeffect.com, and adds a section on Great Lakes news as well.

    This app is a nice milestone for me for several reasons. It is a bit more complex than my other mobile apps--it has multiple sections, and draws data from news sites as well as a single web page--and thus presented some interesting technical challenges. Also, it is the first app I've deployed on the Android platform as well as iOS. I'm still using the Jo JavaScript framework for the app and PhoneGap/Cordova for deployment, both superb resources that continue to evolve and get better.

    I will be adding additional features to the app in the coming year, but I'm pleased that it's out in its present form. If you enjoy travel in the Midwest/Great Lakes region, feel free to check the app out.

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    Tue, 25 Feb 2014

    New apps in 2014

    I've been pretty quiet here over the past several months; most of my time has been taken up with Mac application development. But I haven't forgotten about my mobile apps. QuickWho and WTPoem are both due for updates this year, as well as ports to Android. WTPoem has been a nice little success, getting many downloads each month and building awareness of the literature I publish through my other major business.

    I've got another application under development as well. While it's a little too soon to discuss, I'm very excited about it. More in this space a bit later. All in all, 2014 is shaping up to be a promising year for my mobile projects.

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    Fri, 20 Dec 2013

    iOS 7 and Android themes for Jo

    Based partly on my experience trying out an Android phone, I was inspired to do some hacking on new themes for my mobile development framework of choice, Jo.

    Jo's developer, Dave Balmer, recently put out the first new release of Jo in over a year, and that's gratifying. The new themes I developed--partly based on older themes in Jo's source tree, and reflecting iOS's move to a flatter design style in iOS 7--are a small addition to his work, and reflect my continuing reliance on this framework.

    Not surprisingly, Android ports of my current iPhone apps are coming in the new year, as is a UI refresh of them to fit in better with iOS 7. That's going to be fun.

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