Building Apps JSON style


Developing apps for mobile devices requires considering the constraints and features of these devices. Mobile devices run on battery and have less powerful processors than personal computers and also have more features such as location detection and cameras. Developers also have to consider a wide array of screen sizes, hardware specifications and configurations because of intense competition in mobile software and changes within each of the platforms. Then there is challenge to make app as interactive and user friendly as possible. Mobile content management is also another major key area.

Recently, I started an Android project on an idea I got. It was supposed to be an simple app for my parents and own personal use. Due to limited time I had, was looking for an framework or system which would make app development less complicated. I didn’t had anything particular in mind but wanted a system that can abstract many complicated things in underlying layer(Android in my case) and let me work on just the important core stuff.

Sometime back, while surfing on Github explore projects section, I came across this project. It was exactly what I was looking for. Jasonette, as it is called, takes a JSON file from any server pointed to, parses it and delivers a app on the fly. This JSON contains all the required properties such as layout details, data to be populated and external event management. True to what their project states “One JSON to rule them all.

2017-04-27 13_20_58-Jasonette - Native App over HTTP

I downloaded their project and tested a quick sample. It worked!!! The project is actively supported on GitHub and new features are being added even as I write this. As an programmer will know, it has bugs and some features missing. But one big advantage is that it is open source. It can be extended as per requirement or users can contribute directly into its development.

Their official website has extensive documentation on usage and even have samples. Some users have apps live on Google Play developed on using this framework. For me, it makes sense as I need to update s single JSON file each time I wanted some minor changes instead of going and making code changes and re-generating apk file. Of-course, this will won’t work much in case of big complicated and large scaled apps but small, simpler ones will fit perfectly.

Give it a try if you are into app development. It is even more interesting for it’s working perspective if you wanna dig deeper into it’s architecture and functionality.

The whole project is hosted on GitHub. Get Jasonette for Android from here and for iOS from here.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Pass the information on. Share this post and let your friends know too.  Thanks.

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