Monday, 11 April 2011

MIX11... the mobile app collection

It's that time of year again - MIX11 conference time - and although last year there was just one mobile app (MIX10 for iPhone), this year conference delegates are spoilt for choice!

This year there are Conf-powered apps on the three biggest mobile platforms: iPhone, Windows Phone 7 and Android...

All are pure .NET projects - the Windows Phone 7 app uses the Microsoft Windows Phone SDK while the iOS and Android versions are bought to you via power of Mono: MonoTouch and Mono for Android

The official 'site' for these apps is - it also lists a couple of 'other' options for Windows Phone users. Download one or all of them - and have a great time at MIX!

Aside: for those working on cross-mobile-platform UI, the primary navigation mechanism is quite different across the three platforms (my thoughts):
  • iOS uses a 'tab bar', familiar to all users as it features in most iOS apps. The benefits are that it's always visible and the icon appearance is consistent and attractive. Only five options fit before they get hidden behind a 'More...' link.
  • Windows Phone 7 uses the 'panorama' control. While it encourages discovery by panning across pages, not all options are immediately obvious to the user. Microsoft suggests a maximum of seven pages, so beyond that limit you need to think of other navigation paths.
  • Android uses the operating-system provided 'hardware menu'; it is not visible until the user presses the button however it can then display a number of options at once (similar to iOS). Because it can be context-sensitive the user doesn't really know what options to expect until they press the button (although the MIX11 app uses a consistent menu from all pages to get around this confusion).