Mobile technology and the ubiquitous nature of the Web have changed the world we live in. You can now sit in the park and do your banking, search Amazon.com to find reviews of the book you’re reading, and check Twitter to see what people in every other park in the world are thinking about. Mobile phones have moved well past just calling and texting—now you have instant access to the world’s data, too.
You can use your phone’s browser to reach the Web, but often the small screen and limited speed of a mobile device can make this problematic. Custom apps, specially designed to pull in small chunks of particularly suitable information from the Web, can provide a more attractive alternative to the mobile browser.
In this chapter, we’ll take a broader look at apps that
source information from the Web. You’ll start by creating an app that
asks a website to generate a bar chart (image) of a game player’s scores
for display. Then we’ll discuss how
TinyWebDB can be used to access any
type of data (not just images) from the Web, and we’ll provide a sample
that accesses stock data from Yahoo! Finance. Finally, we’ll discuss how
you can create your own web information sources that can be used by App
Creativity is about remixing the world, combining (mashing) old ideas and content in interesting new ways. Eminem popularized the music mashup