Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tiny but Powerful!

Just because your phone is smaller than a PC, it doesn't mean your app can't be full-featured!

PockeTwit v.71 is out with some great new stuff. This is the release I've wanted to make for a long time, but had to build the foundation to lead up to it. I needed nested (and dynamic) menus to be able to fit everything in!

PockeTwit now has grouping-- a feature usually reserved for a select few desktop twitter clients. You can now group users together in categories to make it easier to manage the stream of information from people you follow! You can "copy" a user to a group, meaning their posts will still appear in the Friends timeline, or you can "move" them to a group so they no longer appear in the main friends stream.

And it gets better, you can specify notifications on a group-by-group basis. Make your business group vibrate and play a loud sound, but move yourself into a silent group so you no longer get notifications about your own posts. Can you tell how excited I am?

In addition, @roelvandenbrand been hard at work on the picture service integration. He's added two new picture services-- Pikchur and Twitgoo. He also took the feedback from users to heart and it no longer requires two taps to get the URL into your status. And it's able to post the message to those services that support it (like twitpic).

And that gets better too! It can ALSO post the GPS coordinates to services that support it like MobyPicture and Pikchur! So now someone viewing the image on that service will see your image, your message, and the location it was taken! I'm really glad Roel's taken this on-- PockeTwit's becoming one of the best clients for on-the-go twitter media that out there.

Another developer has joined our team, providing an often-requested feature -- a Today Screen plugin! @marclandis has put together a plugin for the today screen that cycles through how many unread items you have in each of your timelines. It can also be used as a quick-launch shortcut to open the application. We've been wanting this for a long time, but I didn't have the C++ skills to make it happen. Thankfully someone else did :)

I've spent some time working on the memory and speed issues. I don't think the memory issues are completely solved, but I expect it's gotten a lot better. And the application loads significantly faster with this release.

And be sure to check out the new themes-- Sunny, Mint, and Ice. I'm no graphic designer, but I'm slowly moving to more advanced visuals. I think a lot of people will like the way these look.

As always, I want to thank everyone who's provided feedback throughout the development process. The nice thing about working on a communications client is that it provides an easy way for users to tell you what they think!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Talk about Mobile Development at altnethouston Open Spaces

I'm spending this weekend TALKING about development rather than writing code, and so far it's been a great experience. Most of the groups I've participated in have been about code quality and agile development practices. And I have to admit I've been behind in both those areas for a while now.

But I also convened a discussion about Mobile Development, something I've learned a LOT about recently. As it turned out, none of the people who came to my discussion had any real experience with mobile development yet, they were mostly interested in learning about it. So I ended up giving an impromptu presentation on how the special considerations you need to keep in mind when developing for mobile platforms. Overall, I think it went pretty well.

I've put up some notes about the topics I covered on the houstonaltnet wiki. Maybe I'll refine this and give it as a "real" presentation some day.