iPhone Development

API Hack Day Austin Winner: Hotel Deals iPhone App

I had a lot of fun on Saturday entering the Austin API Hack Day held at Hub Austin Coworking in South Austin. I came to API Hack Day last year without a plan or a particular project to create, and then sort of browsed through the InfoChimps and Mashery APIs to find something to create – our team ended up creating Application Trail, which was a jQuery Mobile web app for finding hotels along the Appalachian Trail, but it was sort of half-baked and didn’t really work.

Part of that was just the process of building a team from scratch – 4 developers who didn’t know each other before the event (well, I’d actually gone to grad school with Alex, so it was great when I saw him there, but hadn’t seen him in four years, or ever written a program with him). Chances are, you don’t share too many languages, environments, or even basic development tools in common – for instance, GitHub + Rails + heroku – great if you’ve done it before, but if that’s the first time you’ve touched any of that, 8 hours isn’t enough time to start to contribute to a project.

This time around, I knew what I wanted to build before I got there – I’d spent last week in Florida with my wife for the Florida Drupal Camp in Winter Park, and the 26.2 with Donna Marathon in Jacksonville Beach, and we stayed at several hotels that we found with Hotwire Deals. Unfortunately, Hotwire doesn’t have any mobile apps – just a mobile web site that I found hard to use. What Hotwire does have is an API exposed through Mashery, which was one of the sponsors of API Hack Day – I was able to build an entire iPhone app around the Hotwire API in 8 hours!

This little app won the Mashery API Prize, and the grand prize for Austin API Hack Day. I’m really happy with it, and getting it ready to go live in the App Store!

iPhone Development

My new mobile app company, Biscotti Labs!

Some exciting news – I’ve started a new mobile app development company, Biscotti Labs, to build mobile applications for Drupal sites!

I’m happy to work with existing Drupal sites, or on brand new projects, but my focus is on building out the mobile apps – not on Drupal module development, theming, or site building. I’m looking to partner with Drupal shops and freelancers, not compete with them. I do know my way around Drupal and most key contrib modules, and can even write a module or two if you need them.

I can develop native iPhone/iPad apps with Objective-C or hybrid apps for iPhone/iPad/Android using PhoneGap and HTML5/CSS/JS – let me know if you don’t know which is right for your mobile application strategy. Some factors to consider include budget, desired user experience, internal development skill set, and target audience.

jQuery Mobile Phonegap Uncategorized

First chapter of the PhoneGap, Drupal, jQuery Mobile e-book is up!

I’m excited to announce progress on my new e-book on PhoneGap, Drupal, and jQuery Mobile! I gave an interview on using Drupal with PhoneGap to Brian Lewis at Modules Unraveled last month. In addition to the podcast, which I really enjoyed making, I recorded a screencast on setting up PhoneGap, which I hope you enjoy.

The first chapter of my e-book covers the same ground, so I decided to release it as a free PDF, which you can download and enjoy. I’m happy to hear any feedback you have! I also wanted to let people read the first chapter for free, because you need to have a Mac with XCode 4 to follow along with the book, and I don’t want anyone to buy the book if they can’t use it.

Download Chapter 1 (1.1 Megs)