Love for Community involvement

A big part of why the tinyHippos team is so successful is our love for community involvement.  Whether it is contributing to open source projects, speaking at conference or just demoing our product Ripple, the team loves to give back and spread the word on multi-platform mobile development!

Please join us to listen to our CTO, Dan Silivestru speak at Communitech’s new Mobile Peer2Peer series on February 23rd at the Communitech Hub at noon.  Sign up is free!

Topic: The native app…is it dying? With all the fragmentation in the mobile marketplace, building mobile apps largely means 1 app per platform… will the native app survive?  Are HTML5 Mobile apps the answer? With frameworks such as PhoneGap, Appcelerator,  and browser/cloud based development, testing and deployment tools… They just might be.

Hope to see you there!

Ripple 0.4.0 :: Sencha, JQuery Mobile, PhoneGap, WAC … Oh My!

As usual, when things go silent on this blog it means that great things are brewing here at tinyHippos. We have been working really hard to make Ripple much more stable, usable, and we added some really cool features. This release, in our humble opinion, brings Ripple into the mainstream. We now have full support for some great mobile web JavaScript / UI frameworks.

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PhoneGap + Ripple – The Best is Yet to Come

I am a big lover of jazz and this past weekend the KW Symphony Orchestra performed a tribute to Frank Sinatra. As I watched the orchestra play I kept looking over at the bass section. The three of them would spend a large portion of the song sitting idle, only to ready themselves once or twice during the piece to play a fill or accentuate a note. Although their contribution to the song as a whole was small, it is without question that they helped create something great.

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Editorial: Are Mobile SDKs Becoming Obsolete?

There is a growing trend in today’s mobile space, some would call this trend frustrating, even infuriating. That trend is the abundance of mobile SDK’s (Software Development Kits) out there today, and it seems like every new platform and runtime provider is rushing to put out their own SDK. SDKs are great if you’re building native applications and a certain tool set is required to build and deliver your application to your target platform. However, the world of mobile development is changing. Today, building mobile applications does not necessarily mean that we have to build native applications.

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The Wholesale Application Community is looking for your input

The Wholesale Application Community is looking for our feedback!

If you are a mobile developer, we would like to encourage you to take some time and provide your input through The Wholesale Application Community‘s developer survey.

What is the Wholesale App….. WAC for short :-) you might ask? The definition on their site describes them as follows:

“The Wholesale Applications Community has been established to increase the overall market for mobile applications. WAC will achieve this goal by encouraging open standardized technologies, driving scaled deployment of those technologies and providing complimentary commercial models. This will allow developers to deploy a single application across multiple devices (through the use of standard technologies) and across multiple operators (without the need to negotiate with each of them). WAC will provide the commercial enablers which will allow the developer to be paid for the applications which are then sold through any associated application store.”

However the blurb in the FAQ section of their site gives a better idea of who makes up WAC:

“The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) is an open, global alliance formed from the world’s leading telecoms operators. WAC will unite a fragmented applications marketplace and create an open industry platform that benefits the entire ecosystem, including applications developers, handset manufacturers, OS owners, network operators and end users”

So what? why should we care?

We think this is a great opportunity to raise our voices as mobile developers and have a chance to influence the direction of a new framework. WAC will be based on the JIL, BONDI, GSMA OneAPI, and W3C specs. WAC is taking a great step by involving the developer community early on in the process. Let’s take a minute or two and help shape what could be a great platform.

How often do we get a chance to give our opinions on a platform that will ultimately allow us to publish our applications to nearly 3 Billion consumers?

Mobile Widgets – Dynamic Layout Example

This is the third post in our on-going series on Mobile Widget development. The first two can be found here:

Mobile Widgets – Persistence Cross-Platform Wrapper
Mobile Widgets – a primer

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen many developers gravitate towards using Position: fixed in their CSS to pin their widget’s header and footer to the top and bottom of the screen respectively. Although this method does work, it’s not the best, nor do all mobile rendering engines support it. There also seems to be a performance issue with regards to rendering. Scrolling content will often make the header and the footer flicker (very visible on the Nexus One using the new Vodafone Widget Manager).

In this article, I would like to present a different approach to solving the same problem. This approach will attempt to also solve the following:

  • Allow for dynamic resizing when switching between portrait and landscape modes
  • Render properly on different screen sizes
  • Render properly on screen sizes with different PPI (Pixel Per Inch) densities (supported, but not shown here. You’ll need to use CSS media queries)

This layout should work for JIL Widgets, Opera Widgets, as well as plain old HTML5 mobile websites.

Let’s get to it!

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Perfecto Mobile – A Perfect Match!

We have had the pleasure of working with Perfecto Mobile as developers.  We feel that they are the perfect developer’s tool to use alongside the Ripple Emulator.  Where the Ripple Emulator allows the developers a look at what is under the hood of their widgets, Perfecto Mobile allows the developer to test their widgets on real devices.

Perfecto Mobile is a leading global provider of remote access and automated testing solutions for mobile devices. Perfecto Mobile’s Handset Cloud Service enables developers and testers located anywhere in the world to access and control a comprehensive range of the latest handsets over the web. Users can use the Perfecto Mobile service in order to develop, test, deploy and monitor their mobile widgets and services on a variety of real handsets operating in various live networks.

The Perfecto Mobile Handset Cloud

The Perfecto Mobile Handset Cloud system enables widget developers and testers to access and control a comprehensive range of REAL mobile devices operating in various live networks via the web. The system enables users to quickly and easily operate the phone keys, touch-screen, or QWERTY keyboard to control the device, upload and install widgets on the device and verify that the widgets or service works properly and displays correctly on the phone’s screen.

Using the system removes the logistical complexity and reduces the time and cost needed to develop, test and deploy mobile widgets.

Main system benefits:

  • Testing on real devices and watching the phone’s screen reacting in REAL time.
  • Fully web based UI. No software installation on your PC is needed.
  • Easy and fast installation of widgets on the remote devices.
  • No need to spend a lot of money on buying many devices for testing and porting.
  • Easier, quicker and more convenient collaboration, communication and problem recreation with other developers and testers utilizing the shared testing environment.
  • No logistical efforts involved in sending devices between various teams.
  • More effective testing process utilizing the PC environment and automated productivity testing features.
  • The ability to create Private Handset Clouds, providing web access to your devices for your ecosystem of vendors and testers.

Check out their website for more information

Beta: A walk through The Ripple Emulator’s features

The Ripple Emulator Goes Beta

Update: For a thorough tour of Ripple in it’s latest form, check out the Ripple Docs here.

Today is the day we launch the Beta version of The Ripple Emulator, a browser based mobile emulator. So we thought we’d explain the current feature set to help you get started and on your way to building and testing mobile widgets faster. Before we get started, here’s how you can get Ripple and what you’ll need to know to run it:

Download:

Requirements:

  • You need to have the Google Chrome browser installed on your computer. You can download it here if you don’t already have it: http://www.google.com/chrome
  • If you’re working with mobile widgets on your computer, you’ll need to run a local HTTP server. This is due to an upstream bug in WebKit and we expect this requirement to go away shortly

Getting started:

We’ve created a Demo Widget that you can load into Ripple. The demo widget will walk you through all of the features currently available in Ripple in a wizard-like format. All you have to do to get started is:

  • Point your browser to: http://ripple.tinyhippos.com/demo
  • Click on the Ripple icon at the top right of your Chrome Browser (once you’ve installed Ripple, of course)
  • Follow along, to play with all of the features available in Ripple

Stay informed:

Along with the Beta release of Ripple, we will also be adding to our online presence with some goodies and help for the widget development community. Here are the various ways you can keep up to date:

  • The Ripple Product Site (which will be launching in the next day or two): http://ripple.tinyhippos.com/, here you’ll find information on Ripple as well as a community forum where you can interact with other Ripple users as well as get advice and ask questions related to mobile widget development
  • This Blog: We will continue to post about new features, provide sample code, and resource to help the mobile widget development community
  • Twitter: follow the @RippleEmulator and @tinyHippos accounts

Features of The Ripple Emulator (Beta)

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Mobile Widgets – Persistence Cross-Platform Wrapper

This is the second post in our series on building Mobile Widgets. The first post was an introduction to Mobile Widgets.

Mobile Widgets – a primer

In this post we will build a persistence library that works across multiple platforms and abstracts away the differences of those different platforms into a common set of methods.

Seeing that we are also about to release our Ripple Emulator, we will be using it for our testing to showcase the built-in persistence view and platform switching capabilities of the Ripple Emulator.

Lets get started…

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Announcing The Ripple Emulator beta launch – 20 days to go

Wondering what the tinyHippos have been up to for the past few months??  Well – if you haven’t had the pleasure of attending a local event in the Kitchener/Waterloo region where you would have been captivated by our demo…  then you are in for a treat!  The boys are finally ready to come out of stealth mode and show the world!

When are we launching?

On April 27th, 2010 tinyHippos will be releasing the Beta version of our “Ripple Emulator”.

Please join us for our launch party at The Barley Works in Waterloo, ON. Please get a ticket here as space is limited.

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