Simon Willison’s Weblog

31 items tagged “mobile”

Sunsetting React Native at Airbnb. “Due to a variety of technical and organizational issues, we will be sunsetting React Native and putting all of our efforts into making native amazing.” Fascinating write-up from Airbnb (part of a series) based on two years of working with React Native. It’s worth reading this in full: 63% of their engineers they surveyed would have chosen React Native again given the chance and 74% would consider it for a new project—but the larger technical and organizational challenges (in particular the fact that React Native remains a polarizing choice in the mobile world, making it harder to hire great native engineers) mean that Airbnb are migrating back to pure-native for their iOS and Android apps. # 19th June 2018, 9:03 pm

Are there any good bootcamps, such as Code Fellows, DevBootCamp for mobile (iOS/Android)?

Big Nerd Ranch have been offering iOS and Android for several years now. A friend of mine went in the iOS course a while ago and spoke highly of it—he has since released an app to the App Store.

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Do you need the feature in Dropbox mobile app that allows using the chosen files in offline mode? Why?

I use this all the time. It’s especially useful for travelling (when you’re abroad you often don’t have inexpensive cellular data or access to WiFi). I use it for:

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Is it possible for anybody to be expert in all areas of software development, that includes database, backend, web frontend, mobile apps, and graphic design?

It isn’t possible for someone to be expert in “all” aspects of software development—that would include everything from writing safety critical control systems for nuclear power plants in Fortran to high frequency trading algorithms on Wall Street. The world of software development is simply too big for that now.

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What are the best ways to find online serious partners ready to outsource mobile app development company?

If you want to do long-term outsourcing deals with “serious big companies”, you need to get on a plane and meet them in person.

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How can I produce an animated prototype out of designs for an iOS app?

Keynote is a surprisingly good tool for this kind of things, especially since they added path based animations to it a few years ago.

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Getting the most out of technical conference as a services provider?

Leaving flyers out if you are not a sponsor will annoy both the event organiser and the other sponsors, and may give a bad impression to other attendees as well.

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Can I pitch my app idea to google?

You could pitch it to Google Ventures, but you’ll need a lot more than just the idea.

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What new apps were used most at SXSW 2013, and why?

Lanyrd will be at SXSW again this year, and we’ve continued to refine our unofficial schedule guide and session planner for SXSW Interactive. Here’s our site for this year:

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What are the top Apps/Mobile conferences & events for 2013?

The biggest is still Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February—tens of thousands of attendees and representatives from pretty much every mobile company.

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How do you make an existing web application more mobile-friendly without rebuilding it?

Learn about responsive web design. Provided your site is built reasonably well using CSS for layout there is a TON of stuff you can do with CSS media queries to make your site work better on small screen devices. For example, using media queries to detect small screen (mobile) devices you can...

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Mobile World Congress: Is it worth going?

It depends on what you want to get out of it. I haven’t been myself, but from what I’ve heard MWC is the Mobile world’s equivalent of something like SXSW—huge (49,000+ people), sprawling, bewildering and full of everyone you could possibly want to meet from the mobile world.

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US iPhone Data for International Visitors: A Guide. AT&T will swear blind that their pay-as-you-go data plan doesn’t work with iPhones or other smart phones. Here’s how to prove them wrong. # 13th January 2011, 3:51 am

What makes mobile application backends different from Webapp backends?

Nothing at all.

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What are the most recommended upcoming  mobile tech conferences in North America?

Our site,, is relatively new but already has a pretty good list of mobile conferences in the USA. Try this page:

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Unlocking the Huawei E5830 aka 3 Mifi. 3 will post you an unlocked replacement for your MiFi for £15, if you can figure out how to ask them to do it. Reports on the internet are that it can take several weeks and they sometimes forget to unlock the one you send them, so I went the self-unlocking route. These instructions (involving Windows running in VMWare Fusion, Firmware updates, PayPal, some very dodgy looking software and a PDF file half-written in Japan) ended up working a treat. # 17th June 2010, 10:57 pm

Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.

Steve Jobs # 29th April 2010, 3:22 pm

Notes on designing the Guardian iPhone app. By John-Henry Barac, the principal designer of he iPhone application who also previously worked on the Guardian’s print transition to the Berliner format. # 20th December 2009, 12:55 pm

We’re at a critical juncture in the evolution of software. The web is still here and it is still strong. Anyone can still put any information or applications on a web server without asking for permission, and anyone in the world can still access it just by typing a URL. I don’t think I appreciated how important that is until recently. Nobody designs new systems like that anymore, or at least few of them succeed. What an incredible stroke of luck the web was, and what a shame it would be to let that freedom slip away.

Joe Hewitt # 15th November 2009, 8:50 am

Correct way to handle mobile browsers. If your site has an equivalent “mobile” version running on a different subdomain, how and when should you redirect mobile users to it and how should you let them opt in or opt out? # 10th November 2009, 8:57 am

WebKit, Mobile, and Progress. Alex Russell responds to PPK’s analysis of the many different WebKit variants in today’s mobile phones, pointing out that the replacement cycle and increasing quality of WebKit in more recent phones means the situation still looks pretty good. # 10th October 2009, 12:28 am

There is no WebKit on Mobile. PPK ran 27 tests against 19 different WebKit-on-mobile implementations and found enormous disparities between the levels of support in currently available mobile phones. # 7th October 2009, 12:23 pm

How could the major players have left a gap in the market so wide that a complete novice in mobile telephony could so instantly shame them?

Stephen Fry # 10th December 2008, 6:21 pm

Kapow SMS Gateway. Looks like a solid provider for sending and receiving SMS messages, with APIs provided over both e-mail and HTTP in both directions. # 8th December 2008, 5:05 pm

I can’t question that [the App Store] is probably the best mobile application distribution method yet created, but every time I use it, a little piece of my soul dies.

Steven Frank # 17th August 2008, 11:15 pm

minidetector. Neat piece of Django middleware that adds a “mobile = True” attribute to the request object if the request’s user-agent matches a list of strings of known low-power browsers in mobiles, PDAs or game consoles. # 15th August 2008, 8:21 am

DeWitt Clinton: T-Mobile and Twitter. “If you think the rest of Internet needs net neutrality laws, that’s nothing compared with the backward-facing worldview of the established mobile carriers.” # 15th December 2007, 12:26 pm

CSS3 and the death of Handheld Stylesheets. I hadn’t looked at CSS 3 media queries before (which let you apply different styles based on media features such as screen width, height and colour availability)—they seem like a much smarter solution that handheld stylesheets and also appear to be preferred by device vendors. # 16th November 2007, 9:53 am

New A-GPS service for Nokia phones. Appears to look up your cell ID against a global database to find nearby satellites, dramatically reducing the time needed to get a GPS fix. # 6th August 2007, 11:26 pm

Once people see that a pretty good phone can be a pretty good mobile computer, they won’t settle for less anymore; and mobile networks will be pried open.

Ed Felten # 29th June 2007, 4:58 pm