All posts tagged mobile

A new release (2.0) for Meeting Minutes Pro has been released today. It should be available on Google Play in the next 2-3 hours and will be available on BlackBerry AppWorld and Amazon AppStore in the next 1-2 days.

This release adds the following features to the app:

  • Portrait Mode enabled
  • Support for multiple font size
  • Rearrange Agenda Items and Discussion Items
  • Export Action Items of a single meeting into a csv file
  • Fully optimized UI for mobile phones/phablets (ready for BB10..)
  • UI optimization and improvements

There might be many reasons why you want to run Android apps on your PC/Mac. Let us see some reasons that I can think of.

  • You want to play that game your friend/colleague was playing on a tablet but don’t own smartphone/tablet yet
  • You have ordered a smartphone/tablet and waiting for its delivery. There is an offer on an app that you definitely don’t want to miss
  • You just want to try out the Android ecosystem before investing on a device
  • You want to try an app created by a friend but don’t have a device
  • And so many other reasons….

Whatever the reason might be, I am sure it is good enough for you to want to be able to do something about it from your PC. Here is where BlueStacks can help. BlueStacks is an Android App Player for Windows and Mac. While the Windows version is in beta and considered to be relatively stable, the Mac version is in Alpha and doesn’t have too many apps available yet.

Note: I am in no way associated/affiliated with BlueStacks.

Let me start by quickly explaining the trigger for this post. I have (just) two apps. One of them is essentially a demo/limited functionality version of the other. However, I have currently 5 different packages/versions for these two apps. While a good part of the code/functionality is common between the different versions, there are some differences that force me to maintain the 5 different packages/versions.

1. Meeting Minutes – Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above

2. Meeting Minutes – Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)

3. Meeting Minutes Pro – Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above

4. Meeting Minutes Pro – Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)

5. Meeting Minutes Pro – BlackBerry Android port

Bring in Windows, iOS and BlackBerry Native and this number is bound to grow, at least, to 10 if not more. It is simply unmanageable. Maintaining multiple sources of the same data/application can be extremely difficult and challenging. It is always better and easier to eliminate the duplicates and end up having just one source.

However, the current direction of the industry is the opposite. A few years ago, a bank needed to have just one version of online banking application. Now they still have the traditional online banking application but in addition there is a .mobi site and apps in multiple platforms. Even though all or most of these front-end applications use the same back-end services, managing and maintaining multiple different front-end applications in the longer run can become a huge overhead and very expensive. HTML 5 was one hope to bring in some convergence but hasn’t delivered the expected results.

There is a strong need for some kind of convergence of the platforms or the development of tools that make porting apps from one platform to the other relatively easier.  In-the-box and j2objc are good steps in this direction. j2objc is a smart move by Google. Google is essentially encouraging developers to develop first for Android by providing tools that help in porting Android apps into iOS. Hope to see a lot more progress on this front in the days to come.

Edit: My friend @ajuluri pointed out two more tools (Rhodes Mobile and Phone Gap) available for cross platform development..