Mobile Development

Articles on smartphones and tablets, including trends, product development, consumer demands, and BYOD.

Can Mobile Move Beyond Hardware and Software?

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We’ve seen smartphone and tablet specs ramp up sharply lately, with quad-core processors, gigabytes of memory, continuously evolving — even open — operating systems and ever larger physical dimensions. So the question is: What’s next? If you’ve purchased a smartphone lately, the changes are ho-hum. Developers have picked up where enhanced performance left off by introducing a steady stream of new applications and services. We seem to have an app for everything now. Yawn. Fortunately, manufacturers are breaking out of… continue…

Android Development in the Cloud

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About a year ago I wrote about cloud development tools for Android. At the time, there was only one available that had been specifically designed for Android development, though demand for such tools was on the rise. As a result, I focused much of my discussion on Codenvy (formerly Cloud IDE), which had been gaining recognition as a top cloud development environment for Web development, and which I expected to add Android support. Well, not only has it done that… continue…

Video Conferencing Has Potential for Mobile Developers

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Look around your office and tell me how many people are using video conferencing on their smartphone. How about in the park or at the coffee shop down the street? I’d guess not that many. You’d have thought that by now — with all the hype from Skype, Google, Apple and Samsung about multi-mega pixel back and front cameras on smart phones — that we’d have abandoned the old “cell-phone to the ear” method of talking to someone in favor… continue…

KitKat Could End Android Fragmentation

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Android 4.4 KitKat is a compelling update that includes support for the Internet of Things, security and better battery management. Low Memory Device Support KiKat works with devices with as little as 512MB of RAM. This opens the market for budget devices to use it without sacrificing performance. It doesn’t eliminate disappointing low-end models like the Motorola Citrus from entering the market, but it can provide compelling incentive for handset makers to choose the latest version of Android. Memory management… continue…

Women Who Code to Hold First Hackathon

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The meetup group Women Who Code will hold its first hackathon beginning Dec. 5 in San Francisco. Though the group is usually reserved for “people who identify as female – queer and transgender friendly,” the hackathon, which is being held in collaboration with Chime for Change and Twitter, is open to all. Participants in the event – dubbed “ChimeHack” — will focus on creating a mobile app designed to support women and girls. The event will kickoff at Twitter’s headquarters… continue…

Get Ready for Disruption in Mobile Hardware

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In spite of the ongoing battles in Washington over the economy, NSA spying, and international policy, I’m absolutely certain that there’s never been a better time to be in tech, particularly in anything mobile. I think we’ll see a bunch of new jobs evolving as we transition into the coming age of hardware disruption. It’s not just about the latest superphones with their multicore processors, miniaturized architecture and ever expanding warehouses of applications. Motorola just announced that it’s been working… continue…

The Challenge of Flat Design

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Like just about every iOS developer, I’ve starting working on updating apps to be consistent with Apple’s latest Human Interface Guidelines (HIG). All previous versions of the HIG strongly recommended skeuomorphic design elements. The latest strongly encourages flat design and strongly discourages skeuomorphism. The reason for encouraging skeuomorphic design was to make the use of an unfamiliar device – a handheld computer with a phone or a tablet computer – more obvious by mimicking devices users would be familiar with.… continue…

Gestures Are the Next Big Thing in UI

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For the most part, user interfaces today require users themselves to do all the work. But as technology evolves to allow people to use gestures alone, that’s changing. The result: Working with technology is becoming more natural and more effective. For example, in the near future it may be possible to refuse a call simply by looking at a ringing phone and shaking your head. If you’ve stopped paying attention or left the room, the app might pause to await… continue…

A Free C++ Compiler for Android, But…

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Intel has just launched a C++ compiler for Android that compiles C++ source code and generates Android compatible bytecode. It isn’t the first C++ compiler to do it: The c4droid C++ compiler and IDE is available in Google Play for a few dollars, and the Android Developer Tools (ATD) plugin for the Eclipse IDE includes support for compiling code written in C or C++. It is, however, the only Intel C++ development tool that’s completely free for developers. Intel’s C++… continue…

Backend as a Service is Burgeoning

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Anyone doubting the viability of Backend as a Service (BaaS) only needs to look at Facebook’s acquisition of Parse.com this year and the growth of BaaS over the past eight years. Facebook’s acquisition of Parse.com, for example, allows the social media giant to provide their own backend services for games and applications. Close integration of Parse with the Facebook platform should lead to reduced server latency and greater responsiveness. Parse.com has been described as both BaaS and XaaS (Everything as a Service).… continue…