This year at Full Frontal, offline enabled web site/apps were a recurring theme. Paul Kinlan gave an excellent talk entitled ‘Building Web Apps of the future. Tomorrow, today and yesterday’ (his slides are available here), in which he compared the ‘offline’ user experience provided by the top 50 or so iOS and Android apps with that of popular web sites/apps.
Needless to say, the native apps fared better and more gracefully degraded when no internet connection was available. Offline is a feature and it’s crucial we start to consider it from the start of a project as apposed to adding support later in the development lifecycle. At Rareloop we’ve been focussing on adding offline support to our apps from the start. Most notably the FormAgent mobile clients where designed from the outset to support offline access, to allow for use when no connectivity was possible and to transparently sync up data when internet is available. The following are guidelines I’ve found helpful. Read the rest of this entry »
This week my company Rareloop launched a preview of a new product FormAgent. For anyone who’s been reading the blog for a while it might seem familiar, in fact its a technology we’ve been developing for a year and powers quite a few of the projects done at Rareloop.
FormAgent is the simplest way to create and distribute forms/surveys to a range of mobile and tablet devices anywhere in the world. It runs on iOS, Android and BlackBerry PlayBook and even works great in areas of low connectivity.
We’re currently in private beta, so head on over to http://formagenthq.com & sign up for an invite code.
FormAgent: Data collection evolved
Take control of your data collection with FormAgent, an online service for creating and distributing surveys to tablets & smartphones anywhere in the world.
Sign up now for the beta @ http://formagenthq.com
Rareloop teamed up with Gamos to deliver a powerful Android based digital survey for the highly respected UK NGO, Tearfund. Gamos have over 20 years experience providing research and detailed evaluation/analysis to the development sector. Given the enormous amounts of data collected and the complex statistical analysis required, partnering with Gamos ensured that both the right technical & research expertise were available to deliver on the project’s needs.
We’ve done work using Android tablets to perform surveys before, but never to this scale. Its also great to get the opportunity to work with NGO’s & know that, even in a small non-direct way, our skill sets can help make a difference.
Head on over to the Rareloop website for more information on the project and our technology platform.
If you’d like a demo of our technology, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.
Our latest app project at Rareloop has been a digital brochure for Southampton based Clinic Beauty.
Written for the BlackBerry PlayBook (using HTML5/WebWorks) the app combines stunning brochure content and Rareloop’s own data collection framework to aid with the companies sales efforts.
Taking cues from their work with HTML5 magazines for tablets, Rareloop created a rich environment for showcasing Clinic Beauty’s work. Transitions and animations bring the content to life and a simple to use mobile optimised form enables data capture from potential clients: elegance and simplicity.
Head on over to the Rareloop website for more information and to see a video of the app in action.
The tutorial I wrote for the January edition of .net mag is now available to read online.
If you haven’t checked out Weinre, you really ought to!
Weinre is a debugger for web pages, like FireBug (for FireFox) and Web Inspector (for WebKit-based browsers), except it’s designed to work remotely, and in particular, to allow you debug web pages on a mobile device such as a phone.
While not as good as a full remote web inspector (like the one found on the PlayBook), its a great tool to help debug with mobile development. Weinre is part of the PhoneGap project and there is a publicly hosted version run as a service that can be found at debug.phonegap.com. Unfortunately the hosted service appears to be having a few problems & I’ve struggled to get local clients to connect, the good news is that Weinre can be installed and run locally.
Read the rest of this entry »
When developing HTML5 web apps for mobiles and tablets, simulators and emulators can only take you so far. The sooner you can test on real devices the sooner you can catch real life usability issues and vendor implementation quirks.
This post outlines a technique for rapidly testing code changes with real devices.
Read the rest of this entry »
Flux Slider has placed third in Mozilla’s March Dev Derby, which was all about CSS 3D Transforms! The quality of the competition was incredibly high so its a real honour to place in the top three.
You can see my demo here, but its also really worth checking out some of the other submissions.
Flux is also a ‘Featured Demo‘ at the moment!
Thanks again to the incredible Nick La for letting me use his awesome illustrations.
Sandbox is a subscription only music industry marketing magazine by Music Ally. They’ve just started a regular feature called ‘Rockstar Developers’ and they kindly ask to interview me for the latest edition (issue 58).
So if you have a subscription and fancy hearing my thoughts on mobile development trends for 2012 head on over to the Music Ally website.
Thanks for Sarah Lewin for asking me to take part.
Whilst working on a PlayBook port of Rareloop‘s form framework for tablets I came across an interesting quirk with how the PlayBook OS handles keyboard events in
On all desktop browsers that I’ve tested (as well as iOS and Android) events are fired for each keystroke. This is useful if you wish to perform a task as a user types input, for example autocompletion hinting. On the PlayBook however, the event is only fired when a
space key is entered and a word is completed. This seems to be the case for
keypress events on OS2, I can’t confirm whether this is new in OS2 or if its always been the case.
I’ve created a test case on JSFiddle to demonstrate the issue.
The problem has been reported to RIM, so hopefully this will be addressed in a future OS update.
Update: Thanks to Hin for pointing out in the comments that there is a work around for this bug when using
input elements. If you add the
autocomplete="off" attribute then the events fire as expected. Unfortunately this doesn’t work for
Here is an updated JSFiddle to show the fix.