Softwire Blog

Friday Lunch and Learns: HTML5 and Mobile Dev

21 February 2012, by

Every Friday lunchtime at Softwire we all get lured into a meeting room with the promise of free food, and one of our colleagues gives a talk on something they’ve been working on recently.

We filmed my talk on HTML5 and Mobile Dev, so that others can enjoy it too.

Web Development in 2012

31 January 2012, by

It’s 2012 and we’ve seen a lot of new changes in web development in the last year or two. So here’s my quick overview of some of the highlights and some examples from the best of the web, along with lots of links!


Getting Objective, part 4: Please release me (let me go)

22 January 2012, by

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Last time, we enhanced our Hello World application so that it could interpret our feedback and take some appropriate action. I closed off by declaring it to be “very bad indeed“. This time, we’re going to find out why…


Getting Objective, part 3: How is the world, anyway?

7 January 2012, by

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In my first post, I wrote a very simple “hello world” application, that displayed an alert box like this:

Screenshot of the Hello World application popup

It’s lovely as far as it goes, but you were to install that application on your phone, you would no doubt become rapidly disillusioned with it – it may ask how you are, but ideally we’d want something to happen once we press a button. At the moment, all that would happen is that the popup would disappear, and you’d be looking at a white space. Admittedly, this is pretty much how some of the early torch applications worked, but I think we can all agree that we’re not (yet) putting Objective-C to its best use.


Getting Objective, part 2: [Square Brackets] and other animals

18 December 2011, by

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In part 1 I gave a little introduction to Objective C – why people would want to develop for it, and a quick hello world example. This post will go into more detail about the syntax, with the help of a few household pets.


Getting Objective, part 1: An introduction to Objective C

1 November 2011, by

This is the first in a series of posts that will – I hope – give a bit of insight into Objective C: what it’s like to develop in, how to write an app, and a few pitfalls to watch out for. This first one aims to give a basic overview of Objective C, and why we might want to use it in the first place.

Why develop in Objective C?

Objective C is the core language for developing applications for iOS and OSX – if you want to install something on any Apple products, then you’re going to need to write it in Objective C. Long gone are the days when that “if” would be met with snorts of derision: Apple’s growth in the home computer market is massively outpacing the rest of the industry, and – with all due respect to Android – they hold the lion’s share of the mobile application marketplace. A lion’s share that is projected to grow even more

Pie chart showing the distribution of application revenue across mobile platforms

When you factor in the media penetration on top of market share, any customer looking to dip a toe into mobile applications is – unless they have a very specific need – likely to start with iOS.


Android Application Development – Part 3

14 October 2011, by

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In Part 2 we retrieved GPS coordinates from the device and displayed them in the view.

In this part, we’ll be adding a little more functionality to the application, making sure that we can monitor the state of the GPS, requesting our own update frequency, and passing these coordinates into a web service to perform a ‘reverse geo-lookup': transforming coordinates into location names.


Android Application Development – Part 2

20 July 2011, by

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In Part 1 we covered creating an Android application, adding a new text field to the view and programmatically setting the content of the new text field.

In this article, we’ll be retrieving GPS coordinates, and displaying them in the view.


Android Application Development – Part 1

17 June 2011, by


These articles are intended as a quick-start guide to getting yourself up and running developing Android applications. The idea is to provide a quick guide that follows the development of an application touching a few more areas of the system than the basic ‘Hello World’. It’s aimed at developers familiar with Java who want to learn more about developing for Android.

The app we’ll be developing is a simple GPS application, able to request and read some coordinates from GPS hardware aboard the Android device, make use of a web-service to derive some information about the location (this is called reverse-geolocation), and display what it has found out.