CM Live Deal's Android application

 

There were so many users requesting for mobile applications for our extensions CM Live Deal and CM Group Buying. So we decided to give a try: let's make one!

Most people wanted a hybrid mobile application powered by PhoneGap/Cordova because

  • It is easy to customize: if you know web development then you can customize the source code of the application easily.
  • It is low cost for maintenance: hiring a web developer or a PhoneGap/Cordova developer is cheaper than hiring an Android application developer or an iOS application developer.
  • One source code, run everywhere: your application can run on almost all mobile operating systems, this gives you great ability to reach wider user base, from Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad), to Windows Phone, BlackBerry, even Firefox phone or Ubuntu phone in future.

In September 2014, we started building a prototype for a PhoneGap application for CM Live Deal. The application was good at the beginning, but the more Android phones we tried, the more problems came. Because the web browsers in Android versions are different, we had bugs in Android 2.3 only, we have problems in Android 4.1 only, some functions run slowly, some user interface elements didn't look the same in all versions,...

Because fixing these issues Android would cost so much time, and in the future we would have problems in iOS's Safari or Microsoft's Internet Explorer for sure, we decided to cancel the PhoneGap prototype after 2 months of development and testing.

Right after that, we started building a native Android application. And today we are happy to announce that the application is almost finished. It works now, but we want to add more useful features.

 

Application for customer and merchant

We will have 2 versions for the application:

  • Customer version: for customers to get and redeem coupons.
  • Merchant version: for merchants to create/edit/manage deals and coupons.

 

Roadmap

Here is our plan for the complete mobile solution for CM Live Deal.

Phase 1: Android Customer application

  • Step 1: Release alpha version.
  • Step 2: Improve CM Live Deal Joomla! component to add more features, a great feature we have in mind is QR code to let merchant can scan the code and get the coupon info instantly, no need to use web site any more.
  • Step 3: Fixing issues in the alpha version which are reported from CM Live Deal users.
  • Step 4: Adding the new features in step 2 to the Android application.
  • Step 5: Release beta version.

 

Phase 2: iOS Customer application

The iOS version has the same features to the Android version. Alpha version is released for testing, the beta will follow later.

 

Phase 3: Android Merchant application

The features are not decided yet.

 

Phase 4: iOS Merchant application

The iOS version has the same features to the Android one.

 

Some notes

Supported operating system versions

For Android, the minimum version supported is Android 2.3. Android 2.3 mobile phones are still available in many countries, especially in developing countries, with cheap price for low-income users. If Android 2.3 phones are still popular in your country, then you will have no problems in providing the application to your customers, you can still gain more customers to your site via the mobile application.

For iOS, we haven't decided yet, maybe we only support iOS 6 as minimum.

Because we don't really have time, we will not build Windows Phone and BlackBerry versions for the application.

 

User interface

We decided to use the default theme of Android and iOS. The application could be look a little bit different on different Android versions because they are in different themes. On iOS the application will have the standard light theme of iOS.

It is easier to customize the default theme of Android/iOS to suite your needs. If we try to apply a standard custom theme for both Android and iOS versions, then if you don't like it you will need more time and effort to customize it.

 

Pricing

Before the first stable release of the applications, if you have already had a lifetime subscription for CM Live Deal, then you can get the applications for free, there is no extra cost.

However, after the stable releases of the applications, new subscribers will need to buy a separate subscription if they want to have mobile applications for their websites. The subscription is also lifetime, this means you can get the new versions of the applications forever, the new versions contain bug fixes, improvements and adding compatibility to new version of Android/iOS. We will announce the price in future.

 

Time frame

Because there is only 1 person working on this, so the progress could be slow. The more you help us to test, the more feedback you give will really help to make the applications be good and stable faster.

 

CM Group Buying mobile applications

The source code of CM Live Deal's mobile applications can be reused to speed up the development of the mobile applications of CM Group Buying.

 

We will soon release the first testing version for Customer application for Android. Please stay tuned!

If you have any question or suggestion for the mobile applications, please feel free to contact us.

 

Regards,

Hung Tran

 

CMExtension would like to announce the available of CM Deal Aggregator 1.3.2 Beta.

This new release fixes some bug found in the 1.3.1 Beta:

  • Deal alias was not generated when creating/editing deal manually.
  • tagcmdealaggregator2 plugin didn't work properly.
  • Feed's location assignment didn't work properly.
  • Incorrect published/Unpublished status icons in back-end deal list.
  • Bug in front-end pagination.

CM Deal Aggregator users can download this new version in the component's download area.

Thank you for your bug reports and your support!

Today we decided to stop the developments of CMEvent, CMSupport and CM4Square, we have been so busy with other extensions and these 3 extensions were left behind with no more features or updates.

In the future if we have free time, we will start the developments again to update these extensions to be compatible with the latest release of Joomla! and required services, then we will release the source code of them on Github.com.

Thank you for your purchases and your support for CMEvent, CMSupport and CM4Square!

CMExtension would like to announce the release of CM Live Deal 1.2.1 for fixing some issues in 1.2.0 version:

  • Coupon template record was not created automatically for new installation.
  • Bug in Search module which caused failure in applying module's parameters.
  • Solution for fixing the conflict between Google Maps and Bootstrap 2 is now applied by default in the component.
  • Missing translation strings for "New deals" and "Ending soon deals" in deal list.

We would like to say thanks to CM Live Deal users for your support, your bug reports and your contributions! Please stay tune, more new features will come soon!

CMExtension is happy to announce the release of CM Live Deal 1.2.0.

In this release, we fixed some bugs and issues from the previous release:

  • Untranslated "JFIELD_PLG_SEARCH_SEARCHLIMIT_DESC" text is now removed in front-end.
  • Category filter in search form displayed all categories no matter what status they were. Now the filter only display published categories.
  • Fixed bug in merchant profile, sometimes the profile was not saved.

Together with bug fixes, we have new features too:

  • Membership integration: integrate with membership components. At the present time we only support Membership Pro component, more other components will be integrated in future. With this integration
    • We can limit how many deals merchant can create.
    • We can limit how many days merchant's deals are displayed on the site.
    • When the limitations are reached, if merchant wants to create more deals or extend the expiration dates of merchant's deals, merchant needs to upgrade to a higher membership plan.
  • Share deal to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
  • A new option in deal list for sorting deals. Ability to show/hide this option in configuration.
  • Tools: Tools are used help you do some technical tasks easily without touching the source code or the database. At the present time there is only 1 tool "Deal alias generator", more tools will be added in future. 
  • Published option is added into front-end deal submission form. Merchant can publish/unpublish his deal easily, no need to adjust starting/ending date any more.
  • Integration with Falang for multilingual.

If you upgrade your CM Live Deal to 1.2.0, you need to run "Deal alias generator" to create aliases for your deals after you upgrade. Please always backup before upgrade!

If you have any question or any problem, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for your support and feedback!