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Issue 13

27 February 2019

by Lori Olson

One of the things I love about application development is the power it has to change lives. This local story highlighted a huge change for the people of Alberta, the province where I live. The province has had an electronic system where health records are kept for many years. We have socialized health care here in Canada, but the delivery of that system is in the hands of our provincial governments. I still remember when my mom, who worked as a clerk at a medical laboratory, first had to start uploading information from the lab to the province. That was a long time ago, and it was mostly focused on billing. Today, we have an app that will let all Albertans see their own personal health information. Lab tests, immunization records, X-rays, all of it. Up until now, if I wanted to know the results of any tests my doctor ran, I had to call my doctor’s office, and actually talk to his nurse. What an incredible waste of a valuable health professional’s time that has been. Now, we’ll also be able to sync information from our health tracking devices so that our doctor can help monitor serious conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and maybe catch us before we end up at a crisis. And honestly?… I’d rather have my health info managed by someone who is actually paid to keep me healthy, not monetizing my data for their own profit.

What does this have to do with RubyMotion? Not a lot right now. But we are barely scratching the surface of the health data that is being captured by our phones and our Apple Watches. This is definitely where I see a lot of opportunities for new applications in the near future. What apps would you like to see? Hit reply and let me know. If I get enough responses, I’ll produce a summary for an upcoming newsletter.

I’m running a couple days behind schedule on the setting up the sales page for 6 Pack Apps, so no big pre-sale this week 😞 Next week for sure, though!

Meanwhile, I did find this interesting tweet about native vs hybrid web applications last week. This is one of the reasons I wanted to go native as well, and why I chose RubyMotion. You get to create native applications on both iOS & Android, with a single, stable language.

Slack Highlights

I misfiled this one from a couple of weeks ago. Have you ever heard of appetize.io? It’s a service that lets you upload a native app build, and have it run in a browser. Well, Will Jessop was trying to upload his RubyMotion app, and had some problems, because they wanted a simulator release build of your app, and we don’t have a Rake task to create one of those. No worries, though, because the kind folks at appetize.io fixed it so we can upload development builds. If you just want to play with it, they have a free trial plan.

And we have a new release! This week RubyMotion 5.17 dropped. Amir says there’s a long changelog, so remember to read it all!

And if you haven’t signed up for Slack yet, you can get access by going to motioneers.herokuapp.com.

Gem of the Week

This week we have a sample project from Travis Millican, called rm-android-jni, that illustrates how to call a native C library via JNI from RubyMotion on Android. Yes, I think my mind just 🤯 after typing that sentence. It’s definitely not pretty, but it works.

I’m featuring RubyMotion gems here each week. Sometimes because they are awesome, and sometimes because they need some love. Remember, if you have a gem you’d like featured, just reply to this email, or you can PM me in Slack!

Community

It’s been a while since anyone new introduced themselves on the Hello World post on the community forum. If you haven’t done so, please do pop over and say hey! It’s a nice way to see what people are working on.

This week from Twitter we have Amir’s rant about the “dev box burden” of Android development vs iOS development. That’s a fairly extreme difference, and might explain where all my SSD space disappeared to!

App Highlight of the Week

Super excited to finally see what Andrew Haven has been working on. Arsenal is the world’s first intelligent camera assistant for DSLR and mirrorless cameras. By combining this mobile app and Arsenal’s ultralight hardware you get complete control over your camera from your smartphone! Arsenal Remote is the associated iOS app written with RubyMotion!

Thanks, Andrew, for stepping up, but… I’m STILL OUT OF more apps to feature, so if you have an app (even if it’s not in any of the App Stores) send me the details, and I’ll add it to the list to be featured!

This week I learned about kitty, the fast, featureful, GPU based terminal emulator for macOS and Linux. It uses OpenGL to offload rendering to the GPU, to reduce system load and allows buttery smooth scrolling.


That’s it for this week!

Regards, Lori

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