Friday, June 29, 2012

Release: Geocaching Helper for WP7 version 1.5

Microsoft just approved version 1.5 of the Geocaching Helper for Windows Phone 7. This update includes some bug fixes that make the app more stable.
The more noticeable part of the update is the new dashboard screen. I replaced the tiles with a list that also includes icons. I hope you agree that this is should improve usability :)
In addition I added a new feature: Morse Code, which allows you to convert between characters and morse codes.

Maybe the biggest change you will notice when downloading the app is the new price. Before the Geocaching Helper used to be free, now it's only 0.99€ (or equivalent depending on your marketplace). I decided to charge for the app (instead of the somewhere hidden donation button, almost nobody used), because even though I love developing apps, I do it in my free time and if you like an app, the lowest possible price of 99 cents shouldn't be too much to help me continue working on my projects.
The money I make will all be used to continue developing on my apps, add new features but also create new (awesome ;) apps and port my existing apps to other platforms (e.g. iOS, which means I have to pay 79€ per year!).

Download the updated version from the Windows Phone Marketplace now and follow/like me on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

HowTo: Use BlackBerry 10 Cascades UI framework on PlayBook

Research in Motion published the SDK for their future operating system BlackBerry 10 a little over a month ago. This new OS features a great new look called Cascades, the new user interface framework BB10 will use.
This new UI framework looks really great and fortunately RIM also announced that the BlackBerry PlayBook will also be updated to BB10. Unfortunately did they also announce that this update will become available for the PlayBook sometime after the launch of the first BB10 devices. Personally I'm hoping that this won't be true and the update will be released simultaneously or at least only as little as one week later.
Now people are expecting RIM to release the first BB10 devices later this year, most likely in autumn. That a pretty long time to wait for such an update – especially for developers who want to release an updated version of their with this launch. I guess RIM will be smart enough to provide us developers with a beta update and SDK but that could also take a while.
This is why I searched the internet for some useful port of Cascades for the PlayBook and I was lucky. Some people also can't wait to see Cascades apps on the PlayBook and posted something like a guide on CrackBerry. Unfortunately this guide is not working any more so I had to try another approach.

Read more »

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Testing new Geocaching Helper design for BlackBerry PlayBook

I just posted some pictures of me testing a new design for the Geocaching Helper for the BlackBerry PlayBook. Check them out on the new Google+ and Facebook pages.
The new design is inspired by the new BlackBerry 10 platform. I was not able – and unfortunately will not be able – to attend the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour (and therefor no BB10 Dev Alpha device :/), but from what I have seen, RIM's new operating system could help them become one of the big players again!
Thank's to the open source UI framework bbUI.js creating apps that look like BB10 apps is really easy. In order to use it you have to work with the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK which allows you to develop apps using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. It was my first time using it and I like it a lot. Usually I'm not a fan of using JavaScript for developing native apps, but it works for WebWorks ;)

Thanks to trying the new design, I fully reimplemented the Geocaching Helper (it used Adobe AIR before!) and even added a new (and long promised) feature: Morse Code. The screenshots include a spoiler picture. But before I release it, I'd like to get some feedback, if the new design is better or worse.

Also check out the new twitter account for my dev work!

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