NCDB Mobile Resources App
The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) offers a vast array of technical assistance resources to state projects, teachers, and parents through their website at http://www.nationaldb.org.  The NCDB iPhone app was designed to provide these resources, Selected Topics, People & Programs, and Conferences, in a mobile friendly format.  
Technology
The app shown here is actually the second version.  The first version of the app was built using standard web technologies like HTML, CSS and Javascript. I then used a product called PhoneGap to "wrap" the project files into a container that would allow the app to be submitted to the iTunes App Store and installed on an iPhone as a native app.
 
While this version worked all right, I was not happy with the performance, especially on older iPhones.  Scrolling within the app was sluggish and the user interface controls, like buttons and pick lists, did not look like native controls.  After about 9 months, I decided to rebuild the app using a technology platform called Titanium from Appcelerator.
 
Titanium allows a developer to build fast, native mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices using JavaScript.  The JavaScript then gets compiled into native device code - Objective C for the iPhone and Java for Android. The platform gives the developer full access to all of the device features like GPS, calendar, contacts, accelerometer and device database storage.
 
The app essentially acts as a mobile interface to the NCDB website and pulls all of its data right from the NCDB MySQL database; so, no data is actually stored locally on the device.  This makes synchronizing data between the website and the mobile app effortless.  An NCDB website administrator can update information on the website and the changes will be instantly reflected in the mobile app.
Selected Topics
​Selected Topics represents the heart of the NCDB resource collection and provides information on more than 90 topics related to deaf-blindness.  The mobile app allows for a quick search of the Selected Topics.  A user can then click into a topic to view content in the form of text, external links, and downloads.
People and Programs Search
Deaf-blind project personnel and partner agency contact information can be found in the People & Programs section of the app.  Again, a quick search feature is included so that the user can quickly find the contacts they are looking for.
Conferences
Conferences on deaf-blindness are constantly added to the public NCDB website.  The mobile app displays all upcoming conferences and a user can click into a detail view to see information about a particular conference.  If an address is provided with the conference information, a user can click the Map button to bring up a map view of the conference venue.  
NCDB Mobile Resources App
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NCDB Mobile Resources App

The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) offers a vast array of technical assistance resources to state projects, teachers, and parents t Read More
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