Typically when you're developing a mobile app that fetches network data, you want to cache some (or all) of the data locally to speed up your app. While you can access local storage on WP7, it's very cumbersome. You have to continuously set up your test data over and over again as you add new features and bug-fix. We needed an easier way to explore, load, and export local device data, so we built one.
A couple weeks ago, my colleague Dan wrote a great post about how designers and developers can work together more closely, and the magic that happens when they do.
I've been talking with other software teams about this lately, and I'm starting to distill some best practices based on what's working, and not working, around the industry and within Macadamian.
Most web developers will tell you that they have hated Internet Explorer 6. There are plenty of reasons for this: It doesn't support standards, it's insecure, and it's really, really out of date. The web community has started campaign after campaign after campaign to convince users to upgrade to something better.
Finally, it looks like the tide has turned.
My collegue Martin was right - Microsoft and Nokia did join forces, and Nokia placed it's bet on the Windows Phone 7 platform. The market reacted negatively to the news, and from what I've seen so have industry bloggers. The industry insiders praised the news and so do I. In my view, the marriage makes a lot of sense - this is no time to be maintaining your own OS.
The smartphone market is maturing at a breakneck pace. One of the most foolhardy things you can do in a maturing market is focus your scarce energy and resources on building and maintaining an operating system. As smartphones become more mature and more mainstream (the industry predicts smartphone sales will over take PC sales in a couple of years, so I'd call that mainstream), smartphone vendors have to differentiate, and the operating system becomes a commodity. Operating systems are complex beasts that take huge teams of designers, developers, testers, product managers, and technical writers to maintain and release.
Not long ago, server companies standardized on either Linux or Windows, and all but dumped development of AIX and HP-UX. The same is happening in the smartphone market - the industry is converging around a few key operating systems - iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7, so that the vendors can focus their energy on differentiating in ease-of-use, compelling design, market-specific features, and marketing. Windows Phone 7 is a great operating system that will only get better. This move will be great for Nokia. It was a brave move that will free up resources to innovate.
Last week I attended a presentation by Nokia that outlined how mobile app developers and mobile content publishers can do business with the company. My initial takeaway was that the Nokia phone is quite accessible to organizations that have a large number of C++ developers. Most of their presentation focused on Qt and how it can now be used in the development of all Nokia platforms (such as Symbian, Maemo and MeeGo). This is great news for a company like Macadamian, because we’ve been working on a couple of Qt projects over the past six months.
The presentation also offered a walk-through of how to publish apps to the Ovi Store. The bottom line is that the review process takes 7 to 9 business days and the Ovi Store is rejecting slightly over 30% of the submissions on the first pass.