Tag Archives: mobile

Lotsa mobile this week in Ann Arbor

The Ann Arbor Computer Society holds its September meeting on Wednesday, September 7. Ann Marie Manzitti will be presenting, “2D Gaming on Android – An introduction to libgdx”. The meeting will be held at SRT Solutions, 206 S. Fifth Avenue, Suite 200 in downtown Ann Arbor (at the corner of Fifth Ave and Washington). It starts at 6 pm, and is free and open to the public.

If iPad development is more your thing, go to the Thursday September 8 meeting of the Ann Arbor CocoaHeads, where Chris Adamson will speak on CoreMIDI. CoreMIDI implements the MIDI signaling protocol for virtual and physical musical instruments, and integrates with Core Audio. See what happens when we connect a Rock Band 3 keyboard, a MIDI cable, and an iPad with the Camera Connection Kit. The meeting will be held at SRT Solutions (see address above). Free pizza (compliments of Arbor Moon Software) at 6:30, with the main meeting starting at 7.

Mobile Development for CodeMash at SRT Solutions

4 developers, 4 platforms, 1 objective: provide the latest CodeMash information on your mobile device.  Whatever device that is.

Jay Wren (iPhone), Dan Hibbitts (Android), Mike Woelmer (Windows Mobile), and Patrick Steele (Blackberry) have been working together on an application targeted the various mobile phone platforms.  Their intent was to provide not only scheduling but also abstracts, bios and up-to-date schedule information.  You can also use MobiMash to save your favorite sessions, watch #codemash tweets, and to rate sessions 1-5 (information goes to CodeMash organizers). 

Stats are provided on www.mobimash.org showing the page loads from each platform. Many thanks to Charlie Sears and Dennis Burton for their work on the mobimash site.

Android and iPhone apps are available for download right now.  The Blackberry and Windows Mobile versions will be released very soon.  And look for an update to the iPhone app, as soon as Apple gives it the green light.

See Mike Woelmer's blog for more info and screen shots: http://srtsolutions.com/blogs/mikewoelmer/archive/2010/01/06/introducing-mobimash.aspx

Come to the SRT Solutions MobiMash vendor session (Friday: 3 pm-3:25 pm) to hear about the development of the various apps, including how Jay Wren used MonoTouch to develop his iPhone app, and the unique development challenges/rewards of the individual platforms.  Or, stop by the SRT booth. 

As for me, I'll be waiting anxiously for the Blackberry version!

 

 


Google and its mobile strategy …

Well, it's not A gPhone.  But it IS a free SDK for anyone who wants to develop applications for mobile phones.  AND they're asking for input from developers that they will use to further develop their product.  The SDK will apparently be available on November 12! 

They have developed a new mobile operating system, based on Linux.  Java already has a large percentage of the mobile device market, but this lets Google build a mobile-specific platform that developers can use.

And Google apparently thinks that this is even bigger than the idea of a single gPhone.  Rather, any manufacturer can build a phone with a platform supported by Google. 

Verizon hasn't jumped on board yet, but there's speculation that Sprint and T-Mobile have.  I'm really hoping Verizon does, as well.

 For more information, see:

http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_7375818 

http://tinyurl.com/2yozry 

Java Posse Roundup: Day 2


Java Posse Roundup: Day 2

Session 1: Java Development Environments

I convened a session on Java Development Environments (IDEs, tools, etc.). My question was, “Is it a benefit or a detriment that we have choice in our tools?”. For comparison, when programming on the Microsoft platform, developers are given tools that work together out of the box. If they choose to add new tools to their arsenal, they can (especially see Jim Holmes book, “Windows Developer Power Tools”, which includes a lot of open source tools for use on the Windows platform.

In any case, as Java developers, we’re not only free to choose our own tools, but sort of forced into choosing and configuring. Yes, there are packages like MyEclipse and NetBeans which bundle things together, but the IDEs have gone back and forth many times in the past several years. I’ve personally tried at least half a dozen. Currently, I’m using Eclipse, but on the recommendation of the group here, I’m encouraged to give NetBeans another try.

The consensus of the group was generally that we’re glad to have options. I’m still left thinking, however, that we spend a lot of time spinning our wheels, evaluating tools, instead of actually solving problems for our customers (or employers).

Session 2: User Groups

The next session that I attended was on User Groups. Graham, a Crested Butte local, is considering starting a user group here, in Crested Butte. He was looking for ideas and suggestions about how to get started, while others were looking for ideas about how to grow their user groups or to keep people coming back.

I held the position of president of the Ann Arbor Computer Society for 2 years, and I got some great advice from past leaders of that group: DELEGATE. I’m not always good at it, but it’s a good objective. Having a strong leader that can delegate tasks to get done is pretty critical, I think. Several (3) of the guys in the session were from Atlanta, and the AJUG has a dynamic and energetic leader, and it sounds like he does a phenomenal job of keeping their user group going. In addition to an annual DevCon, which is well attended, they offer Job Postings for both potential employers and job seekers (JRecruiter). The Ann Arbor JUG also has this, but I want to look at what they’re doing in Atlanta, because it sounds more effective than the blog-like postings on the AAJUG.

Remote user groups (Taos, Crested Butte) face different challenges. There are few area users, and having a JUG may be too restrictive. It sounds like Dean from Taos and Graham from Crested Butte may create a more encompassing group that serves all software developers, rather than limiting to a JUG.

Chris Adamson was also in attendance. He is an editor for java.net, and he offered to help solicit updates for the JUG list that they maintain. GREAT IDEA, since they really have gotten out of date.

The basic “take-aways” from the session were:

1.Start small. None of the big groups started big. We all started with 2 or 3 people who wanted to get around and talk about cool stuff.
2.Have a compelling reason for people to attend meetings. Good content, opportunities to learn about jobs, etc.
3.Mix in local and national speakers, if you can. National speakers provide visibility to the group, while local speakers get experience talking to a group of people.

Some groups charge dues, while others are free. Some are corporate sponsored, others are not. You just have to find what works in your area.

I would love to create a “meta-group” of JUGs or other user group leaders who might communicate on an eGroup or such to toss ideas back and forth. Maybe we can start with the list on Java.Net?

Java User Groups on Java.net: http://tinyurl.com/36r2ku

Here’s a view of what Sun coined as the Top 50 JUGS:

http://wiki.java.net/bin/view/JUGs/SunTop50JUGProgram

Session 3: Convergence of Desktop/Web/Mobile

Joe Nuxoll convened a session on the convergence of desktop, web, and mobile application development. Questions were raised about how to determine which platform to develop for, or if it made sense to sometimes build a web app that could be used on a desktop. Mobile has its own set of challenges, but even so, we’re becoming more demanding about what we expect in mobile apps.

One real key is that a lot of time users don’t even know where they’re running up against web/desktop boundaries. One good example of this is Google Earth and Google Maps. Google Earth is clearly a desktop app but it accesses the web to get data that Google maps also uses. Sketchup is a nice application that also pushes these boundaries, in connection with Google Earth.

Joe’s pretty adamant about good user interface design, regardless of desktop or mobile or web. Everyone pretty much agreed that we have to use the right tool for the job, and that it’s not always clear what people need when looking at what people are CURRENTLY doing. Sometimes we need to mix stuff up and come up with a new way of interacting with the user. There are some really cool demos from demo.com that really push this envelope.