Register Here for the Bay Area Parse Drink-Up

Team Drink Up

It’s time for another Parse Drink Up! Come help us celebrate all the great things happening at Parse, both new and old. Meet the Parse team, as well as your fellow Bay Area Parse users. And if you’re not using Parse yet? Well, come find out why you should be!

Open bar, come as you are, and the first 100 guests get a special edition Parse t-shirt designed just for this event! Just submit the form below to request an invite and we’ll get back to you in a few days. Can’t wait to see you all.

Details: Top-secret location in San Francisco on September 12, 2012 @ 8 PM sharp.

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Ashley Smith
August 30, 2012

PorQueNão? creates The Akatu Institute Fake Shower App for Quirky Water Conservation

When The Akatu Institute was searching for a way to bring awareness to the growing problem of wasteful water consumption, they came to PorQueNão? to help develop a plan. PorQueNão? is a full-service mobile marketing firm based in São Paulo, Brazil specializing in mobile strategy and mobile app development. With a mobile strategy in place, PorQueNão? built the Fake Shower app using Parse as their mobile back-end, saving engineering time, increasing functionality, and implementing push notifications quickly and seamlessly.

Earlier this month, we sat down with Vinicius Porto, CEO & Partner at PorQueNão? and asked him a few questions about his team’s involvement with Fake Shower.

What can you tell us about PorQueNão? as well as your role there?

We’re a mobile marketing company, based in São Paulo, whose mission goes way beyond programming apps. At PorQueNão? we believe that mobile is not only about technology, but about people willing to be connected to brands through technology.

As for me, I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from ESPM (Escola Superior de Propaganda & Marketing) and a Master’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Sao Paulo. I have over 12 years of experience in Marketing, Trade Marketing and Sales at companies such as Nestlé, Unilever, GE and Schincariol (Kirin Holding), where lead brands include Nestle Desserts, Knorr, Becel, Flora, Devassa, etc.

How did you hear about us?

Pedro Milanez, our COO, met one of your engineers at WWDC, who explained more about Parse and its unique mobile integration through your own SDK. We started using your beta version and since then, we’ve never stopped using Parse on our applications.

What were the key benefits you have found while working with Parse?

Easy integration with our apps to host online content and work with segmented push notifications in an extremely fast and easy way!

Can you give us an overview of the Akatu Fake Shower app?

Akatu Institute’s mission is to educate and mobilize society for conscious consumption and make consumers aware of the importance of their consumption choices as an instrument to transform society and the environment. Celebrating World Water Day, we wanted to bring consumers’ attention towards water waste in a humorous way.

How did we help in the development of Fake Shower and what Parse features are used in Fake Shower?

Parse was fundamental to the Akatu app development. We only had 3 weeks to develop this app, so aside from saving time through Parse, we managed to store and measure each user’s water saving info and sum it all up, compute the total amount saved by all users, and show how the app raised users’ awareness of water consumption over time. We were also able to use segmented push notification channels to congratulate users who reached important marks, such as one and two million water liters saved.

As of August 2012, how many overall downloads have you seen for Fake Shower?

We’ll reach 40,000 downloads by the end of this week.

Did using Parse decrease development time?

Yes! It has considerably decreased development time, especially on projects that need back-end support.

What do you love most about Parse?

Parse was really easy to implement and has extensive documentation.

Fake Shower was the top downloaded free app in the Brazilian Apple App Store and to date has saved over 1 million liters of water. To download The Akatu Institute’s Fake Shower, built by PorQueNão?, click here.

Ashley Smith
August 28, 2012

JavaScript SDK Gets “Incremental” Improvements

Counters have long been an important tool in Parse’s iOS and Android client SDKs. They allow you to increase a value on the server without worrying that two clients might be saving at the same time and overwrite each other’s values.

Likewise, Atomic Array Operations allow multiple clients to add elements to an array without clobbering each other’s work. These valuable features have now been added to the JavaScript SDK as well. Before:

seanBean.set("onScreenDeathCount",
             seanBean.get("onScreenDeathCount") + 1);
seanBean.set("onScreenDeathMovies",
             seanBean.get("onScreenDeathMovies").concat("GoldenEye"));

// If another character played by Sean Bean dies before we save
// (which is likely), he might get overwritten!
seanBean.save(...);

After:

seanBean.increment("onScreenDeathCount", 1);
seanBean.add("onScreenDeathMovies", "GoldenEye");

// We can relax knowing that every on-screen death will be catalogued.
seanBean.save(...);

For more information on this and other amazing Parse.Object capabilities, check out our JavaScript API reference.

Bryan Klimt
August 27, 2012

JavaScript SDK Now Supports Router and History

Since the initial launch of Parse’s JavaScript SDK, we have seen many developers building rich web applications with it. These apps are great, but they pose a few challenges for the developers:

  • It is difficult to route URLs to various states of the app.
  • It is difficult to update URLs and browser history based on user interaction.

To address these issues, we have added a fork of Backbone’s Router and History class to the SDK. With the help of these new classes, managing URLs in the client is now a breeze:

  var AppRouter = Parse.Router.extend({
    routes: {
      "all": "all",
      "active": "active",
      "completed": "completed"
    },

    all: function() {
      state.set({ filter: "all" });
    },

    active: function() {
      state.set({ filter: "active" });
    },

    completed: function() {
      state.set({ filter: "completed" });
    }
  });

  new AppRouter;
  Parse.history.start();

We hope you find these features useful in building your web app!

Andrew Wang
August 24, 2012

The Facebook SDK for Parse is Better Than Ever

Ever since we first introduced Facebook integration for Parse users, Parse has made linking your apps’ users with their Facebook accounts simple. Recently,
Facebook released a major revision to its
iOS SDK: version 3.0.

This new version:

  • Improves session management for users, making the log-in experience more reliable and getting ready for native iOS 6 integration
  • Adds simple drop-in UI for:
    • Picking Facebook friends
    • Picking nearby locations
    • Displaying users’ profile images
  • Adds support for modern Objective-C features such as blocks and key-value observation
  • Improves Facebook API support and provides strongly-typed Objective-C types for graph actions and objects to accelerate creation of rich social features in your apps

With the latest version of the Parse SDK, you can take advantage of all of these great new features in your iOS apps.

You can learn more about Parse’s Facebook support by visiting our iOS API reference page or our iOS guide.

To take advantage of the new version of the iOS Parse SDK in existing projects, add a link to libsqlite3.dylib as described in our iOS quickstart and start adding social features to your app today!

David Poll
August 22, 2012

Scheduling Future Push Notifications

We’re happy that our users can usually interact with the Parse API programmatically and without much human intervention. One area where we’ve seen the need for better automation is in push notifications, where developers and administrators sometimes want to send a notification at a certain point in the future, but don’t want to write a cron job or stay by the computer waiting to hit send. To automate this situation, our REST API now supports scheduling notifications up to two weeks in the future.

For example, to notify users at 8am Pacific Time on Labor Day, you
could run:

curl -X POST 
  -H "X-Parse-Application-Id: ${APPLICATION_ID}" 
  -H "X-Parse-REST-API-Key: ${REST_API_KEY}" 
  -H "Content-Type: application/json" 
  -d '{
        "channels": [
          "holidays"
        ],
        "push_time": "2012-09-03T08:00:00-07:00",
        "data": {
          "alert": "Time to hit snooze, today is Labor Day!"
        }
      }' 

https://api.parse.com/1/push

We’ve also added a bunch of REST push examples in our docs to help you navigate our expanding push tools. Enjoy!

Brian Jacokes
August 21, 2012

Lending a Hand

Parse Help

We can’t help but be amazed by some of the apps that have been built on Parse. There is truly an astonishing amount of skill and creativity in our developer community and we want to do all that we can to allow these talented individuals to innovate together and to share ideas.

We considered many prebuilt support forum and Q&A solutions, but we felt that none of them expressed our commitment to helping our customers and to fostering a Parse community spirit. So we brought this in house, and today we’re excited to announce the launch of Parse Help & Community. Modeled after popular programming forums, this new Q&A site will allow developers to interact directly with the Parse team and to help each other by sharing their Parse and mobile app experiences.

We’ll be actively participating in the discussions, so feel free to ask all of your Parse or mobile related questions there. If you have a more sensitive issue, you can still submit a private inquiry, and we’ll be more than happy to lend you a hand.

Mattieu Gamache-Asselin
August 9, 2012

Partnering for the Mobile Future

Every day we get hundreds of emails and calls from current and potential customers. They come from developers, marketers, advertisers, IT executives, and everyone in between. It’s clear that the world is going mobile and Parse is at the forefront of enabling that shift for companies across the world. We’ve found that many folks are interested in how Parse fits into the greater mobile ecosystem that includes interactive agencies, software development consultancies, existing developer tools, and other platforms.

To that end, I’m excited to announce that we’ve established relationships with leading agencies and studios to help big brands and enterprises make the transition to mobile. Their combined clientele includes the likes of National Geographic, HBO, Obama for America, BMW, Disney, and many more. We’ve also partnered on the technology side to enable developers to use Parse alongside other complementary platforms like Box and Xamarin.

For more information, take a look at our new Partners Page. Stay tuned for more partnership news to come!

Ilya Sukhar
August 1, 2012

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