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May 03 2013

11:58

No Matter of Luck: What To Consider In Mobile App Development [Infographic]


  
MobileAppDevIG_teaserl

There are gazillions of mobile apps out there. If you are looking for a specific use case or - not - you won't see any shortage in what you will be able to find. Thus, releasing a mobile app is not without risks. You need to create something outstanding to attract the users. But how do you know? How can you improve? Sure, you can always wait for shit storms to wipe away your Facebook page or you can rely on these nice one-star-ratings in app stores. Did you know, that 60 % of all apps in Apple's App Store have not once been downloaded. If I were you, I'd try to find alternatives to hoping and waiting (and failing) ;-)

April 16 2012

22:00

Never Forget a Thing With the Help of Evernote!

This is the link to the original article creator of this site, if this message appears to another site than 1stwebdesigner - Graphic and Web Design Blog - 1stwebdesigner is a design blog dedicated to bloggers, freelancers, web-developers and designers. Topics focus on web design and inspirational articles. it has been stolen, please visit original source then!

Evernote is an amazing “catch all” application. You may already be using Evernote or you might be using some other note application. None-the-less, Evernote is powerful and very customizable. When showing people how to use Evernote, I equate Evernote to Twitter. There is no real right way to take or organize your notes as long as it fits your needs.

When I say Evernote is a “catch all”, I mean you can store all of your, well, everything. With a premium account, you can upload any kind of files or media to your account.

Here are some tips how you can use Evernote to keep your life organized.

The Basics

To effectively use Evernote, you should know the basic bits and pieces of the application. There are quite a few parts to get to know and this is where many people lack the knowledge to make Evernote immensely useful for themselves.

Account Type

There are two different account types, paid and free. When you are just starting out, most people can usually get away with free. The free version has some limits you should be aware of though. You cannot upload every file type. There is also an upload limit every month too.

Notebooks

Notebooks are essentially folders which let you sort information in any way you’d like. Home and work, pictures only, just one for birthday parties if you’d like. For people using the GTD (Getting Things Done) method of managing tasks, you can create your Inbox, Someday, Next Action and other notebooks to fit your needs. Further organizing can be done with tags.

Evernote Notebooks

Evernote Notebooks

Tags

Make a list of common tags (i.e. project name, initial meeting, checklist or read later). These tags will make it easier in the long run when you are looking for a note. The point of using a note taking application is to have a trusted place to turn to when you want to remember something. If you need to rack your brain to remember how you labeled a bit of information, taking notes won’t be worth your time and effort. Create a simple set of common tags to use the majority of the time then add more descriptive or unique tags if desired.

Applications

Evernote have made their service pretty ubiquitous. There are versions for all of the major OS both mobile and desktop. When you go from iPhone to your Windows desktop, the interface is very similar and offers the same basic functionality. However, there are different extensions available to add features to your desktop or mobile.

Trunk

Once you get in the habit of using Evernote, you can add on different applications to extend the usefulness of Evernote. The add-on applications are found in the Trunk. The Trunk is full of mobile add-ons for iPhone and Android as well as different desktop and browser extensions.

Evernote Trunk

Evernote Trunk

Unique Note Types

Voice Notes

Evernote can record a voice note on your mobile device if you have a great idea and are not in a position to type. There are 2 kinds of voice notes. There are voice-to-text notes and recorded notes. Remember using a separate micro cassette or digital recorder to capture your thoughts? Those are like the voice recordings. While the voice-to-text notes analyze what you say and transform your spoken word into text.

Emailing Notes

A lot of people do not want another application on their phone or desktop. If that sounds like you, you can email in your notes to Evernote. Each Evernote user has a unique email address to send notes to. Here is how to find your Evernote email address. Your address will look something like this: xxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx@m.evernote.com

Tweet in Notes

For the Twitter addicted, you can follow @myEN on Twitter. When Evernote follows you back, you can send an @ mention or DM to @myEN with what you want your note to say. You can also forward a tweet to Evernote. You are still limited to a total of 140 characters when tweeting a note to Evernote.

Mobile

As mentioned earlier, there is an Evernote application for all of the major browsers. The layout of the applications is pretty much the same. However, where the mobile versions differ is the add-on applications from the Trunk. An example of this is Evernote Hello.

As an Android user, I have to admit I am jealous of Evernote users with iPhones. Evernote Hello is a great application to help you remember people you meet while networking. It has basic information like their name but also includes a picture of them. You can finally put a face  with the name.

Browser Add-on

Evernote features web browser extensions to let you clip a URL or a full-page to your Evernote account. When you add the extension or use the Bookmarklet, you can choose to send the whole page or just the URL. There is also a drop down to choose what notebook you’d like the page to be stored and a spot for tags. Evernote strips out all of the ads and other clutter on the page and just sends what you need to see.

Quicknote

Quicknote

Checklists

In a note, you can create a checklist. While this may seem trivial, think of the possible uses.

  • SEO checklist
  • Website development initial meeting checklist
  • Pre-travel to-do checklist
  • Daily routine checklist

Using a list of items to complete, there is something fulfilling to checking off items. The more you check off, the more motivated to are to finish the list.

Client Notes

The first part of organizing clients is to make a notebook for each client. Individual notebooks will definitely help keep any notes for this client easily searchable.

When you have a notebook for each client, you can use it to collect ideas and other information you may want to use later. Use tags like “client name ideas” to make searching for them later much easier.

Simple Time Tracking

When you are working while mobile, you can easily jot down times you work on a project. For freelancers who are not always in the office or who are just starting out and don’t have the funds for other time tracking applications keeping a note will work well.

Going Paperless

Using your Evernote account to go paperless can be a breeze. Create a folder for documents or bills, even receipts for your expense reports/taxes. Create appropriate tags and/or notebooks to organize all of the papers you would normally file away and possibly never use again.

Final thoughts

While a little bit of forward thinking may help when setting up an Evernote account, you can always use the ready, shoot, aim approach. Get in the habit of taking notes using Evernote, then go back and do a little cleaning and organizing.

December 24 2011

10:00

Advantages of Converting Your Blog into an App and How To Do It

Mobile Media is trending for those who live on Internet Marketing. If you create a website but forget to test it on various mobile platforms then you simply ignored a huge chunk of your visitors. Users using mobile phones to visit various websites and catch up with the latest updates online has resulted in a new business focus which runs solely on Mobile compatibility of websites. An industry that grew simultaneously along with the increased mobile traffic was the App development industry. Today, there is an app for almost everything. I mean you might even stumble on an app that helps you search for dentists in your city. Crazy!

This discussion will focus more on the advantages of having a mobile app for your blog. Later, I will introduce you to few online services that help you generate a mobile app for your blog. Remember, an app for your blog is important because you cannot afford to scare away your blog’s visitor just by pushing a crappy looking mobile design of your blog.

Keeps the readers engrossed


I agree that most readers use RSS feeds, but your updates tend to get lost in between the multiple feed updates. This is when a dedicated app for your blog will keep the readers engaged with your blog only. One can design an app which pushes updates to a reader’s mobile after every new blog update which multiplies the user engagement level with that app.

Increase blog’s visibility


All that you have to do is generate engaging content and then let your app do the rest for you. Options like recommend the app to a friend increases the visibility of your blog if current users start recommending the app to others. This will increase your blog’s visibility among those readers who will stick with you for long.

Another added feature of having an app comes in when your app is listed in various app worlds (like that of Apple, Android and BlackBerry). Users usually tend to search for new apps in such app worlds and if your app is listed then be rest assured that it will be downloaded by many. Remember, after the download it is good content that will prevent the users from uninstalling the app. So, make sure you generate great content.

Give readers the “special” feeling


There are zillions of blogs and soon there will be an equivalent number of apps. This is when you get to do something different in order to keep the readers engaged. How about you give away special content only for those who use your app? Push content which will be visible only to readers who use your app. This will keep your readers engrossed and make them feel special. Remember to make that special content actually special.

Recognize readers for special suggestions


Request reader feedback to improve your blog’s app and, if possible, implement those suggestions. After successful implementation push a message to all the users of the app which will recognize the special contribution of one user. It will surely make the user feel important and increase your credibility in the community.

It is wonderful to see what we can do if we have an app for our mobile readers. It is just a matter of time before having an app for a blog will become as normal as having a custom theme designed for a blog. Just a matter of time. You can choose to flow with the tide or get ahead of it.

Now, let me list a few services that will help you generate an app for your blog. We haven’t tested them all but we can (hopefully) rely on their words. Let us know your view in comments below.

App Maker for Android

I thought that I should start with something android specific as it is the best known mobile platform (or not?) at present. Also, I don’t want to start the Apple vs Android (and if possible add “vs BlackBerry”) war here so please keep such comments away from this article. Coming back to what we were discussing. App Maker for Android creates an Android App for free within minutes. Try them and have fun.

Mippin

Mippin takes your app to the next level and creates one for Android as well as Apple iPhone. Mippin is smart enough to keep your app in sync on both the platforms and uses HTML5 in order to produce an app that fits with almost all platforms.

Conduit

Conduit happens to be one of the most famous services to create mobile apps for various platforms. Conduit creates an app which is compatible with almost every mobile platform and the reviews backing them seem to be very satisfactory.

AppsGeyser

AppsGeyser seems to take the mobile app creation business to a whole new level. After you are done creating your app, AppsGeyser will help you get traffic to your app, help you engage your audience and monetize your blog’s app for the best possible returns. Money well spent.

Shout Em

Shout Em seems to be the big dog in the market. With strong reviews from the likes of Mashable and The Next Web, Shout Em is rolling high on confidence. Their app creation process helps you create apps for iPhone and Android platforms. Also, they will help you push the apps into the respective market places which is surely a plus.

GENWI

GENWI is another big player in the market with reviews from the likes of Forbes. GENWI might charge you for specific services but the value is amazing. GENWI gives you apps for iPad, iPhone and Android. The HTML5 based apps are compatible with almost all platforms and will surely attract the mobile user.

Zubibu

Another famous (and well respected) app developer is Zubibu. They too support the iPhone and Android platforms. Zubibu smartly provides services that not just help you create an app but also analyze the results and improve on them. Zubibu is one of the very few services out their that provide mobile e-commerce solutions which will be an advantage for bloggers who tend create an e-commerce platform.

TapLynx

TapLynx follows a different approach towards the app development market. TapLynx gives away an SDK which can be used by bloggers to create apps in no time. The SDK comes loaded with multiple features that can be used by bloggers to enhance their TapLynx app which will be compatible with iPhone and Android based phones. Later on TapLynx will help you monetize your apps for better returns.

Mother App

Mother App is one of the few in this list that provide a custom app development which helps them focus on clients and their minute needs. Mother App has been in business for over 5 years and they have some really satisfied clients. You will have to get in touch with them in order to get a quote and understand how they will satisfy your requirements.

Phone Gap:Build

Phone Gap is another sleek service that keeps aside SDKs to create apps. They provide the blogger with the liberty to create apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Design your own simple looking app and upload it to Phone Gap. The service will return you with a working app that will work with iPhone, Android, BlackBerry (finally!) and lot of the other platforms. Upload them to the respective app worlds and you are ready to roll.

December 21 2011

10:00

Creative Christmas Gift For Geek Lovers – Web & Mobile App

Oh, Christmas. The magic time when you spend all the money you’ve been saving the whole year. Oh, and we have all that Christmas Spirit, of course.

Now, you probably want to spend a lot on your soul mate’s gift, to show her how deep is your love.

Yeah, money can buy cool things, but guess what: almost every year I make my own gifts for my girlfriend (but I always have to buy something else anyway). And I feel that she just loves when I do something by myself instead of just buying it (unless shoes, she wouldn’t like if I made her a shoe). So I’ll show you, dear Padawan, how to make a cool one-page-gift for anybody that you like.

Our goal here is to do a simple “slider”, where a lot of messages and pictures that you like are shown. In the meantime you’ll learn a little bit about design, jQuery and CSS3.

So, let’s rock!

Demo & Download


This is our final effect. You can check out our live demo and download our source files and start playing with it.

Design stuff


First of all we’ll need a cool background. Snow is not an option for me, since in Brazil we barely know what it’s like. So I’d rather pick a cool christmas tree and change it a little. I’ve found a couple of cool images to use in
Salman’s article full of Christmas resources. I’ve chosen one of them, adjusted its colors, sliced its background and cut the Christmas tree itself.

As our effect’s start point (slider and this stuff) we’ll use a rocking tutorial on how to do an Amazing Slideshow (John Lennnon Tribute). We’ll change it a little bit, but the main effect is just amazing :)

Now we need a good looking font for our design. I suggest you to go with Cartoon. Then just generate its webfont and we can include it in our basic HTML (that one downloaded from Rocking Code).

Our basic HTML will be like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<meta charset="utf-8" />
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge,chrome=1" />

<title>Happy Christmas!</title>
<meta name="description" content="Cool DIY Christmas Gift for geek lovers." />
<meta name="author" content="Rochester Oliveira - 1stWebDesigner.com" />
<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="favicon.ico">

<link rel="stylesheet" href="css/style.css?v=2" />
</head>
<body>
<div id="tree">
<div id="container">
<h1>Happy Christmas!</h1>
<div id="masonry">
<div>
<img src="http://placekitten.com/200/300" alt="Cute kitten - http://placekitten.com/200/300" />
<div>Caption text.</div>
</div>
[... more .item divs]
</div>
</div>
<!--! end of #container -->
</div>
<!-- JavaScript at the bottom for fast page loading -->

<!-- Grab Google CDN's jQuery, with a protocol relative URL; fall back to local if necessary -->
<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.1/jquery.js"></script>
<script>window.jQuery || document.write("<script src='js/libs/jquery-1.7.1.min.js'>\x3C/script>")</script>

<!-- scripts-->
<script src="js/jquery.images.loaded.js"></script>
<script src="js/jquery.masonry.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
//[slideshow action scripts]
</script>
<!-- end scripts-->

</body>
</html>

And basic CSS:

body {
	background: #feffef url("../img/bg.jpg") repeat-x center bottom;
 }
 #tree {
	position: relative;
	width: 100%;
	height: 100%;
	background: #feffef url("../img/bg-tree.jpg") repeat-x center bottom;
 }
#container {
	position: relative;
	width: 880px;
	margin: 15px auto;
	padding: 20px 20px 20px 30px;
	background-color: transparent;
	background-color: rgba(255,255,255,0.5);
	filter:progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#32ffffff,endColorstr=#32ffffff);
	-ms-filter: "progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#32ffffff,endColorstr=#32ffffff)";
	-moz-box-shadow: 0 0 5px #B8B8B8; /* Firefox */
	-webkit-box-shadow: 0 0 5px #B8B8B8; /* Safari, Chrome */
	box-shadow: 0 0 5px #B8B8B8; /* CSS3 */
}
	#container h1 {
		font-family: 'CartonSlab';
		font-size: 20px;
	}
	.item {
		position: relative;
		padding: 0;
		width: 200px;
		margin-bottom: 20px;
		float: left;
		background: #000;
		overflow: hidden;
	}
		.item img {
			width: 100%;
			cursor: pointer;
		}
	.selected {
		border: 2px solid #fff;
		-moz-box-shadow: 0 0 3px #000; /* Firefox */
		-webkit-box-shadow: 0 0 3px #000; /* Safari, Chrome */
		box-shadow: 0 0 3px #000; /* CSS3 */
	}

As you may have noticed, our tree is done with a different HTML element, so it won’t affect our slideshow effect at all.

Oh, and don’t forget to generate favicons. They are really cool.

Setting up pictures and captions


One thing that will really impress your date is to choose romantic messages and cute stuff. So be ready to search for:

  • Cat pictures (demo with a lot of them)
  • Hearts
  • Landscapes
  • Your own pictures

I’ve found a couple of good quotes on QuotationsPage & RomanticloveMessages and have written my own ones (this is really important).

Then, let’s put them inside our HTML with proper markup. We’ll have captions positioned on top, middle and bottom, this way:

<div>
<img src="http://placekitten.com/200/300" alt="Cute kitten - http://placekitten.com/200/300" />
<div>You may not care for me like I care for you But if you ever need me, I will always be around for you.</div>
</div>
<div>
<img src="img/kitten.jpg" alt="Cute kitten - http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1369754" />
<div>It's hard to tell your mind to stop loving someone when your heart still does. </div>
</div>
<div>
<img src="img/kitten1.jpg" alt="Cute kitten - http://www.sxc.hu/photo/555320" />
<div>Meeting you was fate, but falling in love with you was beyond my control. </div>
</div>

And CSS will be:

.item .caption {
	position: absolute;
	top: 0;
	padding: 10px 20px;
	font-family: 'CartonSlab';
	font-size: 15px;
	color: #ffffff;
	background-color: transparent;
	background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.5);
	filter:progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#32000000,endColorstr=#32000000);
	-ms-filter: "progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#32000000,endColorstr=#32000000)";
}
.item .bottom {
	top: auto;
	bottom: 0;
}
.item .middle {
	top: 50%;
}

Coding Slideshow JS


Our basic logic will be:

  • It’ll hide all captions and reduce opacity for images on start;
  • It’ll automatically expand box and show caption, one at a time;
  • When hovering images, it’ll increase its opacity and automatically stop our timer;
  • When the person clicks on an image, it’ll expand its box;

First, we’ll make sure that no function will run before all images are loaded (it wouldn’t look good, trust me). This code will do the trick (since we’ve uploaded jquery.images.loaded.js):

//defaults
var $container = $('#masonry'), $items = $container.find(".item"), count = $items.length, current = 0, lowOpacity = 0.3, highOpacity = 1, timer = "";

$container.imagesLoaded(function(){
	$container.masonry({
		itemSelector : '.item',
		columnWidth : 220,
		isAnimated: true
	});

	init();
});

This init() will do our first, third and fourth bullet points. Let’s go through it:

function init() {
	//let's set all images to dark and bind their hover
	$items.find("img").each(function(index){
		//hide captions
		$($items[index]).find(".caption").fadeOut();
		//images setup
		$(this)
			.animate( { opacity: lowOpacity } )
			.hover(
				function(){
					$(this).stop().animate( { opacity: highOpacity } );
					stopTimer();
				}, function() {
					startTimer();
					if(index != current) {
						$(this).stop().animate( { opacity: lowOpacity } );
					}
				}
			)
			.click(
				function() {
					expand(index);
				}
			);
	});
	expand(0);
	startTimer();
}

The coolest thing here is all those chained functions. They improve performance a lot and if you break lines between them (always before “.”) it’ll be much better to understand.

Now we have two important functions, startTimer() and stopTimer(). I’m pretty sure you know what do they do. We’ll use setInterval and clearInterval to control our timer:

function startTimer() {
	timer = window.setInterval( "next()", 6000); // it'll call next function every 6 seconds and will identify this interval as "timer"
}
function stopTimer() {
	clearInterval(timer); //we'll kill timer :(
}

Now we called “next” function every 6 seconds let’s see what it does:

function next() {
	//if we add one item to current we'll still below our total count of numbers?
	if ( (current ++) < count) {
		expand(current++);
	} else {
		expand(0);
	}
}

Now what you’ve been waiting for: expand()

//this is what makes our current box bigger and the ones before it smaller
function expand(item) {
	var curItem = $(".selected"), $img = "";
	if(curItem) {
		curItem.animate({"width": "200px"}, function(){
			$img = $(this).find("img");
			imgOff($img);
			curItem.find(".caption").fadeOut();
		}).removeClass("selected");
	}
	$( $items[item] ).animate( {"width": "420px"}, function(){
		$img = $(this).find("img");
		imgOn($img);
		$(this).addClass("selected");
		$container.masonry( 'reload' );
		$($items[item]).find(".caption").fadeIn();
	} );
	current = item;
}
/*** functions used above **/
//let's make our current imag look better
function imgOn(img) {
	img.each(function(){
		$(this).animate( { opacity: highOpacity } );
	});
}
//let's turn off these images
function imgOff(img) {
	img.each(function(){
		$(this).animate( { opacity: lowOpacity } );
	});
}

Ok, then, let’s group all this stuff inside one script call, and we’re done!

var $container = $('#masonry'), $items = $container.find(".item"), count = $items.length, current = 0, lowOpacity = 0.3, highOpacity = 1, timer = "";
$container.imagesLoaded(function(){
	$container.masonry({
		itemSelector : '.item',
		columnWidth : 220,
		isAnimated: true
	});

	init();
});
//runs qwiki function for fisrt item so we'll start loop
function init() {
	//let's set all images to dark and bind their hover
	$items.find("img").each(function(index){
		//hide captions
		$($items[index]).find(".caption").fadeOut();
		//images setup
		$(this)
			.animate( { opacity: lowOpacity } )
			.hover(
				function(){
					$(this).stop().animate( { opacity: highOpacity } );
					stopTimer();
				}, function() {
					startTimer();
					if(index != current) {
						$(this).stop().animate( { opacity: lowOpacity } );
					}
				}
			)
			.click(
				function() {
					expand(index);
				}
			);
	});
	expand(0);
	startTimer();
}
function startTimer() {
	timer = window.setInterval( "next()", 6000);
}
function stopTimer() {
	clearInterval(timer);
}
// let's go on with next item if we didn't reach end of our set of items
function next() {
	if ( (current ++) < count) {
		expand(current++);
	} else {
		expand(0);
	}
}
//let's make our current imag look better
function imgOn(img) {
	img.each(function(){
		$(this).animate( { opacity: highOpacity } );
	});
}
//let's turn off these images
function imgOff(img) {
	img.each(function(){
		$(this).animate( { opacity: lowOpacity } );
	});
}
//this is what makes our current box bigger and the ones before it smaller
function expand(item) {
	var curItem = $(".selected"), $img = "";
	if(curItem) {
		curItem.animate({"width": "200px"}, function(){
			$img = $(this).find("img");
			imgOff($img);
			curItem.find(".caption").fadeOut();
		}).removeClass("selected");
	}
	$( $items[item] ).animate( {"width": "420px"}, function(){
		$img = $(this).find("img");
		imgOn($img);
		$(this).addClass("selected");
		$container.masonry( 'reload' );
		$($items[item]).find(".caption").fadeIn();
	} );
	current = item;
}

Personal touch: My horrible voice as background music


I’ve been learning guitar for 1 month. I know how to play two songs (“In spite of all the danger” and “Stand by me”) and I sing really, really bad. But when I showed my girlfriend my first “demo” record, well, I understood why so many guys want to learn guitar.

This is my final personal touch, and you could do so with a cool picture, a recorded mesage (video, maybe), or whatever you can imagine.

What do you think?


So, have you liked it? Are you planning to do something really special to the ones you love most? Let me hear your thoughts!

January 28 2011

13:45

Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

Advertisement in Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly
 in Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly  in Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly  in Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

Mobiles have become a necessity in our lives and are being used worldwide. Today’s phone set has the capability to browse the web, listen to songs, watch videos or even download any required information. This is the main reason why many companies have considered rebuilding their sites to make them mobile compatible.

With the introduction of iPhone there has been a massive demand of mobile web services. Today we present to you 25 tutorials and articles to help you understand and develop sites for achieving mobile presence on websites:

How to Create a Mobile Site
This article shows you the way of creating a mobile site that is good for old cellphones and stunning for iPhones:

Article in Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

How to Make Your Portfolio iPhone-Compatible
A tutorial focusing mainly on making portfoilio sites mobile friendly so that visitors can enjoy artwork even on their cells:

Portfoilo in Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

Tutorial: Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Devices
Here you can learn how to make your own site mobile friendly:

Website-for-mobile-devices in Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

How To: Designing A Mobile Website
In order to design a simple, effective and attractive mobile website, there are a few ingredients that we need to add into the mix. This article should satisfy all of your basic needs for a mobile platform on your site:

Markup in Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

Coding for the Mobile Web
Here you can find out firsthand how the author has taught to develop web sites so that they will provide an acceptable user experience on mobile devices:

Media in Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

How to Create a Mobile Site with MoFuse
MoFuse is a service that lets you convert basically any site with a RSS feed, to a mobile site hosted by it. This is a great option if you don’t feel comfortable hosting your mobile site yourself:

Mockup in Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

A Simple Mobile Site with CodeIgniter
In this short tutorial you can learn how to get started with the development of a simple site to display mobiForge’s RSS feed on a generic mobile device:

Codelgniter in Tutorials for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly in Two Minutes
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(ik)

January 28 2010

20:20

The Easiest Way to Build your First iPhone App

Mobile websites have come a long way, but if you want to take full advantage of a smartphone’s hardware, or get listed in the iTunes App Store, you need to compile your code. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a mobile web app with an iPhone look and feel using jQTouch, then turn it into a native iPhone app using Phonegap. No Objective-C necessary.

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Phonegap
  • Version: 0.80
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour

Requirements

To complete this tutorial, you’ll need the following:

Introduction to PhoneGap

PhoneGap is an open-source framework that can turn any web app into a native app for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. It pulls off
this trick by running your web code in a UIWebView, an embedded instance of Safari without the
toolbars and buttons of the standalone Safari app. PhoneGap then extends this basic functionality by mapping features of the
iPhone SDK to JavaScript objects you can call in your web code, so you can easily add features like GPS, camera, contacts, vibration,
SQLLite and accelerometer support. And when you’re ready to distribute your app, PhoneGap 0.80 is Apple-approved!

Included in the PhoneGap distribution is everything you need to build and run an iPhone app. The included XCode project is bundled
with a sample code showing how to use many of the native features, and all the supporting files necessary to compile the app and
run it in the iPhone Simulator or on your phone.

Building and Running an iPhone App

To test whether you’ve got your Mac ready to run your code, let’s try out the sample project included with PhoneGap.

First, open up the iPhone folder, and double-click on PhoneGap.xcodeproj:

This should open XCode with your project loaded. Although there’s a lot going on here, we as web developers only need
to concern ourselves with the www folder. This contains the web code that will become the interface and logic of
our app.

Now that we’ve got our project loaded, it’s time to take it for a spin. Bundled with the iPhone SDK is an iPhone Simulator that
hooks right in to XCode. All we have to do is click “Build and Run.”

Building Your Web App

For the sake of this tutorial, I’ve put together a simple, native-feeling app that displays my Tumblr feed with a slide-up “About”
screen. This app is based on the excellent jQTouch framework, a jQuery-based library of UI
elements, animations, and extensions that let you rapidly develop mobile web apps with native look and feel. Let’s take a quick look
at putting together a web app using jQTouch before we import this app into our Phonegap project.

First, we load jQuery, jQTouch, and some bundled theme files in the <head> tag; these will style our elements to look like
native iPhone UI widgets:

	<head>
		<script src="jqtouch/jquery.1.3.2.min.js" type="application/javascript" charset="utf-8"></script>
		<script src="jqtouch/jqtouch.min.js" type="application/x-javascript" charset="utf-8"></script>
	    <style type="text/css" media="screen">@import "jqtouch/jqtouch.min.css";</style>
	    <style type="text/css" media="screen">@import "jqtouch/themes/apple/theme.min.css";</style>
	    <style type="text/css" media="screen">@import "master.css";</style>

		<script type="text/javascript">
	        $.jQTouch();
	    </script>
	</head>

Then we build out the skeleton of our app:

	<body id="stage" class="theme">
        <div id="home" class="current">

        </div>
        <div id="about">

        </div>
    </body>

jQTouch takes any direct descendent of the <body> tag and converts it into a full-screen “view”. This means every
<div> in the code above will take over the entire screen, and changing screens means swapping between <div>s by linking
to them by their id:

	<a href="#about">About</a>

JQTouch includes a variety of cool ways to transition between these screens, and they and can be enabled simply by adding CSS classes.
For example, to turn that link to the About page into a slide-up transition, we add the following:

	<a class="slideup" href="#about">About</a>

Then, in the About page itself, we add a button to “close” the panel by sliding it back:

	<a href="#" class="grayButton goback">Close</a>

On the default screen, we’ll add a toolbar with the aforementioned “About” button, and a spot to embed a Tumblr feed:

    <div class="toolbar">
        <h1>Home</h1>
        <a class="button slideup" href="#about">About</a>
    </div>
    <h2>Live Stream</h2>
    <div id="timeline">
        <script type="text/javascript" src="http://YOUR_TUMBLR_USERNAME.tumblr.com/js">
        </script>
    </div>

Lastly, a few CSS classes that will style the output of the Tumblr feed to match our “Apple” theme:

	ol {
	    color: black;
	    background: #fff;
	    border: 1px solid #B4B4B4;
	    font: bold 17px Helvetica;
	    padding: 0;
	    margin: 15px 10px 17px 10px;
	    -webkit-border-radius: 8px;
	}

	ol > li {
	    color: #666;
	    border-top: 1px solid #B4B4B4;
	    list-style-type: none;
	    padding: 10px 25px 10px 25px;
	}

That’s it! After adding some content to our About page, we replace the files in our Phonegap project’s www folder
with our new web app, and run it again:

Conclusion

Our web app is now compiled, and from here can be packaged up for distribution in the iTunes Store. It’s a simple start, but
in very little time we’ve got a native app that looks like Apple’s own, runs on any iPhone, and can be extended to a variety of uses.

I’ll be covering how to extend your app with support for cameras and geo-location in future tutorials. In the meantime, you can
read more about Phonegap at the Phonegap Wiki. Documentation is not fully fleshed out,
so you may find yourself digging through git repositories after the end of a long hunt.

To submit your app to the iTunes App Store, register for the iPhone Developer Program.
Once you’re registered, you’ll be given the tools to digitally sign and submit your app to the iTunes Store.

Write a Plus Tutorial

Did you know that you can earn up to $600 for writing a PLUS tutorial and/or screencast for us? We’re looking for in depth and well-written tutorials on HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript. If you’re of the ability, please contact Jeffrey at nettuts@tutsplus.com.

Please note that actual compensation will be dependent upon the quality of the final tutorial and screencast.

Write a PLUS tutorial


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