Mobile applications are the big thing these days, thanks to great devices, always-on Internet, and market places like Apple’s app store that makes it easy for users to find, download and pay for applications.
In a technology study back in 2008/2009 I made first steps on iPhone application development which is quite different than what I do in most of my consulting projects. Instead of Java and frameworks like Spring that run in enterprise environments with huge computing power, it is based on Objective C and Cocoa Touch, and runs on mobile devices with limited computing power. In case of iPhone apps that means - in some respects - back to the roots! You don’t even get garbage collection on the iPhone - I almost had forgotten how tedious manual memory management can be. Forget to release a pointer and you end up in memory leaks - forget to retain a pointer and you will run into application crashes. On the other hand, you get many great components out of the box, like location services.
Recently I decided to implement decided to implement one specific iPhone application and bring it to App Store myself.
The idea behind "iBeenThere": Make it fun for travelers to let their friends back home know where they've been and what they've done.
I could imagine a whole platform around that idea, but version 1.0 focusses on a very simple core of that idea: Add location-information to Facebook status updates.
Development went surprisingly quick - I was able to submit it to Apple as early as 2 weeks after I started coding, while I was working for a client on a full-time consulting project at the same time. It was fun, as iBeenThere integrates exciting mobile and web technologies like iPhone location services, Facebook and Google Maps.
See www.degenring.net/iBeenThere for more details.
Depending on the user feedback I might invest more time into iBeenThere, and fully realize my original idea, a full-featured travel blog service. Even if not: I’m sure my professional focus will include mobile apps more and more in the future - no matter if for iBeenThere, for other products I build on my own, or for consulting projects.