Mobile Development

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

Mobile Game Landscape Gets More Complicated

green labyrinth
Despite all the hype surrounding mobile games — and all the money companies are investing in efforts to push them — the business model to support them hasn’t yet made itself evident. You’d think that would give some running room to independent developers who’ve got a clever approach to attracting, keeping and making money off of players. But that’s more easily said than done, especially when the industry’s leaders are putting a lot of effort into remaking themselves. Part of… continue…

Android 4.2’s Most Promising Features

Android Robot Looking In
Android 4.2’s here with a spate of welcome improvements for users and developers alike. Here’s my list of the most important. Multiple-User Support for Tablets Now users can customize their home screen, widgets and apps. Seamless switching enables a quick change for multiple users of the same device. This feature is made possible by the creation of a dedicated user space on the SD card where Google Play helps determine which APKs need to be downloaded. If an app is… continue…

Get Ready for the Next Wireless Revolution

obsolete wires, cables in a cup
If you’re a developer, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the hardware side of mobile, because I think we’re on the cusp of an even bigger revolution. Today’s external devices that cable-connect to your mobile are just an interim step. A whole range of new devices is coming that will add power to your smartphone — wirelessly. The Potential’s Visible Just last week, I got both a Square and a PayPal reader. These are those little dongles that… continue…

How Android Helps Avoid Awkward Social Questions

Cat Iceland Family Tree
Iceland’s population is part of a rather close family tree, which can make for some awkward social situations. While most people are likely to know whether they’re first cousins, there are always surprises, i.e., attending a family event and running into someone they’d hooked up with at some point in once-blissful ignorance. But now there’s a solution: An app. Specifically, the Islendiga-App. Cat explains.

BlackBerry Unveils 4-Year Women’s STEM Scholarship

BlackBerry Logo
BlackBerry rolled out a “BlackBerry Scholars Program,” which the company describes as a first step in a global initiative to encourage more women to pursue STEM careers. The announcement was made at the BlackBerry Live event in Orlando, by Alicia Keys, who’s the company’s global creative director when she’s not in concert and recording albums. The program will provide full, four-year scholarships to “outstanding women” interested in technology careers, particularly in mobile. Says BlackBerry: “This scholarship program is the first… continue…

Pure Android Collection: An App Promotional Powerhouse

PureAndroid
Introduced in October 2012, the Pure Android Collection on Google Play is an exclusive group of apps deemed worthy by Google’s Android Development & Design Teams. This group of apps is so exclusive only two have been accepted since the program’s inception last year. (Watch this episode of The App Clinic, where the collection is introduced to learn more about the criteria for selection.) “These apps represent examples that follow the Android design guidelines and coding best practices to create… continue…

Netgear Contest Pushes Connected Appliance Apps

Samsung T9000
Netgear’s launched an app-development contest meant to encourage developers to create solutions for connected homes and businesses, and to join its Smart Network Developer Program. The winning developer will get $10,000, but of course all participants will be encouraged to market their apps through the Netgear genie+ marketplace. The company wants to offer consumers more options for interacting with connected devices, like refrigerators and other appliances, which are increasingly seen as potential development platforms. Cedar Milazzo, the company’s vice president… continue…

Iceland: This App Will Keep You From Dating Your Cousin

Winter Couple
“She’s my sister. She’s my daughter. My sister. My daughter. She’s my sister AND my daughter.” Those classic lines from Chinatown, uttered by Faye Dunaway’s character Evelyn Mulwray, have been oft parodied since the film’s 1974 release, but who’d think that one day there would actually be an app to prevent such awkward familial relationships from occurring? There is in Iceland, where “bump the app before you bump in bed” may become the catch phrase for a generation who really… continue…

How a Small Computer Brings Down Big Game

gunman aiming rifle
Everybody remembers the ubiquitous TiVo set-top DVR boxes. They stored your favorite shows for future viewing — and were prime targets for exploration and hacking. Still, they were cool and interesting. They’re also an example of small-footprint computers, many of which are Linux-based, that continue to march into our everyday lives. Developers: You’d better get ready for the next wave. These devices are showing up in devices that do way more than sit on top of your entertainment center. For… continue…

Are Phablets Really a Fad?

Samsung Galaxy Note II
How significant is the phablet? If we are to take a report released by app analytics firm Flurry at face value, the answer would be a resounding, “not very.” They ought to know. Flurry sources its data from somewhere in the vicinity of a billion devices. And sometimes statistics reveal more than meets the eye. Flurry went as far as to suggest that phablets are so insignificant in terms of user base that they don’t justify support. What’s a phablet?… continue…