Monday, September 21, 2009

Hello MonoTouch - .NET and C# Developement For iPhone In Action

Last week we wrote about MonoTouch for iPhone (Five Million .NET Developers Can Now Cross Over To The iPhone). This week we found a video of a quick screencast showing how to make a simple iPhone Hello World type app in MonoDevelop with MonoTouch and C#. This was done using the MonoTouch preview.

There's also a 3 part series that goes more in-depth on installing and using MonoTouch. Here are the links for that series:

Getting Started with MonoTouch - Part 1
Getting Started with MonoTouch - Part 2
Getting Started with MonoTouch - Part 3

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Five Million .NET Developers Can Now Cross Over To The iPhone

Novell released MonoTouch on September 14 2009, that allows developers to create C# and .NET based applications that run on the iPhone while taking full  advantage of the iPhone APIs as well as reusing both code and libraries that have been built for .NET as well as existing skills.  That means the door is opened to a lot more developers. "...the big win with it is that it opens the door for some 5 million .Net developers to begin to do iPhone applications" according to analyst Al Hilwa, program director for application software at IDC, as reported in the ComputerWorld article Novell offers iPhone .Net app development kit.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mobile Device/Smartphone Testing News: Apple, Palm, Android, and BlackBerry

This week has been eventful for all the mobile device platforms with news from each of the major players.

Apple is now at over 75,000 apps in the App Store and shows no sign of slowing down. This week brings plenty of mobile device compatibility testing news with the announcement and shipping of iPhone OS 3.1 and iTunes 9. Apple announces iPhone 3.1

Palm's second webOS-based smartphone was announced this week. A new form factor, both with the keyboard and screen, should present some interesting testing challenges.
Palm debuts Pixi smartphone, its second using webOS

New and very popular apps appear on Android. Is this an indication of app development and testing growth for this platform? Facebook, Pandora Apps Hit Android (Just added: iPhone users aren't the only ones to get cool apps)

RIM's Blackberry is still in the fight for app development market share with news this week. Yahoo announced Finance for Mobile for the BlackBerry Bold, Tour and 8900 series, as well as Yahoo Fantasy Football for Mobile. It's interesting to see specific models listed instead of just "BlackBerry". That means the development and testing compatibility issues are only compounded when you offer diverse form factors. Yahoo intros new iPhone and BlackBerry apps

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Free iPhone Simulator - No Assembly Required

The image on the left is a view of yesterday's article on USB 3.0 and was produced by, a clever web-based tool for testing content as it would appear on the iPhone. It's intended use was to test iPhone web apps prior to the advent of native apps.  Now that the SDK is out, which provides a full blown simulator (with some limitation), this free online tool would seem to be obsolete.  But I think it and others like it (iPhoney: iPhone web simulator) can still be of service for browser compatibility testing. With iPhones accounting for most of the US mobile browser web traffic, website developers need to pay attention to how their pages look on mobile Safari. Hence testers need to add mobile Safari to the browser compatibility test matrix. And by having a tool that simulates the iPhone running on the same system with desktop browsers, you can view web page rendering side-by-side. And best of all it doesn't require installation of the iPhone SDK.

Certainly you'd want to do at least one pass on an actual iPhone, but during most of the development cycle, having a quick and easy way to check how your website looks on mobile Safari, makes these simulators worth adding to your tester toolbox.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why Are iPhone Application Developers Doing This?

iPhone application developers have been adding functionality that allow users to "free memory" on demand.  Unfortunately, Apple has begun telling these developers to remove this functionality from their iPhone applications (Apple Forces Removal of 'Free Memory' Functionality From iPhone Applications).  This has forced companies like Recession Apps, to remove their app from sale.

I talked to an iPhone app developer about this and asked him why this sort of functionality is needed.  He told me that memory management for the iPhone, or lack thereof, is woefully inadequate in some situations.  He did say that Apple provides plenty of information as to what can happen under low memory conditions and what to do about it.  And there are numerous examples provided, as well as advice (from real Apple engineers) given in the developer forums.  The problem is that the guidance given does not work in all situations, especially in very critical memory situations.