Recently at Hitcents we have been working on deploying our Android version of Draw a Stickman: EPIC to app stores across China. China’s Android app market is a strange place, and it has somewhere around 30 app stores. Google Play is not available in China, so many small stores popped up all over the country to fill the gap. Several of the stores are mobile providers, such as China Mobile, and run payments through users’ cell phone plan (which is prepaid a lot of the time).
I want to start out this post by saying I am a great lover of Xamarin and their tools. Without Xamarin, I would might not have become a mobile developer and most of the success the company I work for (Hitcents) has had with mobile apps would not be possible. C# is a beautiful language, and I think it is in good hands moving forward no matter what Microsoft decides to do in the next few years. With that being said, using Xamarin every day reminds me of a phrase Scott Hanselman used recently, “death by a thousand tiny cuts”. Not that any amount of these tiny cuts is that big a deal compared to developing in some nonsense like Objective-C, but it is just enough to be annoying. My fear is that Xamarin has been putting a lot of focus on big picture new features, when a little polishing could help a lot of developers lives. My goal here is to create a big wish list everyone can contribute to, not criticize their products.
I wanted to compile a quick list of excellent blogs for programmers. Not all will apply to every developer, but spending a few minutes a day on Google Reader can give you great insight into different technologies and even hone your skills on the tools you use on a daily basis. Most of us have those few minutes to spare in a day, and I think a good blog read will benefit most developers more than seeing the latest lolcat pic or random video on YouTube. Below are the recommended blogs.
At work, I have more and more been transitioning to using a Mac. MonoTouch has fueled this, and I hate to say it, but I am starting to like Mac hardware. I have come accustomed to the standard Mac mouse, as well as the Macbook Air touchpad. PCs are great, I love Visual Studio and I love C#, but there is something to be said about what Apple is doing lately.
These days, SQL (structured query language) has been the core mechanism for storing and accessing data within any application. It has many advantages, such as: reliability, scalability, fast lookup, and the ability to generate any type of report you can think of. Conventional database systems have their disadvantages as well, which is where NOSQL-based systems have surfaced to fill in the gaps.
So for this part of the series, I wanted to explore MVC by writing a sample application that reuses code between an iPhone app and a WPF windows application. The goal here is to lessen the amount of code required to be written on the iPhone, because what developer wants to use a Mac, right? But this should also cut down development time, too, and should make it easier to port the same app to Windows Phones or other platforms.
Many of you may have heard rumors of the strict app submission process by Apple, but I personally did not believe it to be true. In submitting the Omniprise iPhone App, we had to resubmit binaries three times until we got it right. On top of that, we started the submission process during what seemed to be a busy time—we had to wait 1-2 weeks between submissions. This may have been due to the Thanksgiving break, or could also have been due to it being our first App.