iOS

Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova in Visual Studio 2015 RC

May 3, 2015 ANDROID, Cordova, CSS, CSS 3, HTML, HTML5, iOS, JavaScript, jQuery, Mobile, Mobile Frameworks, Mobile SDK, Mobile Services, Mobile-Development, PhoneGap, Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova, VisualStudio, VS2013, VS2015, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8 apps development, Windows 8.1, Windows Phone, Windows Phone Development, Windows Phone Store, Windows Store, Windows Store Development No comments

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Microsoft has announced that with Visual Studio 2015 – Apache Cordova tools will be integrated within the main install bundle. Using Apache Cordova Tools for Visual Studio you will be able to develop cross-platform mobile applications using single codebase for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

With support for native device capabilities (e.g. camera, accelerometer, contact), offline scenarios and popular JavaScript frameworks (e.g. Angular, React and Backbone), the Tools for Apache Cordova contain everything web developers need for building cross-platform mobile apps using Visual Studio.

What’s new in Apache Cordova Tools for VS2015-RC

  • Grunt, Gulp, Bower and Node-based Workflows –  Starting with the RC release, it’s also much easier for you to build Cordova apps using tools familiar to many web developers.
  • New Templates from Ionic and Onsen UI – Ionic and Onsen UI templates are provided as optional to enable developers to try out the new frameworks. Each framework provides a variety of starting points to suit the most common project types. 
  • Fresh Samples, Tutorials and Documentation

Read more from Visual Studio team blog on Apache Cordova Tools for Visual Studio 2015 RC

If you are using Visual Studio 2013, then you will have to rely on Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova CTP3.1 (Add On) to enable cross platform mobile development using Visual Studio 2013 Update 4.

This preview release for Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 and Visual Studio 2015 RC supports building apps for the following device targets:

  • Android 4+
  • iOS 6, iOS 7, iOS 8
  • Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 Store
  • Windows Phone 8.0 and Windows Phone 8.1

Benefits of using Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova:

When you develop apps using Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova, Visual Studio provides these benefits:

  • Easy installation. Manual installation of Cordova involves a lot of work to find, install, and maintain the correct version of all the third-party software required to support native platforms. Visual Studio handles all that for you by including a third-party dependency installer that gets you up and running in the first hour.

  • Plugin management. Cordova plugins provide access to native APIs using a JavaScript interface. Support for custom plugins like those that turn a mobile phone into a barcode scanner are critical to an app’s success. Visual Studio makes it easy to add plugins of all kinds, including core Cordova and custom plugins. You also benefit from IntelliSense for plugins in Visual Studio.

  • Unified debugging experience. Cross-platform development often requires a different tool for debugging each device, emulator, or simulator. Different tools mean different workflows and lost productivity every time you switch devices. With Visual Studio, you can use the same world-class debugging tools for all deployment targets, including iOS devices and emulators, Android devices and emulators, Windows, and the Apache Ripple emulator.

  • Write once, deploy everywhere. The common JavaScript and plugin APIs in Cordova make it easy to write an app using a single code base that deploys to all target platforms—iOS, Android, and Windows. Of course, you can always write platform-specific code if and when you need it.

  • Command line interoperability. The Visual Studio solution directly reflects the file system and is updated in real time. This means that it is easier than ever to use your favorite command line tool with Visual Studio.

  • Multi-Version Cordova support. The Visual Studio solution allows you to select different versions of Cordova at the project level.

Quoting from MSDN Article – Getting Started with Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova

TO Learn more USE THE FOLLOWING RESOURCES

iOS – Swift vs Objective-C

December 28, 2014 iOS, KnowledgeBase, Mobile-Development, Objective-C, Swift Language No comments

Since the introduction of Swift by Apple( a new programming language for developing iOS apps using xcode) , among iOS developers it has become a myth that Swift is going to replace Objective-C.

I just would like to add my few cents to this view:

MYTH 1: Swift will replace Objective-C immediately

NO, Swift is a new and flexible way of developing iOS apps. Though it has advantage over Objective-C, in terms of performance, stability and simplicity.  Objective-C has come so far and lots of apps developers prefers objective-c as their primary language for iOS development. It will take a long way for developers to migrate to Swift.

Apple doesn’t say you should migrate to Swift immediately, they have given you both options. Based on how flexible you are with each of these languages, you can choose to develop iOS apps using:

  1. Swift
  2. Objective-C
  3. a Combination of both (this would me more applicable for existing applications).

Apple has just given you another option for Developing iOS apps. So don’t fear about migrating to Swift immediately.

MYTH 2:  Existing apps should be migrated to SWIFT immediately

NO, Apple has given you a new concise language and syntax for iOS application development in fewer lines than traditional Objective-C.

You don’t have to migrate your existing applications to SWIFT, that’s not the intend. You have the flexibility to develop new features and additions to your apps using Swift (without upgrading or converting you code to Swift). Objective-C and Swift can co-exist in application development.

I hope that clarifies some of the confusions.

If you are a beginner and would like to learn about Swift, refer to the following articles:

Sending Mobile Push notification using C#/.NET (iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 and Blackberry)

August 9, 2013 .NET, ANDROID, Blackberry, Extensions, iOS, iPhone, KnowledgeBase, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs, Mobile, Mobile Services, Mobile-Development, Nokia, Third-Party-Libraries and Frameworks, VisualStudio, VS2010, VS2012, Windows, Windows 8 apps development, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.0 SDK, Windows Phone Development, Windows Phone SDK, Windows Phone Store, Windows SDK, Windows Store, Windows Store Development 2 comments

This is an update blog to my earlier blog about Sending Apple iOS Push notifications using C#.

With that blog – I  introduced you to  how to send push notification using Open Source library APNSharp, by the developer John Redth.  Redth announced that library is already deprecated.

Redth came up with  with another open source project called as PushSharp:,published under apache software foundation license.

PushSharp is a server-side library for sending Push Notifications to iOS (iPhone/iPad APNS), Android (C2DM and GCM – Google Cloud Message), Windows Phone, Windows 8, Amazon, Blackberry, and (soon) FirefoxOS devices!. Single library serves the purpose of sending push notifications to multiple platforms. Pretty decent isn’t it?

Here is the basic  architecture:

image

Features of PUsHSHARP

  • Supports sending push notifications for many platforms:
    • Apple (APNS – iPhone, iPad, Mountain Lion)
    • Android (GCM/C2DM – Phones/Tablets)
    • Chrome (GCM)
    • Amazon (ADM – Amazon Device Messaging)
    • Windows Phone 7 / 7.5 / 8 (including FlipTile, CycleTile, and IconicTile Templates!)
    • Windows 8
    • Blackberry (BIS and BES via PAP)
    • Firefox OS (Coming soon)
  • Fluent API for constructing Notifications for each platform
  • Auto Scaling of notification channels (more workers/connections are added as demand increases, and scaled down as it decreases)

Implementation using PushSharp is straight forward

Here’s some sample code: shared by Redth

//Create our push services broker
var push = new PushBroker();

//Registering the Apple Service and sending an iOS Notification
var appleCert = File.ReadAllBytes("ApnsSandboxCert.p12"));
push.RegisterAppleService(new ApplePushChannelSettings(appleCert, "pwd"));
push.QueueNotification(new AppleNotification()
                           .ForDeviceToken("DEVICE TOKEN HERE")
                           .WithAlert("Hello World!")
                           .WithBadge(7)
                           .WithSound("sound.caf"));


//Registering the GCM Service and sending an Android Notification
push.RegisterGcmService(new GcmPushChannelSettings("theauthorizationtokenhere"));
//Fluent construction of an Android GCM Notification
//IMPORTANT: For Android you MUST use your own RegistrationId here that gets generated within your Android app itself!
push.QueueNotification(new GcmNotification().ForDeviceRegistrationId("DEVICE REGISTRATION ID HERE")
                      .WithJson("{"alert":"Hello World!","badge":7,"sound":"sound.caf"}"));

You can get the Push Sharp for your .NET projects from below mentioned links:

Binaries from NuGet: https://www.nuget.org/packages/PushSharp 

To install PushSharp, run the following command in the Package Manager Console

PM> Install-Package PushSharp

Source Code from GitHub: https://github.com/Redth/PushSharp

Documentation and Implementation Guides available at wiki page: https://github.com/Redth/PushSharp/wiki 

Quick links to implementation guides

You can read my previous blogs here:

Sending Apple iOS Push notifications using C#

Apple Push Notifications Service API & C#

HTML5 Definition Complete, W3C Moves to Interoperability Testing and Performance

December 19, 2012 All, ANDROID, Community, CSS, CSS 3, HTML, HTML5, IE, IE10, Internet Explorer 10, iOS, iPhone, JavaScript, JQuery Mobile, KnowledgeBase, Mobile Frameworks, mobile web, Mobile-Development, MSDN, StyleSheets, Web No comments

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published —  the complete definition of the HTML5 and Canvas 2D specifications on 17 December 2012.

Quoting from the announcement here

  • Though not yet W3C standards, these specifications are now feature complete, meaning businesses and developers have a stable target for implementation and planning.

  • HTML5 is the cornerstone of the Open Web Platform, a full programming environment for cross-platform applications with access to device capabilities; video and animations; graphics; style, typography, and other tools for digital publishing; extensive network capabilities; and more.

W3C also announced today the first draft of HTML 5.1 and Canvas 2D, Level 2, an early view of the next round of standardization.

To reduce browser fragmentation and extend implementations to the full range of tools that consume and produce HTML, W3C now embarks on the stage of W3C standardization devoted to interoperability and testing (called "Candidate Recommendation"). Expecting the broad HTML5 Interoperability in 2014.

During this stage, the W3C HTML Working Group will conduct a variety of activities to ensure that the specifications may be implemented compatibly across browsers, authoring tools, email clients, servers, content management systems, and other Web tools.

  • The group will analyze current HTML5 implementations, establish priorities for test development, and work with the community to develop those tests.

  • The HTML Working Group has planned for this implementation phase to last into mid-2014, after which W3C expects to publish the final HTML5 Recommendation, available Royalty-Free to implementers under the W3C Patent Policy.

Sencha(Leading cross platform mobile framework product developer) – has published a blog on HTML5 readiness here

Quoting from Sencha’s report

Feature Standardization Status:

A long list of major HTML5 technologies has now reached advanced stages of standardization.

Here is a list of just some of the big technologies in advanced standardization status with the date of the most recent standard:

Candidate Recommendation:

  • CSS Multi-column (2011)
  • CSS Flexbox (2012)
  • CSS Values & Units 3 (2012)
  • CSS Backgrounds and Borders 3 (2012)
  • CSS Images & Replaced Content 3 (2012)
  • CSS Style Attributes (2010)
  • Web Storage (2011)
  • Web Sockets (2012)
  • Web Workers (2012)
  • Web Messaging (2012)
  • Touch Events

Proposed Recommendation

  • Geolocation (2012)

Full Recommendation

  • CSS Media Queries (2012)
  • CSS Selectors 3 (2011)
  • CSS Namespaces (2011)
  • CSS Color 3 (2011)
  • Media Fragments (2012)
  • SVG 1.1 (2nd Ed) (2011)

HTML5 Feature Implementation Progress in Browsers

The very good news is that HTML5 and CSS3 implementations across all major browsers on desktop and mobile have become increasingly convergent. The chart below shows the progress of HTML5 feature implementation across major desktop and mobile browsers in the last three years using the HTML5test.com scoring methodology.

Adoption on Desktop Browsers

HTML5 Support on Dektop Browser

Adoption on Mobile Browsers

HTML5 Support on Mobile Browser

HTML5 features have been rapidly adopted by all major browsers – with Internet Explorer’s progress on both mobile and desktop being particularly impressive. The feature implementation ramp from IE8 in 2010 to IE9 in 2011 to IE10 this year has been very steep.

Information Sources:

http://www.sencha.com/blog/html5-progress-report

http://www.html5test.com

http://www.w3.org/2012/12/html5-cr

Great News! for all Mobile and Web Developers

HTML5 – Bye Bye ‘WebSQL’/’SQLite’ – Welcome ‘IndexedDB’

December 18, 2012 All, ANDROID, Community, CSS, CSS 3, HTML, HTML5, IE, IE10, Internet Explorer 10, Internet Explorer 9, iOS, iPhone, JavaScript, JQuery Mobile, KnowledgeBase, Mobile-Development, MSDN, Web, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8 No comments

Since November 18, 2010, the W3C announced that Web SQL database(Sqlite) is a deprecated specification. This is a recommendation for web developers to no longer use the technology as effectively, the spec will receive no new updates and browser vendors aren’t encouraged to support this technology. The new alternative is IndexedDB which is already available on Chrome 12+ and Firefox 5+, and, soon, in IE 10 as well.

The new web database standards adoption progress report as per Html5Test.com – how standards setting can work well.

  • WebKit browsers originally shipped a copy of the SQLite — an embedded relational database — and then proposed “WebSQL” as a specification to standardize it.
  • Mozilla objected to its standardization on the grounds that the SQL 92 standard was a poor basis for a web standards technology, and that an implementation (SQLite) shouldn’t be the basis for standard.
  • As a result, WebSQL standardization was abandoned in favor of a new database standard, IndexedDB which is now the standard database of record for all major browsers.
  • Firefox, IE and Chrome now support IndexedDB on the desktop.
  • Chrome for Android is the first browser to support it on mobile devices.
Category WebSQL IndexedDB
Advantages A real, relational database implementation on the client (SQLite). * Allows fast indexing and searching of objects, so in a web application scenario, you can manage your data and read/write it fast.
* A NoSQL database that let you work with your JavaScript objects and indexing them based on your application needs.
* Works in asynchronous mode with moderately granular locking per transaction. This allows you to work inside the event-driven module of JavaScript.
Disadvantages * The spec is deprecated.
* Overhead of SQL language you need to master and transform your JavaScript objects into relational schema
* Not object driven
Harder to understand if you are coming from the world of relational databases.
Location Tables contain columns and rows objectStore contains Javascript objects and keys
Query Mechanism SQL Cursor APIs, Key Range APIs, and Application Code
Transaction Lock can happen on databases, tables, or rows on ‘readwrite’ transactions Lock can happen on database ‘versionchange’ transaction, on an objectStore ‘readonly’ and ‘readwrite’ transactions.
Transaction Commits Transaction creation is explicit. Default is to rollback unless we call commit. Transaction creation is explicit. Default is to commit unless we call abort or there is an error that is not caught.

Ref Link:

http://www.w3.org/TR/IndexedDB/

http://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutorials/webdatabase/websql-indexeddb/

http://www.steveworkman.com/html5-2/standards/2011/the-limitations-of-websql-and-offline-apps/

http://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutorials/indexeddb/todo/

http://html5test.com/compare/feature/storage-sqlDatabase.html ( WebSQL – Current Support on browsers)

http://html5test.com/compare/feature/storage-indexedDB.html ( IndexDB – Current Support on browsers)

Introducing Monocross – A cross-platform MVC pattern for mobile development in .NET/C# and Mono

April 9, 2012 .NET, All, ANDROID, Frameworks, iOS, iPhone, Microsoft, Mobile Frameworks, Mobile SDK, Mobile-Development, Mono, OpenSource, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7 2 comments , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am evaluating different cross platform mobile development solutions. This is just a quick introduction to a framework I came across.

What is cross platform mobile applications?

A mobile application developed in such a way that it will work or run on most of the mobile platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry etc.

What is Monocross?

MonoCross is a refinement of the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern for mobile development using .NET, C# and the Mono Framework.

The pattern enables cross-platform portability of business logic and data access code, (Model + Controller), while supporting full, native and/or platform-specific presentation (Views).

Read the MonoCross Roadmap for Platform support.

For more information on using the pattern, see: UsingMonoCross

 

Source: MonoCross project home http://code.google.com/p/monocross/