The web is the platform

I have had the itch of developing a “mobile application”(with finger quotes) since quite some time now. But, the thought of learning Java or Objective C kept me waiting. With B2G, came new hopes and the idea to write your mobile applications with only web technologies. Wow, doesn’t that sound awesome :D

Main Screen of the App

Procrastination is what i do best, so I installed B2G Desktop, r2d2b2g(B2G Emulator for firefox), Firefox Nightly and waited for more than a couple of months to even start writing an application. Finally, last week, the dawn had come, a new day had started (:-P). Yes, I started writing an application for B2G. Out of all the awesome ideas, I wanted a proper loadShedding application in the browser, that i could open anytime and see the timings. 3 days of hard work, and numerous keystrokes later, the application was ready for showtime. Here is a link to the application online (works only in firefox). You can install it as an “open web app” too .

Changing groups, just a tap away

This application uses angular.js (and B2G building blocks) on the front end and nothing on the backend :-P. The source is on github and i look forward to some “pull requests” and “stars”.

I want to make an app too, how do i start ?

Well, I am glad you asked. If you are already a web developer, tighten your belts, open your favourite text editor, push some keystrokes of awesomeness, make it responsive and at the end of it write a manifest file . You are done and good to go. Yes, believe me, it’s that easy. If you want the app to work offline, use appcache to save your assets offline and IndexedDB or LocalStorage (another nice article) to save your data. After this app, one thing that i can suggest is to design your app for offline first and then sync your data later. I started the other way round and had to take care of a lot of stuff at the end, which made no sense then, and some bugs were introduced because of that too.

If this is not enough to get you started, a comprehensive guide is available on MDN

It’s still a web-app, how do i connect to the device

I knew that was coming, WebAPIs is what you are looking for. It is still a work in progress and lots of tutorials are available on MozHacks

That’s all for now. Go and make something awesome and it has been validated that “THE WEB IS THE PLATFORM” Funny thing, it even works on osx like a native app, should work on windows and linux too