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Build Mobile Websites and Apps for Smart Devices [Paperback]

Earle Castledine , Myles Eftos , Max Wheeler

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Book Description

June 29 2011

Build Mobile Websites and Apps for Smart Devices is a practical guide for front-end web designers and developers. You’ll discover a fun and fresh approach to mobile web design and development, with enormous scope for opportunity.

Mobile web development is changing rapidly, with a greater emphasis on modern touch-screen smartphones. By following the advice in this book, you can be sure you’re learning the skills you need to make the most of this new technology.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Design effective interfaces for modern devices
  • Use HTML5 and CSS3 to build fast, responsive layouts that look great on every device
  • Use JavaScript to create a native feel with transitions, touch and swipe events, animations, and more
  • Introduces PhoneGap and shows readers how to add native functionally to their web app with ease
  • Leverage APIs to take advantage of built-in device functionality
  • Use PhoneGap to turn your web app into a native app for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and other platforms—and sell it online

And lots more...


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About the Author

Sporting a Masters in Information Technology and a lifetime of experience on the Web of Hard Knocks, Earle Castledine (aka Mr Speaker) holds an interest in everything computery. Raised in the wild by various 8-bit home computers, he settled in the Internet during the mid-nineties and has been living and working there ever since.

A Senior Systems Analyst and JavaScript flâneur, he is equally happy in the muddy pits of .NET code, the dense foliage of mobile apps and games, and the fluffy clouds of client-side interaction development.

As co-creator of the client-side opus TurnTubelist, as well as countless web-based experiments, Earle recognizes the Internet not as a lubricant for social change but as a vehicle for unleashing frivolous ECMAScript gadgets and interesting time-wasting technologies.

Myles Eftos is a Perth-based web developer that jumped on the Rails express and never looked back. He is the event co-ordinator for the Australian Web Industry Assocation which explains why most of their events are at the pub near his house.Myles Eftos is a Perth-based web developer that jumped on the Rails express and never looked back. He is the event co-ordinator for the Australian Web Industry Assocation which explains why most of their events are at the pub near his house.

Max Wheeler An interaction designer with a passion for emerging technologies, Max believes interactive media should function as beautifully as it looks. His attention to detail, along with his appreciation for aesthetic and user experience, give him the foundation for crafting engaging and usable web experiences. Since joining Icelab in early 2007 Max has worked with the Icelab team on projects across the web, print and television, for clients in government, retail, education and engineering.


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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Progressive Best Practices Nov. 28 2011
By Joe Rama - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I believe this book is a great book for knowledgeable beginners or intermediates looking for a fast track into HTML for mobile beyond the basics, e.g., full-featured mobile web apps.

To me, the most striking feature of this book is how the authors cover so much material in such a powerful step-by-step fashion. The structure of the book is very elegant in leading the reader up a mountain with many steps (coding examples), perfectly placed plateaus (self-contained chapters), and satisfying views (very practical and useful content). I love how so many topics (basic HTML ... CSS ... jQuery ... mobile interfaces ... native device feature support ... and native app support (PhoneGap)) are interwoven so smoothly and progressively. The book covers a lot of ground while making it seem like an easy trek, but it's really a quite steep learning trajectory made to feel simple and easy. The chapter titles lay out the climb clearly, and some chapters (e.g., Chapter 5 "Using Device Features from Web Apps") contain some pleasant surprises along the way (e.g., geolocation, offline web app use, etc.). The journey is both delightful and fruitful.

I have not tried the code yet, but I feel quite confident it will work as expected. Another striking feature of the book is that it was written by three authors but feels like it's written by one extremely experienced web dev author. The authors, the editors, and the publisher have done a superb job meshing all the text into one cohesive whole.

The authors also do not jump blindly onto the HTML5 bandwagon, but seem to take a very practical and measured approach to new technologies. The one "big" technology they assume is jQuery (not jQuery Mobile). They refer to the others in passing and, while not dismissive, avoid them due to lack of adoption. Also, jQuery can be used for desktop as well. Everything (including UI) they build along the way... so it's a very thorough learning experience for anyone appreciative of seeing a web application from the ground up (again, modulo jQuery), skillfully avoiding and bypassing technical hurdles, and touching on the reasoning behind the technical decisions along the way.

One big advantage of the focus on mobile web apps is that the authors deftly sidestep many of the past issues of browsers (e.g., old PCs running ancient IE browsers). Instead the authors focus on a modern baseline of technology, provide cutting-edge optional techniques, and (when appropriate) focus on performance challenges. While I don't have web-dev experience to validate their judgement calls, they seem to know what they're doing. If so, this book is a treasure trove of wisdom and a very good starting point for pragmatic mobile web development.

Bottom line: If you're interested not just in mobile web development, but in mobile web apps... with native features... and even native apps based on web apps (i.e., PhoneGap), this book provides a smoothly accelerated journey that will fast track you through the technical milestones to your ultimate destination, web apps way beyond the basics. Highly recommended.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be organized better Jan. 23 2012
By Multimedia Professor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is some really good information in this book in regards to developing for mobile. There is a example project that is presented for the readers to follow along and create. Unfortunately, I found myself being incredibly frustrated trying figure out what to do next and at what point in regards to the project. The book is organized in such a way that the steps for the tutorial (to actually do what the text is talking about in theory) is so hard to find and follow, I gave up after the fifth chapter.
The authors should have presented clear numbered or easy to follow steps to give the reader a clear path to accomplish what the text is referring to. Most people learn by doing.
This seems to be the case with most of these Site Point books, good info but very difficult to discern how to actually implement example projects in a logical step by step way.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent book...but info overload Sept. 6 2012
By B. Matthews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was a thorough and well written book but for those looking to get their mobile website off the ground quickly, I found How To Build Your Own Mobile Web Site In One Day Or Less to be a very user-friendly, cut to the chase book on getting up and running with mobile marketing fast.
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay book. Not too detailed but good. March 21 2014
By Alessandro Zuniga - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Overall I'd have to say that I was not overwhelmed with this book. It provides a good amount of examples, online resources, and real-world situations. I was a complete beginner to building mobile websites but I did have experience with iPhone applications and objective c. I'd say overall this is a decent book to do as a book club for your work. Which is the situation I used it for.
3.0 out of 5 stars This wil help you keep up with the times. May 6 2013
By J. Pires - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am a professional web developer with over 7 years experience. There are several topics in this book that are not new to me but overall it covers all the bases and serves as another resource when i am building a new site or setting up an existing site to be mobile compatible.
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