Learned from Scandinavian mobile success stories

Learned from Scandinavian mobile success stories

Native? HTML5? Hybrid apps? Different approaches were presented in Schibsted Tech Polska´s first Mobile Development Meetup in Gdansk on November 12. 

By John Einar Sandvand (text) and Jerzy Fudali (photos)

Site manager Tomasz Zarzeczny welcomed to the meetup

Site manager Tomasz Zarzeczny

All desks were cleaned away – and the offices instead filled with chairs, sandwiches, coffee and beer. On the screens flashed one of the slogans of Schibsted Media Group: “The future is now”.

It was meetup time in Schibsted Tech Polska in Gdansk – and a chance for the tech community in Tri-cities to visit our brand new offices in Olivia Business Centre.

The interest was much higher than expected – and many of the participants took the opportunity to mingle with other programmers after the presentations.

– Our office in Gdansk is still very new – and we wanted to share some of our knowledge and how we work with other programmers in the area, says Tomasz Zarzeczny, site manager for Schibsted Tech Polska in Gdansk.

Presenters were a mix of invited Scandinavian guests and employes in Schibsted Tech Polska.

VG: Building apps for Norway´s largest news service

VG´s Padraic Woods talked about choosing between native and hybrid apps.

VG´s Padraic Woods talked about choosing between native and hybrid apps.

Few media houses in the world has been as successful in building mobile news products as VG in Norway. Every week 1,1 million Norwegians (out of a population of 5 million) visit the mobile site of VG.

Software development manager Padraic Woods in VG Mobile described in his presentation how VG has used different approaches when developing mobile apps.

When the premium VG+ app for iPad and iPhone was redesigned, a hybrid solution was chosen, replacing the previous native apps.

Woods listed some of the advantages of this approach, including increased editorial control over article layouts and multiplatform support.

Reactive programming in Aftonbladet

Artur Glier and Maciej Walczyński from Aftonbladet´s team in Krakow

Artur Glier and Maciej Walczyński from Aftonbladet´s team in Krakow

Aftonbladet is Sweden´s biggest news site – and has had tremendous success with its innovative mobile products.

One of Aftonbladet´s teams in Schibsted Tech Polska specializes in mobile development.

In their presentation Maciej Walczyński and Artur Glier talked about how they try to use functional reactive programming when developing native apps for Aftonbladet. Playing humorously with each other as IOS developer (Walczyński) and Android developer (Glier) they underscored how reactive programming in their opinion works well working with both platforms. 

Building traffic app with Phonegap

Michal Plachta explained how his team built a very useful app using Phonegap

Michal Plachta explained how his team built a very useful app using the open source framework Phonegap

Traffic jams are common in the Norwegian “oil capital” Stavanger – and the media house Stavanger Aftenblad decided to develop a mobile app helping readers alert each other about traffic problems.

Michal Plactha leads Stavanger Aftenblad´s team in Schibsted Tech Polska and told meetup participants why they had decided to use the open source framework Phonegap to develop the application.

– One of the advantages is easy app development across different platforms, he explained.

Wimp: Building a music service

Pål Berg and Torkjel Austad  told the audience that Poland now is the second largest market for the music service Wimp

Pål Berg and Torkjel Austad told the audience that Poland now is the second largest market for the music service Wimp

The music service Wimp competes with Spotify in the market for streaming music. Wimp, in which Schibsted Media Group is the majority owner, currently has about 520.000 paying subscribers in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Poland.

Mobile phones today is the major platform for Wimp, with 68 per cent of the usage, explained Pål Berg, Head of Client Development and Torkjel Austad, Head of QA.

Berg and Austad described some of their basic principles for mobile development, such as:

  • Native apps to ensure the highest possible performance
  • Universal applications supporting different orientations and resolutions
  • Use of third party libraries when feasible
  • Concept sharing between the different mobile applications
  • Always reviewing the code
  • Use of beta test group

See the slides from the presentation here

More meetups planned

Site manager Tomasz Zarzeczny was very satisfied with the first meetup in the Gdansk offices.

– This is definitely something we would like to repeat in the future. Our impression is that there are not that many meetups focusing on mobile development. Schibsted Tech Polska does many exciting mobile projects together with our partners – and would love to share our knowledge with others, he says.

More photos from the meetup

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