Patentsview Android App!

Exciting update: A beta version of my app is available on Google Play!
Get it on Google Play
I pushed an update and saw this on my phone. Too cool!

I've added a location sensor with a hook into google maps and screens to display patent cities near you! More details here and below.

Ok, so I thought I'd try my hand at app development using mit's app inventor and here is the 1.7 version!

Here's the book I found about android development at my library:
Title App Inventor 2 : create your own Android apps / David Wolber, Hal Abelson, Ellen Spertus, and Liz Looney.
Edition Second edition.
ISBN 9781491906842 (paperback)
1491906847 (paperback)

Here's a snippet of my code in app inventor to show that everything is on the up and up ;-)

About me

My day job for a while involved being on the web service side in api-land. I got to negotiate apis with some really smart and funny¹ phone developers. I'd write the web service and they'd write the mobile app code. I hadn't had the opportunity to be on the consuming side until I came across a book at my library on mit's application developer version 2. How incredibly cool! I can whip up a functioning android app without knowing anything really compared to those developers I've worked with. I built my app more or less the same way I built things out of Tinker Toys as a child, just start slapping pieces together and see what happens. Even some of the color choices in app inventor will be familiar to fellow Tinker Toyinians. My app does a Get to the /patents endpoint similar to the sample page that gets recently issued plant patents. The staggering difference is that the results are displayed on my android phone in a native android application - not in a web browser on my desktop or laptop or even in a browser on that same android device. Absolutely mind blowing!

So this won't be misconstrued, I used mit's app inventor since I could and because I have andriod devices at hand. I am fluent in java, the computer language of choice when it comes to programming native mobile apps and I am also addicted to the warm, dark beverage of the same name. I could look into alternatives of android development and even venture into the Apple arena but I took the path I did to get an app working as quickly as I could! All of that to less succinctly say that I am not trying to defend app developer or to slight Apple in any way! (This was written when App Inventor could only generate android code!)

¹ And when I say funny what I really mean is that they are witty and merciless when it comes to mocking someone who has made a programming mistake of any magnitude. It's a dangerous but endorphin packed game to play and naturally some people are better at it than others. I like to practice a controlled restraint in anticipation of the inevitable times I'll be on the receiving end. The deadliest players possess both programming prowess as well as a sharp tongue backed by a quick wit. It does make the day go by quickly when you are literally laughing out loud a good deal of the time. A surprising amount of quality work is the accidental and seemingly unintended byproduct of this game. Sure your mother may be accused of wearing army boots but the only things that really matter are can her offspring code, including while under duress when necessary, and do they bringing more than just a proverbial knife to the verbal (and also proverbial!) gun fight?