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GORK
 
Critique my HTML5 Mobile App

Hi guys.
So, i am a bit of an HTML5 evangelist, and also a commuter, who got tired of the Podcast-listening experience i could get using native Apps on my IPhone. So i decided to make something better, something that could work on any device, something that would stream without stopping, and something where i can pause a podcast on one device, and simply resume on a different device. I created http://www.podcaster.mobi

It is still early days, so i would really apriciate it if someone here would be willing to give me some feedback on the user experience on your device, be it a phone or tablet running IOS, Android or Windows Phone, or even a PC or MAC. Any feedback and / or constructive criticism will be HUGELY appriciated, and seriously considered!
Old 11-12-2012, 01:59 PM GORK is offline  
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Fiah
Sinds ik als transseksuele prostituee bezig ben, heb ik mezelf eindelijk leren accepteren. PM me voo
 
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Not even a 10K, seems legit.

It works! It works as advertized on my android phone (Huawei single core 1ghz, android 4.0, chrome) and that is pretty neat. It looks pretty nice, too. Loading time is dreadful though on my home broadband, and responsiveness is deep into 'is this even working?' territory. Not to diss your app, just an honest description of my experience.

Anyhow, I've dabbled my toe in a bit of mobile stuff, and in my experience native UI elements are way better than anything the mobile browsers can come up with. I haven't really tried any real native development though, but I've had some success making a prototype app using Titanium Studio. The basic app (using QR scan plugin, store stuff in DB, poke web api) that I made worked far better in Titanium than in Phonegap + Jquery Mobile. The JQuery Mobile way looked far better, but responsiveness was piss poor. The Titanium app looked like ass, but felt like a genuine native app, even though the programming is done in JS.
Basically, the responsiveness of what I programmed with Phonegap and JQM was more or less equal to your application, even though my application had fewer UI elements. After doing the same thing in Titanium Studio, the difference was night-and-day, the app actually did stuff as soon as you touched the button and the whole thing was done before the JQM based app even reacted.

I share your view that HTML5/JS based apps will probably become even bigger on mobile devices than they already are, but that depends a lot on the pace with which smartphones increase in processing power.

After writing this rant on performance of native vs HTML5, I just tried it on my girlfriends Nexus 7. The performance of your app on the Nexus 7 is LIGHTYEARS ahead of my paltry smartphone. It almost makes me feel like my smartphone is defective. On the Nexus 7, your app feels responsive enough to not care at all that it's not native. My only gripe is that I can't switch away from the app to something else without the audio pausing. Switching back doesn't really work either.

I hope this helps a bit.

QR code for those who don't like their smartphone's keyboard:

Old 11-12-2012, 02:25 PM Fiah is offline  
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GORK
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiah View Post
Not even a 10K, seems legit.

It works! It works as advertized on my android phone (Huawei single core 1ghz, android 4.0, chrome) and that is pretty neat. It looks pretty nice, too. Loading time is dreadful though on my home broadband, and responsiveness is deep into 'is this even working?' territory. Not to diss your app, just an honest description of my experience.

Anyhow, I've dabbled my toe in a bit of mobile stuff, and in my experience native UI elements are way better than anything the mobile browsers can come up with. I haven't really tried any real native development though, but I've had some success making a prototype app using Titanium Studio. The basic app (using QR scan plugin, store stuff in DB, poke web api) that I made worked far better in Titanium than in Phonegap + Jquery Mobile. The JQuery Mobile way looked far better, but responsiveness was piss poor. The Titanium app looked like ass, but felt like a genuine native app, even though the programming is done in JS.
Basically, the responsiveness of what I programmed with Phonegap and JQM was more or less equal to your application, even though my application had fewer UI elements. After doing the same thing in Titanium Studio, the difference was night-and-day, the app actually did stuff as soon as you touched the button and the whole thing was done before the JQM based app even reacted.

I share your view that HTML5/JS based apps will probably become even bigger on mobile devices than they already are, but that depends a lot on the pace with which smartphones increase in processing power.

After writing this rant on performance of native vs HTML5, I just tried it on my girlfriends Nexus 7. The performance of your app on the Nexus 7 is LIGHTYEARS ahead of my paltry smartphone. It almost makes me feel like my smartphone is defective. On the Nexus 7, your app feels responsive enough to not care at all that it's not native. My only gripe is that I can't switch away from the app to something else without the audio pausing. Switching back doesn't really work either.

I hope this helps a bit.

QR code for those who don't like their smartphone's keyboard:


Thanks man!
That kind of feedback was exactly what i was looking for!

My experience is also that on newer devices, the jQuery Mobile + javascript performance is greatly improved compared to my IPhone 4. I have been hunting better load times, and have at least halved it since early versions of the player, but still i am not really satisfied on slow(ish) devices, your feedback confirms that it's something i really need to maximize.

With regards to switching away, on the deivices i tested on (IOS4 + Android 2.3) i could both minimize the browser, and do something else with the podcast playing in the background, and i can also open new tabs in my browser with it playing in its own tab, no problem. Maybe Android is closing it down in some cases due to memory restrictions?

When i was using the native player on my IPhone, i could listen to on average 1-2 podcast episodes driving to work before the player would crash, and not remember where i left off. This has not happened once with podcaster.mobi, so i feel the stability is pretty good, and personally use it for about 2 hours a day.

Load time and UI responsiveness is at the top of my list

Thanks again!
/Alex
Old 11-13-2012, 12:47 AM GORK is offline  
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Zombiedinejad
 
First off, I'd get rid of the white element separating the play button and the podcast content below it. I thought it was a search box and tried to click in it :/



Looks good though. Simple, uncluttered with easy navigation (at least those are my first impressions).

(Windows 7 PC. Is there an actual app or do you just access it through the website?)
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:19 PM Zombiedinejad is offline  
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GORK
 
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First off, I'd get rid of the white element separating the play button and the podcast content below it. I thought it was a search box and tried to click in it :/



Looks good though. Simple, uncluttered with easy navigation (at least those are my first impressions).

(Windows 7 PC. Is there an actual app or do you just access it through the website?)

Good point! Actually the white bar is a progress bar, and can be clicked (PC), and/or dragged (Touch devices), but i see how that is hard to see when no podcast is loaded (See screenshots here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Podca...04949029662395 Maybe i should hide the progress bar untill after a Podcast starts playing...

It is a cross-platform Web App, so there is no downloadable App as such, but it is actually using HTML5 AppCache, so the files used for it are only downloaded the first time you open it with your browser, and whenever i make an update to the App. The App is also available through Open App Market: http://openappmkt.com/app/504ce8062a...Podcaster.mobi

One of the things i am having a really hard time doing is marketing / spreading the word about the App. This part seems hard with a Web App, where i don't have the visibility a Native App might get in the respective App stores... does anyone here have any experience or good ideas in this regard?
Old 11-13-2012, 10:48 PM GORK is offline  
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Jas101
 
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i dont like it.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:32 AM Jas101 is offline  
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Ygdrasil9000
 
it sucks!


/didn't look at it
Old 11-15-2012, 08:57 AM Ygdrasil9000 is offline  
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GORK
 
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i dont like it.

Great! That's information!

Mind telling me why you don't like it? Is it slow, ugly, does not do what you expected?

Give it to me straight, tell me why it sucks!
Old 11-16-2012, 01:06 AM GORK is offline  
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GhEttOrAiD
<--- EVOM
 
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I like what you've done here.

Not a regular podcast listener, primarily because I don't know what's available, and managing podcast downloads/syncing to my iPhone is cumbersome. podcaster.mobi gives me a browsable list of what's out there, I'm trying new stuff, don't have to fumble with getting up to date podcasts... Good stuff.

I have found that I absolutely *must* keep Safari running in the background between listening sessions so that I don't lose the podcast i was on (or my place in the podcast) But really this is no different from Sirius/Pandora/Slacker so that's not a big deal.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:02 AM GhEttOrAiD is offline  
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GORK
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhEttOrAiD View Post
I like what you've done here.

Not a regular podcast listener, primarily because I don't know what's available, and managing podcast downloads/syncing to my iPhone is cumbersome. podcaster.mobi gives me a browsable list of what's out there, I'm trying new stuff, don't have to fumble with getting up to date podcasts... Good stuff.

I have found that I absolutely *must* keep Safari running in the background between listening sessions so that I don't lose the podcast i was on (or my place in the podcast) But really this is no different from Sirius/Pandora/Slacker so that's not a big deal.

Glad you like it! Which device are you using? If it's HTML5 capable, it should be able to store your progress in HTML5 local storage... Perhaps you somehow disabled this feature? Alternatively the Facebook connect feature will let it store that stuff server-side for you.
Old 11-16-2012, 11:21 AM GORK is offline  
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GhEttOrAiD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GORK View Post
Glad you like it! Which device are you using? If it's HTML5 capable, it should be able to store your progress in HTML5 local storage... Perhaps you somehow disabled this feature? Alternatively the Facebook connect feature will let it store that stuff server-side for you.

iPhone 4
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:36 PM GhEttOrAiD is offline  
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Xcric
i have 3 girlfriends but they dont know it yet
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GORK View Post
Glad you like it! Which device are you using? If it's HTML5 capable, it should be able to store your progress in HTML5 local storage... Perhaps you somehow disabled this feature? Alternatively the Facebook connect feature will let it store that stuff server-side for you.

take what he says with a grain of salt. he sucks at everything. especially cars and world of warcraft.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:01 PM Xcric is offline  
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I Sell Your Kid Drugs
 
Wow! This is awesome, I just got an android phone to mess around with and this is the answer to all my problems! As a big fan of radio, and as someone who used an ipod in my car for years I have become very addicted to certain podcasts. I didn't realize there was no native podcast directory in the android music player or anything, and the free podcast apps I found were problematic. Your site fixes all my problems! I did notice the loading time was a little slow, but I don't know if thats your site, or the podcast's servers. Keep updating it man, this is great! 10/10 A++++++++
Old 11-23-2012, 09:36 PM I Sell Your Kid Drugs is offline  
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Flumbooze
 
It's looking good on my Xperia U and the loading times aren't bad. One thing though, why don't you enable T9 on the app? I hate typing when I have to type one fucking letter at a time.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:20 AM Flumbooze is offline  
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GORK
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I Sell Your Kid Drugs View Post
Wow! This is awesome, I just got an android phone to mess around with and this is the answer to all my problems! As a big fan of radio, and as someone who used an ipod in my car for years I have become very addicted to certain podcasts. I didn't realize there was no native podcast directory in the android music player or anything, and the free podcast apps I found were problematic. Your site fixes all my problems! I did notice the loading time was a little slow, but I don't know if thats your site, or the podcast's servers. Keep updating it man, this is great! 10/10 A++++++++

Wow, thanks for the kind words!
I promise to keep hunting every millisecond in the loading times department, and to keep making the Web App as good as i can! If you wish to help me, you can like and share my Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/pages/Podca...04949029662395 Which is also a good place to contribute with ideas and suggestions. I will definately take everything posted there seriously!
Old 11-24-2012, 08:28 AM GORK is offline  
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