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The latest entrée into the Windows Store from the Boston area comes from Joseph Anderson of JMA Web Technologies. I first met Joseph last fall to see if he might be interested in bringing some of his Windows Phone applications to Windows 8, but at the time he was working on his new venture on iOS and Android, and that’s what eventually became Mobile Dine Out on Windows 8.
I asked Joseph to provide a few words on his experiences in building the application, particularly in light of his cross-platform skillset, and here’s what he had to say:
Mobile Dine Out is the fastest and easiest way to order food online, using your mobile device. The software offers real-time menus, photographs, nutrition facts, and an order history. Mobile Dine Out makes restaurant menus mobile friendly, which makes the ordering experience faster. By remembering your favorite restaurants and order history on your device, the software makes ordering your favorite food faster than conventional websites.
Friends and colleagues approached me to develop the software. My friend’s business subscribed to another online ordering service, which had made several million dollars, and he wanted to make his own. My colleague showed me an article from the Financial Times describing the rise of Android and I wanted to develop mobile applications for my customers. I made the app as a demo for iOS and Android. A local restaurant volunteered their logos and menu for the project, which they use as their custom restaurant app.
I code XAML with Windows Phone 7 and the language was familiar to me. I am familiar with MVVM and converters from WP7, which sped up my development.
Using a class library project, I share business logic between Android, iOS, and Windows. This reduces about ½ the code necessary to start a new app. Since the Android and iOS versions use MonoTouch, a software that uses C# on mobile devices, I can easily translate the code to Windows 8.