Friday, November 19, 2010

Droidcon London 2010 –The Report Day One -November 19th

By Bhavya Siddappa, Technology Evangelist , Teleca

Droidcon, a series of great events for the Android developer community. It is big , open, interesting and very encouraging and Teleca participated with our own Droidbooth and a planned presentation.

Droidcon, London, Day One 28th Oct 2010, First day, with unplanned, unprepared bar camp-style presentations had a nice range and quantity of low level programming tips and higher level business tips in such a short space of time. It was fun to see Android fans carrying Android Tattoos with a smile.

Sony Ericsson gave few tricks on Android UI: Advising developers not to do long running tasks in the UI thread, to use Handler & Service classes for longer lasting processes and to use Toasts to show quick popup status.
Location Services by Cloudmade, they will support Android later this year with a Maps SDK, based on OpenStreetMaps. Map data comes as you need it and is stored locally on device. Location-based advertising is related to a network that finds highest value ads from other networks. No one in the audience was able to say they were making money from LBS. A device centric comment was that GPS on Android is still seen as a battery hungry.
Another Interesting thing was to know that Motorola went to use Skyhook instead of Google location API on Android, the way they would get data for their customers WiFi location. Google forced them to switch back to Google location and Skyhook now suing Google!
RESTProvider : Carl from Novoda spoke on how to make a RESTful API available as a Content Provider. He also demonstrated Unit testing of android classes without emulator.
App Analytics from Capptain: Demonstrated combining in-app analytics with CRM. SDK is available in Android and iOS. It has new analytics capabilities like how long users are spending in each screen of your app, real-time analytics — can monitor where people are in your app right now, crash logs with device, firmware, etc details.
Git on android ; A guy from who works at the guardian walked through all the problems he came across when trying to use git on android and how using open source goodness he could simplify a lot of trouble by simply extending pre-written code and even create work arounds for troublesome bugs.
Meta-Market Model; Mark Murphey´s talk tied in very nicely with problems regarding using alternative markets. He created a brain storming session on the market problems and what can we do as a community to help improve this. Some of the good problems highlighted were: Comment spam, Not enough screenshots, Analytics, Refund policy too lenient, Downloads don’t work.
Market is a closed club, OEM’s who don’t agree to the rule book don’t have access. And simply creating an app store for each carrier/OEM etc. isn’t a viable solution which Mark summarized with a brilliant quote: “those who complain about fragmentation you ain’t seen nothing yet”.
So he came up with an idea about having a single open feed of android applications that all the market applications can hook into. So this would work as some sort of extended atom/rss feed (just add namespace) with open access which could benefit from the standards introduced and the maturity of the software already written. This sounds like a great idea but will obviously need a large amount of momentum to succeed. Mark said that instead of us complaining at Google to fix the market we should fix the market problems ourselves.

Day ended with a nice Tip from Tech hub:
“Devs aren’t always design focused, should assume users are complete idiots and don’t understand anything.”

So a great flow of insider tips to keep the hard core Android community abreast. More on day two next.

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