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Seven Mobile Apps in Seven Weeks: Native Apps, Multiple Platforms


Cover image for Seven Mobile Apps in Seven Weeks

Seven Mobile Apps in Seven Weeks

Native Apps, Multiple Platforms


Answer the question “Can we build this for ALL the devices?” with a resounding YES. Learn how to build apps using seven different platforms: Mobile Web, iOS, Android, Windows, RubyMotion, React Native, and Xamarin. Find out which cross-platform solution makes the most sense for your needs, whether you’re new to mobile or an experienced developer expanding your options. Start covering all of the mobile world today.

Customer Reviews

Tony does an excellent job at explaining the Xamarin concepts to first-time users!
His fun tutorials keep the reader engaged while teaching them step-by-step to
create their first mobile app in C#.

- Brandon Minnick

Customer-success engineer, Xamarin

The mobile software development landscape has never been wider than it is today.
Tony Hillerson’s Seven Mobile Apps in Seven Weeks is a wonderful approach to
showcasing the many options available for mobile application development. You’ll
find this book is a valuable learning asset regardless of whether you’re starting
fresh in the industry or looking to pick up experience on another mobile platform.
This book is the “Three Wolf Moon” of the mobile software development world.

- Joshua Jamison

Software engineer, Ride

This book will teach you so much about mobile native and hybrid development
by taking you on an in-depth journey exploring many approaches to create incredible
apps across all the major platforms. An incredible and versatile source of
knowledge that I recommend to any developer of any level.

- Daniel Wanja

VP of engineering, Blinker

I found this book much more engaging than I had anticipated. I am impressed by
the author’s ability to cover the material with a delicate balance between glossing
over important details and providing too much detail— overwhelming the reader.
I highly recommend this title to anyone interested in a practical head-to-head
comparison of modern mobile application-development approaches.

- Daniel Lamb

Senior software engineer; Technical architect and author, CoStar Group

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About this Title

Pages: 370
Published: 2016-07-29
Release: P1.0 (2016-07-27)
ISBN: 978-1-68050-148-3

Understanding the idioms, patterns, and quirks of the modern mobile platforms gives you the power to choose how you develop. Over seven weeks you’ll build seven different mobile apps using seven different tools. You’ll start out with Mobile Web; develop native apps on iOS, Android, and Windows; and finish by building apps for multiple operating systems using the native cross-platform solutions RubyMotion, React Native, and Xamarin.

For each platform, you’ll build simple, but non-trivial, apps that consume JSON data, run on multiple screen sizes, or store local data. You’ll see how to test, how to build views, and how to structure code. You’ll find out how much code it’s possible to share, how much of the underlying platform you still need to know, and ultimately, you’ll get a firm understanding of how to build apps on whichever devices your users prefer.

This book gives you enough first-hand experience to weigh the trade-offs when building mobile apps. You’ll compare writing apps on one platform versus another and understand the benefits and hidden costs of cross-platform tools. You’ll get pragmatic, hands-on experience writing apps in a multi-platform world.

Interview with Tony Hillerson, author of Seven Mobile Apps in Seven Weeks

1. Who should read this book? Mobile developers? College students?
Tony: I think anyone with programming experience, whether on mobile or not, would get something from this book. The goal is that you can get a good comparison of different platforms and tools by building apps. Since we take you through the app building, you can follow along, or see where we start and branch off with the challenges at the end of each day.

2. Can we really build seven apps in only seven weeks?
Tony: I believe it’s not difficult to follow the book at that pace, but of course you can take as much time as you’d like. Really, since the code is included it’s not so much that building the apps is the focus, but exploring the platforms by solving a small set of use cases.

3. Where did you get your information or ideas for this book?
Tony: Having been a mobile developer for a while now, this book was a book that I wanted to have. I was in a number of situations where I needed to write an app on a few platforms, or speak intelligently to questions about cross-platform mobile tools. I’ve always liked the ‘Seven in Seven’ series, and given those ingredients, the idea for this book just jumped fully formed into my head.

4. Why did you pick these particular platforms?
Tony: These platforms and tools are all native, as opposed to running in a web view. I believe the native platforms make for a better user experience. That doesn’t mean the web view based tools are necessarily bad, just that we’ve prioritized for native here. If you can learn the native platforms, you should have no trouble picking up the web view technologies later.

5. What are the top three reasons for reading this book, compared to other books or online resources?
Tony: I’m not aware of any other comparative study of mobile technologies quite like this book. The approach of quickly trying out different mobile platforms and tools side by side with others is a novel approach patterned after other ‘Seven in Seven’ books, and no others.

6. How far will this book take me? Where should I go from here?
Tony: This book walks you through building apps on Mobile Web, iOS, Android, Universal Windows Platform, Ruby Motion, Xamarin, and React Native. You’ll be able to compare your initial experience across these seven apps. After that you can dig deeper into one or more of them, or at least be able to answer common questions your clients or product owners may have. A good place to start digging deeper is with the challenges at the end of each day.

What You Need

You’ll need a computer and some experience programming. When we cover iOS, you’ll need a Mac, and when we cover Windows Phone you’ll need a computer with Windows on it. It’s helpful if you have access to an iPhone, Android phone, and Windows Phone to run the examples on the devices where mobile apps are ultimately deployed, but the simulators or emulator versions of those phones work great.

Contents & Extracts


  • * Day 0: Setting Up the API
    • Setting Up and Running the API
    • Reviewing and Testing the Endpoints
    • Now We’re Ready
  • Official Native Platforms
    • Mobile Web
      • A World-Clock App
      • Day 1: A Time for Beginnings
      • Day 2: Making Time excerpt
      • Day 3: Time to Move
      • Wrapping Up the Web App
    • iOS
      • A Weather-Forecast App
      • Day 1: What’s It Like Out?
      • Day 2: What’s It Like There?
      • Day 3: Expanding Our Horizons
      • Wrapping Up iOS
    • Android
      • A Currency-Conversion App
      • Day 1: How Far Does a Dollar Go?
      • Day 2: What Can I Get for a Buck? excerpt
      • Day 3: Time Is Money
      • Wrapping Up Android
    • Universal Windows Platform
      • A Stock-Quote App
      • Day 1: The Initial Investment
      • Day 2: Trending Up
      • Day 3: A Wider Market
      • Wrapping Up Windows Phone
  • Cross-Platform Tools
    • RubyMotion
      • A To-Do App
      • Day 1: ✓ Android
      • Day 2: ✓ iOS
      • Day 3: ✓ Cross-Platform
      • Wrapping Up RubyMotion excerpt
    • Xamarin
      • A Calculator App
      • Day 1: Adding Up the Platforms
      • Day 2: Dividing Up the Solution
      • Day 3: Subtracting Platform-Specific Code
      • Wrapping Up Xamarin
    • React Native
      • A Note-Taking App
      • Day 1: Comparing Notes
      • Day 2: Exchanging Notes
      • Day 3: Taking Note of Where We Are
      • Wrapping Up React Native


Tony Hillerson has been a mobile developer since the early days of both iPhone and Android. He’s built numerous mobile apps for numerous platforms, and often had to answer the question “which platform?” Tony has spoken at RailsConf, AnDevCon, and 360|iDev, and has created popular Android screencasts. In his free time Tony plays the bass and the Warr guitar, makes electronic music, and studies HEMA fencing.