My JavaScript book is out! Don't miss the opportunity to upgrade your beginner or average dev skills.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

OS X Lion Automator And Mobile NOKIA Maps

When I have read this article about Making Desktop Webapps in Lion my first thought was "cool!" instantly followed by "what about an experiment with Mobile NOKIA Maps WebApp?" ... and here I come :)

is the beta project I am working on right now together with a bounce of HTML5 geeks :P in order to bring the mature NOKIA Maps experience on Android 2.2+, iOS4+, and others already supported or "coming soon" devices.
Optimized for mobile but still usable with Desktop Chrome or Safari browser, the web app is quite "cute" seen in iPhone or other medium and small screens and this experiment was about bringing same "cuteness" on my Mac Mini as well: partially successful!

Lion Automator And WebPopup Limits

Unfortunately it is not possible to customize that much the popup browser user agent and I am not even sure what kind of engine is used there ...
With iPhone UserAgent the version exposed is 3 and Webkit 430+.
When it comes to iPad UserAgent the version is 4 while with Safari UA the version is the current one.
GeoLocation API does not seem to work, and the cache seems to be cleaned every time the app is closed.
Unfortunately these limits make the current beta less cool than usual, specially because every time the app is closed the storage seems to be reset which means last position is not shown next time, history and suggestions do not show off and even more annoying the routing "home to place" is not available due missing location.

Grab The Desktop App For OSX Lion

I have prepared everything you need to launch in your OSX Lion so you can give it a try.

Mobile NOKIA Maps For Automator and if necessary extract its content and click on the .app file.

I swear I did nothing different from what Andy Ihnatko described in its article, except changing the icon with the one downloaded automatically on iPad if you pin the website to your home screen.

If you are in OSX Lion give it a try and play around but bear in mind this beta offers much more on your smartphone ;)


Anonymous said...

How come the Nokia Maps for mobile website feels way smoother when panning than the desktop website (using Chrome 13)? Also the desktop website seems to "forget" fetched tiles (panning back and forth over the same area) and even blocks from time to time... I guess there's still quite some work for Nokia to take on Google or Microsoft for online mapping.

Andrea Giammarchi said...

man, did I say already I am working on mobile one? ;)

We are beta but not the desktop version and you can provide feedbacks directly there but I'll do what I can to point that out.

About that:
"there's still quite some work for Nokia to take on Google or Microsoft for online mapping"
what do you think is missing on our side?

I am listening :)

Anonymous said...

"what do you think is missing on our side?"

Actually (about the desktop website), it's not really that there is only one specific thing is very seriously bad or missing in particular (I mean I am not looking for new features). It's more the accumulation of unpolished/buggy/bolted-on stuff that give me the impression that it's still far from the top online mapping sites (sorry to sound harsh).

Off the top my head, here is what looks unpolished/buggy (still for the desktop website):
- the panning performance problem,
- the tile substitution is buggy,
- the blank tiles appearing when panning back and forth,
- clicking on the map in the details page of a place does not get you back to this place on the map (but to the first place whose details you looked at),
- the new places are displayed on top of everything and not as part of the tiles (so there's overlap with other map elements).
- the new heatmaps may sound cool but it's not that useful and limited in zoom level (also the panning performance drops very significantly when the heatmap/places are enabled...).
- the duplicated or mislocated points of interests is a disaster...

In contrast, the mobile version is simpler and much faster. And thus feels much more polished (it's not perfect though, with Chrome 13 (it's not one of the target browser, I understand), I get blank screen/tiles from time to time).

Andrea Giammarchi said...

so, if I understand, your summary for Desktop NOKIA Maps is:
"performances and UX problems over some buggy behavior and 'not so useful features' that once enabled make users not happy due performances implication."

on mobile it's about still some buggy behavior but the rest seems to make users happy.

You know better than me that one single person does not usually make statistics but I appreciate your detailed feedback and I will notify friends and colleagues :)