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mobile apps Archives - Cobi Interactive

Google Developer Summit 2015

By | Android, Apps, Cape Town, Cobi News, development, Events, Mobile Development, Uncategorized | No Comments

Cobi attended the Google Developer Summit on Tuesday, 25th August 2015. The event was organised by the Google Developers Group for Sub-Saharan Africa and was divided into two tracks: Android and Web Development/Cloud. The team attended the Android track to gain more knowledge on this rapidly changing platform.

The first of the morning’s talks was called “Building for the next billion users” and was presented by Abodunrinwa Toki, a software engineer at Google focusing on Android UI Toolkit and Google Docs. The talk discussed the challenges that developers face when developing Android apps for users in emerging markets. These challenges include:

  1. Smart data usage
  2. Minimising APK size
  3. Smooth and responsive user interface
  4. Minimising memory usage
  5. Minimising battery usage
  6. Optimising app architecture

The following talk gave us deep insights into Material Design and was presented by Takuo Suzuki, Developer Relations Japan Lead at Google. Takuo explained that Material Design is a set of design principles that unifies apps across all platforms whether it be mobile, web etc. The talk explained the four tenets of Material Design: tangible surfaces, print like design, meaningful motion and adaptive design, followed by a discussion of the design support library.

The afternoon was devoted to a code lab that was coordinated by Alex Koller. This gave developers an opportunity to experiment with the new material design features available in the design support library. We implemented some of the most common features such as Toolbar, RecyclerView, CoordinatorLayout, SnackBars and the FloatingActionButton.

Google Drive

BlackBerry’s Alliance Program takes my breath away – and not in a good way

By | BlackBerry, Mobile Development, Rant | No Comments

A big attraction for BlackBerry users is the BIS (data) network and the way BlackBerry contracts are structured so that access to the network is charged at a flat and fairly low rate. As a result users feel they are getting unlimited mobile internet access cheaply.

Given Apple’s hold on the mobile app market and BlackBerry’s apparent desperation  to attract developers you would think that providing developers with easy access to the BIS network in their apps would be a given for BlackBerry. Unfortunately and to my amazement, this is not the case.

To gain approved (there are unapproved ways) access to the BIS network, you need to be a member of the BlackBerry Alliance Program in the associate tier. Sounds easy enough? Not quite… In addition to paying $2000 a year, to be an associate tier member you need to earn 45 member points; which can be earned in the following ways, many of which border on ridiculous:

Activity Point Assignment
Revenue Impacting
Influenced Revenues 0-10 per quarter
Desired Behaviour
Customer References (limit to 2 per year) 5 per submission
Valid Case Study (limit to 1 per year per partner, only if approved by RIM) 10
Completed Competency (through Certifications, see Certification Requirements) 10
Events
Sponsorship of RIM Organized Event (maximum points awawrded each year is 10) 10 per sponsorship
Company representation at the BlackBerry Developer Conference 5
Company representation at WES 5
Company representation at Alliance Summit (either North American or European) 5
Completion of Alliance Member Survey 3
Promoting BlackBerry Alliance Membership on your organization’s website 5
Requirements Completed
Submit quarterly activations or PIN numbers 2 per quarter
Up-to-date company profile and contacts 2
Up-to-date solution submission for RIM distribution 2
Sales tools submitted for RIM distribution 2

Giving points out for conference attendance and sponsorship smacks of desperation to me; and from a development houses point of view the rest look about as attractive to earn as writing Symbian apps. Companies don’t want users of their BlackBerry apps to be charged for data; and so when they have the choice of putting an iPhone app out or a BlackBerry app; this plays a major factor in helping them make that decision.

After numerous grumbles such as mine above, RIM has claimed that the BIS access will move down to the free, ‘0 member points required’ tier of the program. I asked them in January when this change would happen, to which they said February. Well, tomorrow is April and I still haven’t heard anything…