Archives For mobile

Google’s Material Design is a well-thought out, well executed design language for making mobile apps that chooses not be flat (for the sake of flatness). Instead, it uses depth to help raise the priority and to emphasize touchability. It features bold, bright colors and subtle animation to help provide feedback to gestures and finger interaction.

For native Android app developers, Google has produced documentation on how to apply the Material Design theme to your apps and update them for Android 5.0.

As a web app developer, I’ve been looking for ways to explore how to use the Material Design language in my own project. Here are three tools you can use today to help you create web apps and prototype apps using pre-built components. These are ordered from most-maturity and usefulness to least. Continue Reading…

Last night Des Moines Web Geeks had a code dojo focusing on Firebase, a tool I’d seen demoed by a few locals, including Brad Dwyer‎ from Hatchlings. In under 2 hours three teams each built a secret santa app using only client-side HTML5, CSS and Javascript. It was awesome.

Firebase makes this possible by providing an abstracted server side component accessible using a pure client-side javascript API. This is called a Backend as a Service (BaaS) or in some cases a Mobile Backend as a Service (mBaaS) platform.

Another BaaS I’ve used, and one that has been in the headlines this week, is Stackmob, which was just acquired by PayPal. I’ve used Stackmob and am quite fond of it. Now, having some exposure to both, I realize that Stackmob and Firebase are very different products offering unique types of services, even though both are considered BaaS products. I thought I’d write up a little comparison of the two. Continue Reading…