iToto's Blog

A Montreal based full-stack web developer who loves learning and trying out new things. This blog is my attempt to document my work as well as a place to discuss ideas or topics that I find interesting. Feel free to follow me on linked social networks.

Filtering by Tag: iOS

Jump to Android?

With the recent release of the Nexus 5, I've been really tempted to make the jump to Android. Google seems to be doing a really good job of competing with Apple by releasing their newest phone at half the price. There are two main concerns I have with switching to android from iOS.

iMessage

With most of my friends and family using iPhones, most of my messaging is in blue instead of green. By switching to Android, I would be losing that convenience. However, with the release of KitKat, they seemed to have integrated hangouts into their SMS app. And hangouts is basically my second most used IM protocol. And with the habgouts app on iOS, I still still get to communicate with all my iPhone friends!

Screen Size

I don't know why, but it seems people like having big phones. I feel like every new phone that comes out is thinner but larger then the previous model. And people like it. It baffles my mind. How can anyone enjoy holding a pad of paper up to their ear. Now with the rumors that the iPhone 6 will most probably be joining the large screen party, the jump to a larger phone is no longer avoidable.

There's not doubting that the top two smartphones on the market today are either running Android or iOS. The only difference is, Android devices offer different flavors of the OS depending on the device. And the reason for this is while Android is open source, Google has been keeping it's cooler features for it's own hardware and left it up to the other Android adopters to implement their own flavors of the functionality. And it seems this will be extremely obvious in the latest KitKat release on the Google Nexus 5.

Ars posted a really good article on this topic: Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary

After reading that article, it seems that the top two phones will eventually be the iPhone and Google's Nexus (as the Android flagship device). That being said, I'm still on the fence about making the switch, but I must say that this is the closest I have ever gotten to making the switch. My girlfriend was lucky enough to get an order in for the Nexus 5 on release day. I'm planing on playing around with it before I make my final decision. I will keep you guys posted on what I decide to do.

Are all VCs evil?

As some of you know, I've been working on my side project Party Stream for some time now. My goal has been to release early and often. This would allow us to have people use the app and itterate through to polish it as much as possible.

When I realized it was taking me way to long by myself, I decided to invite my closest friends to help me out. Keeping in mind that we've been solely working on this on our spare time, it's been moving a long but not as much as I'd hoped.

Since then, I've met with some startup people in Montreal and they've told me about the incubator programs and the inevitable hunt for VCs. I was never a fan of VCs - mostly because I'm uncomfortbale with the idea of non I.T. people running a software company.

The issue is, however, that the only way for us to put in the time required, we would need to work full time. And that's basically where VCs come in.

Still undecided on the idea, I came across a new iOS app that one of my good friends told me about. It's similar to Party Stream, but it's specifically for wedding parties. Rightly so, it's called Wedding Party App.

TechCrunch did an article on them, and in it, I saw a bunch of similarities between them and us. We have the same goals, and vision for our apps. They released when I originally wanted to release (this summer). They started with iOS and ported to Android later. They are also introducing a web-based app that will include more functionality. All of these are basically in the pipeling for Party Stream - just waiting to be done.

When I asked myself "how were these guys able to release before me" I saw that the answer was right in front of me.

They received quite a few VCs and angel investors to back their idea. Knowing this now, if an app like that can get that kind of backing, then there's no reason why an app like Party Stream shouldn't get some attention.

Bottom line is, do I want VCs or angel investors? Or should I stick to my guns and just have our team continue to work on this part-time and release it whenever it's ready?

Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Help needed!

Hey guys,

I've decided to share the fun of creating the Party Stream project with people that I trust.

I'll be posting more details once I get everything structured, but essentially I'll be creating repositories on GitHub for each of the different parts of the project. I'll post a listing of each of the parts along with the tasks for each. If you would like to help out by contributing on your free time, send me an email with with your GitHub username and let me know which part of the project you'd be interested in working on.

I'm hoping to get the repositories and tasks up by the end of the weekend. Stay tuned for a more detailed overview.

Project update

It's been a while since I announced an update on my project, so here's a small yet important one:

I have finished the first revision of the API and have commenced the development of the iOS client. Furthermore, I have launched a web page for those interested in seeing what the app is about - the link will be at the bottom of this blog post.

As far as the client goes, I'm going to try something new. In my experience, apps run best when written natively for the device. However, I have been hearing of the advancements in HTML5 with application development. While it would be easier for me to make the app in HTML rather then to build it natively, I still want to learn more iOS and objective-c. So, I have decided to do both, concurrently!

One of my friends volunteered to make the HTML5 version of the app while I make the iOS version. We will do a performance comparisons and attempt to gauge which of the two is performing best. I will release our findings on here throughout the development cycle.

If all goes well, I'm hoping to use the HTML5 version for all other platforms (Android, Blackberry, PC, etc) and keep the iOS version done natively. This will allow me to always have a handle on the differences between native and cross platform applications.

Also, from now on I will try to write a new blog post every Sunday with updates from the week. Hopefully it will force me to get more done during the week and also to keep my blog active :)

Be sure to check out Party Stream for the beta sign-up. Once the first version of the client is ready, I will be releasing it to beta subscribers for closed testing.