Monday, November 29, 2010

Talk on Dual Display for Android

It was a privilege to be a speaker at MODS – Mobile Developer Summit 2010 and BAUG – Bangalore Android User Group.


Mobile Developer Summit hosted on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at NIMHANS Convention Center, Bangalore. It featured a convergence of thousands of developers, technologists and industry players from the mobile and web developer communities. Startups, investors, mobile carriers and device manufacturers benefited from better understanding the latest technologies that will define the mobile market of tomorrow.


Bangalore Android Meetup group is targeted especially towards Google Android Developers and people who are linked to Android in some or the other way. Aim of the group is to share Android specific knowledge and networking among the Android enthusiasts. They have monthly meetups to discuss & share anything related to Android.

My talk focused on addressing the following questions:

- What is Dual Display?

- Why Dual Drift is the next Generation?

- How android renders on Screen?

- Various solutions / design approaches for Dual Display

- What are the Technical challenges faced?

- What’s the role of Surface flinger, Window Manger?

- How best a dual display can be used in Application Development?

What got the delegates excited was when we shared the Full Dual display solution implemented in MWC 2010 by Teleca with collaboration with Texas Instruments.

Check out the Presentation:
Dual Display on Android
View more presentations from Bhavya Siddappa.

When taken a pool from the audience 70% of them said they will not like dual display on smartphone, but will like it in Dashboard, TV & eBook reader

Questions received from Delegates:

- When will google support Dual Display

- Which is the best design approach

- Has teleca contributed Dual Display solution towards open source

- When can we expect dual display ebook readers in the market

Feedback received from Delegates:

- Dual Display looks good for TV, Dashboard but a big no to Smart phones

- Smart phones with dual display will have issues in running existing android applications

- Today where we talk of reducing cost of android phone, dual display will actually work in reverse to the pricing structure.

- There are more challenges in the Dual Display, however the scope for innovation from application development is great.

Compliments received from Delegates:

Very energetic talk

Eye opener for me, as I being an application developer never though of it”.

I came all the way from Gujarat, to listen to your talk…indeed worth it”.

We wish you to do some android technical writing for our Magazine”.

I didn’t get an opportunity to blink my eyes for a while”.

Hall at MODS for my talk was houseful; I appreciate few delegates sitting on the steps and few standing throughout the talk. The best memorable part was when a gentleman close to my dad’s age come up to me saying

Hi, Thanks for the energetic talk, I am looking of getting into Android, would you bet on it for the coming few years”.

I said “Yes, you should totally and it’s a right time”.

I did my Job as an Evangelist, but why is that when I try telling my dad about my passion for Android, its just another platform for him or say its his enemy as android takes up lot of his daughter time :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Me @ Coffee with Karan

People want dreams to come into reality,

But in reality I wished to be @ Coffee with Karan in one of my dreams and yesterday my wish came true.

If I could recollect the dream well, these are the questions Karan asked me and my answers for them:

1. What turns you on in a man?

> Sense of humar, intelligence & the way he treats kids

2. If you were not a Technology Evangelist what would you prefer being?

> Fashion Designer / VJ or a dessert Chef

3. Who’s your woman of substance?

> Sushmitha Sen & SudhaMurthi

4. What’s your aim in life?

> Be an entertaining wife & a gr8 mom of 5 kids

5. What’s your best feature?

> Eyelashes

6. Cheesy pick up line on you?

> "Can you prove me wrong that you don’t get dimple"

7. If you could go back and change one thing in your life what would it be?

> Slap a person whose position held in the society stopped me from doing so few years back.

8. One thing that people don’t know about you?

> I have a beauty spot on my right hand palm

9. Best rumors about you?

> I getting married thrice / Date only Google or Microsoft guys - thanks to my twitter followers

10. What’s your biggest fear?

> Fear of falling in love and being loved

Karan was just about to announce me as the winner of the "Coffee gift hamper", in the mean while my alarm ran and I was out of the dream :-(

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Not so usual, but some pleasant, surprising and scary times in London…

Landed at Heathrow Airport, knew why I am here for, but not sure of what’s installed for me in the next 10 days in this beautiful city London.

Was supposed to get a pickup from the Hotel but due to a slight delay in the flight arrival, missed it. I believe in destiny and my almighty, thus I met an angel who helped me buy my tube ticket, assured that I catch the right tube and get down at the right station to reach my hotel. The journey with her was amazing and now we are friends for lifetime thanks to Facebook.

Being an Indian makes you eligible to get discounts in stores operated by Indians. Can’t give details on the stores name, add etc. but if my math is correct I earned around 126 pounds discount…experimented Advantage of being an Indian.

I was put-up at Covent Garden Travelodge Hotel. One of the amazing hotel I would recommend not because of the special privileges I got but it’s really worth a stay. They made me feel special:

- Gave me a double bed room on the 12th floor window facing the High Holborn street

- Served breakfast in my room

- Wake up call and allowing me to play loud music at night.

- Providing me with London’s bus, tube & street map for FREE & more help in understanding the map.

Special thanks to them for all the extended help and making me feel secure.

It was evening time & was kind of drizzling. Waiting for my friend next to Covent garden underground station. A man dressed up in an off-white blazer Mr. Z walks upto me and we had following conversation, which till today I am trying to interpret:

Mr Z: “Hi

Me: “Hi

Mr Z: “You are pretty

I was not sure, what to say. So as a formality I said “Thanks” by putting on an artificial smile.

Mr Z: “I am ….” I don’t remember what his name was

Just for the sake of formality I said “I am Bhavya

He offers his hand and again just for the sake of formality I offered my hand, and that was my big mistake.

He bows down, kissing my hand said “You are really pretty”.

I was very scared, and pulled my hand gently back.

Me: “I got to go.

Till today I don’t know what this meant and if I acted in a right manner or not.

It was early morning time, waiting for my bus to arrive. I saw a middle aged lady, weirdly dressed trying to cross the road from last 5 min. She somehow was scared of crossing the road. Don’t know why, I got a though of approaching her for help. She was busy gazing and trying to judge the right time to cross the road, I stood next to her and said “Excuse Me, can I help”.

As she heard this, she filled her eyes in anger and started screaming “Go away”. I was stunned and couldn’t move my legs. She started coming towards me in speed and I got scared, I ran and she started following me. She was screaming & was running behind me and at that time I was dam scared and decided to leave people alone irrespective if they are in trouble.

The best part in London is we not only meet friends but we meet friends of friends and be friends of friends. I made some of the best friends in London and learned a lot about how they see and live life fully.

Lovely time at friends hosted Holloween party. Met most of them for the first time, but the kind of love I received from them made me feel that we knew each other from ages. We always say of living the day as if it’s gonna be last day of our life, but I found them living this say in real.

That was the time where I wanted to rock on the dance floor, sing out loud, get over my shyness but my old memories kept coming over as I was missing my 3 best College friends.

- We used to fight with our parents to get approval to attend evening parties

- As we used to step on the dance floor, we assure some1 amongst us wins the best dancer price.

- Forget about drinks, they used to not allow me to drink cold drinks too and acted as body guards.

Still can’t forget the time when they bashed a guy who dedicated a song for me in one of the parties. I have no complaints then, nor so do I have any now. I remembered them every second throughout the party, wished that a miracle happens and god lands them next to me. It was too late IST to call them and cry out loud telling them how much I miss them.

But miracles do happen and specially with me as “I live to witness them”. There was a girl in the party who came to me and said “you look like one of my very good old friend, I miss her a lot, and can I hug you”. The miracle, she kissed and hugged me, with few tears in her eyes.

I enjoyed my travel by bus, Once a young gentleman sitting in front of my seat asked, “Are you from Asia ?

Me: “Yes, from India

Gentleman: “I am a photographer; I believe Asian girls are good looking

Me: “Yes, they are. Thanks!

Gentleman: “Can I click few of your pics for my collections

I was put in an awkward position, I wanted to help him, but as I am suffering from cameraphobia I had to decline. He just said “It’s a smart way of declining; I now agree Asian girls are smart too, bye”. I just realized from this episode that you are not alone, you represent your continent and it’s a very sensitive issue and I should I have managed it well. Hope his perception about Asian girls doesn’t change drastically with this act of mine.

Getting lost every evening my way back to my hotel after shopping, was a common this now…. Thanks to the lovely London crowd who used to help me find my way. But that evening was special, I bumped into an India small family for help. It was a guy with his parents who took the effort to drop me back to hotel safe. On our way, we spoke a lot and they made me so comfortable as if I was a part of their family. As we were about to say goodby to each other, Uncle asked me for my families contact number and I was dam surprised, don’t ask me why and I confess I gave a wrong contact no…. I am sure god will forgive me for this.

I believe that if you love someone deep and close your eyes, remember them…. miracles happen. One more miracle in my life. I was walking on the London riverside and got tired thought of resting for a while, mentally tired as I was missing my family & my grandma big time. I closed my eyes & wished that they were with me that time. When I opened my eyes, I saw a sweet looking lady almost of the age of my grandma sitting next to me. I couldn’t hold myself I started the conversation with her

Me: “Hi, may I know what’s the time

Granny: “You today’s youth don’t carry a watch, its all smart phone world

Me: Smiled, “Yes, it is….but a smart phone can’t get me my grandma physically next to me now”.

Granny: “You are missing here ?

Me: “Yes, she is just beautiful like you, I picked up a line to just start talking to you. I see here in you

Granny: “Lovely coincident, I m missing my granddaughter who should be of your age…currently in Australia."

We spoke for a while I enjoyed her kiss on my forehead, a blessing forever.

I am crazy about Facebook, Skype, enjoy products of Intel, Sony Eriscon, Blackberry, coca cola and using services of Google, O2, British Airways I felt privileged of getting an opportunity to interact to them, ask questions, exchange business cards and share the same table at the conferences. I will cherish my every minute spend with them.

Last day in London was not less then a big Bollywood drama scene.

I had checked in my bag and had 3 hand bags ready to fly back to my home land. As I was boarding my flight I suddenly felt that my shoulder are so light and that made me realize that I have misplaced my Laptop bag somewhere in the airport. I actually screamed loud, informed the cabin crew about this. I lost my head as it was not only my laptop, but I had my newly bought ipad, traveling, medical card and important office documents. I just couldn’t afford to loose the bag at any cost.

In a panic mood, warned the cabin guys that if I don’t get my bag I am not gonna board the flight. Kudos to the entire team, they worked out hard and got me my bag within 10 min, don’t ask me how they managed it. They were so kind that they delayed the flight by 5 min. It was a big drama, all my fault and poor all in the flight had to suffer. My next big unusual miracle I witnessed.

Finally I have to agree, when people call me lucky.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Planet of Apps Europe 2010 – Day 1 “Developer Day”

Keynote talk on Delivering Differentiated Apps and Maximizing Revenue with BlackBerry: by Tyler Lessard

Gets on the stage to Introduce Blackberry’s strategy, ”Super apps” are application that people use every day, as opposed to disposable ones. They are launching “InApp” payment, but believe that the future is most likely free apps with added features purchased within the app. They are connected with operators to open operator billing, enabling customers without credit card to access the servies.

Advertising is become a big part of their offering and Analytics are becoming a full part of the platform. BBM will be soon open to developers in order to support building a Social Platform. RIM will have right device to support Adobe technology.

BlackBerry PlayBook is delivering a high end internet experience. They didn’t wanted to take phone platform to make a tablet so they went for a full fledge high end computing OS” – That was the move of buying QNX.

Keynote Presentation: Building applications that utilize location-based services : by Raimo Van from Layar

Started off by saying “We’re adding experience on top of your world”. The Layar ecosystem is composed of 3 parts: Publishing on your computer, a Discovery Browser and a Player Browser. Just as Youtube, they decided that the player should be available for developers to integrate it in their apps. Challenges are on the side of sensors, integration and testing, porting.

They have 1m + users worldwide. Concluded by saying, “don’t be an app, be a platform/browser don’t do it alone!”

Powering Communities to create an index of the real world: by Jan-Joost Kraal from eBuddy

eBuddy apps are on iPhone and Android. They use in app ads. The click through rate is higher on a native app than on a browser version.”. Being having issues with the iPhone SDK advertisement platform they choose AdMob platform and are happy with the results. For mobile advertizing

funding model, a lot of traffic is needed.

Discoverability/Findability is an issue. So they changed their name to ‘eBuddy messenger’ because people search for ‘messenger'. HTML5 looks like a good opportunity but they are lacking the distribution channel.

Partnering with social media to achieve profitability: by Romain Ehrhard from Tellmewhere

Tip: “Use the social network to kickstart your community, Make sure that you still remain independent from the social networks, you never know what happens”.

Branding is important. Don’t have localized name, fails to work for internationals.

Build vs Buy? – What will lead to long term commercial success?: by Dave Addey from Agant

Do you really need an app, or do you just want one? Apps are there to kill time. We know where you live! We also know where you are. Next train home – one button that let you know when your next train home is, so that you can get one more pint at the pub.

If you have a great idea and you know it makes sense, go for an app, but just do it well. They think that iOS is the best platform: stable, appstore, being long time in the business and have a established platform.

Apps vs Browser: by Mark Curtis from Flirtomatic

Currently it is very hard to make browser compete with app because; Touchscreen UI brings expectations of Sideswipe, Pinch and expand and Access to key functionality like camera, gallery, GPS. Now Google pointing the way for HTML 5.

Both need to capture attention in noisy market and advertising works but hard to sustain. Viral on mobile not yet as effective as web. Browser search becoming very cost effective, but where is app search ?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Droidcon London 2010 – Day Two 29th Oct 2010

It was more of traditional conference the second day. Main topics were User Experience, Android development in general and a little about marketing.

Excellence in the Android User Experience: Romain Nurik from Google

Presented on how to create applications with great UX and great UI, Extended his talk with Android Design Tips with some additional info on giving users great first impressions, and some new prototyping and asset generation tools that have become available.

Android User views: Ilicco Elia from Reuters Mobile

The App Store is not about the app, it’s about people, it’s about the edge that people believe they will get from the app. In-app purchasing is seriously lacking.

Growing the value of the application network: Christophe Francois form Orange

It was great to see Orange committing so many people and so much time to Android. Orange focusing apps: Orange TV with premium events, Connectivity & customer care, News, radio, Orange Map.

Creating Killer Location apps: Alex Housley from Rummble

Location is not a feature: it’s now one element of context. Friend finders have been done to death, similarly, there will be opportunities working with existing big players in location “Where there’s a number

there’s a game…”. Rummble API are available for finding people, places, reviews, check-ins.

Android & CouchDB: Aaron Miller from CouchOne

CouchDB is a non-relational database (NoSQL) that stores JSON documents. Instead of queries, create “views” that allow fast lookup by keys. DB is highly durable. Good at multi-master replication and can easily write to any server. Its really powerful on a phone as it can sync with a server or with another phone and can have multiple DBs on net syncd to a single DB on phone.

Monetize your apps in emerging markets: by Chua Zi Yong from MoVend

He discussed the concept of marketing your apps to emerging markets. For a lot of people in emerging markets the phone is the only access to the internet, social networking, and gaming/entertainment device.

He had some interesting statistics on mobile phone payments. Asia Pacific accounts for $62.8 million in mobile phone payments and the rest of the world only accounts for $45.8 million. The market for mobile app revenue is estimated at $135million for 2009 and at $4 billion for 2010.

Market is extremely fragmented; android market does not exist in certain countries. Tip: Try to get your application pre-loaded onto a phone and target what specific users like.

Android has a “dude” problem: by Belinda Parmar from Lady Geek TV

When surveyed only 5% of women said Android for their next phone, 57% said an iPhon

e. BUT… more women than men bought smartphone in the last 6 months and more female gamers 25-35 than men. Forrester did some market segmentation on women gadget owners:

    • 37% self sufficient, tech savvy
    • 35% neutral, little engagement, low willingness
    • 28% opportunity

Women feel overwhelmed and confused by choice of Android devices. They are twice as likely to have never downloaded a single app as it don’t see most of the apps as relevant to their lives. They want apps to solve a problem, to answer a question. Recommendations: solve a problem, entertain, don’t educate.

Turn good ideas into great apps: by Reto Meier

Shared more details on deadly sins & glorious virtues for android applications. Same Goog

le IO 2010 talk

& slides were repeated.

Android beyond the phone; Tablets, eReaders, and more: by Karl- Johan

Dell Streak uses

mDPI resources but has much bigger screen. Android dual scr

een displays and e-Ink displays behave completely differently. Custom device manufacturers are really keen to have apps on their devices. They’ll expect a 20-50% markdown, but no need to pay app store fees. ViewSonic ViewPad 7 now available in the UK for £399: Having 800x400px display and runs Android 2.2 and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS & 3G.

The Snapdragon Mobile Development Platform: by Qualcomm

Qualcomm is taking on a new role of being the link in the ecosystem, ensuring that there are great apps for the ecosystem. They want to make sure that apps work well. Snapdragon is a system on a chip for ARM-based CPU, GPU, rich multimedia, GPS, 3G, Camera, power management.

Android reuse models: by Mark Murphey

He discussed some of the ways in which we can reduce lots of

android developers reinventing the wheel everytime we need something. There are a few methods that a developer can use for distributional: Souce Code, As an Application, as a jar or Library.

Libraries can be used to solve problems for people who want free and paid versions of the app, and don’t want to maintain two versions of the code. He went on to discuss that we need a place to collect code to reuse and mentioned building a community website for this purpose, also saying “I can’t write a website to save my soul, I ain’t doing it!”

Future of Android Panel

Ewan MacLeod moderated the panel:

Questions faced by the panel:

  • We’re still on the dream phase for Android: consumers “only buy one Android device”… Will consumers retreat to “something familiar”?
    • Nokia is still a big player but no longer in mobile developed countries
    • Android has challenges with fragmentation
    • One challenge for Android is capturing lower end, but high end phones will trickle down
    • Breadth of Google’s web services provides a very strong disincentive to leave
    • Google is encouraging OEMs & operators to fight amongst themselves to get great user experience

  • If I was your fairy godmother, what would you wish to change in Android?
    • A decent automated testing framework on a range of devices
    • A working billing infrastructure
    • Developers making sure that their app manifests include clearly defined API access and permission
    • Google to be a little more open about what they’re aiming at and what they’re not, to provide some reassurance
    • Better way of getting hardware acceleration support.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Droidcon London 2010 – Day One 28th Oct 2010

It was the first day, with unplanned, unprepared barcamp-style presentations! It had a nice range and quantity of low level programming tips and higher level business tips in such a short space of time. Here are just a few higher level insights, observations and thoughts…

Sony Ericsson’s 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.

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 it makes 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 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 leaniant, 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 a app store for each carrier/OEM etc. isn’t a viable solution which

Mark summarised 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 arn’t always design focused, should assume users are complete idiots and don’t understand anything.”

Teleca Stand: Teleca got lots of android developers coming to our stand and wanting to know as to what Teleca into. The following demos just didn’t fail to amaze them: TI Dual Display, Android ported on Freescale Imax 53 board, MeeGo phone, AIM app totally based on Open Source.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back with London’s million pounds worth learning

* Life is too short; so why spent it judging people, just accept them the way they are.

* The other way to worship God is by touching human’s heart with your kind words & do good if you can.

* Value time; not only of your but of others too.

* World is full of lovely people’s; meet how many you can. They all come with rich culture & learning’s of life, its worth sharing thoughts. Gets you a different perception towards life.

* Learn to forgive people; heart is a small place so why fill it with hate.

* Stay beautiful; take time to note down the compliments you receive. Whenever you feel low, revisit your diary, it pumps your heart with strength to go ahead and win the world

* Greet people a wonderful day and just smile around, what u give always come around you.

* Nothing is perfect; so why strive to be one or look for it.

* You never represent only yourself; you represent your family, company & country you belong to. So think twice before you say or do something. You have an opportunity to tell the world what Indians are.

* Respect an individual; not for what job he does or how much he earns. But respect him as he is a human and for his beautiful soul where God resides.

* It’s worthy to do small sacrifices for the people who live for you. Sacrifice is another word for love.

* You are proud of the rich Tradition and culture with which you are brought up with, but let them not block you from living life fully.

* Don’t be scared of looking beautiful, rocking the dance floor, asking questions, sounding intelligent and challenging the best, you never know you might be missing a million pounds worth opportunity which might just change your life forever.