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An iOS Developer Takes on Android


Recently, we released the Android version of Meridian, our platform for building location-based apps.

We didn’t use one of these “Cross Platform!” tools like Titanium. We wrote it, from scratch, in Java, like you do in Android.

We decided it was important to keep the native stuff native, and to respect each platform’s conventions as much as possible. Some conventions are easy to follow, like putting our tabs on the top. Other conventions go deep into the Android Way, like handling Intents, closing old Activities, implementing Search Providers, and being strict about references to help the garbage collector.

Now, our platform leverages HTML5 (buzzword, sorry) in many places for branding and content display, so we got a fair amount of UI for free. But there was much platform code written in Objective-C that needed translation into Java, such as map navigation, directions, and location switching.

So, we rolled up our sleeves, downloaded the Android SDK, and got to work.

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While I generally don’t approve of Pat’s new “let’s videotape everyone all the time with this beefy new 64gb iPhone 4S so we can catch them in awkward moments and then gif the fuck out of them” game, I can at least get behind this as maybe the most fitting portrait of me ever taken.

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