Made it as an experiment to work with geolocation browser API, the app returns a colour value based on your geographic location. Read more about Colordinates on my folio site.
Microsoft is exploring potential new avenues to remedy its issues with a lack of applications in the context of its rumored dual-screen mobile Surface device – which will allegedly utilize a custom version of Windows 10, referred to as Andromeda – beyond initial app expansion plans driven by Progressive Web Apps.
I had this in my mind when I heard about this rumoured device. They need developers to think about and build for smaller device form factors before they could think about launching a Surface Phone. Currently they have a hole in the form factors Windows runs on.
They seem happy being apps on other platforms right now but, the phone is the gateway for future Microsoft customers. Its the most used device for many users. What is installed by default can lock customers in to non-Microsoft services. So I think they have to try and crack this market again with their own phone.
I’ve enjoyed using the Workflow app (acquired by Apple) to create little workflows to help my dad complete tasks. Remind him at work, remember supermarket coupons, show interesting stuff, like indicate the number of people in space right now etc.
Recently he got Phillips Hue lights. I decided this was a perfect opportunity to cross Workflow with the Hue API. Yes I know, the Hue app, but where is the fun in that?
Hue API Workflow
First step was building a workflow to hook up with the Hue Bridge and pass the API commands. I followed the steps on the ‘getting started’ guide on the Phillips developer site.
For easy future editing, I broke out the ‘Bridge IP address’ and the ‘User ID’ as variables.
After a little test, I had a workflow that sent a colour value to a Hue light.
API Workflow Reuse
To avoid long complex workflows I decided to keep the Hue API workflow very simple. It just passes the colour hue value to the lights. Thats it.
Any future flows I make, their last step will be
RunWorkflow Hue API, to run that flow and pass it a colour input.
This avoids duplication. Any future change to the Hue API, will only have to be made in one place.
Carbon Intensity Workflow
I already had a flow that returned the current Carbon Intensity from their API. I modified this to extract the returned value – low, moderate or high.
Three variables with green, amber and red colour hue values were created. An odd colour hue format is the format Hue requires, unsurprisingly.
Selecting one of three values wasn’t straightforward, as Workflow only has
if/else statements, not
if/if else/else. I had to get a little creative and nest statements:
- If does not contain ‘moderate’?
- If contains ‘low’?
- Get low variable colour value (green)
- Else ‘high’
- Get high colour value (red)
- If contains ‘low’?
- Else moderate
- Get moderate value (amber)
The corresponding variable fetched, gets passed when I run the Hue API workflow and the LED strip displays the Carbon Intensity level as green, amber or red. Success.
Its a simple use case and may seem a simple project but it still threw up some interesting little problems to solve etc. I enjoy using and looking for excuses to use Workflow app.
I am interested in the ability of iOS 12 to use Siri Automation with custom phrases to accomplish the same functionality.
I am also hoping for the day when the Carbon Intensity is low by default.
Joining the Great British Bee Count is a great way to learn about bees – and helping experts learn more too.
Thousands of your verified bee sightings will contribute to the national Pollinator Monitoring Scheme – the first comprehensive health check of Britain’s bees and other pollinators.
Take part from 17 May–30th June.
Twitter is the first big name to switch its Universal Windows App over to a PWA, and there will likely be many more. These web apps look like they will be the future of many Windows apps.
I am fascinated to see how this approach works out, how people take to hosted web apps and PWAs when they become common in the Windows Store.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) can be the next platform – with Chrome, Samsung Internet and now Firefox Mobile supporting the concept and Safari in future. PWA can sit seamlessly alongside native apps right now on your device and soon in the app stores.
Desktop support is in progress, congratulations if you are a web developer you may be called software developer in future, as the two disciplines will be indistinguishable in future. As will any concept of a ‘mobile’ browser, as now the OS are starting to run on any form factor.
Truly multi-platform progress.
Amazon.com is reportedly working on launching its own messaging app called Anytime, according to a report from AFTV News. The retail giant has begun to survey its customers about potential features, although it’s not clear what form the final product will take.
Its not perhaps something anyone would have thought to demand from Amazon – but, the difference is if Facebook alienate enough users from their assorted apps, near everyone already has an Amazon account. Moving friends wholesale wouldn’t have the friction and resistance from people it might have, compared to an entirely new and untested company.
Our bees are in trouble – can you help? Join Friends of the Earth’s Great British Bee Count from 19 May to 30 June 2017, and our free app will get you off to a flying start in identifying and recording different species.
By taking part, you’ll learn more about our brilliant bees and easy ways to help them. It’s also a great nature activity to do with children – encouraging them to get up close with these wonderful insects.
You’ll be helping experts build our understanding of different species. For example, how they’re coping with impacts such as climate change and habitat loss – so that ultimately we might reverse their decline.
One of my first thoughts about the recently announced Windows 10 S, was the lack of iTunes being an issue. Apple is not known for bringing their apps to other platforms.
I imagine there was a back and forth chat playing Apple and Spotify off against each other.
I hope they do it properly but I have a suspicion they will do the minimum. I’d like to see something new with Live Tiles and covert art. I imagine when they break out iTunes into Apple Music, Videos and Podcast app on the desktop, they will eventually come across as Windows UWP apps.