“DailyCrossword,” Developed by Cahit Gürgüc, Wins Sencha Touch App Contest

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Web app for iPad presents crossword puzzles from around the web in an excellent, user-friendly format. Developed using Sencha Touch, a new HTML5 mobile application development framework optimized for touch devices, app showcases power of cross-platform authoring for mobile devices.

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The winning apps of the Sencha Touch developer contest

Sencha — the leader in JavaScript application frameworks — has announced the winner of the Sencha Touch™ App Contest. The winning app, selected from a shortlist of 10 finalists, is “DailyCrossword” for iPad, developed by Cahit Gürgüc. It can be accessed at http://www.acrossdown.net/.

DailyCrossword is the best way to play crossword puzzles from popular sites around the web. Because it’s a web app, it can work on iPad as well as any WebKit-based browser, such as Apple Safari and Google Chrome. This challenging game keeps wordsmiths hooked with the latest crossword puzzle from their favorite publisher, access to archived puzzles, and support for various sources of free .puz files.

Asked why he and colleague, Hicran Korkmaz, decided to develop a crossword-puzzle app, Cahit said: “We had lots of different ideas, but the crossword puzzle app was the hardest one to develop. Just think about it, people generally complete crosswords in a newspaper, and you can’t easily change their behavior. Still, we decided to try to develop an app people would love. The other simple reason is that we both like crosswords!”

On using Sencha Touch, Cahit added: “Of course, there are some inherent limitations when creating a web app versus a native app, but at the same time there are some compelling benefits. If you want a truly cross-platform application that can be updated without requiring a user download, then web apps are best. Functionally, the native app counterpart of DailyCrossword couldn’t be designed much better than the web version. This was our first Sencha Touch application, but after we read the ‘Getting Started Guide’ we started to play around with it, and in a few hours we had a basic skeleton of the app. Sencha Touch handled the UI, and we could concentrate on the core application. That was great, and I got a lot of help from developers on the Sencha forum.”

For his hard work and creativity, Cahit won the first prize of $10,000 in cash plus a Mac Pro computer with a 27″ Apple Display, an Android tablet, and an iPod Touch. The second prize goes to Mike Hardaker for his TravelMate mobile web app; Mike won $7,500 in cash plus a 15” MacBook Pro, an Android Tablet, and an iPod Touch. The third prize goes to Nick Poulden for his e-Resistible mobile web app; Nick won $3,500 in cash plus an Android Tablet, and an iPod Touch. The remaining seven runners-up will each receive $2,000 in cash. The winners were announced at the Sencha Conference 2010 in San Francisco, in a packed room of more than 500 developers.

“We were just blown away by what contestants accomplished with Sencha Touch,” said Michael Mullany, VP of products at Sencha. “Spectacular CSS3 animations, seamless integration of Twitter and Facebook and clever use of HTML5 storage were just a few of the fantastic features that were on show in the winning apps.”

In October, developers were invited to submit applications created using Sencha Touch. Three weeks later, a judging panel of Sencha community members and employees selected 10 finalists from the more than 200 entries. The 10 finalists, listed online here (best viewed with a touch-based device) and below, were given an additional two weeks to perfect their entry. Here’s what they came back with:

  •     DailyCrossword, developed by Cahit Gürgüc — First Place winner. This challenging game keeps wordsmiths hooked with their favorite puzzle publisher and support for retrieving archived puzzles.
  •     TravelMate, by Mike Hardaker — Second Place winner. A handy mobile web app that translates or converts different languages and monetary values.
  •     e-Resistible, developed by Nick Poulden — Third Place winner. A web app that enables users in the UK to search for local takeout restaurants, quickly place an order online, and have the food delivered to any location.
  •     Instant Playdates, developed by Mie Padilla. The perfect app for busy parents who want to schedule playdates for their children.
  •     ISO|Connect, developed by Nick Cooley. This app helps conference attendees connect and interact with experts and like-minded colleagues.
  •     Leverate Mobile Trader, developed by Itay Damti. Helps brokers to enhance lead generation and conversion by offering a premium mobile trader solution.
  •     Prop.erti.es, by Stuart Ashworth and Andrew Duncan. Search for real estate by postal code, town/city name, or use geolocation on your smartphone.
  •     RollCall, by Chuck Lam. Helps you plan casual events with multiple friends using SMS on your mobile phone.
  •     TouchKeyword, by Jesse Heaslip and Radu Vlad. A useful keyword research application for iPad and other tablet devices
  •     TubeTweet, by Chris Sharp. This app gives you live tube service updates from fellow commuters alongside official Transport For London tweets.

Other great entries spanned the gamut of consumer and business apps
Special mention goes to these developers, whose entries were also considered exceptional.

  •     Beat Touch, developed by Michael Krax. An experimental game/utility that allows you to build beats similar to a drum machine.
  •     BU Bus, developed by Luis Carrasco. A travel utility to help Boston-area citizens find the schedule for the Boston University transit system.
  •     Evolution, developed by Bruno Bergher. Chart your numerically ordered endeavors using a simple form input. Features an attractive custom theme.
  •     MobiAudit, developed by Shopmetrics (via Apple App Store). An offline data collection client for the Shopmetrics mystery shopping platform. Enables easy and accurate data collection and delivery.
  •     Mobile Guest Services, developed by Clint Nelissen. This app was designed for hotel guests to manage their guest services through their touchscreen tablet device.
  •     Photo Explorer, developed by Damon Oehlman. An elegant photo viewer pulling the Flickr Interesting feed, featuring infinite scroll in any direction.
  •     touchMahjong, developed by Juris Vecvanags. An ambitious game of traditional Mahjong. Confucius says: “Mahjong takes skill, strategy, and luck, not all Mahjong is solvable.”
  •     touchNOC, developed by Andrei Tchijov. An experimental app for server administrators to keep track of server stats, remotely.
  •     Trafiki, developed by Jacob Waller. An experimental app to find the quickest route between two points. Save your destinations as favorites for best results.
  •     Vimeo Awards Guide, developed by Joseph Schmitt. A helpful conference guide for Vimeo’s Awards event in New York City. Features localStorage to save favorite sessions.
  •     Wedding File, developed by Daniel Gallo. Keep track of all the details required to plan your wedding. Stay out of the doghouse with this app.
  •     World Bank Data Mashup, developed by Yekmer Simsek: An educational app that allows a student to peruse the World Bank of data on different statistics about the world’s countries.

About Sencha Touch
Sencha Touch™ is the industry’s first HTML5-based mobile application development framework. Available as a free download, Sencha Touch equips developers to create web apps for modern touchscreen mobile devices. Sencha Touch gives mobile application developers easy access to the family of powerful HTML5 technologies, including geolocation, localStorage and CSS3, supported by today’s most popular mobile devices. Built on the proven foundation of Ext JS, JavaScript technology that is already in use by more than 1 million developers worldwide, Sencha Touch enables developers to build web apps that deliver user experiences comparable to native applications.

Using Sencha Touch to create web apps means:

  •     Companies can meet the expectations of customers who want high-quality application experiences on their mobile devices
  •     Developers can rapidly create rich applications for mobile devices, cutting development time to a fraction of its current duration
  •     Development groups can reduce costs — no need for separate teams with in-depth knowledge of Objective-C, Java and web technologies
  •     Mobile phone users can experience an application that looks and feels like a native application, with no need to download application updates

About Sencha Inc.
Sencha makes application frameworks that equip application developers to create, deploy and optimize compelling application experiences using web-standard technologies. The company’s flagship product, Sencha Ext JS, is a cross-browser JavaScript framework for building rich web applications for desktops and laptops. It includes high-performance, customizable UI building blocks, a well-architected, extensible component model, and an intuitive, easy-to-use API. More than one million developers worldwide - representing more than 150,000 companies - use the Sencha family of products to build amazing application experiences. Visit Sencha on the web at http://www.sencha.com, read the Sencha blog, and follow us on @senchainc.

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Tim Cox
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