I’m John C Bland II

Husband, Father, Tech Author, Deacon.
Founder of Katapult Media, and full-stack polyglot developer.
Political Free Agents Podcast Host.

I create. I launch.

YouTube Channel

I post regular fun on YouTube like me playing the bass and anything else I find fun. 

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All project work goes through Katapult Media. Business is open. Let’s chat.

Why we are building the Ionic Platform | The Official Ionic Blog

I realized that the vast majority of the mobile dev space had a huge blind spot and was in utter disbelief that anyone would want to build a serious mobile app with browser technologies, so they weren’t catering to the needs of hybrid devs at all. I thought Paul Graham’s What You Can’t Say post was quite fitting here: Hybrid app dev was taboo, and in many circles was not at all “cool,” so a lot of startups were ignoring it at best and fighting it at worst. And that drew me to it.

Well said. I recall when hybrid was a horrible idea (Thoughts on Flash anyone?) and many snubbed their noses at hybrid devs because they were native devs, as if learning Objective-C or Java was a badge of honor making you a superior dev. Having done mobile development for years before Apple changed our lives in 2007, I can honestly say Ionic is by far the best experience I have had as a developer. Hybrid, specifically Ionic, is becoming the solution I reach for before Xcode or Android Studio, although still not the best solution for every app.

Read on and hear it directly from Ionic why they built the platform, where it is going, and maybehow it can help you.

Source: Why we are building the Ionic Platform | The Official Ionic Blog

The Galaxy Nexus Exceeds My Expectations

Joshua Topolsky writing for The Verge:

The Galaxy Nexus exceeded (and continues to exceed) my expectations as a smartphone. It’s an extremely capable and surprisingly fun piece of gadgetry to have in your pocket, and as a first-rung Google phone, it will likely reap the benefits of the company’s innovations long before other handsets do.

Source The Verge

Apple is Laughing at Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch

They absolutely have to be laughing at Samsung’s marketing arm and their decision to give a phone 7 words within the name. I just wonder how hard the execs laughed when they heard the name. The specs probably made them take pause but the name is for the birds! At some point, manufacturers will learn simplicity in naming helps consumer purchase decisions.

Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch

Beyond such a terrible name for the S II, it is a Sprint only name! AT&T is just the Galaxy S II. I think they shouldn’t change the device per carrier. There should be one cohesive name for every carrier [ ex – iPhone, regardless of AT&T or Verizon] and the same specs per carrier. Slight changes to hardware [antenna, etc] are expected but device size, etc should not change.

With that said…I do want one. 😀

Flex Quick Tip: UrlRequest Basic Auth

I am building a mobile app [will release soon] and Basic auth is required but all the normal approaches were failing on my devices until I started looking through the available UrlRequest properties and wound up finding a gem.

URLRequestDefaults.setLoginCredentialsForHost(host, username, password);

Yes, I’m serious. No more Base64 encoding, appending text, etc to authenticate a UrlRequest. Know this is only for AIR 1.0+ but that means it works for mobile. 🙂

There isn’t anything special required. Just call the method with the appropriate details [host means domain name not protocol (http, https, …), etc]. Peep the docs and enjoy!

BlackBerry Playbook may be a hit…start dev’ing!!

I’m impressed. BlackBerry devices have never been a desire of mine but I find myself seriously considering putting my Galaxy Tab and iPad desires on hold to see where Blackberry stands price-wise.

What’s most impressive is the Playbook runs on the Adobe AIR runtime. This means AIR developers are 90% prepared to build these apps. I give the other 10% to learning the dev approach [simulator, signing, sdk, etc]. I predict the Playbook as being a big deal very soon.

I wanted to post links to dev resources so you can get started developing or porting current apps to the Playbook:

  • Flash Platform Development for BlackBerry Tablet OS [link]
  • BlackBerry Developer’s Blog [link]
  • Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR [link]

That’s a great start but what is even better is the promotion RIM is running to help entice us to start dev’ing Playbook apps: BlackBerry PlayBook Developer Promotion Information. Here is the skinny on the promotion:

“…the plan is to provide one free BlackBerry PlayBook to every registered vendor with a BlackBerry App World-approved AIR application that is available for the BlackBerry PlayBook prior to launch.”

Now, who says the Flash Platform is going to die? 😉 Rock on RIM!

Bogus Antennagate Response Videos

I’m overly bored with antennagate to start with but these response videos are annoying me. Yes, I could not watch them but the tech dude deep inside, well…maybe not that deep, is interested in the technology aspect of it. What annoys me is when someone shows the now infamous “death grip” but they are showing the “grip” in a not so normal way. On Twitter I mentioned it looked like they were getting ready to “throw a rock” and after watching a few more…I still feel this way.

I think what bothers me most is folks like @gruber are eating this up and using it as a bullet point to say “see…Apple was right, others suck too” but they are only half-right. Apple was correct about other devices, the industry knows this, but the iPhone is by far worse at exposing the fault.

Just watch some of these videos:

Notice how they have to hold the device to make it happen. People…this is not the same thing as the iPhone 4 where you can use 1 finger to destroy your call quality.

The point is…Apple blew it. No matter how many crappy videos show other devices with “death grip” problems…the iPhone 4, as Jobs stated, put a big X on it to which they can’t take away a free bumper will take away. I’m pleased with Apple’s response (free bumpers; not just us…everyone) as a business person. I thought they did a great job of deflecting but the issue still stands.

Either way Apple will continue to make boat loads of dough but I am willing to bet Apple makes significant changes in the antenna design next year. To save face, I bet the overall structure is exactly the same but they do something to prevent attenuation when held the “right way” this time (different external material around it?).

Why Android blows away the iOS, for me.

I have contemplated this blog post for a couple weeks now (and worked on it for longer), since I first started using my new Evo 4G. The title may read that of a new convert going fanboy over a new toy but trust me…I’ve seriously spent time considering both sides of this coin and I’m thoroughly convinced: Android blows away iOS. Don’t believe me? You don’t have to but I’ll still explain my points. Keep in mind, while reading, this is my opinion and is 100% based on an iPhone 3G vs the Evo 4G.


Every web developer is now a mobile developer

Ok…maybe it isn’t 1:1 in terms of skills/knowledge but consider the age of today. 5 years ago mobile stylesheets were the rave and were dang near required for every mobile device out there. Now? Nope. With Webkit running rampit on smartphones and smartphones becoming the normal end user phone, with the surge of iPhone and Android devices on the market, there is a shift from doing strict mobile development to making sure your site works on the web and Webkit.

This is pretty key and very interesting in terms of the direction our industry is heading right now. Mobile dev’ is not gone though. You still have a need to provide a scaled down version of your site, depending on what it is and depending on whether you’re using some device that can’t deliver the “whole web” or not (lol; yes, that’s a jab), for mobile devices. I much prefer not having to load non-mobile optimized ads or a two-mile navigation when attempting to load a simple blog, hint hint…mine. 😉

Either way…the point of this post is to have web developers now consider the market and device changes bringing more mobile to your web experience. Consider mobile when building your sites.

Adobe AIR + Intel = Mobile YUMMY!

Yep…that’s right. “Intel is helping bring Adobe AIR to the mobile phone.”:https://softwareblogs.intel.com/2007/09/19/adobe-integrated-runtime-on-mobile-internet-device/

While in a meeting (at work with Adobe FMS guys there) I read an email from Intel. I was blown away at Intel sending the email and not Adobe…that’s HUGE, IMO. Intel is “backing” the AIR “movement” and in a big way. I love it!

So, what can you do with AIR and mobile? Well, nothing now. Intel has a lot of information on “Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs)”:https://www.intel.com/products/mid/ and, from what I can tell, they have fully embraced and are even pushing Adobe AIR.

I tried to find an online link but I couldn’t so I took the email from Intel and put it online. I DID NOT CHANGE ANY TEXT OR INFO (other than deleting my unsubscribe link).