July Web Design & Mobile Development Roundup

Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic AssociationThis July, Gravity Works hired three more team members, and launched websites for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association as well as the Lansing Housing Commission. During all this excitement, we've also found a few web design and mobile development resources:

Web Design: Hover Effects & Navigation Menus with CSS

Add a bit of polish, and help any web presence stand out with these CSS techniques (without using images). Resources include a how-to on the zoomable navigation used by Beercamp 2011, and a Flipboard-inspired interface.

Lansing Housing CommissionThe article also includes fantastic CSS geekery for transitions and animations, typography and text techniques, as well as other practical tips.

Mobile App Development: Apple granted 'the mother of all smartphone software patents

IBM created Simon, released in 1994Earlier this month, Apple was granted multiple, powerful patents, encompassing the user interfaces for blogging, e-mail, telephone, camera, video player, calendar, browser, widgets, search, notes, maps and most importantly, a multi-touch interface. The patents cover, "portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents" (No. 8,223,134).

Apple says that they cannot use time and money on research and development, and have another organization "put their name on it."

Feature phones run on proprietary firmware, as opposed to smartphones, can run third-party applications integrated with the operating system. The Simon Personal Digital Communicator (prototyped by IBM) was the first commercially-available smartphone, which was a telephone with PDA features in the same device; Simon was released in 1994, a full 13 years before the sale of the first iPhone.

Web Development: What does IE's policy update mean for web developers?

Paul Irish discusses the sizable audience left behind by using old versions of Internet Explorer, and the newly-announced policy from Microsoft on autoupdates. IE upgrades are shipping as "Important" (and this class of updates are defaulted to install automatically). If it works like it has in Brazil and Australia, web developers will be able to use the powerful, emerging features they've been avoiding (to reach IE audiences).

Web Development: Asp.NET Resources in JavaScript

We recently came across one blogger's fix for a straightforward way to use the same resources in JavaScript when your strings have been localized on the server. With the adoption of many new JS templating engines in development this provides a way for developers and designers to reference the resources that are bundled in the project. This can be global variables or localized data, but it gives these resources much more breadth than simply internal to the codebase. Please note: don't want to expose anything this way that you wouldn't want a site visitor to see, because it will be readable over the web.