XPages Tip: How to apply different styles for mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, …)

I got stuck yesterday when I tried to shape my application to look different on different mobile devices. I wanted to have an iPhone look when the app gets opened with an iPhone and an Android look when it gets accessed with an Android phone. I knew that there were capabilities to achieve this but I could not find these. Now, as usual, the trick is easy.

There are properties that can be set in the xsp.properies file. First of all you have to find and access the file. Well, those of you out there working with XPages every day, proceed to the next paragraph. All others: Open the database in Domino Designer. Switch to the Java Perspective via the menu „Window\Open Perspective\Java“ and in the outline move to the „WebContent\WEB-INF“ folder.

Open the „xsp.properties“ file by double-clicking on it. Move to the „Source“ Tab. Use the following snippet to define your styles (Click on the image to get to the snippet):

Sametime 8.5.2 adds Android Client

A long missing feature has been added to Sametime 8.5.2. A client for Android devices is now available! There has been an alternative client for a couple of weeks called QuipIM, but I guess everyone has been waiting for the „real“ client, right? Now finally it has arrived. The documentation has been posted on the Sametime Wiki Pages.

I will give it a try in the next couple of days with a detailed comparison to QuipIM and be back with first impressions. So stay tuned.

BTW: There are clients for other mobile platforms as well:

Blackberry PlayBook – A real iPad competitor?

RIM is about to release the Blackberry Playbook. It’s going to be shipped in the US and Canada on April 19th. But will it be a real competitor to the iPad (2) or Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets?

Let’s face it: A tablet is cool! It is state of the art and you have to have one nowadays, right? You sit on your couch and the movie is boring. What if you had a tablet to check your mails and twitter stream and to pass by planetlotus.org. Sure, you could take your smartphone. But is it as cool as a tablet and as enjoyable? NO!

So, now that the iPad is not anymore the only tablet out there, which one should I get? Is the BB Playbook a real competitor to the iPad or Android tablets? I couldn’t lay my hand on a PlayBook yet, but there are a lot of people out there who did.

  • Crackberry.com states that the PlayBook is a brand new and exciting Blackberry experience.
  • Techradar.com says that in terms of being able to easily find and load apps, manage your music and videos, play games and browse the web, BlackBerry has an absolute gem on its hands.
  • ITPro thinks that he best business feature of this phone though was the ability to link up with a BlackBerry smartphone via Bluetooth.
  • Pocket-lint means from what they’ve seen so far, and having now actually used the PlayBook, they can see that it will appeal to BlackBerry users, but the slightly quirky approach that the PlayBook takes to connectivity and functions will deter those looking for a complete feature set.

So, different opinions but a start for everyone thinking about getting a tablet to take the PlayBook into consideration.

Review: QuipIM – First Sametime Client for iPhone and Android

In yesterday’s post I presented a newcomer in the market: QuipIM – the first Lotus Sametime Client for iPhone and Android. I downloaded the software to my android device and started testing it straight away. In this post I want to share my results and impressions.

The installation process is as easy as any other app. Just open the android market, search for QuipIM and download and install the software. Once installed you can open it and will be presented with a button named „Add new account“.

Following this order I entered my account details. Here’s is an example I copied from androidzoom.

Now you end up with your newly created account and your buddy lists. QuipIM shows all buddy lists that you manage with your Samtime Desktop Client. You can switch between the list via a combo box as you can see on the screenshot on the right hand side. Just tap on a buddy to start a new conversation. A new window opens that shows the conversations and a small field to enter messages. A send button sends new messages to your chat buddy.

All conversations will be saved by default. There is no option to disable chat histories. The number of settings is rather small right now. Given that this is the first version we can not expect to get a full tweak environment. You can set a time of day to disconnect all accounts automatically. You can decide whether to use a sound, vibration or none of these when new messages arrive. If you want your LED to flash on new IMs then tick the appropriate box. That’s about it.

QuipIM can handle multiple accounts. I added my company account, Lotus Greenhouse and Euluc. It works fine so far. I experienced some minor problems during weak mobile connections. QuipIM keeps disconnecting my accounts. In 3G or WiFi environments it works like a charm.

This is the first version of the first sametime client for iPhone or Android. Don’t expect a high-end solution. It’s a basic app that does what it’s been designed for.

What I miss:

  • Hide people who are offline
  • Show the device of people connected
  • Start multi person chats

For as long as IBM won’t provide a native client I will use QuipIM.

Sametime Client for iPhone and Android available

Are you like me waiting for a Lotus Sametime Client for iPhone or Android? Guess what, there is one and the best thing is: it’s free of charge! IBM hasn’t managed to provide a Sametime Client yet so some equally impatiant people have developed their own client. It’s called QuipIM for Sametime.

Features include:

  • Manage your connections to multiple accounts.
  • Manage your buddy list, including adding and removing buddies and groups.
  • Easily switch between active conversations using a swipe.
  • Set your status and a custom status message.
  • Easily access and manage your conversation history.

So go ahead and give it a try for as long as IBM won’t release a native client! It is either available from the android market or the apple app store (coming soon!).

UPDATE

I just posted a review for this app.

Lotus Traveler on Android – What’s good and what’s not

I dropped my BB Bold in late december and started to use a new HTC Desire HD in january. My Bold served as a mobile mail and calendar client primarily and I didn’t use it to surf the web or install apps on it. So seeing all those iPhones and Android Smartphones out there with so many more capabilities than my Bold I definitely wanted one too. I am no Apple fan and haven’t had any Apple device at all so my choice was Android. I checked the market and finally went with the Desire HD. The BB Torch was on my list for a couple of minutes but I reckon Android the better and more flexible system.

Now with this decision made and the loss of my BB Enterprise Server connection I was happy that Lotus Traveler for android had just been released. Now after 6 weeks of intensive usage I want to share my impressions. Here are the things I like and the things that could be better:

What I like

  • Writing texts on my Bold was quick and easy and when you are used to that you do not want to step back and go for the worse. So I was sceptical about the touch keyboard but I must say, it’s almost as quick and easy to write on as it was on my Bold. I know this is nothing traveler handles but to me it’s one of the most important issues when using traveler.
  • Adding recipients to mails or calendar entries is so easy. Just type names and you get a list of matches from your contacts. And here is the good news: It’s not only contacts from your LN N&A or your corporate directory, it’s also contacts from your Facebook, … accounts as long as you allow them to synchronise with your device.
  • Calendar entries can be marked private. I heard that this was impossible with prior versions of Traveler, but it works like a charm with Traveler 8.5.2. This is an important feature to me since we use our own GroupCalendar solution that grabs all appointments from my personal calendar and I want to keep my private appointments private.

What I don’t like so far

  • Calendar handling lacks some functions. Repeating meetings planned in the Notes Client cannot be edited in Traveler. I can only accept or reject invitations but I can’t add a comment. Delegation is not yet implemented, …
  • Synchronisation does not work like it should. This might be an internal problem but it is annoying whatsoever. After a couple of days of smooth synchronisation it simply stops telling me that the server does not answer. The server log says that the device’s security settings are not allowed and synchronisation is therefore prohibited. Rebooting the server solves the problem. We now decided to reboot the server once a night.
  • The signature does not allow CR/LF so you have to cope with a single lined signature. There is no way to configure a server-side signature for the devices either so this has to be improved as soon as possible.

Are you using Traveler as well? What are your impressions? What do you think has to be improved / implemented soon?

A Wish!

Since I recently dropped my Blackberry Bold and now operate a HTC Desire HD I moved from BB Enterprise Server to Lotus Traveler. It works well, but I really miss a Sametime client I got used to on my Bold.

So, my wish: Sametime Client for Android

I know that there are workarounds, but they are just workarounds. I rather wait for IBM to deliver a native solution. Believing rumors it won’t take long before IBM ships such a client. So let’s wait and see what’s being announced at Lotusphere 2011.