Monday, June 15, 2009

Foursquared!

In early April I started working on an Android client for Foursquare I started out with an idea that I could screenscrape enough of the mobile app to make a worthy native api but I was quick to discover other nefarious methods to get at the API that Foursquare was using on the iPhone client. Armed with wireshark and a couple of python scripts, I was able to auto-generate a Java API based on data samples pulled from the TCP dump.
Over the next several weeks I started designing a UI for the app. First and foremost I developed a venue search + checkin activity. I then implmentented another screen to scratch an itch, the CheckinsActivty. This is neat because it displays in a list and in a map which each of your foursquare friends may be.
I had to take a break from the UI work when I started talking with the foursquare people intesting their public API. After several days of fighting with Apache's HttpClient and oauth-signpost (Signpost, by the way, is awesome -- The problems were all in my implementation).
Now its mid-June and I've gotten back to working on UI features; I wrote a "UserActivity" yesterday that displays information about a user. At the moment this information is limited to their name, city and badges acquired. I've also started recovering (fixing bugs) from a lot of refactoring I've been doing in the UI to simplify the design.
I have to start work on figuring out what I want the app to do... In the short term and the medium term. The end state is pretty clear -- feature parity with the iPhone client and a pretty UI to boot. After that there are cool pie in the sky ideas but I'll probably be bored of working on the client by the time I get there.

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