DroidCon Wednesday 10-04-2013 at Kosmos Berlin

11:15 Dos and Dont’s of Android UI by Juhari Lebtimäki (SnappT)

He talked about a lot of generic and common sense design guidelines. Which you probably know all along by books like “Don’t make me think” by Steve Krug just applied to on android. He gave a couple of recommended principles like

  • designing for mdpi resolutions (1dp = 1px = mdpi) and scale from there (android dimensions)
  • use conventional icons when appropriate
  • use 9-patch
  • action bar on top and not on bottom
  • naturally swipe between slides (instead of teleporting by tabs)
  • errors on top like google play app (leats surprising)
  • be careful with tutorials, instructions are bad, try to be self-explanatory
  • popups are bad, because it interrupts use flow for no real reason and
  • use notifications instead, android did a good job at that
  • first time start like evernote for complicated usages
  • be conistent with the navigation as much as possible
  • let the user use the app without login for the first start even with restricted functionionality, avoid invoking the user to feel like doing a blind bargain
  • don’t hide the status bar, your app is not the reason the user has his phone!
  • customization is not an alternative to design
  • user tests for obvious reasons.

Well nothing really new but it was a well hold presentation nonetheless.

11:40 ProGuard, Optimizer and Obfuscator in the Android SDK by Eric Lafortune (Saikoa)

He basically gave an overview about what proguard does. That it is shrink, optimizes and obfuscates the final release versions of your android apk. Turns out it is a rather powerful tool. I’m using it for protecting code and removing logging so far. There is also a commercial version called dexguard.

12:20 Tracking User Behaviour Creatively by Kiana Tennyson (Manheim)

Google Analytics how-to tutorial kind of talk. Let’s hope people with bad intentions don’t abuse it.

12:20 Build your own app analytics tools by Matthais Huber and Monica Tudora (1&1 Internet)

Monica showed some simple code examples how to track user input and publishing it to private servers in order to improve the app with ACRA and heatmaps. Probably bigget advantage of that approach is that you don’t need to publish anylitic statistics on public and / or 3rd person services. Also she made me aware of how easy it is to create own analytic tools. It can be simple and still can be useful.

13:00 LUNCH

14:00 Firefox OS by Andreas Gal (Modzilla)

It’s quiet interesting concept of having an entire OS being programmable by html, js and css. Sadly very presented too quiet.

14:45 Re-Engineering the Facebook SDK by Connor Treacy (Facebook)

Connor Treacy presented the latest Facebook SDK 3 changes compared to 2. The sdk is easier to use now, and probably easier as well.

15:25 Real Time High Performance Multimedia Systems on Android by Prashant Dixit (Ittiam Systems)

slides will follow…

16:35 Biitstrap Continues Testing for Android in 5 Minutes by Andreas Lüdeke (TestObject)

http://www.cloudbees.com/#slide-2 and http://testobject.com/ in toolchain

DroidCon Tuesday 9-04-2013 at Kosmos Berlin

11:15 Efficient Android Threading by Anders Göransson (Jayway)

Anders gave a nice overview with code examples about multiple ways to do threading on android. Especially the use cases were distinguished rather well.

11:55 Incorporating touch feedback in your apps by Peter van der Linden (Immerson)

Very good and entertaining talk about the haptic feedback sdk. (demo app in android market) I’m definitely going to test in the near future. Because it looks easy to use but still powerful to give vibration feedback with your android device. And a tweet about it got me a stylish android hat :D

12:35 Libgdx game development framework by Alexander Fröhlich and Thomas Madsen (Andlabs)

Well it was kinda like the same talk as yesterday. You had the feeling they only used it for like one day and not went any further. Maybe it’s the restricted time limit of half an hour for the talk. At any rate. I didn’t learn anything new that I couldn’t have learned within a few tutorials myself. Except maybe the recommendation about tile map editors – like tile map editor – and the Physics Body Editor, especially the last one looked really promising for future boxed2d projects. At least the presentation has been done with prezi so the slide transitions weren’t boring. xD

13:15 LUNCH ^_^ <3

14:15 Designing Accessible Android Applications by Sonia Sharman (Google)

Sonia basically advertised to use android build-in functionality like AccessabilityEvents and AccessabilityServices in order to support the use for sight or else handicapped people. It reminded of accessibility guide lines for websites. For instance, minimize chatter, provide feedback, label UI elements / tagging and grouping view elements properly in order to help text to speech programs to be actually useful. I think it’s very important but I can also imagine to most of the developer it will be last on their checklist since their android apps are not needed to be tagged like websites do for SEO reasons. She also mentioned talkback and tripple-tap-zoom. Further informations can be found in the official android documentation.

Also quiet interesting is the Google I/O 2012 talk about it:

15:00 Improving Android Experience by Pavel Lahoda (Actiwerks)

Pavel talked about how to improve the UI. He suggested that android developer can learn from web developers in order to support multiple screen resolutions and layouts for instance using responsive design. Some mentioned solutions were standout – floating windows, fly-out menu, actionbarsherlock. He also pointed out that the native android sdk doesn’t provide enough functionality for that purpose. Not for all devices and all screen resolutions anyway.

15:40 Location and vision based AR by Simon Heinen and Mostafa Akbari (Bitstarts)

Well regrettably this was merely an advertising show off bitstars AR SDK.  They basically use a JMonkey Engine to render, GPS (>10-30 meter precision), WIFI, Step detection (> 5 meter precision) and SLAM (>1 centimeter precision) for getting precise locations. At any rate augmented reality is cool especially without markers and I’m looking forward for awesome applications in the future.

16:50 Unifying Callbacks in Android by Matt Brenner (UnME2)

Matt introduced his cooked up EventConsumer Pattern. Which seems to be a way to minimize the boilerplate for events. Although based on the reaction by the audience it didn’t quiet convince everyone. I think it’s a good idea to minimize doubled code though.

17:30 Understanding the GPU to write better code by Guillem Vinals Gangolells (Imagination Technologies)

The last talk today was quiet interesting. Rather low level but a lot of generalised recommendation. Mostly Guillem talked the graphic pipeline for OpenGL on android. I’m going to put his presentation online as soon as they publish it.


Today were far better and mostly way more organised talks. I learned quiet a few new things for which I’m grateful. For instance the haptic sdk, the physics body editor, standalone, fly-out actionbarsherlock are worth looking into. I would have wished for deeper information (not something i can read up in first timer tutorials) at the libgdx talk and less vacuum-cleaner salesman feeling at the android augmented reality talk. Other than that it was well worth attending.