My friend Casey used the Solar Tool mobile app created with Altova MobileTogether to track rooftop solar production for a full year now and reports some surprising results. We first wrote about Casey’s user story in the spring, when she anticipated higher solar power production as hours of sunlight increased. Casey expected the billing cycle that included June 21, the summer solstice, to be her best generation month. Her actual results were very different and worth investigating.Read more…
Tags: app design, app development, mobile development tools, user stories
Ahh spring! Birds singing, flowers blooming, and the sun rises earlier and sets later. All that extra daylight gives solar power generation systems more hours to make electricity. As the summer solstice approaches, solar generation systems enter their most productive time of year.
Owners of rooftop solar systems can be passionate about tracking their productivity. The actor and comedian John Hodgman even moderated a disagreement over obsessive monitoring of solar production. My friend Kasey is also enthusiastic about solar power. Whenever I see Kasey, she reports her latest kilowatt-hours stats. Kasey’s home is in a warm, sunny climate where air conditioning is her biggest electricity demand. She installed solar panels on the roof of her house at the end of last June and her system raced to generate enough power during long summer days to offset her air conditioning.
After receiving the electric bill for August, Kasey called her solar installer to report success – her home’s electricity consumption for the month was zero. “I have to confess, I read my meters every single day to see how the system is doing,” Kasey told the installer.
“Everybody does it,” the installer replied. “Some users even tell me they check the meters three times a day!”
Kasey asked me if a mobile phone application built with MobileTogether might make a good reporting tool for her solar power system. “I could enter the meter readings into my phone,” she said. “I can do it every day when I take the dog out before breakfast.”
That’s how our mobile app development collaboration began. The result is the MobileTogether app we call Solar Power Tool.Read more…
Tags: app design, app development, debugging, mobile development tools
Recently I came across this note in a senior developer’s code review of a colleague’s work: “Slightly revised the user function to work correctly when languages other than English are used.” This was a surprising comment–the code is the code and it shouldn’t make a difference what language the developer or the end user speaks! A user function is simply an expression that may accept input parameters and returns a result.
Altova MobileTogether supports user functions in a cross-platform mobile development framework that combines drag-and-drop UI design and standardized functional programming for data selection and processing. Several MobileTogether demo applications are highly dependent on user functions and the MobileTogether Designer includes features that greatly assist creating and validating user functions.
Let’s take a look at user functions in mobile apps by examining one of these demo apps.Read more…
Tags: app design, app development, app ui, mobile development, MobileTogether, new features
The latest release of Altova’s rapid application development (RAD) framework introduces several new features that make it easier to customize and refine the UI of your app, with new features for styling controls, flexible options for users, and new logging tools.
Let’s take a look at what’s new in MobileTogether 7.2.Read more…
Tags: app design, cross-platform app development, mobile development tools, MobileTogether
In an earlier post we wrote about using software design templates for mobile apps to facilitate design reuse and make it easy to build efficient, flexible options for various app requirements. We described an example of a Control Template designed to present multiple levels of hierarchical data based on user selection at runtime.
Our example was built using MobileTogether, Altova’s RMAD (Rapid Mobile App Development) tool to help developers build cross-platform apps that deliver dynamic, sophisticated app performance that delights end users.
You can also build Control Templates for cross-platform mobile apps by combining multiple controls into a larger unit, like a complex sub-assembly built from individual parts. This creates design templates for mobile apps that can easily be dropped in anywhere, speeding development and ensuring consistency.Read more…
Tags: app design, app development, mobile development, MobileTogether
Software design templates streamline mobile app development by eliminating implementation of repetitive components. Creating a design template also simplifies revisions and upgrades when a change to the template can roll through an entire project.
MobileTogether supports software design templates for user controls in cross-platform mobile apps to facilitate design reuse and make it easy to build efficient, flexible options for various app requirements.
A Control Template in MobileTogether is a design component that allows developers to specify and group user controls in a way that makes them easily reusable. Control Templates support parameters, and each template can be customized based on parameter values at runtime.
Let’s look at an example.Read more…
Tags: app design, app development, app ui, app ux, MobileTogether
Using a cross-platform mobile development framework like MobileTogether is a great choice for building native apps, because the design environment takes care of rendering the app UI properly using the native look and feel of each operating system. You just have to build one design.
This gives app developers the ability to build sophisticated, data-centric apps for all users very quickly. To help this work, MobileTogether employs an RMAD approach along with flexible options for designing a beautiful UX. To help specifically with this last point are multi-level style sheets that let you customize and apply styles – either statically or dynamically – at various levels of the app UI design with just a few clicks.