Hybrid architectures

googleplay

The EA Glossary Android App

In the first post about my first app, I quoted Tim Berners-Lee, who says “every single web page out there, if you like, is like a computer” with reference to HTML5. I took one single HTML5 web page and turned it into something “like a computer”, namely an app. I mentioned that Gartner talks about hybrid architecture, which “combines the portability of HTML5 Web apps with a native container that facilitates access to native device features.” For reasons I don’t think I’m allowed to share, this first app of mine will not be available in Apple’s App Store.

appstore

EA Voices App for iPad and iPhone

In my continued learning about hybrid apps I started a second app initiative: EA Voices, the app. For the EA Voices website, I had recently found a nice responsive HTML5 theme for WordPress. Wrapping that up in an app, as I ended up doing for the initial app prototype, does involve a number of challenges, but clearly also has some advantages. It was of course specifically the mission to get the app into both app stores.

googleplay

EA Voices Android App

I focused on creating a hybrid app that loads the most recent content from EA Voices, and then allows users to read that or find something else to read “in the app” – which is technically EAVoices.com being loaded. Thus, the complete EA Voices database is available “in the app” – as long as the app is online. Offline functionality out of scope, for now.

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I first tried working out a “proper” JSON API approach for loading content in the app, but my technical skills limit forced me to return to good old RSS and javascript based XML parsing. I have not been able to fully align to the WordPress theme on the app index page, which could look nicer than it does now. The finer art of optimizing an app is however beyond this initial exercise. The source code is in GitHub and the app builds are in PhoneGap’s cloud.

Before I spent more time on refining the app, I wanted to know whether it would break any app store policies. The only way to find out, I thought, was to submit a “good enough” app and then wait and see. Fortunately, this app no 2 of mine made it into both Apple’s and Google’s app stores, I am pleased to announce.

Other platforms: Get the PhoneGap builds.

The app is essentially a fully functional appification of EAVoices.com. As an app, it needs some optimization work – it is a bit sluggish to launch. If people start using it, I promise to work on improving it 🙂

(I have found the first bug, a missing menu on some platforms, sorry)

I also now embark on my third app initiative. You may well be able to guess what it is, if you know me, but I’ll go under the radar on this for some time.

 

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