Mobile Development

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

‘DIY’ Hardware Offers New Mobile Dev Opportunities

Digispark Board
For Christmas, my daughter gave me a couple of Digispark boards. These little, relatively Arduino-compatible, ATtiny85 micro-controller, USB-equipped wonders are programmed from a notebook and will be the basis for a couple of my new projects. I also received word that my Spark Core has shipped. It’s a Wi-Fi-on-a-chip bolted to the back of a tiny Arduino. These two offerings were dreamed up and built by a re-born genre of developer who harkens back to the early days of solid-state… continue…

Blocking Queues Beat Lists in Multithreaded Code

Microsoft .NET
In .NET, it’s quite common to store data in a generic List – a List<T> where T is some type such as an int or a class. In addition to its standard uses, a generic list can be implemented as a generic queue in place of a .NET Queue<T>, since a Queue<T> is just a specialized form of List<T> in which items are only added to the end of the list (Enqueue) and taken from the front of the list… continue…

Wearables the Next Big Market for App Developers

Sony SmartWatch
If the fledging wearables market becomes anything like the smartphone market, mobile game developers may find themselves creating a new category of titles, according to Reuters. New “micro-engagement” games of 30 to 90 seconds may emerge, specifically tailored to wearable devices from smartwatches to bracelets, from cameras to Google glasses. Juniper Research estimates that there were roughly 87,000 global shipments of wearable “smart glasses” during 2013. By the time 2018 rolls around, the company expects to see 10 million units… continue…

Watson Becomes Available for App Developers

Watson on Jeoperdy
Watson, the IBM supercomputer that won $1 million playing Jeopardy in 2011, is now becoming available to app developers. The system that was built for Jeopardy was not your everyday PC. With 2,880 cores and 16 TB of RAM running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, it cost roughly $3 million. Its processing speed can read a million books a second, approximately 500 GB of data. On the day of the TV show, it had 200 million pages of structured and… continue…

Resources for Building Web Apps in a BYOD World

BYOD
Web apps are probably the closest programmers are going to get to the “write once, deploy anywhere” ideal. These apps are best suited for users that need to collaborate, share, publish and/or distribute data. Often, the “heavy lifting” for a Web app is done on the server side. They’re available anywhere there’s a Web browser and an Internet connection. This makes them ideal for a BYOD environment. No matter which device a user is carrying, it will have some form… continue…

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

Video Chat
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

Android KitKat
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…