Thoughts on Cross Platform

by Dudu mimirm

Cross platform is tricky. It seems like a small “technical” buzzword but actually it is one of the biggest challenges for many technology companies and has different aspects for different people in the organization and outside of it.

Developer Point of View

It all starts with the fact that applications can potentially target different computing devices. To get more people to use your applications you would like them to run on as many device categories as possible, whether it is different smart phone operating systems, a desktop computer or a tablet device.

I first encountered the term cross platform in my first job as a developer (20 years ago) after I left the army, when we coded an anti-virus scanning engine. We built it purely in C to make it “compilable” and “runnable” on different desktop and server operating systems without being aware that we were building a cross platform product. Today, when you search for the term cross platform on google you can find app developers challenged by the attempt to run their apps on both iOS and Android. The aspiration to have a cross platform code base lies in the economic rationale of “write once and run everywhere” instead of developing again and again for each proprietary coding language and the different standards of each platform. Cheaper to develop and easier to maintain.

Sounds easy and good, no? Well, no. Not even after many years of evolving development tools. The main reason this is not a straightforward operation is the simple fact that each platform, when you get into the specific details, is different from the others either by hardware specifications or by operating system capabilities, and at some point you will need to have a piece of code that is platform specific.

For example, lets take iOS and Android: on Android you have the ‘back’ button and on iOS you do not. To make sure your code behaves “naturally” on Android you need to add some Android specific code to handle the ‘back’ action while the same code will be useless on iOS.

Cross platform tools have evolved quite a bit like html5 based mobile app development environments.  Still I have yet to see a real application that was built in full using only cross platform code. There is always a need to tweak something for a specific device or specific platform, there is no escaping it.

I always wondered why platform providers (Google, Microsoft, Apple…) have not really worked to support such cross platform tools and, even more, they seem to make life particularly difficult for such tools. I can understand the rationale of “not helping my competition,” though I think that at some point in life, the basic fact that not a single platform will win all the users must sink in. It may be more productive to apply cooperative strategies vs. only competitive ones. Indeed they may lose some developers to other platforms, but at the same time they will win some that will switch over to theirs and, most importantly, it will make developers’ life easier, with more apps that offer a good result for everyone.

QA Guy/Girl Point of View

For the QA team cross platform usually means a pain in the neck. First, you need to test it across different environments and life could have been so much easier if it was just on one platform. Even supporting one platform is not easy nowadays due to versioning – iOS as mild example for complexity and Android which is catastrophic due to its fragmentation.

The other aspect which is more problematic is the fact that developers which work with cross platform tools are somehow shifting the “responsibility” for making sure their results are working properly and shifting the responsibility and the blame to the tool itself. As if they were doing the best they could and complying with whatever was requested from them and the fact that it does not work is not their responsibility. This state of mind automatically moves the blame to the person who found the bug, hence the QA person. Eventually developers will fix whatever is needed, but still it is a different situation from that of a platform specific developer and QA person. Maybe it is because the developer can not practically run all the tests on all the devices prior to handing the software, which always leaves some quality gap “open”.

In general QA have become highly challenging with the multitude of different devices out there which are very different one from each-other. Previously (a long time ago) you had microsoft windows for personal computers and unix based servers. Now you have a lot of operating systems, numerous hardware configurations and ever accelerating pace of releasing new OS versions so it does not make life easy, to say the least, for the people who need to ship the software. Now add to that a cross platform product :)

Product Manager Point of View

The product manager sees cross platform from an entirely different angle, one that is closer to the users’ perception. Cross platform is more about what people do with their devices, when and how they use them and how the product can adapt itself to the unique device-user context. For example, on a smartphones you might expect “time wasting” behavior or very efficient task oriented behavior for getting something done, compared to tablets that can be used in more relaxed times indicating different behavior. The challenge here is to really understand how your target audience can and may consume your products via each specific device and platform and how to adapt each platform’s specific version to best serve that behavior. Of course, this contradicts the basic aspiration of the R&D division to write less platform specific code.

Marketing Team Point of View

The marketing team sees cross platform as an opportunity. In a way they are the only ones who do not see the “burden” and try to enjoy the potential distribution hidden in the rich set of devices out there. More devices, regardless of their type, represent more users/consumers and that means a greater market. Sometimes each device reflects a specific market segment which carries an overhead for reaching out to them, such as in the case of specific gaming consoles, Sometimes your target market just happens to be diverse in terms of consumption devices and the users use different kinds of devices and platforms as in the case of smartphone users.

The User Point of View

Users rule, of course, and they want everything to run everywhere. Today it even seems “not ok” for an application to be only available on one platform as it can be seen as a sign of the provider’s “laziness,” or lack of attention to the market by the developer. What really “spoiled” users is the Web which is cross platform by nature and so users don’t understand why gmail is available everywhere, but not my favorite iOS calendar app.

And that’s ok, they should not be bothered by that, because they are, after-all, those who rule here.

 

 

– See more at: http://www.dudumimran.com/2014/04/what-is-cross-platform-for-app-developers.html#sthash.Qp4IlvrQ.dpuf

The New Look&Cook for iPhone just Launched!

Yesterday Kinetic Art launched a new version of the popular Look&cook app for iPhone. The new version is not only the most beautiful app you are likely encounter, but it has some great new additions like Integrated Shopping and live updates from the cloud.

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Look&Cook is loaded with delicious and innovative step-by-step recipes, stunning photography and cool features like built-in timers and voice activation, but the new version adds a great Shop experience, allowing you to combine two of your favorite activities: cooking and shopping.

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Every recipe is followed by a curated selection of kitchen tools and products that complement it. You can find the right tool to give your recipe that professional touch, or browse a selection of Amazon kitchen products, hand-selected for the perfect combination of design and function.

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We are really excited to have Look&Cook versions available now for every platform: iOS, Android and Kindle Fire. The small footprint (15MB) packs an unexpected wealth of images and videos, inspiring recipes and easy access to all the tools you need to create them.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/look-cook/id548470911?mt=8

Some Great Reviews on Look&Cook – Mind Watering

Well, it has been a great month for us where we got lot’s of love from many reviewers. Check this out:
Mind Watering: Revolutionizing iPad Cookbooks

Look&Cook is the whole package: beautiful design, meaningful content, inspiring recipes and gorgeous food photography. If you love food, no matter your cooking ability, you will love Look&Cook and be inspired to try Chef Adoni’s modern, inventive recipes in your home kitchen.

Mind Watering – Learn From Prominent Chef, iPad Cooking App

The Mind Watering app is like getting an exclusive cooking lesson on your iPad with one of Israel’s most prominent chefs, Meir Adoni. But, this cooking lesson doesn’t come with the expensive price tag. This Lifestyle/Food & Drink app brings comprehensive step-by-step cooking instructions, stunning photos, videos and more right to your iPad and into your kitchen.

Today’s Apps Gone Free: Ninja Slash, FunSlides, Mind Watering And More

Just look and cook with this mesmerizing digital cookbook. It includes a total of 51 master chef recipes, including seven vegan dishes. Each one includes a single beautiful photo that allows you to see exactly what the dish is about.

Mind Watering: Cook up a delicious meal with this beautiful, step-by-step cookbook guide

Being able to cook for yourself is an important skill to have, as it promotes healthy eating and gives you a moment to just relax. Mind Watering is today’s iPad app that’s all about good cooking, and here’s why you should check it out.

‘Mind Watering’ – The Visually Stunning Step-By-Step Cookbook. Was $2.99, Now FREE!

By spending just a few minutes with the app, you can potentially learn dozens of professional cooking techniques, tips and tricks — Plus, with the app’s built-in event filter you can find recipes for the specific events in your life, from a romantic dinner to lunch for the kids, allowing you to choose which dish might best suit those events.

iOS eCookbook App ‘Mind Watering’ Will Have Your Mouth Watering

I’m not the 1 who does the cooking in my family. I used to cook, though, & can fully appreciate how easy the iPad app Mind Watering makes it look, with step-by-step instructions, to create amazing meals that can easily be classified as food porn due to the presentation of the dishes alone.

Big thank you!!!

Start Cooking Green! We’re Launching a Full Vegan Chapter

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As you know, we at Kinetic Art promote green living and so, we worked around the clock in order to launch a new vegan chapter, full of mouth watering and diverse vegan pleasures. we took it upon ourselves to provide you with sexy and delicious vegan treats in high resolution photos and videos, so that you can cook green the “Look&Cook” way.

image00Some of our scrumptious recipes include “Exotic Sweet Soup with Mini Tapioca Pears” and “King Trumpet Mushrooms with Forbidden Rice and Porcini Cream”

Feel free to tell us what you think on our Facebook page!

Enjoy!

Kinetic Art Team

“New and Noteworthy” with over 90,000 Downloads

Today we have some updates to share with you. We’re thrilled to inform you that over 48 hours, “Mind Watering: Look&Cook” registered over 90,000 downloads! and the feedback has been amazing ! thank you all for your heartwarming words and keep telling us what you think of the app – we’re listening!

Featured on App Store - Food and Drink

Also, over the past week, “Mind Watering: Look&Cook” was chosen by Apple to be featured as “New and Noteworthy” and we’ll like to thank Apple for the support, and you guys for making this app such a success! We are thinking of all kinds of new surprises for you, so stay tuned.

New Update for Look&Cook – Hebrew, Facebook Sharing and Most Important On Sale for 1.99$

1We are excited to announce a new major update on itunes of Look&Cook Full Edition and Look&Cook Free Taste. In the new version we have added full support for hebrew so in the same app you get both the english version and the hebrew version as well. In one click you can switch languages which also changes units, measurements, pictures and more..

4Another cool feature we added is facebook sharing where you can share every image in the book, yes, every image with your friends on facebook. We are in love with the pictures in the book and we love to brag about them on facebook and we thought you would enjoy it too:) Look for the facebook symbol on every image! Once click and the whole world knows:)

Sale!!!
For the holidays season (Passover) and to celebrate our new “Hebrew” release we are putting our app on sale for just 1.99$, it will be on sale only until the end of the month so hurry up!

Enjoy!

Kinetic Art Team

Recipe of The Week: Eggs Benedict with Yuzu Hollandaise

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Ingredients

¼ cup white wine vinegar
8 eggs
4 slices brioche or challah bread
1 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons cream cheese
1 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
4 ounces smoked salmon, thinly sliced
1 bunch arugula leaves, washed and dried
2 tablespoons capers
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For hollandaise-yuzu sauce
Clarified butter made from 8 ounces unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
1 flat teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons bottled yuzu juice (available in Asian markets) or lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Sea salt
2 tablespoons cold water

Preparation

  • To make clarified butter: Place 8 ounces butter in small, heavy pot over moderately low flame. Remove foam from the surface of the butter as it rises. Pour remaining clear fat into a container. Discard milk solid at bottom of pot. Clarified butter can keep in the refrigerator for months and can be used for frying and baking at high temperatures.
  • Preparing a bain-marie: Put a saucepan filled with water on low heat. Place a bowl over the saucepan to create a bain-marie. Bring the water to a gentle boil, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
  • Preparing the hollandaise sauce: In a bowl, whisk together 3 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon mustard, 1 chopped shallot, 2 tablespoons yuzu, and 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar until blended. Pour in a slow stream of butter while continuing to whisk, until sauce acquires the texture of mayonnaise. Season with salt, add 2 tablespoons cold water, and turn off heat. Leave bowl in saucepan to keep warm. The sauce will not keep for more than a couple of hours, and cannot be reheated.
  • Poaching the eggs: Heat 8 cups water in a pot, add ¼ cup vinegar, and bring to a near boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Break one egg into a small bowl. Use a spoon to rapidly swirl water in pot while gently slipping the egg into its center. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove when egg white sets around yolk. Place poached egg in ice water. Poach remaining eggs, keeping pot on a very low flame.
  • Toast 4 slices of bread in a pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Spread 1 tablespoon of cream cheese on each slice of bread and arrange on a serving plate. Cover each slice of bread with slices of avocado and smoked salmon, and garnish with arugula leaves.
  • Return the eggs to boiling water for 20 seconds to heat through. Place two eggs on each slice of toast.
  • Pour the sauce on and around the eggs, garnish with capers, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Check out the gorgeous result video here.

Tons of Love from Israeli Media:)

We are getting great coverage on Israeli major newspapers:

We are flattered and happy:) Big Thank You!!