About a year ago Libby Miller wrote Charbot Green, a BBC Radio 4 announcement bot for Twitter. It’s written in JRuby, uses the H2 database and the source code is in SVN here.
It’s a really great app and I thought I’d have a play, but half-way through the install I realised that setting up an H2 DB server was a step too far, so instead I rewrote it to be a pure Ruby app using the SQLite3 database. Using SQLite3 keeps it a self-contained app in a single directory without the need to run a database server.
You can get the code from GitHub here.
My small changelist looks like this:
- H2 replaced by SQLite3
- links to iPlayer use the short form of the URL
- if available, the subtitle, such as episode number is displayed
- now a pure ruby app!
I haven’t tested it very hard, just run it up a couple of times, so please do let me know of bugs or feel free to go fork it yourself!
It’s easy to add a link to a URL to the home screen on the iPhone. When you’re looking at a web page, just hit “+” and select “Add to Home Screen”. On Android it’s slightly more involved:
- Bookmark the page you want to add to a home screen
- Go to the home screen you want to add the link to
- long-press in an empty space to bring up the “Add to Home Screen” menu
- select “Shortcuts”
- select “Bookmark”
- choose your bookmark!
The icon you get will be the standard bookmark image with a small overlay of the site’s favicon. If the site provides
<link rel="apple-touch-icon-precomposed" href="blah" /> in the
<head> then that will be used in preference. Both the iPhone and Android support the
apple-touch-icon-precomposed link rel-type so it’s the preferred way of setting a custom icon for your webpage.
Update: I should mention that the resolution of the image you link to shouldn’t be too important but that the Android Icon Guidelines say it should be a 48×48 transparent PNG. I ignored that and used an icon I had lying around that was 256×256 and the OS scaled it just fine. Google themselves use this technique and their image is 57×57. You can find lots of good, free icons for your apps on Smashing Magazine.
Update 2: As rblon says in the comments, there is another way of doing this:
- Bookmark the page you want to add to a Home screen
- Open the browser “bookmarks” screen
- Long-press the bookmark you want
- Select “Add to Home screen”