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Adam Blum, adam@rhomobile

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  1. Best Practices in Smartphone App Development Adam Blum, adam@rhomobile.com

  2. Background • iPhone has changed the game • All users now want to run real apps on their smartphones • It’s a huge win for businesses • Workers are productive everywhere, anytime • Smartphones are cheaper than laptops • They have senses (sight, hearing, touch) that laptops never had • But • Its difficult to write apps for all smartphones that your people have (without a smartphone app framework) • Good smartphone apps are different than good web apps or good desktop apps

  3. Avoid Typing • Pick reasonable default settings • number of records, objects to be shown, languages, sort orders • Don’t have any setup process EVER • first screen should be functional • Use information on device to pick • locations • people 3

  4. Don’t Do This: KinitoPro all of this just to get to your accounts? why not just use reasonable defaults?

  5. Context Sensitive • take users right to the data • common metaphor: list of records at top level • or a map with objects • using location, time, user info to select what to show • but no top level lists to select the right object type/function • Settings as an option on the tab bar 5

  6. Don’t Do This: iPivotal

  7. Do This: TrackR (Koombea)

  8. Leverage Device Capabilities • smartphones have senses: sight, hearing, touch • don’t do myopic web ports • you can probably use: • GPS • mapping • PIM contacts • camera 8

  9. What To Do:Nationwide Claims App great use of device capabilities (GPS, camera) to record accident info free on App Store

  10. Synchronized Local Data • make it possible to use the app without connectivity • insure that user’s work on transactions (Create/Update/Delete) is never lost • automatically cache frequently used data • generally requires some kind of sync framework “Sync to Contacts” is not sync 10

  11. Handle Varying Schemas • Large enterprise apps (CRM, ERP) rarely have fixed/”out of box” schema • Need to handle varying builtin objects (account, contact, task, etc.) • Plus handle inevitable changes to those schemas one reason why apps for CRM/ERP are rare on the App Store 11

  12. IFusion no local data (sync so you can access contacts when offline)? no save to local PIM contacts?

  13. InfusionSoft written with Rhodes. data is synced and available offline. robust set of capabilities on each contact (tags, followup sequence, history, action set). save to PIM (address book)

  14. Support All Devices • Android and iPhone have great growth • But BlackBerry and Windows Mobile have enterprise installed bases that aren’t going away • Symbian is still huge worldwide • Nokia/Intel Meego and Atom chip are very interesting 14

  15. Rapid Iterations • deliver small identifiable features frequently • use a toolset that enables rapid iteration • Objective C might not be the best one for that 15

  16. Rhodes Architecture You write: your app code RhoSync Server model model controller HTML templates Rhodes app generator Backend app source adapter model model controller HTML templates Backend app source adapter Rhodes components Ruby executor ORM (Rhom) We provide: Device capabilities RhoSync client Backend app smartphone device mobile device 16

  17. Leverage Free Data Sources • Rich informational apps still rare on App Store • Synchronized data apps even rarer • Data.gov is a hugely underexploited area 17