Gosh, our code-monkeys have been busy. They’ve only gone and produced yet another new release of Spot Specific.
The List Menu widget in action, shown here in Android mode
This time, we’re pleased to announce a brand new widget, and something that should save you a lot of time when assembling apps. It’s called the List Menu widget, and it makes it really easy to include a vertically-orientated menu containing a customised selection of screens. So creating a navigation structure it easier than ever before. Please note that the List Menu widget is still being finalised, so do let us know if you encounter any problems with it.
We’ve also included a variety of improvements to the Simulator, which allow it to better represent the capabilities of a mobile device. Firstly, we’ve added the capability to ‘zoom’ in and out and pan around, where screens have a scrollable width and height.
The device controls window, showing the zoom control.
We’ve also revised the screen controls, including a clearer platform switch, to allow you to preview your screen in both Android and iPhone modes. The screen controls also include a button which toggles the Device Controls window, enabling access to the zoom function (shown at the left).
New Library app: Lochs 1.0 (pan-and-zoom tutorial)
When it comes to new features, it’s always useful to have an example of how they can be used. Two releases ago, we brought you the App Library, an easy way to import example apps into your account to build upon, or just have a look at. We’re using the App Library to bring you a new demonstrator/tutorial app called Lochs 1.0, which shows just how easily you can build a zooming/panning navigational screen using the new capabilities of Spot Specific 8.891.
The app is designed around a panning/scrolling map, which includes a number of navigation buttons to bring the user to other screens. This kind of interaction can be much more compelling than a simple set of buttons (or even one of our new List Menus), since it can add context to navigation, building a more immersive app experience.
The app is deliberately very simple: just a few content screens with rudimentary text and images on Native screens, and the navigation map screen, constructed from an image and some Image Button widgets. We’ll be extending it incrementally over the coming weeks to show how, with simple styling changes, you can create a cohesive visual identity for your app.
You’re free to take the app and build upon it, substituting your own images, content and screens. We hope you can follow along with the tutorial as the app advances over the coming weeks.
We’ll also be publishing more information related to this tutorial in other formats (screencasts and wiki pages) soon, so stay tuned.
The app is available to import into your account right now, so give it a go!