Introducing Porter: A mobile app for Particle developers

TLDR: I’ve made an app that creates an instant UI for your Particle devices through the Cloud API’s device capabilities. It’s for sale today for Android and iOS. There is also a Medium post on its origin), a quick tour of the app, and even a website.

Hello all,

Over the past year or so, I’ve been prototyping a recirculating hot water system controller on the Particle platform. I kept planning to make a mobile app to control and monitor my devices using the Particle Cloud API, but it always felt hard to get to.

I knew this had to be happening for others, and would happen to me again. So, I took a slight diversion from my hardware project and built an app not only for my needs, but for anyone developing on Particle.

I’m happy to introduce the Porter app:

  • auto-creates a user interface based on a device’s available Cloud API
    variables and functions;
  • enables control up to 10 Particle cloud
    connected devices at a time;
  • and, provides themes for your interface
    to give visual distinction to different devices or projects.

It’s important to note that Porter will only work with your project through the Cloud API device capabilities: Particle.variable() and Particle.function().

It’s on sale now on the Play Store and App Store.

As with every first step, some features and ideas didn’t make the cut. I’m pushing ahead on some of those ideas, but also wanted to get this more minimal version into people’s hands early. Please know there’s more to come, and that I’d love to hear your feedback.

I hope Porter helps your development process! It’s the tool I wish I had when doing my project.

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Seems like a great app!
I don’t have a need for it right now, but I can see how it would come in handy if you need to easily call your functions or track your variables. Appears to be well thought out and designed.

I’m actually surprised something like this wasn’t included in the Tinker app

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Thank you.

I was surprised not to find such an app, too. So, after waiting for one to drop from the sky, I decided it was time to build one.

If anyone out there would like to take it for a spin, I have a few iOS promo codes or could hook you up for Android as a tester.

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This looks awesome! Looking forward to trying this out! :slight_smile:

Thanks,
David

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@lhalff, I use Android. I’d be glad to do some testing.

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@lhalff, I can help with the Android testing, if there is a need.

It’s a great looking app!
Gustavo.

I would love to take it for a spin with a promo code as well!! (iOS).

Quick update, in case any of you have been thinking about trying it out: Porter is half price through January 2. Might be a good tool to accelerate the development of your Particle Alliance project this coming month.

Great app!

I purchased the IOS version - your welcome to the $5

Would it be possible to add a simple button? i.e. a button that simply calls the function rather then provide two string options?

Thanks for the app!

Thank you @Gbeland!

Yes: You can create a simple button if you leave one of the two string options empty when configuring a button input.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions, user’s needs are huge driver in Porter’s development roadmap.

Cheers,
Larry

Hi Larry,

I have been using Porter app on iOS for a while. Works great. Is it possible to use Oauth to provide another user access to a specific Particle / Variables / Functions?

i see on Medium you gave a high level over view of Oauth. Is this implemented in the current release ?

ChipMonk

Hi ChipMonk,

I’m very happy you’ve found Porter useful.

AFAIK, currently Particle’s OAuth endpoint doesn’t support scope on the variable and function level, only on the device level. I’m hoping more granular scopes are coming.

We are in the middle of a major update to Porter, which includes implementing 3-legged OAuth for the Porter App and some features along the lines of granting selective access to your devices to others.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted and are invited to the preview.

Hope this information was helpful.

Cheers,
Larry

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Hello again,

For those of you using or following Porter, a heads up that I just opened up a preview of the next version of Porter. The full announcement is here; and, the TLDR is:

Today, we are launching a private preview of the next version of Porter, with three new major capabilities: project sharing, events, and a desktop optimized web app. To support these improvements, Porter will change from a downloaded mobile app to a hosted subscription service.

It’s a fairly substantial change in direction, and I’m looking forward to bringing even more useful development tools to the Particle community.

Cheers,
Larry

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Known bug here?

looks like the app auto-updated, now doesn’t work.

Thank you for the report. This isn’t something we’ve seen under normal conditions.

One thing I noticed is that while all of the device names appear blank, they are also indicating that they are offline. Porter can sometimes enter a state like this when your phone is connected to a network connection but cannot reach the Particle Cloud. This is usually due to a local network issue rather than the cloud itself being down. Is this a possibility?

If not, the next most likely cause is that the Porter’s local device database was corrupted when updating. This hasn’t been reported by other users yet, but we will keep watch. Unfortunately, the best solution is remove and reinstall Porter, which means you will lose your device customizations. This point-of-failure happens to be one of the issues we’re address in Porter 2. If you’ve joined the Porter 2 preview, I can get you the mobile app which will work there. It’s not published in the store but available to testers.

Please get in touch by direct message or email (hello at porterapp.com) if you have any further information or need further assistance.

Larry

thanks Larry,

Unsure of what went wrong, but without doing anything… it was working this am.

I’ll let you know if there is any change in behavior!

BulldogLowell,

Good to hear. Please do let me know if you experience any further issues.

Larry