FoulWeather Apps

Handy Metro DC - Silver Line Edition!

The Washington Metro Silver Line recently opened with 5 new stations. Handy Metro DC for BlackBerry 10 now includes the new stations starting with version 1.5 so head over to BlackBerry World and check it out.

A Bit of House Cleaning

Welcome to the new year. To celebrate, a couple of bug fix updates to our TrendStalker and Bracket Trackit HP TouchPad apps were recently released. All international Yahoo trends in TrendStalker should be working again and a minor scroll issue was fixed in Bracket Trackit.

In other news our first BlackBerry 10 app has been submitted. While webOS is our first love and we plan to continue limited support for the foreseeable future it is time to try new platforms and BlackBerry 10 shows promise. Obviously it is going to be a tough task for them to compete with Apple, Google and Microsoft among others. We will soon see how the latest BlackBerry offering stacks up, BlackBerry 10 will be officially introduced on January 30, 2013. Best of luck to them!

TrendStalker Update

TrendStalker 1.1.4 has been released into the HP App Catalog. This is a maintenance release and fixes issues with several Yahoo international feeds, most notably UK, Germany and New Zealand.

Check out the TrendStalker page for more information.

Bracket Trackit - Development Trivia

A bit of behind the scenes information about Bracket Trackit for my developer friends out there. This is my first app written with the Jo HTML5 framework designed for mobile applications.

Having worked mostly with Enyo last year (Alert Siren HD and TrendStalker are Enyo apps) and with support in flux when Bracket Trackit development started (thanks Leo), the search for viable frameworks was on. Jo fit the bill best - simple enough to get started quickly and it had enough UI elements to cover most of my needs. Not to mention it worked well and looks good with the TouchPad which is a big plus since that is my current tablet of choice.

Using Jo and packaging the app with whatever they are calling PhoneGap these days (callback? cordova?) made it easy to put together an Enyo/Mojo-free TouchPad compatible application. It should be fairly easy to deploy on other platforms as well should I choose to step into that minefield.

Here are a few Jo development pointers based on my experience thus far.

  • Use the Jo development branch - the current 0.4.1 release was about a year ago and the development branch was plenty stable for me and has some bug fixes you will want.
  • Read through the Jo forums - lots of good stuff there.
  • Use LESS stylesheets. Jo relies heavily on CSS 3 and includes a LESS template in Github repository - I just tweaked that for Bracket Trackit.
  • Reference the Jo source code. Don’t be afraid to study the source code, the API docs are nice but the source is easy to wade through and you learn a lot. Get to know the CSS, too, much of the magic happens there.

The mobile app HTML5/Javascript framework space is becoming more crowded, there are some impressive offerings available. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Enyo team does with version 2 now that it is open source. I have also toyed around with Sencha Touch and will be taking a closer look at their latest version soon.

Jo is on the lighter end of the scale and a bit more raw than a Sencha Touch, for instance, but it is worth a look. I’m not sure what I’ll use as my framework of choice going forward, most likely it will be the one that best supports what my particular app needs to do.

Ping me on Twitter @FoulWeatherApps if you have any comments or questions.

New Release: Bracket Trackit

New to the HP App Catalog is Bracket Trackit, a tournament tracking application for the TouchPad. From little league to the big leagues you can take your brackets on the go. Create, update and share tournament results.

Head to the App Catalog entry to check it out on your TouchPad or visit the Bracket Trackit web page here for more information.