BHS: Making of Diary Mobile

I started my job with Diary.com, a London-based startup, back in August 2010. Since then, I’ve worked on their webapp, which is based on Ruby-on-Rails, and spearheaded the development of Diary Mobile app in a platform agnostic way for faster releases to both the Apple AppStore and Android markets.

Diary Mobile was already a mobile app on the Apple AppStore before I joined. However, it was based on native Objective-C technology.

The old Diary Mobile:

agenda screen

events screen
todos screen

It used to look ok but there were subtle issues with this version. It simply was not robust in syncing the device data with the REST based server interface and vice versa. Moreover, the Objective-C developer was not committed with the startup on full-time basis causing major concerns for the fledgling startup.

At the time of my joining, a very cool designer also joined, and together we worked on a new HTML5, Phonegap & Sencha Touch based rewrite of the mobile app.

This rewrite took the same amount of time as the original development of the native Objective-C app. However, we focused really hard on optimizing the syncing part and also improving the overall experience for the end user.

The new Diary MobileHTML5, Phonegap & Sencha Touch

dashboard screen

events screen

notes screen

todos screen

settings screen

The results were encouraging with a lot of downloads. However, there are still rough corners that need addressing. I’ll be detailing the development in my upcoming posts.

Virtualization of SnowOSX on Windows 7

Why the Apple Mac OS X is important?

This question was never asked by the developer community for a number of years. However, with the recently discovered “gold rush” of mobile apps development, Mac OS X is relevant again.

Imagine an OS that allows development of all mobile platforms and is also lovely enough to brag in front of your girl friend!!!

Unfortunately, not every one can afford an expensive Mac Pro machine, especially not a developer who has just lost his job due to recession.

Well folks, Oracle Virtual Box comes to the rescue. Its free and let’s you install SnowOSX (hackintosh based on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard) on any Windows or Linux machine. The steps are simple and they are mentioned every where on the hackintosh websites like taranfx.com. It requires Intel VT-x or AMD-V enabled CPU, ideally 4 GB of RAM, 20 GB of free HD space and that’s it. After the SnowOSX is installed, you can go on to install Xcode with iPhone SDK and Eclipse with Android SDK. Try as many mobile SDK’s as you like, Mac OS X supports all of ’em.

But be careful as it breaks nearly every Apple license agreement 😉