Are you developing with responsive design in mind?
Responsive mobile apps are the new standard, but building them without understanding the proper tools can be daunting. To ensure you are up to the challenge, take a look at the following tools. Especially when used in conjunction with the new Appery.io Visual Builder, these tools can help you create some fantastically responsive mobile apps.
Many mobile apps use GPS sensors to track a user’s current location. For example, it could be a ride sharing app, fitness app, or a delivery app. This post shows how to build such an app in Appery.io. The app tracks your current location via the device’s GPS sensor and stores the location into a database.
This is the app UI:
The GPS location is determined every 15 seconds (you can change the interval). The location is shown in the app and also saved into a cloud database. Because this is a native app (with PhoneGap), the app will continue tracking the location even if in the background or with the phone screen locked.
Now you just need to configure the settings service with the correct database ID. This app uses a pretty simple database; it contains one collection with name Locations. This collection contains one column location with type of Geo point:
Open the GPSLocationTracking_settings file and change the database_id to your own.
Once the database ID is changed in the settings file, the application is ready to go.
Let’s take a quick look how the app works:
1. The GPS service starts initially after the Device ready event and runs every 15 seconds.
2. You can also change how often the GPS will run. To apply a new interval, first stop tracking, and then start it again:
3. In the case that the GPS fails to determine the location, an error message will be shown:
4. Every time a new GPS location is retrieved, the location is saved into a cloud database:
This is a starter app that uses the GPS sensor to track your current location. It’s very easy to add more features. For instance, you can add Google Reverse Geocoding service to get the address of a place. Or, you could also show all locations on a map.
In the video, we show how to take advantage of the PhoneGap API with ready-to-use “device services” and data mapping in the Appery.io app builder. For this lesson, we build a simple contacts app and go through the steps of testing it in an Android emulator.
Here is the complete set of lessons from the video page on our help site:
Lesson 1: The UI Builder
Lesson 2: Data Mapping to a Service
Lesson 3: Using the Appery.io Database Service
Lesson 4: Web Service Caching
Lesson 5: Appery.io & PhoneGap Capabilities
Lesson 6: A Windows 8 App with the Twitter API
Each lesson links to a YouTube video. For each lesson there is also a link to a Appery.io backup ZIP of the finished lesson app, which you can open as a new project within Appery.io.
We’ll be updating the series soon, so chime in with any suggestions
Appery.io new HTML5 app builder has been the default builder for the past couple of weeks and we continue to update it with new features. One such feature is new Windows 8 support. In addition to jQuery Mobile/PhoneGap apps, you can now build Windows 8 apps with native support such as Snap View, Search Charm, Share Charm, and Live Tile.
To create a new Windows 8 app, click the “More create options” link from the Apps page and then select Windows 8 App as the app type. Try our Windows 8 app tutorial.
jQuery Mobile 1.2
We also upgraded to a much better jQuery Mobile version 1.2.
We also upgraded PhoneGap to version 2.2. This means Appery.io cloud build has also been upgraded to PhoneGap 1.2:
We got some really cool stuff out this week. Check it out.
Better way to test your app
When you open the app builder you should see a new and very nice phone frame:
The old one was more Android-like. The new one is neither Android, iPhone or Windows Phone. Just a nice phone frame.
There is an upgraded test page:
You can use the new tool bar at the top to change the phone orientation as well as change the size:
That’s not all. We also now have an option to test the app without the mobile frame. In the Test pop-up, uncheck Show in mobile frame:
When you open the app, it won’t use the frame:
The frame looks nice in the browser, but technically speaking testing without the frame is better — as you are testing the actual app (just the app code, no frame). Of course when you run the app on your device, the frame is not there as well.
jQuery Mobile Multi-page Template
jQuery Mobile supports multi-page templates where two or more pages are placed inside the same file. You can now turn on this features in Appery.io app builder (it’s turn off by default). Go to Project > Project Profile:
Queries In Database Console
Appery.io Database comes with Queries support (docs) and now you can try the queries right from the collection console:
Showing products that cost more than $30 (or any other currency):
We upgraded to PhoneGap version 1.8.1. Every new and existing app will now use this new version of PhoneGap.
In the past year or so, we have witnessed a major shift from client-server to client-cloud. This shift is primarily fueled by two factors: mobile devices exceeding desktop computers and the thousands of different APIs available on the Internet today. What started in early 2000 on eBay and Amazon has become a real revolution in 2012 with thousands of companies, from Twitter and Facebook to AT&T, offering cloud-based services.
One of the most common ways to access private or public service APIs is via REST requests.
In the client-server approach an organization builds applications that consume its own internal content and resources. However, even large IT organizations such as AT&T, Verizon and Amazon have come to realize that they are no match for the social consumer and social enterprise developers out there. By making APIs publicly available, these organizations hope that developers and “citizen developers” will come and build applications and mobile apps on top of their services.
Citizen developers at work
Analysts at Gartner see a trend toward app creation independent of IT. They predict that by 2014, citizen developers – employees outside of IT and software development – will build 25% of new business applications. In 2007, they built less than 5%.
One of the best-known API success stories comes from Amazon: Its cloud service APIs let outsiders access the company’s massive data centers. Twitter, with its deceptively simple 140-character message model, exploded thanks to its API. In fact, you probably read and write tweets via a Twitter application or mobile app rather than going directly to Twitter’s Web site. Facebook’s Graph API has spawned a whole industry of apps to support its hundreds of millions of users.
The Appery.io team keeps making the great even better, as you can see in this latest release of Appery.io Mobile App Builder. New features include everything from iOS binary builds to updated support for jQuery Mobile and PhoneGap. Read on to find out more. Read the rest of this entry »