Time To Make an iPhone and Android App For Girlfriend Social

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I figure its about time I get on making mobile versions of   – http://www.girlfriendsocial.com … I code php, mysql, html, css etc but have never even looked into mobile development…. Today that changes….

I've already designed and use a very basic html version of the site that displays mobile screen resolution content. 

The mobile app will have features similar to a members site. Push notification for messages received on the main website,  view profile and events, maybe eventually geo target local app members to you…..

Anyone have any good suggestions, websites, books etc to start on the mobile coding curve?

       


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Ian Thomas
Ian Thomas
8 years ago

Jumping from web to Objective-C/Java is not a cake walk. You may want to consider using a tool such as PhoneGap to quickly build out an Android and IOS application until you can afford to pay for a quality application.

Mathew Hanley
Mathew Hanley
8 years ago

Place ratings? Not the usual ratings but how good they are places to go. I know I'm a man but I'm an ideas man 😉

John Hart
John Hart
8 years ago

Have you thought about starting with a responsive web design, using the skills you already have to help mobile users access the site?  You can use that to buy you time to learn mobile development and get a native app written without a "rush to market" mentality.

Sometimes a native app isn't the best route to take initially, especially if you're doing the development yourself.

Amanda Blain
Amanda Blain
8 years ago

I should add there is already a mobile web version of the site… And i am not worried about "learning a new language" I'm self taught already… coded all of GFS both front end and back end..  all by myself 🙂

Omiyefa Oluwafikunayomi
Omiyefa Oluwafikunayomi
8 years ago

good talk my boss

Michael Lee Johnson
Michael Lee Johnson
8 years ago

You're better off designing the site responsively  cross platform for all resolutions, browsers and device types, alongside geo-serving your sites content to different countries, monetizing for multiple locales. — And then once you have done that, create the native complementary apps for iPhone, Android and Windows handhelds. – Maximizing reach, awareness and profits.

Jay McHugh
Jay McHugh
8 years ago

is likely right (at least in the beginning). You could roll out a mobile version of your site to start with. That way you'll be able to kill all the birds with one stone.

Amanda Blain
Amanda Blain
8 years ago

Maybe i better edit the main post… There is already a html mobile version of the site.. the main site already geo targets locally.. .. i am at the .. "native complementary apps" point .. hence this post..

Catrina Murray
Catrina Murray
8 years ago

Sounds great i'll check it out.

John Hart
John Hart
8 years ago

 She seems dead set on a mobile app, which is why I continued a path that direction.  Personally I'd say stick with a responsive site and ignore an app.  🙂

Having a separate mobile site doesn't cover all bases, +Amanda Blain.  We're rolling out a responsive redesign on Monday for Fathead that covers 6 resolutions, everything from widescreen monitors to tablets to 300px wide phones.  This allows our content creators to build content once and have it work across every platform instantly and frees up our limited dev resources to work on other projects instead of maintaining a site and a mobile app.  I'm sure you have better things to do than code an app for the next 6 months.  🙂

Michael Lee Johnson
Michael Lee Johnson
8 years ago

A mobile html version is just a add-on, everything needs to be integrated and wrapped together properly. — It makes a big difference.

Abraham Williams
Abraham Williams
8 years ago

I generally regard Pragmatic Programmer books to be top notch. They have a number of Android and iOS books: pragprog.com/

Amanda Blain
Amanda Blain
8 years ago

Hmmm Perhaps im missing something basic here… Many girls on the site want "an app from the app store" that they can use on their phone that will give them push notifications of new messages on the site… This is my number 1 feature request. Telling them to "go to the website on their phone to login" isn't in their plan…   

I don't know anything about this area.. so perhaps its easy as packaging the site into a mobile version of the app that will appear in the store…  since it seems that is what you are mostly suggesting… but then i'd need advice on how to do that. 🙂

Martin Heine
Martin Heine
8 years ago

How do you know I'm not a 'chick' also can a guy be 'chick in Europe?

Posting a photo with a newspaper and the date of publishing may work, but you could fake that…. Maybe video face to face authentication only and photocopy of an I D card… Or signature… Food for thought?

Peter Hayduk
Peter Hayduk
8 years ago

The following books and web sites are helping a lot. Especially the android developer site is awesome and full of information. All other problems can be solved with stackoverflow. Hope this helps.

Also I love the libraries from . They help a lot to provide an android 4.x style for older devices.

Books
http://www.deitel.com/Books/Android/AndroidforProgrammers/tabid/3606/Default.aspx (I own it)
http://www.amazon.com/Smashing-Android-Magazine-Book-Series/dp/1118387287 (Will I buy soon)

Websites
developer.android.com
http://www.androiduipatterns.com
stackoverflow.com

Libraries
jakewharton.com

Amanda Blain
Amanda Blain
8 years ago

There is a feedback feature on the site for women who have met up in real life.. kinda like ebay feedback…  .. otherwise.. when men who sign up through all the pretty pink… come out with "oh hey im actually a dude" they get reported and removed pretty quick… 

Women are there to meet other women for friendship… The men are wasting their time and get that pretty quickly. 

This is about mobile app development though.

Siegfried Hirsch
Siegfried Hirsch
8 years ago

Me neither is a mobile developer, but if you are looking to code for both iphone and android, you should take a look at apps, that help to keep the codebase together.

Maybe you could take a look at Titanium appcelerator: Titanium allows you to write apps in an abstract way with JavaScript and then compile it to a mix of JavaScript and native code. This gives you a native look on iPhone and Android with only a single JavaScript code base.

http://www.appcelerator.com/platform

Christopher Capano
Christopher Capano
8 years ago

I develop Android in Eclipse but I have colleagues who code in LiveCode because it can generate native ios and android apps.

Abraham Williams
Abraham Williams
8 years ago

+Amanda Blain since you already have a mobile website the fastest way to bootstrap mobile notifications is to use Twilio to send texts with links to the new content: www.twilio.com/

John Hart
John Hart
8 years ago

+Amanda Blain For notifications you will need an app, but I highly suggest you start small and work from there.  App development is a whole new ballgame, for instance there is no simple CSS tricks for multiple resolutions so layout needs a lot more planning, wireframing, and development time.  Perhaps just building out the notification framework would be best and when clicked it simply links them back to the messages portion of the site.  This would allow you to focus on the core parts of mobile development, the web services that will be required and how to display small bits of info on a users device.  From there you can expand out.

Just be aware you're talking about two totally new languages here.  Java and C.  There's a whole new set of challenges here — not saying it's not possible, it's just a rough road.  I've been building Java apps since the early days and it still took me a few months before I had a solid app for Android.  (And that was just a test app with minimal functions.)  I've also done C programming for almost 20 years and when I wrote my first iOS app I thought I was going to throw the phone across the room a number of times every day for months.

Nothing you learned from web development will be useful in mobile app development.

Tom Dumas
Tom Dumas
8 years ago

how bout and it's supporters…!!!

Mohammad Eshbeata
Mohammad Eshbeata
8 years ago

Titanuim = Javascript for multi mobile platforms

Amanda Blain
Amanda Blain
8 years ago

Why do I keep hearing about HTML5 as the future of app development.. yet no on has mentioned it here? Something more like this phonegap.com/ ?

John Hart
John Hart
8 years ago

+Amanda Blain That's what responsive web design implies.  🙂

Jason Pillow
Jason Pillow
8 years ago

Sounds pretty exciting. Where do I sign up for beta testing? =P

Leo Deegan
Leo Deegan
8 years ago

If you're going to go it on your own, it might help to do one at a time (say, release iOS first). Getting user feedback data early helps.

Mohammad Eshbeata
Mohammad Eshbeata
8 years ago

+Amanda Blain  Titanuim is more like phonegap but its build over javascript which one of the best i ever try , you could once for multiple www.appcelerator.com/

Amanda Blain
Amanda Blain
8 years ago

Hmmmm… +PhoneGap do you do all the stuff i mentioned here? 🙂

  Hmmm Titanuim looks good too…  Will have to compare the two to see which is better/easier… 

Anyone else have suggestions similar to the above ideas… ? Thanks to all who responded thus far.

Martin Heine
Martin Heine
8 years ago

I'm not convinced this is a good idea…

Martin Heine
Martin Heine
8 years ago

It could end up like a men's club or the tea party…

Michael Lee Johnson
Michael Lee Johnson
8 years ago

+Amanda Blain – Html 5 is just a buzz term. Titanium is probably the best and phonegap is far too basic for your needs.

Stacy S
Stacy S
8 years ago

From experience moving our product to mobile apps, if you can move your infrastructure to rest based service interfaces then the app and the frontend all share the same services.

This makes maintence a LOT easier. Maintence and ongoing development is the area of software development where the rookies overlook or ignore in exchange for "just get it out there".

Panah Rad
Panah Rad
8 years ago

I use this site: mobile.tutsplus.com/ and tutsplus stuff in general for trying new things. I know some folk use mobileroadie.com/ and sites like that. But I prefer coding it myself

Jay McHugh
Jay McHugh
8 years ago

I did not know that you already had a mobile version of your site. Have you considered doing your development on github so that you could get help with the coding and bug fixes? Or, were you planning on selling the app and therefore wanted to keep the code secret? I am trying to add android deelopment to my bag of tricks and would like to help out (once I can actually do something useful).

Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
8 years ago

+Amanda Blain  I would agree with  when it comes to building your back end keep it as separate REST services, this will allow you to keep the native apps simple and allow them to focus on doing what UIs are there for, providing a good user experience,  Don't let UIs think too much. We designed our entire architecture around this approach when I worked at that little entertainment company… We cranked out a mobile app sitting on the REST api that backs up the web app in a very short time.

On html5… for what it's worth FB has pulled mobile support for HTML5 claiming it was a huge mistake.. Many are still using it with responsive design packages such as Sencha and JQuery but I have heard more then once that a native app provides a more consistent experience not to mention you get all the goodness of the native OS such as notifications.

search "facebook html5 mistake" for more info on the HTML5 mobile debate.

Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore
8 years ago

the guy at our work learned ios from that university's online videos… berkley?

Sophie Wrobel
Sophie Wrobel
8 years ago

I'm very much a 'learning by doing' person. The biggest part of the curve is design – implementation is easy enough.

1. Performance. There was a great article on client vs server side architecture comparing siri and google's search. Most applications won't be as clear-cut as that, but do think twice about how performant javascript vs. serverside processing is going to be.

2. User patterns Design for mobile first, then the main site – this really helps you become aware of what really is important on your site. Menus need to be accessible – but not necessarily a navbar, which kills screen space. Actually, try browsing some of your 'essential' desktop sites via a mobile emulator, and you'll get a feel soon enough for what is painful.

On apps: I develop on Android on an Asus Transformer – developing on a desktop is painful thanks to the slow emulator. If you want notifications, HTML 5 will not help: HTML runs in the browser sandbox, notifications in the mobile OS. But app development is quite different than web scripting, as already mentioned, Google Developers is quite thorough.

Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore
8 years ago

oh, and +Amanda Blain I posted on the blog the other day about how the slideshows for +AndroidTO are now all available

Tristan Isfeld
Tristan Isfeld
8 years ago

Developing mobile is very fun, but there are lots of resources available to do this. Have you looked into phonegap?
http://www.phonegap.com
You wont need to lean the mobile's native language and they compile it for you, so you can use js, html, and css.

Amanda Blain
Amanda Blain
8 years ago

Does phone gap handle push notifications well?  …  that the main feature i'm looking for here… 🙂

Tristan Isfeld
Tristan Isfeld
8 years ago

+Amanda Blain it sure does. They also use accelerometer, compass, storage, contacts, geolocation… etc.. They essentially do their best to work with all mobile events and features of the major o.s. You just use their api, and then they compile it to the native language. So you have to learn a lot of functions and objects, but, then you can use any feature you would like. Here, look at the api
docs.phonegap.com/en/2.2.0/guide_getting-started_index.md.html

Ian Thomas
Ian Thomas
8 years ago

PhoneGap is significantly better than titanium. The problem with titanium is if something fails to work right on some device, you are completely at the mercy for the devs to fix it.

Mike Jansen
Mike Jansen
8 years ago

Personal opinion: avoid cross-platform where you develop once and output multiple native apps (android, ios, etc). Nice in theory, reality not so nice.

Native app development is a decent sized under taking, especially since each platform is so different. Don't under-estimate the potential amount of learning you'll need to do just to get something more than a trivial "hello world" app.

Amanda Blain
Amanda Blain
8 years ago

It seems this is turning into a PC VS MAC debate…. i wasn't aware there was so much conflicting information in this.. but i guess that makes sense… people who only code in java/C would think poorly of something that is Cross platform HTML5… and vice versa….  Same thing I find in web development… (WHY ON EARTH USE PHP SAYS ASP GUYS)… 😉

I guess its also why i've been confused and hesitant on starting it… I'm not a major billion dollar corporation so phonegap or titanium is really looking like a good solution at this time…

Also interesting note here… I'm doing this for the joy of learning… 🙂 Appreciate everyones comments… and keep em coming. 🙂

Geo T
Geo T
8 years ago

Wow way to go amanda! What will this app be able to do. Meaning more than it already does?

Tristan Isfeld
Tristan Isfeld
8 years ago

 I agree with you that native development is significantly better than cross platform development in many instances, however, the power of devices now-a-days mitigates this issue rendering the differences quite negligible in instances where the app doesn't require the need for highly optimized code, for example a photoshop mobile. 

There are many factors which call for cross-platform development, especially in Amanda's situation. Developing the apps natively across the many devices, would be incredibly cost ineffective for her, and exhaustively time consuming. Also, don't forget, that phonegap compiles to the native languages of the devices, so future optimization will be possible.

Liz Krane
Liz Krane
8 years ago

I agree with the phonegap/Titanium suggestion if you have a lot of iPhone and Android users and want to save time. But as an amateur going from web (PHP) to Android (and a tiny bit of iPhone tinkering), I have to say the transition isn't that hard at all! It's certainly a time investment, but a fun one. 🙂 So I'd say if you want to learn new languages anyway, then there's no reason to shy away from native development! I'd start with whichever platform is used by the majority of your users, use that to get their feedback on the design, and then make it on other platforms if it seems worthwhile after that.

Eileen O
Eileen O'Duffy
8 years ago

 Can you advise Amanda?

Ghulam Mohi-Ud-Din
Ghulam Mohi-Ud-Din
8 years ago

Hi

Ghulam Mohi-Ud-Din
Ghulam Mohi-Ud-Din
8 years ago

Ffg

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