Tag Archives: Mobile

Building an iPhone App to Parse the Twitter API with NSXMLParser

iOS has a simple event-based XML parser built in, which makes it fairly easy to do less involved parsing operations without having to load up a third-party framework. This tutorial will show you how to build a simple iPhone application that will download an XML feed from Twitter containing a user’s tweets, and then display them with a pretty UI. (You could easily adapt this to parse other XML documents, such as RSS feeds.)

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Optimize a Website for iPhone Using Only CSS

Lots of websites now have mobile versions that optimize their designs for speed and ease-of-use on the iPhone, reducing scripts and designing for the device’s smaller screen. They usually use some sort of browser detection script that loads a different template on the mobile device.

Sahil Lavingia, creator of the Dayta app, has a quick tutorial on how to optimize your website for iPhone in 10 minutes…using only CSS.

I haven’t had a chance to try it out for myself, but it looks fairly simple.

iPhone Application Development For Dummies

Have you ever wanted to learn how to write your own iPhone applications? It’s certainly more difficult than web development, but the device is a good platform to learn client-side programming with. Mobile applications that tie into web services are becoming increasingly common, so now is a good time to give it a try.

iPhone Application Development For Dummies is a good primer on building applications for the iPhone or iPod Touch. It covers the basic theory over the first few chapters, and then moves on to building a simple View-based application. I haven’t finished the book quite yet, as I’m working my way through the tutorials as I read, but the book seems to cover all of the basics quite well. There are parts on data storage, input events, and many other things that are critical to iPhone development.

I’m finding the book to be a bit challenging, as I don’t have any real desktop programming experience, other than BASIC if that counts. I don’t think I’d recommend it to someone who doesn’t have a strong grasp of at least one programming language with a C-style syntax, such as PHP or Java. Knowledge of object-oriented programming is important, in addition to more basic skills such as dealing with variables and control structures. If you’re a total programming newbie, I would recommend reading a good introductory book first, and then moving on to iPhone Application Development for Dummies.

I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of the book so far, and I hope that, by the time I’m done, I’ll have a good enough grasp of things to develop an idea I’ve had for awhile into an app.

Add a Mobile Stylesheet to Your Site

Don’t want to go all-out with a separate mobile mini-site, but you still want your site to be accessible on phones and PDAs? You can just add a new stylesheet intended only for mobile browsers, in which you can reformat the page to render acceptably on a wide range of handheld web browsing devices.

<link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css" type="text/css" media="Screen" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="mobile.css" type="text/css" media="handheld" />

By linking a stylesheet with a media of “handheld,” you tell mobile browsers to remove any of the preceding styles. You can then apply some new styles within, taking care to avoid explicitly setting widths or anything that might foul-up mobile browsers.

It’s a little bit more complicated than that in reality, but not too much so. You can find a full how-to over at Perishable Press: The 5-Minute CSS Mobile Makeover.

The Mobile Web Part 6: 7 Useful Mobile Site Resources

Over the past five days we have covered quite a few bases in the mobile website area. In case you missed them, you can find the posts here:

I think it’s about time to bring this series to a close, with today’s post “7 Useful Mobile Site Resources.” I have to admit, the biggest reason I wrote this series was because I recently got my hands on an iPod Touch, after far too much waiting. I’ve been thinking about the topic for a long time, well before I got the i’Touch, since before I was seriously considering buying one (since the first generation Touch came out).

Now, where should you go from here? Following are a few resources that you may find useful.

1. Mobile Web Development by Nirav Mehta

Mobile Web Development is focused on non-iPhone mobile sites (I’m not sure if it even mentions the iPhone). It’s fairly current, having been published in 2008, and covers a broad array of topics in it’s 216 pages. It covers WML and WAP, XHTML MP, sending text messages (SMS) via server-side script, PayPal Mobile, Interactive Voice, and a few other things.

I haven’t tried out any of the examples or anything, but I read through the book, and it seems to be good overall. It’s an easy read, and shouldn’t take much time to get through.

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The Mobile Web Part 5: iPhoneMicrosites.com

While I was looking for some extra iPhone-formatted websites to round out yesterday’s list, I came across iPhone Microsites. The site caught my attention, so I figured I’d make it part of the Mobile Web series.

iPhone Microsites is based entirely around the “iPhone Version” idea. They not only offer their services to build said microsites, but they also provide free tutorials and articles to teach you how to do it yourself. In addition, they provide a handy list of resources for developing web pages for the iPhone.

Their services certainly aren’t cheap, and are more in the price range for medium to large businesses than individuals, but their articles and resource lists are good. The site’s definitely worth a look at least.

The Mobile Web Part 4: 14 iPhone-Formatted Websites

Welcome to day four of The Mobile Web. We’ve previously covered a lot of ground on the subject of mobile websites over the last few days. Today will be lighter reading though. Who’s up for a design roundup of mobile websites? What are some good examples of iPhone-formatted websites? (I won’t be rounding up any WML sites, since style and WML are pretty much mutually exclusive.)

Here are some good examples of iPhone-specific pages.

Amazon

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The Mobile Web Part 3: iPhonitizing Your Site Sans MoFuse

In part two of the “The Mobile Web” series, I covered MoFuse, a service that automatically generates (and hosts) iPhone and WML versions of websites for you. Today we will be doing something a little more interesting. Today we will be putting together iPhone-formatted sites without the help of a hosted service.

Option 1: Use a WordPress Plugin

If you’re blog is powered by WordPress, you’re in luck. There are a couple of plugins out there to help make your blog iPhone-friendly.

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The Mobile Web Part 2: Mobilize Your Site the Easy Way

There are many ways to create a mobile version of your website. You can do it manually, use a WordPress plugin, or let MoFuse do it for you. Today I will cover the easy option, MoFuse, and follow-up this post with the more advanced option tomorrow.

MoFuse allows you to “Mobilize your blog” in about ten minutes. You simply create a free account, supply your blog’s URL, and pick a URL for your resulting mobile site. The URL will look something like you.mofuse.mobi, though you can map it to your own subdomain if you wish (m.yourdomain.com is a common convention).

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The Mobile Web Part 1: Why Go Mobile?

The mobile web is growing fast. More and more people are browsing the web on the go, besides at home on their computer. Now is a good time to put together a mobile version of your site, so you don’t miss out on the extra eyes that could potentially read your site.

Today, the mobile web is split between two groups: iPhone/iPod Touch users and everybody else.

Plenty of people have phones now that can browse stripped-down WML pages, which is painful at best, impossible at worst. Then Apple came out with the iPhone and iPod Touch, finally creating a mobile device that’s actually bearable to surf the web with. (I recently bought an iPod Touch, and I have to say it’s awesome.)

iPhone and iPod Touch

As great as the iPhone/i’Touch is, it’s not perfect. It’s still much easier to navigate an iPhone-specific page than a normal page. I can read pretty much any page on the web with ease on my iPod Touch. Here I am reading a page on Pro Blog Design with the device:

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