Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

London Titanium Meetup – July 2012

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

In Just over a week we will have another Titanium London meetup, we have some exciting talks and demos for you. I hope you can make it.

Titanium Mobile Tip 1

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Android Development Tip – for Titanium Mobile Developers.

This is, what I guess will be, the first of many byte-sized tips, tricks, hints, whatever you want to call it, that can help speed up and optimise Titanium Mobile development. I will most likely post these up as and when I come across them, in the hope they will be of use.

When working with the android emulator and a device, you may be testing on both simultaneously. If, like me, you jump between command line and Titanium Studio you may find it easy to build for emulator via the command line or create builds with unit tests in mind (eg. jasmine-titanium / jasmine-node).

In this case you can easily install the apk to your device using the command:

adb -d install -r /path/to/app.apk

Quite often, Studio will not be able to do this as it sees more than one device. the “-d” flag will look for an attached device connected via USB.

Titanium Mini Browser [update]

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

A while back I forked Rafael Kellermann Streit’s mini browser code via github, and started providing android support to this nice little piece of code. It wasn’t as mature as I needed it, so I began to add my required functionality to it, such as local HTML files, custom controls and expanding the existing features a little. This really is the beauty of github.

So if you ever use a mobile webview for the purpose of presenting remote or local html documents and want a nice CommonJS module to do that, please take a look at the fork.

I have submitted a pull request to Rafael, so lets see if he wants to incorporate this into his branch. I will however be supporting and expanding on this code for some time to come. If you have any requests or comments leave them here or on my github page.

Codestrong 2011 Session

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

I recently spoke at Appcelerator’s first Developer Conference Codestrong Here are the slides from my session.

Open Source

My Twitter related Github projects are here:

oAuth Adapter
oAuth test app


All images used in the presentation were from my flickr account:
spiritquest on Flickr however the specific images are linked within the embedded presentation and can be viewed directly.

Hopefully there will be a video up of the presentation soon.

Application Tools

Navicat for SQLite
Omni Graffle

App Development



Surrey Police App


Meetup groups

Cue Moo QR

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

I’m down to my last 4 moo cards, shock, horror. and as i’m about to head out to the states in a months time, so I should restock. flickr account is being scanned and QR ideas are churning around my oval brainbox.

My last set of moo cards (full size) featured what was known as a MECARD, very popular in Japan. Which could be deemed as a verbose, VCARD. The storage of contact details that would scan directly into your device without the need of manual input has its advantages. Not to say the least human error, time saving benefits and an instant cool factor.

The code is much denser than QR’s that simply point the user to a URL and take them to a mobile site or special content. There is nothing wrong with that. But the idea that the data required is literally embedded within the pixels on the card, to me, expresses the benefits of this kind of technology. Odds are you have a smart or feature phone with an application that can read QRs to begin with, this most likely means that most if not all of the protocols that can be embedded into a QR can work directly on the device. Why go out to the net create a connection, the download data – this eats up data plans, if you’re roaming, this could be expensive.

So I wanted to see if there were improvements to scanners and what I could do to push the envelop with QR’s and cook up some ideas for the future.

The start if this research lead me to NTTDomoco’s page pioneering the MECARD format. I have options to create the barcode using a few API’s on the web, most popular of which is Google Charts – but further exploration unearthed this great resource:

SPARQCode is a system that utilises the QR Code binary format for encoding by Denso-Wave in ISO/IEC 18004 – they are more interested in what happens after the scanning.

The SPARQCode encoding standard is intended for setting a compliance standard such that QR Code scanning software can agree on a common format for the interpretation of different data types at the application layer.


The SPARQCode website contains a bunch of resources that any QR wanting party can make great use of:

Although SPARQCode’s offerings tend to take a URL and then minify it with their own URL shortener, then serve that up to the end user, they have some interesting offerings:

QR Generator
Offering the following formats:

  • Phone Number
  • SMS
  • Map
  • URL
  • Contact
  • App Store
  • vCal
  • Raw encoding

Part of their business model seems to be providing a full marketing solution for those wanting to utilise a QR campaign, imagine analytics tracking, with barcode creation and high resolution SVG code output for print campaigns. Their free offerings however include the generator above and an API endpoint to generate QR Codes

This may be an untapped area, but imagine using dynamic driven QR’s on sites or electronic displays, these could be changed updated with offers, new locations, the benefits that digital has over print comes into play here.

However what impresses me is that the output of the QRs from their site provides a legend that accompanies the QR, this icon represents the encoded content and gives the mobile user a clue as to what they are going to get from scanning the code. This I like very much, but the presence of SPARQCode Trademark bothers me somewhat. As I am intending on printing the code onto a moo card, physical print space is precious. The upside is you don’t have to use it, SPARQCode do not require you use their logo on any code you create on their site, this is a good move on their part. And although using their generator doesn’t offer the ability to disable that, if you are accustom to any coding or image editing at all, you can easily find ways around that.

What I love are the icons and the transparency offered to the end user, that and the ability to launch applications from a QR, these I think should be used and I’d love to see campaigns in the wild begin to adopt this technique, I for one will on my next batch of moo’s and the mobile apps i’ve been developing lately.

But these concepts are no good, unless the scanner applications support this initiative. Luckily enough another #win from Sparq is its scanner download page. Its mobile friendly. it will detect your handset and prompt you to download a compatible scanner/reader, which so happens to be the best I’ve used to date! And there are compatible readers for the following platforms:

  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Windows Mobile/Symbian (Nokia)
  • J2ME
  • Blackberry
  • webOS

That’s good support and a great place to point users new to QR.

It would be nice to see some sort of open-source community approach to adopting these standards and the iconography as microformats have attempted to do. I think any QR app developer should take a good look at the existing standards and start adopting the full range of encoding possibilities today, it will lead to greater and more imaginative QR use across the board.

I am going to be dreaming up some new uses and intend to see what I can get out of this new revelation: I’m going to leave you with this practical use. I co-organise the London Titanium Meetup group, and we have an event on in 2 weeks time, so if you find you don’t have the directions or want to quickly get them, the geocoding QR option with all the trimmings from SPARQCode is here:

Reading Geek Night – Titanium Presentation

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Another great Reading Geek Night, I spoke to a packed Copa bar about Getting up and running with Titanium Studio from Appcelerator

Here is my Slide Deck from the night.

Among the other speakers tonight were: @DrJennyWoods & @marwoodchap

Thanks to @JimAnning as usual for organising the event


Monday, August 1st, 2011

I’m going to get back to work this week on the SCI-FI-LONDON Festival app there are a few cool updates that I am designing in my head. The updates will bring around some stability fixes to the core codebase, but we will be adding audio and video capabilities to the app. Giving it a lifespan outside of the festival¬†diary. We also have the Oktoberfest coming up, so look forward to a new schedule and in app updates…

Lots of exciting things. I’m taking a small lull in work right now, after the mega Surrey Police app marathon, to get some housekeeping done, such as making sure the Spirit Quest portfolio page reflects both the mobile apps i’ve built to date. So stay tuned.


Surrey Police on iTunes

London Titanium oAuth Presentation

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

I spoke at the London Titanium Meetup last month on how you can incorporate and build a Twitter app using oAuth libraries into a Titanium Mobile project.

The talk ¬†went well and I’m sharing the slides with you here: