While You Wait is a cross-platform application developed in Xamarin Studio. It’s been released for Android and iOS.
The main focus was to make a “wait in line” or “queue” application aimed at restaurants, hairdressersor or similar. The main use-case would be as following; The waiter at the restaurant doesn’t have any free tables, so the waiter would enter a customers mobile number and name. This would place the customer in a queue and also notify the customer by SMS. Whenever a table would become available the waiter would send a notification by SMS to the customer.
The application is constructed using different APIs. It’s using an online database, Parse, which integrates seamlessly into Xamarin through the component store. And Twilio which is used for the SMS part of the application. Twilio offers a REST API that accepts the applications queries to send SMS to the customers.
The application is taking advantage of Xamarin’s new tool; Xamarin.forms. These tools makes it way easier to develop a cross-platform applications. Xamarin uses the Mono runtime and already let’s you share business logic on many platforms through a PCL or Shared project. However, what Xamarin.forms allows you to do is to share your UI code cross-platform as well. Forms is only compatible on Android, iOS, and Windows phone (as of August 2015) which is perfect if you’re a mobile developer 🙂
Quickit is a croos-platform app being developed in Xamarin Studio. Unfortunately I had to part ways with the development team before finishing the product as I had to start my bachelors degree at school. However, I would like to show off what I had made before leaving.
The essentials of the application is to ask your buddies a question and have them choose between a defined set of answers. Say I asked them “Want to grab a beer tonight?” they’d then have the option to answer yes or no. You could also ask them about something more specific like “Beer at 7 pm or 9 pm?” you’d then have the option to define your own answers to that question.
The app lets you choose from all the contacts in your phonebook, however, it’d also check if your contacts are registered users in the database – using Parse for Mono. By doing so it’d either send the question to the app installed on their mobile device or send a text message with a link to a website where you can answer the question.
The database back-end is provided by Parse in a noSQL cross-platform plugin, which meant that any platform would be support – as long as the Mono runtime would support the platform. Parse then allowed to view some statistics and trends based on your data and user activity, however, not as “in-depth” as plugins like Google Analytics. So GA was also integrated to get a better idea of the flow and user interaction.
Unfortunately a demo .apk is not available right now, but hopefully these screenshots will give you an idea about how it works.
While learning my way around Xamarin Studio and the Mono runtime I created a simple uninstaller application for Android. My goal was to make something that looked simple and didn’t need to provide tons of features. So I did just that, clean and plain colors while programming the app to do nothing more than just uninstall chosen applications.
The application takes advantage of the Android API which pretty much provides any necessary data and handles the uninstall requests sent from the app. Which is also the reason behind the dialog box appearing when trying to uninstall an application. – if you wanted to get around that dialog you’d have to root the mobile device.
Amongst a few plugins integrated into the application was Google Analytics. Thus allowing to trace user engagement and user behavior. Which in turn helped eliminate certain unpopular functionalities and focus on popular functionalities.