I am a student at Iowa State University and enjoy working on web development and mobile apps in my spare time.
Home page: http://www.SheerBoredom.net
Posts by John Jones
With the latest iPhone 5 hitting the shelves and stories of people trying out the new mapping application that is supposed to be revolutionary, many are being let down. Personally it seems a bit crazy they waste their time trying to compete with Google on a mapping application when they are being forced to start from scratch and compete with others who have years of data and time to develop polished mapping products.
The new version of iOS 6 maps is missing quite a few features from it’s predecessor. To begin, public transit options are no longer available, offline options don’t exist, no equivalent to street view, and no venues maps. (more…)
Today Nokia announced the latest addition to the Lumia series of phones and it sure does look impressive so far. I personally am already a fan of the current generation Windows Phone OS and can hardly wait to get my hands on this new line of phones running WP8.
The new Nokia Lumia 920 is a 4G LTE phone powered by the 1.5GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4 processor. It comes equipped with a 4.5-inch curved glass display, blur-free scrolling and a super-fast refresh rate courtesy of the PureMotion HD+ technology Nokia has pioneered for these new phones. Another impressive part of this screen is the touch sensitivity. It allows for people to use the touchscreen with their fingers, nails, gloves, or even their keys all while having scratch resistant Gorilla Glass. It also sports an 8.7 megapixel PureView camera that has some impressive optical image stabilization (see the YouTube playlist below to see a demo.) Lastly the battery to power this device is an impressive 2000 mAh battery. (more…)
Thanks to changing my cellular provider recently, I am now currently using an Android device. To be exact the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I previously owned a HTC Arrive for Sprint which even though it was a rather large device, the OS easily made up for the hardware’s shortcomings. So now that I am with a better provider than Sprint, I can more easily switch between devices and see how each one stacks up in my day to day use.
To begin with I will start this several part comparison with my initial first impressions of moving from Windows Phone to Android. (more…)
As I’m working on finishing up the GetHuman app for Windows Phone 7 I am trying to make sure it loads fast and never has the user be forced to wait for data to get updated. To begin with I am working to make the main portion of the data update without any user interface slowdown. I am attempting to do this by downloading the data in the background and storing in locally. Also then if the user is in a situation without connectivity it will allow them to have at least one contact method for each company on their phone at any time and not break the basic functionality of the application.
The next time data is pulled is when a company is selected from the main list. At this point alternate contact methods, tips, and ratings are pulled for that individual company listing. To help ensure these options are loaded quickly I enlisted the use of Morten Nielsen’s GZipWebClient (NuGet, blog post, source) and Json.NET.
On the blog Zvonko’s Playground I found this handy little excerpt on how to use the combo of Nielsen’s SharpGIS GZipWebClient and Json.NET to quickly grab the company details and store them for use in the app. (more…)
The new layout here was sparked by me realizing that I needed to do something to continue to combat comment spam and a desire to redesign this site aiming more around mobile app development that I have started. So I began a hunt for a way to still maintain this site, yet spend a little less time managing this site and more time working on mobile apps.
This is where WordPress comes in. I began taking a second look at my old Joomla site and what it would take to not only update it to the latest version of the core, but also make the site much simpler to maintain. I soon began looking for the best CMS solution that was the right mix of simplicity with flexibility.
WordPress quickly became the ideal simple CMS with amazing spam protection (courtesy of Akismet) and still flexible enough to allow me to design the site how I envision it. (more…)
So yet again, as you can probably see, I have decided to update this site again. As I start to spend more time developing mobile apps I plan to use this site to help post updates and links to the apps I publish. I am working on making a page for the WebOS version of GetHuman on this site until I finish the version for WP7. Development has slowed down considerably recently, but hopefully will get back on track soon.
I also started a second side project of making an Army Physical Fitness Calculator for WP7. If your interested in this, feel free to check out the screen shots below and let me know if you have any suggestions for it.
So it has been a while since I last posted, but I am still working on porting GetHuman app to the Windows Phone 7 platform. Sadly due to my combination of being easily distracted and also being legitimately busy (at least sometimes) it has been taking me a while to get this finished. I do have some screen shots of the progress so far. By no means are these finished, but just a sign that I am making some progress… As always I’m open to any design comments or suggestions.
So I got in touch with Brandon Watson and have already worked on developing GetHuman for Windows Phone 7 and also a few other apps. The real reason I am writing this article is to express how impressed I am with Windows Phone 7 after switching from WebOS.
I have been a pretty loyal fan of Palm and now HP in WebOS’s dying days. I have gone from a Palm Pre, to a Sprint Franken Pre+, and lastly a Sprint Franken Pre 2. If you are still a die hard fan of WebOS and still have your Palm Pre do yourself a favor and switch to Windows Phone 7. After just playing with the HTC Mazaa development device I got from Microsoft, I have already gone out and bought myself a Sprint HTC Arrive to replace my aging Palm Pre 2. I must admit though, Sprint yet again desperately needs to support better phones. I love Windows Phone 7, but one device is hardly a selection.
Slightly good news after the bad news of HP killing all WebOS device production. HP has decided to sell me the loaner tablet that I was using for development. I will continue to work on a few tablet app ideas and making a few minor updates to the GetHuman app. The first update has already been submitted for review to the HP app catalog, so make sure to keep an eye for it.
Here is the link to the app again in case you need it:
In the meantime, if you have any ideas for some better apps please let me know. I just downloaded the Windows Phone 7 SDK and I am already working on learning my way around this new platform.
With the latest news that HP is planning on discontinuing production of WebOS devices all together I have decided to stop working on any WebOS projects until a future device would surface or become viable. However if you are looking to purchase a HP Touchpad for a super price, make sure to check out the fire sale pricing going on at pretty much every store until they sell out. Check out more about this at the Register.