Archive for January 2014

Building apps for a multi-screen world

ISA: What’s the toughest design challenge for creating cross-platform apps?

Kiran Prasad: The hardest design challenge is not visual or technical. It’s knowing how to separate your value to the users into consumable chunks that they can understand. It’s finding the right boundary point to build simple experiences. When you start developing for the web, your natural tendency is to think, “I’ll take all 25 things that my company does and put them inside the app.” In reality, to keep an app simple you have to apply a five-second rule—whatever you see in the first five seconds is what you should focus on.

via Building apps for a multi-screen world | Intel Software Adrenaline.

30 Years Ago, Apple Was The Same Company

It’s not that the review by Erik Sandberg-Diment is particulary good — in fact, in many ways, it’s exceedingly silly. But listening to it made clear just how little Apple has actually changed in the past 30 years from a product and perception perspective.

  • A rumored feature which everyone had been expecting? How boring.
  • Too small. Apple needs to make a larger screen device!
  • That too-small screen is a thing of beauty! Something no competitor can match. Imagine that!
  • A small detail only Apple would seemingly care about both then and now
  • Again, it’s the little things…

Written as if this could be anything other than the absolute future. So weird.

ParisLemon — 30 Years Ago, Apple Was The Same Company.

The future was more exciting

For decades the future of tech was far more exciting than the present. The potential was overwhelming to people who got a glimpse of it.

But a lot of that potential has now been realized. It has been incorporated into the structure of society. You know — digital natives, for example. Kids who learn to use iPads before they can walk. Today, we all use the devices only visionaries dared to dream of just a short while ago.

And that if you project out into the future, where tech is going is fairly depressing. You can thank Facebook and Google and the NSA for that.

Why are protesters invading the privacy of tech people? Just by asking the question that way, it’s kind of obvious, no?

The Washington Post is right, it’s time for tech to come down to earth. We’ve heard all the hype, we were part of the dream that made you so rich. Now, we have to deal with the aftermath, not just us, but you too.

via The future was more exciting.

Chromium Blog: Run Chrome Apps on mobile

In September we introduced a new breed of Chrome Apps that work offline by default and act like native applications on the host operating system. These Chrome Apps are currently available on all desktop platforms. Today we’re expanding their reach to mobile platforms with an early developer preview of a toolchain based on Apache Cordova, an open-source mobile development framework for building native mobile apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

The toolchain wraps your Chrome App with a native application shell and enables you to distribute your app via Google Play and the Apple App Store. We provide a simple developer workflow for packaging a Chrome App natively for mobile platforms. You can run your Chrome App on a device or emulator using the command-line or an IDE. Alternatively, you can use the Chrome Apps Developer Tool to run your app on an Android device without the need to install an IDE or the mobile platform’s SDK.

We’ve made many of the core Chrome APIs available to Chrome Apps running natively on mobile, including:

  • identity – sign-in users using OAuth2 without prompting for passwords
  • payments (currently Android only) – sell virtual goods within your mobile app
  • pushMessaging – push messages to your app from your server
  • sockets – send and receive data over the network using TCP and UDP
  • notifications (currently Android only) – send rich notifications from your mobile app
  • storage – store and retrieve key-value data locally
  • syncFileSystem – store and retrieve files backed by Google Drive
  • alarms – run tasks periodically

In addition to the above Chrome APIs, you have access to a wide range of APIs supported in the Cordova platform.

For web developers, this toolchain provides a simple workflow for extending the reach of Chrome Apps to users on mobile platforms. The toolchain is in developer preview mode, and we expect to continually improve it based on your feedback. To get started, take a look at our dev workflow and sample apps. As always, we welcome your feedback on Stack Overflow, our G+ Developers page, or our developer forum.

via Chromium Blog: Run Chrome Apps on mobile using Apache Cordova.

Measuring nothing (with great accuracy)

Some people measure stereo equipment using fancy charts and graphs, even though the charts and graphs say little or nothing about how it actually sounds.

A person’s Klout score or the number of Twitter followers she has probably doesn’t have a lot to do with how much influence she actually has, even if you measure it quite carefully.

You can’t tell if a book is any good by the number of words it contains, even though it’s quite easy and direct to measure this.

We keep coming up with new things to measure (like processor speed, heat output, column inches) but it’s pretty rare that those measurements are actually a proxy for the impact or quality we care about. It takes a lot of guts to stop measuring things that are measurable, and even more guts to create things that don’t measure well by conventional means.

via Seth’s Blog: Measuring nothing (with great accuracy).

I have this argument quite often with people who are obsessed/sad the processor speed days are over, and quite often ask me what computer/mobile device they should get and i ask them first what they want to do with it.

12 Amazing Bootstrapped Companies

12 Amazing Bootstrapped Companies.

these companies impress me way more than any silicon valley funded startup.

Google’s secret world of Android’s “open-source”

The idea that Google’s Android mobile software is both “free” and open-source is so often repeated that it is virtually an article of faith online. There’s only one problem: neither is strictly true.

To get the key apps, a manufacturer needs a “Google Mobile Services” (GMS) licence.

Without them, a device has only minimal functionality.

“obvious to the OEMs that we are using [GMS] compatibility as a club to make them do what we want.”

had to take the matter up with a senior Google vice-president to get the GMS licensing approved.

Only… Google can make changes that will become part of the future direction of the software. Device manufacturers who want to get the upcoming version of Android have to wait for it to become available from Google’s servers.

Google was being intentionally vague about the fact that it receives a license payment for every device that runs Android with its services. “It is a lot of money they make, but you can’t see it anywhere [in Google’s accounts] because that would tarnish their ‘Android open-source’ karma,”

via How Google controls Android’s open-source software.

Phone storage compared – Samsung S4 still in last place

Phone storage compared – Samsung S4 still in last place.

Work on Node.js at Yahoo

Node.js already powers multiple sites, and will soon power most of Yahoo

In the next 12 months, Yahoo will become the largest installation of Node.js in the world

via Work on Node.js at Yahoo | Yahoo Engineering.

for those wondering about the viability of node.js

Best development book I’ve read, has no code in it.

Mastering is more than just knowing. It is knowing in a way that lightens your load.

If you’re worried that your current job is rotting your brain, it probably is.

The best way to learn is to be in the same room with people who are trying to achieve some goal using the skills you wish to learn.

“How long will it take to master aikido?” a prospective student asks. “How long do you expect to live?” is the only respectable response.

Expose Your Ignorance. Tomorrow I need to look stupider and feel better about it. This staying quiet and trying to guess what’s going on isn’t working so well.

Be the Worst. Be the lion’s tail rather than the fox’s head! Surround yourself with developers who are better than you. Find a stronger team where you are the weakest member and have room to grow.

Software development is composed of two primary activities: learning and communication.

We can all benefit by doing occasional “toy” programs, when artificial restrictions are set up, so that we are forced to push our abilities to the limit.

Software is not a product, it’s a medium for storing knowledge. Therefore, software development is not a product producing activity, it is a knowledge acquiring activity.

Sometimes the best tool for the job and the one you’re most familiar with are different. At those times, you have to decide if your productivity is more important than the team’s productivity.

Being a genius, lucky, rich, or famous doesn’t make you a master. These things aren’t essential to craftsmanship. Skill across all facets of software development and the ability to transmit that skill in ways that move the discipline forward are at the heart of the craft.

via Best development book I’ve read, has no code in it..