February Mobile News & Trends

The world gets smaller every time someone uses a mobile device to connect to the web. We celebrate that shrinkage here at Shockoe. In fact, we like to think we help enable it with our mobile web projects! We’re kicking off a new blog series on mobile news and trends that will post the first Tuesday of each month.

We’ll share what we think are the most interesting, or provoking, or challenging, or [insert your favorite adjective here] trends and topics in mobile – our goal is to start a conversation about our core interest: the mobile web.

Here’s our list for February:

400+ gigabyte download gets one lucky Russian a nice vacation

(and the rest of us get some ammo in our battle for mobile bandwidth) For most wireless customers in the US and Europe, “unlimited” data plans mean being able to download about 2 gigabytes of data per month. Russian wireless telecom MegaFon encouraged its customers to see how much they could download in November, December, and January, with the winner downloading 419 gigabytes in one week. This shows that not only are Russian mobile users hungry for content and data; it also shows that MegaFon can handle monster bandwidth demand. This should be an example to wireless providers in the US and elsewhere who put a cap on usage.

What’s in your [mobile] wallet?

It’s surprising to us that the US has lagged behind some Third World countries in mobile payment development. Some of that lag could be due to the highly-regulated banking systems of the US and Europe, but that gap will continue to close this year. As NFC (Near Field Communication) technology is included in more and more mobile devices – think Mobil Speed-Pass in your phone – you’ll see more and more opportunities in 2012 to simply wave your phone at a checkout terminal, get an electronic confirmation, and head home with your purchases. If you can do it in Kenya, why not in Kalamazoo?

One word: HTML5

OK, so it’s not really a word, it’s four letters and a number. However, that alphanumeric string is the future of the web. As Brett McLaughlin put it on O’Reilly Radar, “what’s important is not that HTML5 works on phones. What’s important is that HTML5 ‘just works.’” HTML5 removes much of the heavy lifting required by previous iterations of HTML when it comes to delivering content on multiple device platforms.  Like Brett said, it “just works”.

That’s our short list for February. If you’d like to have a conversation with us about the mobile web, throw us a comment or shoot us an email – and if you’d like to explore the possibilities of putting your ideas on a mobile platform, we’d be happy to have that conversation, too. Give us a call!

Let the games begin.

Suite Tips – Your Adobe Certified Instructor in your pocket.

It is my pleasure to introduce a new mobile application to promote the easy use of Adobe software products- Suite Tips!

At Shockoe.com we believe that information should be fast, accurate, and above all, accessible.  That is why we designed Suite Tips, an innovative mobile easy-access tool for Adobe software users.  The application is based on top Adobe instructor Sean Cooke’s quick reference guide, Mr. Cooke’s Little Brown Book. Suite Tips also provides 100% Adobe instructor-tested tips, tools and functions in quick text and video tutorial formats for iPhone.  Android and Blackberry apps are soon to follow.

Suite Tips also encourages user participation. Instructors worldwide are invited to test drive Suite Tips and submit their own unique items for possible inclusion in our database. Designers can to submit questions for our support team to upload and answer. We are confident that together we can make Suite Tips an invaluable Adobe quick reference tool.

As Suite Tips is under constant review by Adobe instructors, the one-time $3.99 purchase price supports the constant incorporation and refining of existing material.  You will save on software reference and update manuals, and still have access to the latest information.  Now that’s Suite bliss!

Try out Suite Tips, and let us know what you think!

To learn more about Suite Tips, please visit www.suite-tips.com, and contact us with any questions.

Working with WordPress Custom Post Types

One of the major features to be introduced in WordPress 3 was the ability to create custom post types. Basically, this lets you recreate the ‘Posts’ tab with specific functionality in mind. For example, creating a portfolio with fields for project images and client information. At Shockoe, we are using this in an upcoming project to that uses WordPress to provide content for a new iPhone app.

This makes WordPress much more viable as a CMS as opposed to blogging software that struggles to handle larger sites. In previous versions of WordPress this involved either a considerable amount of work or using a massive plugin. The best of those plugins, Magic Fields (a fork of Flutter), is several thousand lines of code. We can create a flexible solution in far fewer lines.

Code in action

add_action('init', 'post_type_example');
function post_type_example() {
'label' => __('Example'),
'public' => true,
'show_ui' => true,
'supports' => array(
'menu_position' => 5

register_taxonomy( ‘categories’, ‘example’, array( ‘hierarchical’ => true, ‘label’ => __(‘Categories’) ) );
register_taxonomy( ‘tags’, ‘example’, array(‘label’ => __(‘Tags’)));

Here we have created a new post type that will have it’s own sidebar tab under ‘Posts’ as well as fields for title, content (‘editor’), an excerpt, and comments. We also added functionality similar to WordPress’ tags and categories features by calling ‘register_taxonomy.’ Setting ‘hierarchal’ => true will make the field behave like categories while leaving it empty (or setting it to ‘false’) gives us the tags functionality.

That’s it. Simple. In a handful of lines we have a flexible solution that gives us the option of using better contextual grammar. That translates to a much better experience for clients and end-users.

Adding Custom Functionality

The code above basically replicates the Posts functionality with the ability to have better labels. But what if we need to include custom information? For that we need add_meta_box:

add_action("admin_init", "admin_init");
function admin_init(){
add_meta_box("example_field", "Example Text Field", "example_field", "normal", "high");

function example_field () {
global $post;

$post_custom = get_post_custom($post->ID);
$text_field_content = $post_custom[‘text_field’][0];

print ”


And to save our custom field’s information when we press ‘Publish’:

add_action('save_post', 'save_details');
function save_details(){
global $post;

update_post_meta($post->ID, ‘text_field’, $_POST[‘text_field’]);

Now we should have a custom text box that will appear below the content editor. When we save our post, the information in our custom field will be saved to the database. And when we edit our post, the text field will be repopulated.


With a little bit of coding knowledge, you can create an elegant solution for turning WordPress into a functional CMS. And this is a very basic example; the possibilities of what can be created from this point are endless.

For more detailed information, see the register_post_type and add_meta_box reference pages in the WordPress Codex