Recently I’ve started delving into the world of writing iOS apps, mainly because it’s just so much faster to develop than in C/C++. I decided to create a little exercise app to give it some context called “FriendTracker”. The premise was that it would keep a history of your location, but also allow you to see where your friends have been as well.
To do this I would need to store the data on a web service so that others could see where you’ve been whilst offline, so I began setting up my Raspberry Pi as a little server to do just that. That was until I stumbled across a service called “Parse” that looked like it would tick all the boxes and then some!
Parse is basically a NoSQL-based service specifically for mobile development. It provides SDK’s for pretty much every popular device & languge under the sun, as well as a REST API for everyone else. They also provide analytics, crashreports, push notifications and, on some devices, offline caching. It still seems a little green around the edges (I had issues with empty objects being uploaded) but overall it’s really pretty awesome! Caching and querying the data is a breeze, integrating the SDK is relatively painless and, most importantly, it’s free to setup and use!
Will post some more stuff on it later, but am enjoying the experience so far!