Category: Developers

iPhone developers rejoice: Urban Airship launches push notification beta

Portland-based Urban Airship, the little company that’s going to help iPhone app developers scale in big ways, has announced that they are now accepting participants as part of their beta program for Apple Push Notification Services.

Portland-based Urban Airship, the little company that’s going to help iPhone app developers scale in big ways, has announced that they are now accepting participants as part of their beta program for Apple Push Notification Services.

If you’re a developer working on an iPhone app and you want to take advantage of iPhone OS 3.0 features, I’d highly suggest you check it out. Even if you’re not, the whole setup is pretty impressive. Read More

Six Portland-area mobile app developers and consultants to watch

I keep an eye on a bunch of people who work on mobile apps. Most recently with the Obama for iPhone app. I thought it might be helpful to give you a glimpse of some of the Portland Oregon mobile app scene.

[HTML1]Yesterday, it dawned on me that I keep an eye on a bunch of people who work on mobile apps. I’ve covered them from time to time—most recently with the Obama for iPhone app—but I thought it might be helpful to give you a glimpse of some of the folks who are making things happen in the mobile app scene.

And lo and behold they just happen to be from the Silicon Forest. Go figure.

Avatron Software (Vancouver, WA)

Talk about starting off on the right foot. Avatron’s first commercial application for the iPhone, Air Sharing (NOTE: iTunes app store link), is well on its way toward becoming the most popular iPhone application, ever.

“Founded in April 2008 by Dave Howell, a six-year veteran Apple engineering manager, Avatron is a leading developer of popular applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. Avatron’s Air Sharing application, downloaded by nearly one million users in its first week, has raised the bar for iPhone application design and software quality.”

For more information, visit Avatron.

Cloud Four (Portland, OR)

The folks at Cloud Four have really come into their own in the world of consulting on mobile apps—especially when it comes to things like usability. (What? You actually want people to be able to use the app?) They’ve put in some impressive (volunteer) work on the Obama for iPhone app and equally impressive (paid) work on the interface design for the Mobile Wall Street Journal app.

“But what’s remarkable about Cloud Four is not our individual talents, as extensive as they may be. It’s where we overlap that we really shine. Instead of working separately in our spheres of aesthetics and engineering, we look at the building of Web sites and applications as a cohesive process, not just a series of database views or mockups. Cloud Four is proudly based in Portland, Ore., but we serve customers worldwide.”

For more information, visit Cloud Four.

FreeRange (Portland, OR)

If any company is the “founding father” of the burgeoning Portland mobile scene, FreeRange is it. With customers like the Wall Street Journal and the Portland Trail Blazers—and one of the most impressive mobile feed readers on the market—FreeRange is sure to keep Portland associated with mobile apps for a long time to come.

FreeRange Communications was created in 2004 because using the browser to get information on a mobile phone didn’t work so well. It still doesn’t work well enough (no offense to the wizardy of Apple’s iPhone), and it’s not likely to become really great for a very long time.

For more information, visit FreeRange.

GoLife Mobile (Hillsboro, OR)

The folks at GoLife Mobile are working to make mobile application development and adoption easier for both developers and consumers. And by building a Java-based framework that runs on practically any handset—and in so doing allowing practically any application to run on any handset—they’re moving down the right path.

“GoLife Mobile Corporation was founded by industry veterans with the desire to create a mobile lifestyle environment that enhances how people interact with technology, each other, and the physical world around them. This is the true birth of ubiquitous computing. We foresee information flowing smoothly between ubiquitous, integrated devices and networks, seamlessly converging to provide useful, personal, context sensitive services.”

For more information, visit GoLife Mobile.

Don Park (Portland, OR)

The owner of the first—and only—Openmoko open-source phone I’ve ever seen, Don is always working to make things as open as possible. His latest project? Developing a mobile social location application for the soon-to-be-released open-source mobile platform, Android.

In his own words (via the Los Angeles Times):

“But Don Park, an independent developer in Portland, Ore., said he would focus on Android phones for his location-tracking software because he likes that openness.

“‘Phones weren’t interesting a few years ago,’ he said. ‘Now cellphones have become the new personal computer.'”

For more information, visit Don Park’s personal site.

Raven Zachary (Portland, OR)

Ever since the iPhone was introduced, Raven Zachary has been leading the thought on developing for the platform. As the creator of iPhoneDevCamp, chair of the upcoming iPhoneLive conference, and consultant to a number of iPhone developers in town and around the nation, Raven knows everything happening in the world of iPhone development—and he’s influencing a great deal of it, as well. Not only that, he served as the project manager on the Obama iPhone app, one of the most popular iPhone apps in history.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Raven has to say.

“I love the iPhone. But that shouldn’t surprise you, because 90% of people who own iPhones love theirs too. But if you look into that 90%, I’m in the .1% of those people who don’t think of it just as a lovely phone, but as some agent of change that impacts us on a deep level – makes us more connected, more informed, more a part of the global network. And, hell, it’s wicked cool.”

For more information, visit raven.me. [UPDATE] Raven Zachary has co-founded an iPhone agency called Small Society. For more, see the Silicon Florist coverage on Small Society efforts.

BONUS! Mobile Portland (Portland, OR)

If you really want to stay in tune with what’s happening in the Portland mobile development scene, there’s no better place than the Mobile Portland group. The fledgling organization also holds regular meetings to discuss topics affecting the mobile scene.

“Mobile Portland is local user group focused on mobile development. We gather on the fourth Monday of every month for presentations, discussion and networking.”

For more information, visit Mobile Portland.

Who else?

As I mentioned, these are the folks I’m tracking. No doubt there are countless others I’m missing.

Has someone impressed you with their mobile development fu? Or maybe you’re a mobile developer who needs to toot his/her own horn a bit more?

Please, by all means, link it up below.

GoLife Mobile framework promises true “write once, run anywhere” for mobile, digital-telepathy

GoLife MobileI just received word that Hillsboro-based GoLife Mobile, the mobile company focused on turning “dumb” phones into more intelligent platforms, will announce a development partnership with digital-telepathy of San Diego, today, that promises to deliver some of the first major “lifestyle” applications on the new GoLife Mobile framework.

The partnership announcement is a great move for both companies. Because I mean, seriously, a framework without apps? It’s not really going to fly.

[Update: GoLife Mobile posted additional insight on the partnership.]

So I almost stopped there, and you probably would have too. But then I started thinking about the framework. And suddenly, it became clear that this announcement was about more than a simple partnership. It dawned on me that this is actually a big announcement. As partners begin to validate the GoLife Mobile framework, it should have a positive affect on application development in the mobile world.

But you know me. I get really excited about this stuff going on in the Silicon Forest. Before I wax any more hyperbolic utopian fluff, we should start from the beginning.

What is the GoLife Mobile framework?

[It’s] a powerful framework which empowers the rapid creation and distribution of personalized lifestyle widget applications which cross multiple horizontal boundaries. Our Java thin-client runs on virtually any phone, and utilizes a novel on-the-fly application delivery methodology.

The underlying premise of any framework is to remove the common stuff, enabling developers to focus on elements of importance—the innovative leaps that keep apps sharp and make them worth using. GoLife Mobile is proposing to do that for every phone in every pocket.

Not only does the framework expedite development, it’s cross-platform, so developers can build an app once—once—and rest assured that the app is going to run on practically every phone.

Now, that may not sound earth-shattering to some of you. But I’m positive that a few of you have your jaws dropping ever so slightly. And with just a slight bit of envy.

Either that, or you just seriously considered jumping into mobile application development.

What the GoLife Mobile framework offers is the equivalent of building a Web app without having to spend untold hours making sure it renders in every browser on the market. Or, like writing a single application that runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, by default.

Write once, run anywhere. Yes, I know we’ve all heard it before. Could this possibly be the first true instance of that happening? Could be. Right here in the Silicon Forest. That’s big.

Long story short, the GoLife framework promises more thoughtful mobile apps, developed more quickly, for every phone.

It’s no wonder that the digital-telepathy folks are eager to jump on-board. And that vote of confidence could be the validation that the GoLife Mobile framework needs.

Jason Grigsby alluded to Portland’s trailing mobile adoption. That may be true, but if the GoLife Mobile framework takes hold, we may have the chance to lead in terms of mobile development.

If you’re a developer interested in working with the GoLife Mobile framework, register for more information at GoLife Mobile’s developer lab for the chance to be invitied to an upcoming developer conference in Portland.

For more information on GoLife and its solutions, visit GoLife Mobile or see the original release on the GoLife Mobile framework. For more on digital-telepathy, visit digital-telepathy and RE3EL.

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