Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Going Mobile at WineCompass

Figure 1
When not sipping and writing, my daily occupation is a software developer at Segue Technologies. As we all know, the technology industry is constantly evolving and in order for developers to stay relevant, they must continually upgrade their abilities. I've tried to stay relevant by building demo applications that interest me.  WineCompass was the result of learning Microsoft's .Net platform a decade ago and MyJoog was the result of becoming competent with the DotNetNuke CMS.  My current employer has recognized the popularity of mobile application development and is moving several .net-centric developers to that sphere - me included. I chose the Android path and naturally decided to augment my training by building a mobile version of the WineCompass website.

Figure 2
Initially I created several views and activities in order to understanding the basic Android programming functionality, including incorporating Google mapping. Currently there are three basic activities, search for companies by state, by zip code, or by current geo-location. The results are populating in either a list view or plotted on a Google map - see Figure 1. Each marker contains an InfoWindow that when clicked navigates to the Company Info screen (Figure 2).

In order for any application to be successful, it must satisfy client or consumer expectations. That's the purpose of this post and below are a few questions to those who would utilize this type of application.  Any suggestions by comment or email would be helpful. Thanks and cheers.
  1. What functionality do you expect from a mobile application?
  2. What search parameters are most important (location, zip code, state, products)?
  3. What company information would you like displayed in Figure 2? 
  4. What social networking functionality would suit your needs?

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