Passbook cleverness

Trying wifi on American airlines for the first time somewhere over Arizona. Anyway I was excited to see Apple’s passbook launch as part of ios6. Great little feature to the iPhone and starts to help our little mobile assistant become even more key to our lives. I see the convenience and simplicity approach as a great killer application for the iPhone.

I’m going to check out the api capability and see how we can start to build features directly in to passbook. It looks pretty straight forward. I love the way we can trigger your data/functionality to be accessed and pushed at the user, based on location, calendar event or time. It’s great for the obvious such as flight bookings and coupon based activity. But we are more excited about the possibility for retail and event based promotions.

Going to do some digging.

Really keen to see where Apple go next. I.e. NFC integration. I love the approach with QR codes I.e. flight boarding passes but surely NFC in the next iPhone is going to be a real killer.

Will report back once we’ve done some prototyping.

Really excited about retail with this one.

PHP and Lamp with iOS

So I tweeted some time ago about moving away from Microsoft server technology and in particular .NET.  I’ve spent most of my professional career building server solutions or leading teams using the Microsoft stack.  I’ve loved it for so many years and have spent the same years justifying its scaling credentials. We’ve even got many proven successes out their being used in anger. One success above all is the new Life platform that we’ve developed for UniServity.  The scaling capability is proving itself  over and over again and therefore my view of Microsoft server technology  remains unchanged.  However I’ve had my head turned slightly by simplicity in the last few weeks. Also by the increasing costs of licensing.

I’ve just started building a series of iPhone and iPad apps with a server / cloud component.  I naturally turned to Microsoft for the answer, however the thought of opening up Visual Studio architecting this fantastic multi layered app with an MVC architecture fills me with dread, when all I need to do is build something simple that will access a database and scale. I’m also using a Mac now-a-days have have been for the last 5 years.  So we now need to boot up parallels start up visual studio and get coding.  All a bit much for my mac book air.  (sorry slimmed down the hardware due to all the traveling)

So I dreamed of the days of Perl and CGI using BBEdit on my original macintosh to edit simple scripts.

PHP gave me the answer and when you start to dig a little deeper it really does provide a viable answer.  It scales well, Facebook proves that with its 540 billion page impressions and its simple to get coding.  I can use my mac as my server and I know it will easily port to a linux or unix platform in the future. I’ve downloaded some simple editing tools and with mysql i’m building my simple cloud based service for my iOS apps.  Except its really not that simple any more.  Its amazing how quick you can progress. Its also like riding a bike, you never forget the technology’s roots and you find that its back down to natural programming techniques.  Rather than even more layers of abstraction you get with .NET.

AND above all no license fees and no policy of requiring even more hardware to run your software.  It does scale very well I have to say and it does spark that programming geek in us all.

More to follow as I progress.