Thursday, March 31, 2011

Meetups 411 - My First BlackBerry Playbook App

My first hand-on experience with BlackBerry tablet Playbook was back to the CES 2011, I was so amazed by its style form factor and the display performance! Therefore, I had decided to give the free Playbook offer a try. To get a free Playbook you would need to submit a qualified App by the end of March!

Currently, there are two types of developing tools for Playbook - Adobe AIR and BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for Tablet OS which is a HTML/JavaScript based tool kit. I do not have any experience with AIR, so the WebWorks was my only choice to develop the App. To speed up the process, I used the Sencha Touch 1.1 as the JavaScript framework which I used to write some Apps for Android before.

The subject I picked was to use the API to create a search engine for upcoming meetup events in specified region(it can auto detect users location). "Meetups 411" is the name of the App.

This is the loading page -

A Google Map will display the markers showing the locations and meetups events in user's neighborhood -

The listing view of the events -

Fire the search function by clicking at the magnifier button -
There are three fields on the search panel :
  1. city or address - required
  2. state - optional
  3. topic - the topic you are interested in (optional)

To get more detail, click at the meetup group icon will bring you the the event web site -

This first release is just a very basic search tool for meetup events, and I did not have the real Playbook can tune the performance. Hopefully, I would have the chance to add some more functions on the next release.