The session “Phone for Me, Tablet for We” was presented at 2nd Annual IndicThreads.com Conference On Mobile Application Development, August 2011, Pune, India. The takeaway for the audience is to see how easy it is to design & build apps for multiple devices, while optimizing on codebase, thus improving maintainability & achieving a consistent user experience.
The phone is a very personal device; an extension of one’s own personality. The tablet, on the other hand, is a consumption/development/collaboration device, depending on the time & place it is used. Most developers, when designing for one device, completely ignore, or worse, serve the same app for the other, without utilizing the full potential of differing size factors. It is these fundamental differences that developers must keep in mind while designing & developing multi device apps. I will showcase some simple principles to develop an app for both phones & tablets.
The Presentation Model pattern, or the Code-Behind is an efficient approach to organize code in such a way so as to separate a user interface from its behavior. This pattern allows us to share the code across multiple environments, each with their separate identities, while providing standardization in usability behavior.
We will build an app by doing the following:
– Structure code base to create multiple mobile & library projects
– Connect to a live API to submit parameterized data and display the result
– See how data is shared between the different views of the apps, allowing storage of data in memory when the app is running, and persistence when the app is shut down, either by the user or the system.
– Easily implement mobile UI using resource bundles, CSS & images, thus providing an engaging & aesthetic experience
The takeaway for the audience is to see how easy it is to design & build apps for multiple devices, while optimizing on codebase, thus improving maintainability & achieving a consistent user experience.
I will be using the Flex SDK to showcase the approaches listed above. However, implementing the principles is easily applicable in any of the native & cross platform tools, be it iOS SDK, Android SDK, PhoneGap, Titanium, or any other framework available for mobile development.
Abhay Aggarwal has been programming RIAs in Flash & Flex for over 9 years now, including international stints at UK, New York, and Boston. He has worked with startups and big corporations, delivering solutions for pharma, financial, retail, & publishing domains. He is passionate about getting his hands dirty in Mobile, following Agile, tinkering with Actionscript, and reading & writing fiction, though not necessarily in any order. He has spoken at various industry forums, including Flash & Agile Summits.
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