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Beginning Building Mobile Application Development in the Cloud


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Table of Contents

Introduction xxi Chapter 1: Introducing Cloud-Based Mobile Apps 1 How to Build Mobile Apps in the Cloud 2 Using Your Existing Skill Set 2 Determining What Tools You Need 3 The Skills You'll Learn 4 Two Big Ideas About the App Industry 4 Web Apps and the Future 5 The Cloud as the Future 6 Getting Started 7 Using JavaScript Functions 7 The WebKit Browser Engine 20 A Colorful Little App 21 Introducing the nginx Web Server 25 Summary 29 Chapter 2: Mobilizing Your App 31 Building a Touch-Sensitive Drawing App 32 How to Draw on the Screen 32 Drawing in Response to Touch Events 39 Applying the DRY Principle to Your Code 46 Using the Amazon Cloud 52 How Geography Affects Amazon AWS 54 Using the Elastic Compute Cloud 54 Deploying Your Mobile Web App 61 Deploying Your Mobile App to the Instance 65 Summary 67 Chapter 3: Building Mobile Web Apps 71 What You Can Do with Mobile Web Apps 71 Locating Your User 72 Responding to Device Orientation 74 More Features for Later 76 Installing Mobile Web Apps on iPhone Devices 76 Installing Mobile Web Apps on Android Devices 77 Introducing jQuery and jQuery Mobile 78 The jQuery Library 78 The jQuery Mobile Library 83 Building a To-Do List App 91 Summary 108 Chapter 4: Enhancing Your App 111 Using App Caching 112 Handling Touch Events 115 Touch Events 116 Gesture Events 118 Embedding an Interactive Map 127 The Google Maps API 127 Providing an Application Icon and a Startup Screen 131 Summary 132 Chapter 5: Building Apps In The Cloud 135 Server-Side JavaScript 136 Introducing Node 136 Installing Node 138 Using the Node Package Manager 141 Introducing the MongoDB Database 144 Cloud Analytics for Your To-Do List App 150 Doing the Math 150 Organizing Your System 152 Collecting the Usage Data 160 Submitting the Usage Data 164 Charting the Usage Data 167 Summary 174 Chapter 6: Use the Cloud! 177 The Classic Cloud Architecture 177 The REST Approach 178 Cloud Databases 179 Introducing Amazon SimpleDB 180 The SimpleDB Approach to Cloud Storage 180 The SimpleDB API 181 Putting the To-Do List App in the Cloud 182 Introducing the simpledb Library 182 Building a Command-Line Client 188 Working on Cloud Time 196 Running a Cloud Server 198 Synchronizing with the Cloud 203 Summary 209 Chapter 7: Enhancing the User Experience 211 Creating a Classic Tab Bar Interface 211 Implementing the jQuery Mobile Solution 212 Using the iScroll Solution 216 Enabling Mobile Audio and Video 222 Playing Audio in Your App 222 Playing Video in Your App 226 Launching Apps from Your App 230 Launching a Web Browser from Your App 230 Launching a Phone from Your App 230 Launching SMS from Your App 230 Launching Mail from Your App 231 Launching Maps from Your App 231 Launching YouTube from Your App 231 Summary 232 Chapter 8: Working With the Cloud 235 Storing Content in Amazon S3 236 The Architecture of Amazon S3 236 Using Amazon S3 238 Signing In with the Cloud 247 Building Large-Scale Apps 255 Getting the Big Picture Right 256 Using the Cache! 258 Summary 271 Chapter 9: Creating Hybrid Apps That Run Natively 273 Introducing Hybrid Apps 274 The PhoneGap Project 274 Building Hybrid Apps 275 Building an iPhone App 275 Understanding Code-Signing 276 Building an Android App 283 Using Device Features 288 Lifestream, a Photo-Blogging App 294 Uploading Pictures 295 Storing Pictures on Amazon S3 306 Summary 310 Chapter 10: Building a Photo-Blogging App 315 The Architecture of Lifestream 316 Building the Server 317 Laying the Foundation 317 Enabling User Following 333 Uploading and Posting Pictures 336 Completing the Lifestream App 345 Supporting User Accounts 346 Integrating Social Network Identity 357 Summary 368 Chapter 11: Working With Cloud Development Services 371 Getting to Know the Mobile App Development Platforms 372 Using the FeedHenry Platform 373 FeedHenry Technology 374 The FeedHenry Development Environment 375 Deciding to Use FeedHenry 376 Using the Appcelerator Platform 377 Appcelerator Technology 378 The Appcelerator Development Environment 379 Deciding to Use Appcelerator 380 Using the appMobi Platform 381 appMobi Technology 382 The appMobi Development Environment 383 Deciding to Use appMobi 384 Summary 384 Chapter 12: Going Social! 387 Using the Twitter API 388 Working with the Twitter API Usage Limits 390 Using the Entities that the Twitter API Exposes 390 The Parts You Need 391 An App for Direct Messages 395 The Design Process 395 Getting the Hygiene Factors Right 399 The Code Structure 404 OAuth Without a Server 413 Calling the Twitter API 421 Event Consumers and Producers 425 Summary 431 Chapter 13: App Stores 435 What You Need to Publish Your App 436 Icons 436 Splash Screen 438 Screenshots and Orientations 439 App Metadata 440 Working with the App Stores 440 Building Your App for Release 441 Summary 452 Chapter 14: Selling Your App 455 Determining a Marketing Strategy 456 Building Apps for Others 457 Using Apps to Promote Your Business 458 Selling Your Own Apps 460 Choosing Tactics for Promoting Your App 462 Standard Tactics 463 Expensive Tactics 465 Guerrilla Tactics 466 Summary 468 Appendix: Exercise Solutions 471 Index 505

About the Author

Richard Rodger is the CTO of FeedHenry Ltd, a company specializing in bringing the first tools to develop cloud based applications for mobile devices. He is currently a member of the W3C Web Applications Working Group, which defines the standard for mobile widget applications. Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.

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