Monday, May 13, 2013

The Ottawa City Councillor PhoneGap app

So a couple of friends of mine wanted to learn more about programming mobile applications so we decided to get together and create an application for the Apps4Ottawa competition.

We settled on creating an application that would enable folks from Ottawa to learn more about and connect with their city councillors. Sadly, I didn't even know who my city councillor was until I started working on this app.

It uses the open data Ottawa to get the city councillor information and it the Open North API to do reverse geocoding to turn your GPS co-ordinates into the correct ward.

Currently the app is available on the Google Play store and we are going through the process of getting approval for the app on the Apple store.

PhoneGap was definitely the way to go with this project. We developed pretty much in Android then when we were ready to release a version of the app we just compiled it in Xcode and it just worked. The only thing we changed were the break points for the CSS media queries to deal with the different iPhone screen sizes. Support for Windows 8 and BlackBerry 10 are also coming as we have time.

I'm going to write up a post later in the week to talk about some of the micro libraries we used in order to accelerate development.

Please give the app a try and let me know what you think of it and what can be done better. If you are so inclined we wouldn't mind a vote or two in the app in the Apps4Ottawa competition.


Dmitry Fisko said...
Tabbar displaying very small on my device.

Simon MacDonald said...

@Dmitry Fisko

Do you find it too small to use? We have different CSS for different screen sizes. What is your screen resolution?

Dmitry Fisko said...

854x480 hdpi 4"

Dmitry Fisko said...


Håkan Jacobsson Gleissman said...

Your app looks good on my Android (Sony Ericsson Xperia, Android ver 2.3.
But how come you didnt make the scrolling lists retain their scrolltop values when you go back from the person detail view? I find that really annoying.

Simon MacDonald said...

@Håkan Jacobsson Gleissman

Thanks for the feedback. I've created an issue to look into it.

Rodney Joyce said...

Hi Simon,

What did you use to style it? Is it Jquery mobile or did you hand code it?


Simon MacDonald said...

@Rodney Joyce

I hand coded the CSS. For most apps I find jQM to be overkill.

Rodney Joyce said...

Thanks - it looks good