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MWC Interview: ARM discusses plans for expanding the mobile experience

Posted by wicked February - 26 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

MWC 2014 Coverage brought to you by: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus for Android.

At MWC 2014 Android Authority’s Darcy LaCouvée had the opportunity to talk with John Heinlein, ARM’s VP of corporate marketing. In the interview, the executive spoke on ARM’s plans to continue expanding the mobile experience, particularly focusing on three key areas (which we’ll mention below).

Although there are currently roughly 6 billion mobile subscribers around the globe, about 2 billion of these users are on smartphones with the rest stuck with feature or even voice-only handsets. ARM’s first key goal is to find ways to expand smartphone  capabilities into broader market, and hopes to achieve this by bringing diversity to the different price points in the low and mid-range sector.

Reaching the “next billion” and beyond

The idea of reaching the “next billion users” by expanding to emerging markets seems to be a re-occurring theme not only for ARM and its partners, but also for Google, Motorola, Intel, Nokia and many others. With the higher-end market marching steadily towards an eventual point of saturation, emerging markets and budget users are becoming major targets for smartphone expansion.

While ARM is keen to expand their presence into emerging markets for obvious reasons, the ARM VP is also personally excited about how democratization of accessed information by smartphone can improve day to day life for folks in emerging markets (and for budget-users). As smartphones continue to expand into new markets, users will have access to a vast array of information that many of us take for granted. Heinlein also notes this expansion could also be extremely important for e-commerce.

Technologies that “expand the mobile experience”

The second key area of expansion for ARM is through wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers. Heinlein also briefly mentions the potential of other types of accessories that can expand the mobile experience, which includes automobiles that integrate with mobile technology.

It’s certainly true that we are starting to see many more devices tackle the ‘accessories’ market with examples shown off at MWC 2014 including Sony’s wearable glasses concept, Huawei’s wristband, the Sony SmartBand, the Gear 2 and Gear Fit. At CES we also saw ways that this ‘extension of mobile capabilities’ will also affect the automotive industry.

ARM’s ambitions for datacenter and cloud infrastructure

The third focus might not have to do with mobiles, but it is still very important for the company, and that is ARM’s datacenter and cloud infrastructure ambitions.

ARM says that their solutions can bring improved efficiency to the server world, and that administrators are able to install storage servers based on ARM and get double the density, compared to conventional storage infrastructure.” Heinlein says that while their early attempts at breaking into the server market have revolved around 32-bit processors, ARM is slowly working to bring 64-bit solutions as well.

Wrap up

Moving on from the three key focus points, ARM’s VP talked a little about the upcoming processors from Qualcomm, MediaTek and other partners. Heinlein also talked about ARM v8 and how it is important for both ARM partners and for the future of the mobile world.

The interview concludes by briefly talking about Intel, where John Heinlein states that competition is healthy and that they are keen to continue to push the mobile experience forward, regardless of what Intel dishes out.


    







Larry Page talks about Motorola’s future in new interview

Posted by wicked January - 17 - 2013 - Thursday Comments Off

None other than Google‘s Larry Page recently had a nice conversation and interview with the folks at Wired, and we heard some neat comments. Talks about Google+, social media, Android of course, and lots about Motorola. Last year Google purchased Motorola Mobility largely for their patent portfolio, but in the interview Larry gently talks about the acquisition, and what is in store for Motorola’s future.

speakingmoto-580x386

Motorola doesn’t just have a large portfolio, they also have extensive history in the mobile landscape. While they’ve been sliding in the Android world to the likes of Samsung, things are about to get really exciting for the company. During the interview Page made it very clear that even though Google’s idea behind Motorola from the start was “running it independently”, the new CEO Dennis Woodside (former Googler) wants to be “disruptive” in their hardware designs.

The conversation initially started on the extensive patent portfolio but quickly changed directions when Page mentioned how they wanted to proceed with Motorola. Stating they plan to see Motorola take a lead role in the mobile landscape as a whole, not just Android. Interestingly enough while the RAZR HD and RAZR M are nice phones, they all were released without much input from Google. Wired mentions, and Page confirms, that all their devices currently available were “already in the pipeline” and don’t have any of Google’s influence.

motorola-with-google111

“As we said when we acquired Motorola, we’re running it independently, and Dennis Woodside is in charge. But that’s very much what we want to do with Motorola and what Dennis wants to do. There’s a lot of room for innovation in hardware. The phones we use now have glass that everyone worries will break if they drop the device. Five or 10 years from now, that will be different. There’s going to be a lot of change.” — Larry Page

Ever since Woodside took over Motorola we’ve been seeing gradual changes. They’ve slowly turned their Blur UI into a more stock Android look, especially with Jelly Bean. They’ve moved to on-screen navigation keys (which was originally the plan) and their update turnaround seems steadily improved. During the DROID RAZR HD launch they spoke about “the new Motorola” and we have a feeling that’s coming quick. We’ve seen a few reports that Google and Motorola are working together on a cutting edge, next-gen set of phones and tablets called the X-Phone and the X-Tablet — and hopefully we’ll be seeing more of both soon.

With Motorola’s awesome hardware getting the attention to detail and combined efforts from Google, things can only improve. We look forward to seeing their next array of smartphones, and I’m sure you all do too. What do you want to see from Motorola now that Google’s in charge?

Sitdown at Spacetime: The Making of Arcane Legends

Posted by wicked January - 14 - 2013 - Monday Comments Off

SSHero

Spacetime Studios’ office is a beautiful place, but you’d miss it if you didn’t know it was there. Housed in one of the tall, white office buildings that line the highways in Austin, it remains a well-hidden gem from the outside world, where ideas and games and coding all symbiotically co-exist, and hits are made.

I’m lucky enough to arrive just as CEO Gary Gattis is signing for a package, and we exchange small talk before he goes back inside. We’ve met before, but the last time I was here was more than a year ago, and Spacetime was in a smaller office then. They’ve grown, just like their library of titles, and as such, have moved into a bigger space.

Walking into Spacetime’s office space, their walls are lined with posters and art of their games, but also with newspaper articles and awards they’ve won. It’s a clean setup, and you can tell there’s a real sense of pride about what they’re doing between these walls.

I walk into a long conference room where Gary is sitting. Half of the room is covered with incredibly detailed concept art, and the other half is blanketed with bizarre doodles on dry erase boards. All sorts of strange characters live here, from men with disproportionate noses and heads, to, well, animals with disproportionate body parts (and extra appendages). I sit down.

I reintroduce myself to Gary and his memory is (hopefully) jogged. More small talk, this time about my career as a music teacher and his son joining the band program at his school. Finally, Gary pops the question.

“So, what’re we here to talk about?” I mentioned that I wanted to talk about the creation of Arcane Legends, from idea, to early concepts, to actual fruition and publishing in the Google Play Store. “Cinco’s the man you’ll want to talk to, then.”

Inside Spacetime

Cinco Barnes is the Chief Visionary Officer for Spacetime Studios, but aside from that, he’s also a hilarious person, eloquent speaker, and shredding guitarist (or so Gary says). He hosted his own Tosh.0-style show before Tosh.0 was ever on the scene, and he emceed Spacetime’s presentation at the Big Android BBQ 2011.

So yeah, if there’s someone you want to talk to, it’s Cinco.

He’s the kind of person that immediately makes you feel like you’ve known each other your whole lives, and he did just that to me. He bounded in with an almost infectious excitement, but also a warmth that immediately puts your apprehensions at ease.

But I want to know about Arcane Legends, so that’s what I start with.

Best In Class MMO - Final

“Arcane Legends is the fourth in the legend series of games. We started years ago with a game called Pocket Legends, and Pocket Legends did extremely well for Spacetime Studios.

We followed it up with a couple of other Legends titles, refining the kind of gameplay, the sort of experience that you could have with the various features of the game and wound up in a position for Arcane Legends where we could take the best of everything in an extremely fast, extremely responsive, action-oriented combat system.

Arcane Legends is our best in class, mobile MMO. Arcane Legends really is, so far, our finest game, our finest multiplayer game, our finest MMO, and by far, one of the best mobile games I think, anybody’s gonna play.”

It’s quite inspiring and almost riveting to listen to Cinco speak about Spacetime and their plans. It’s clear from the start that he’s an integral part of everything, and based on how well he knows his Spacetime history, there’s no doubt that he’s been there every step of the way.

The games made by Spacetime are, without fail, top of the line. Played in hundreds of countries by millions of people, they can log a quarter of a million concurrent users over the weekend, which is impressive, considering they only employ just over 50 people.

When it comes to Arcane Legends, though, I’d noticed some striking similarities to Spacetime’s first installment, Pocket Legends, namely the medieval fantasy world. Sure, the differences are clear enough (like having animal characters in Pocket Legends and humans in Arcane Legends), but there was still something I was curious about.

Did Spacetime ever think they were cannibalizing their own user base? Or more importantly, did they think Arcane Legends was different enough from Pocket Legends to stand on its own and be successful?

“Well, we have a style as a studio and that’s something that I’m very proud of. We do medieval fantasy, we have sort of a snarky, kind of funny look at what medieval fantasy is all about. And when we decided to make Pocket Legends, Pocket Legends is very much like Arcane Legends is today.

Lot of respect

And [the Pocket Legends world], though, that world is still a medieval fantasy world that’s more of a story book, more of fractured fairy tales, and less of a serious and dark fantasy. And that’s something that as a studio we do.

So we decided that we were going to go back to medieval fantasy for our fourth Legends title. We knew we needed to do some stuff to freshen it up and so we took a little bit more of a serious approach, not to the tone but to the way we told the story. In Pocket Legends, the story is told in a pretty haphazard way, where it’s just a quest dialogue and a handful of cinematics.

For Arcane Legends, we wanted to treat the story with a lot of respect because we worked very hard in order to create characters that you could understand, with motivations that made sense, so we invested really heavily in the cinematics system, in conversations.

Largely what we wanted to do was we wanted to bring the focus back to, you know, a believable story of motivations, and having evil characters who, at their root, have dysfunctions that you can understand, and that as a hero your opportunities to win the day are pretty clear, and that’s the way the story begins. But as we get deeper into this story we have a lot to reveal.

All of this is told through our eyes, and it takes on a kind of a snarky and funny and fresh vision. We’re in no way sitting around thinking that we’re inventors.

As originators, we feel like we have a voice but we don’t get caught up with trying to do something no one else has done before in story. We do something that matters to us and then we just be honest about it.”

Honest about it

Hack-and-slash

Looking at the three current character classes in Arcane Legends, it’s pretty obvious to any veteran MMO-player than Spacetime built a tank, a caster, and a damage dealer.

It’s certainly familiar, if not a bit par the course, but both newcomers to MMOs and experienced players will understand the rock-paper-scissors design of the warrior, sorcerer, and rogue.

Still, with a company as innovative as Spacetime, I wanted to know if they didn’t think they were “playing it safe” with their character design.

Classic trilogy

“So each of these classes represents, from our perspective, it’s a classic trilogy, so the trinity rather, the classic trinity of those three classes makes it fun for us to create content where there’s monsters that are going to eat a lot of health points, so it’s important to have a tank.

There’s gonna be monsters that are going to have a lot of defensibility, that are going to need to be locked down and you need to crowd control, because you’re going to need to put certain DPS moves on them in order to defeat them. That’s all really fun.

And keeping it to those three, making a chord out of the tanking, DPS, and support feels like we can make a bunch of different kinds of content that make the player groups really entertained, entertained as groups of three and four, or entertained as one or two as well.

It’s that level of interdependence that’s really fun for us when we play and we just wanted to stay with that, plus it opens us up to being able to offer other character classes in the future. As it stands these three, these three are really good, a really solid beginning.”

For any followers of the Legends series of games, one thing that immediately jumps out when you start playing Arcane Legends is how quick the combat is. Compared to earlier title Star Legends, which was all rounding corners and targeting one enemy at a time, Arcane Legends is all flash and bang, with quick, hack and slash gameplay, as furious as your thumb can deliver it.

Different

When questioned about the change in action and gameplay speed, I got some revealing and well-thought answers.

“We love a tactical gameplay, that’s core to our earlier MMOs Pocket and Star Legends. Both have a single lock target and that lock target then becomes more of a strategic process where you’re waiting for cooldowns in order to apply the right debuffs on your target, in order to do the right damage and combos, so on and so forth.

In that process of play, is really fun but it’s much more strategic. It’s much more intellectual. And after going through Dark Legends, the thing that we wanted to achieve with Dark Legends was something really splashy. Something that would feel home on a console or game controller just smashing guys, but still it’s an MMO.

When we got to Arcane Legends, because we enjoyed the Dark Legends combat so much, what we decided to do was have the core combat feel splashy and arcade-like, but add a depth where I can choose ranks of a variety of different skills and still play my role and be a good functional part of a team that is trying to survive and succeed but have that sense of connection to my avatar that I don’t have in other games.

I mean, I’ve played a lot of MMOs. I’ve played both our competition on mobile devices and playing PC games and what we offer is different. We reduced the complexity and add what I think is a very elegant level of simplicity for the style of combat that we have.”

More screens, more better

One of the most significant things Spacetime Studios accomplished in the past was their multi-screen strategy. Instead of only limiting their games to phones and tablets, they successfully published their games as apps in the Chrome web store, allowing anyone to play a Legends game not only from their handheld device, but also from their computer.

This three-screen was a huge hit (and a huge deal!) because players weren’t separated based on what device they were playing on. Players playing on their computer existed in the exact same world as their mobile counterparts, and you could just as easily stop on one screen and seamlessly pick things up on another.

That was then, though, and seeing a multiple screen release for a Spacetime Studios game is all but expected. Still, I was wanted to know why they did it, and if they think it’s the future of not only mobile gaming, but gaming at large.

Portability

“It was the future when were making Star Legends and we were there up in front of everybody else. We’ve benefited from having knowledge that other people don’t have by going places before they do.

Going there with the mobile MMO to begin with taught us lessons that still I think a lot people have yet to understand and then going multi-platform has also taught a lot and benefits on a number of levels were just undeniable.

From the perspective of just being a service industry, we serve the public that comes in everyday 24 hours a day to play our game and being to able to get a sense of the players’ experience from small, medium, large scale device, whether they’re locked to their PC playing in Chrome, on the big screen, or that they’re running around on their mobile device, all of this helps us a lot to understand the customer’s experience and the fact that we support all these different platforms is largely an expression of our technical muscle.

Our engine is extremely flexible and looking for opportunities to draw audiences from all these different places is great for business. Being able to go out on Chrome, being available on your Android device, being available on iOS, and the mini iPad or whatever.

All of this is excellent for a company such as Spacetime that wants to catch a really broad net and bring in lots and lots of customers. It’s a very good strategy for us overall. I think that the one thing that we offer that other people don’t who do this on multiple platforms is that when you convert to Spacetime account, you play exactly the same game on every device.”

Wrap up

Throughout the entire interview, it’s obvious that Cinco (and probably everyone else) takes a great level of pride in what they do, not only making games, but marketing them, creating them, designing them, and everything else that comes with being your own development studio.

This truly is a remarkable place doing remarkable things, and when asked for final thoughts, I think Cinco summed it up nicely.

Talk about it

“It’s always great to talk about Spacetime. I’m really proud that I work here and that my partners and I, we’ve gone through a lot.

And the team that has been here that has put out so much effort and has given so much of their time and their talent, it’s humbling. Not only are we working on stuff that we care about, that we love and that we’ve invested in, it’s ours.

It’s something that we built and that we sweated and that we fought each other in order to have in this game. And it’s important.

And for us you know who’ve gone through the ringer, who’ve made licensed games and big games, we can look at each other in the face and be proud that all that we’ve gone through is for the right reasons, and it just makes me proud.

It’s just awesome to get the opportunity to talk about it.”

Related Posts

Google’s Eric Schmidt: We’re clearly winning the war against Apple

Posted by wicked December - 12 - 2012 - Wednesday Comments Off

The big guys from Google have been in the news quite a bit over the past few days. After a Larry Page interview earlier this week where he briefly mentioned Apple and the competition, to the once-CEO and current Chairman Eric Schmidt making comments on the lawsuits. Well Schmidt is in the news again today and this time he’s being a bit more vocal.

If Apple’s own evangelist Guy Kawasaki’s comments yesterday were any indication, Google’s clearing winning the “war” on smartphones and technology against Apple. Stating he’s been using nothing but Android for well over a year now, and won’t be switching. Today Google’s Schmidt is making similar comments, but being more forward than Larry Page was during his interview.

In an hour long interview with Bloomberg Schmidt had quite a bit to say regarding their fellow rivals at Apple. He went as far as to say Android’s taking over Apple’s lead at a similar rate that Microsoft did in the PC landscape during the 90′s. A pretty bold statement right there. He had numbers too. Just as we reported, Google’s Android sales doubled from Q3 2011 to Q3 2012 giving them a strong hold on more than 72% of the market share while Apple had just 14%. So this is where his “we’re clearly winning” statement stems from.

The interview linked to above with Bloomberg is a rather interesting one. Eric Schmidt then goes on to talk about Android being part of the “bigger pie”, the government and the fiscal cliff, taxes that Google pushes off shores to avoid extra fees and much more. It’s certainly worth reading to see what Google’s Chairman has to say. Stay classy Schmidt!

gabor vida teknision

Chameleon, the innovative Android launcher developed by Teknision (creators of the Blackberry PlayBook UI), made quite a stir in the Android community. The intelligent overlay promises to change the way we use our devices, by offering ”a better home screen for your Android tablet, designed to fit your lifestyle”. The project got successfully funded on Kickstarter (after some misadventures) and is currently in beta stage. In fact, if you backed Chameleon on Kickstarter, you should soon receive your invitation for the beta test.

We sat down with Gabor Vida, President of Teknision, to discuss about Chameleon, Kickstarter, and user interfaces. Check out the interview below. In addition, our resident Hangout host Derek Ross will be talking with Phillipp Motuzas, a developer working on Chameleon, during our Android Authority On Air Hangout show. Make sure to check our Google Plus page tonight at  9:30pm EDT and prepare your questions!

Tell us a little about yourself and Teknision – how did you get into UI design?

Teknision started in 2001 in response to the growing demand for more engaging and interactive web site experiences. We were an early adopter of Adobe Flash, often creating experiences based on technologies still in beta. I think it was the move from marketing driven experiences to application development that made the transformative change in Teknision. It was a time when you had two different kinds of designers – the academic and the artist. We were a fusion of both. From the very beginning we believed that the user experience is the embodiment of the brand, which means that marketing and usability both have to be in harmony.

At Teknision, you’ve worked with companies like RIM, Intel, Sony, or Adobe. How important is UX for these technology giants? What are some trends you noticed in this area?

UX has definitely taken the center stage. The move to mobile as the dominant computing experience – over the desktop – has fuelled the need for UX talent. From the application perspective, we now have a glut of mobile applications and the successful ones are the ones who provide valuable functionality with a compelling user experience. The focus on UX is even more important from a hardware perspective. Consumers don’t really care about performance specs anymore and most devices are practically the same. The only real difference is the user experience.

People are excited about Chameleon! How long did it take you and your team to get to the beta stage?

Chameleon has been in production in one form or another for the last 9 months and we are really excited to see it get to the beta stage. It started as a technology prototype for Texas Instruments and was met with so much acclaim that we decided to make a product out of it. Since then we have had a dedicated team working on making the best product we can.

What is the philosophy behind Chameleon?

The philosophy behind Chameleon is twofold.

First, Android homescreens are a great idea but poorly executed. A homescreen should be a digest of the information you are interested in. For example, how often do you pick up your tablet and check your email, social feeds and news? Often you do all three. However, you do so by launching individual applications one at a time. The information you are looking for should be on your homescreen instead of being accessible only through an application. Chameleon makes it easy to create multiple homescreens each with multiple widgets that give you the information you are looking for.

Second, your information needs change depending on your context. Chameleon’s context engine makes it easy to automatically display the proper homescreen at the right place and time. For example, you may have a different homescreen for weekday mornings, work, weekday evenings, weekends, vacation. Chameleon can automatically change your homescreen depending on your needs.

When will it be released to the public? When do you think you will support smartphones and more tablet form factors?

We are planning for a September 1 release. So far, it looks good but this month will be dedicated to getting it out to our early backers and extensive beta testing. Chameleon is already designed to support as many tablet form factors as possible. Unfortunately, due to the incredibly large variety of Android tablets, we couldn’t test it on every tablet, but it should work on the vast majority. As for smartphones, we have a roadmap for the smartphone version, but no firm release date yet.

Why did you choose Kickstarter and how would you characterize your experience with crowdfunding?

We chose Kickstarter because of the huge and unique audience it has. People on Kickstarter are actively looking for new products and are willing to pay to pre-order them. Kickstarter has been an incredible experience. Obviously, the sales we made were great but the press attention and connection to the Android community has been almost overwhelming. I would suggest crowdfunding to anyone. The biggest word of advice I could give is to focus on communication. We updated our backers often and they have been very appreciative. When you pre-order something based on a great demo, it goes a long way to actually see it in development to build faith in the product.

Why would consumers want to give Chameleon their time and screen real estate?

Every Android tablet has a homescreen. You may as well make it the best one.

What are the biggest challenges you are facing in the development of Chameleon?

I think we are finding the typical challenges of software development: performance testing, usability testing, hardware testing, trying to make deadlines, staying in contact with the community and customer support. The hardest part for us is that we are doing all of this with a very small team. It’s been a lot of late nights!

Smart Agents is a very exciting concept – tell us more about it.

Smart Agents are the next iteration of the context engine. We plan on adding more and more contexts so that Chameleon can respond intelligently. Currently, we have homescreen based contexts of time and location. We will be adding more homescreen based context and the long range roadmap includes making widgets themselves contextually aware and be able to talk to each other.

What is your favorite mobile platform and which platform do you think is the “best” in terms of UI?

It’s really hard to pick a favorite. As a designer, I come from the Apple world and still think that the simplicity of iOS is the key to its success. Trust me, anyone can make something complicated but it’s really hard to make something simple. The PlayBook is my baby because we designed the OS. However, creating Chameleon has shown us the vast potential of Android. Going forward, I think that Android will be the source of the most innovation in both UX and technologies.

What do you think about Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in terms of UI? What are the areas you think Google could improve?

I think it’s a great step forward, but I think that Google still has a lot of room for refinement. The Jelly Bean UX is still more complicated than it has to be.


This article, Exclusive interview: Gabor Vida from Teknision talks about Chameleon, developing for Android, and user experience , was originally published at AndroidAuthority.com – Your Android News Source.



Windows RT on Snapdragon S4 hands-on and Rob Chandhok interview (update: video)

Posted by wicked June - 5 - 2012 - Tuesday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Windows RT on Snapdragon S4 handson

We just got a hands-on demo of Microsoft Windows RT running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 development tablet here at Computex 2012 in Taipei. The verdict? It’s smooth as silk on a 1.5GHz dual-core APQ8060A with 2GB of RAM, which means it’s likely to be even more impressive on the company’s quad-core offering. We got to see SkyDrive photo sharing between a Nokia Lumia 900 and the Windows RT device, showing that both WiFi and 3G connectivity are fully supported. Ditto GPS — with Bing Maps purring along nicely.

Most interesting, however, was a demo of Vendetta Online which ran without hiccups even when multitasking along with other apps. We asked about battery life and benchmarks — especially when comparing Windows RT to Android — but sadly Qualcomm doesn’t have any numbers to share. The company’s focus is clearly on working with Microsoft to streamline the new OS for the Snapdragon platform, and from what we saw today, things are moving along quite nicely.

Take a look at our gallery below and hit the break for our hands-on video and interview with Rob Chandhok, President of Qualcomm Internet Services.

Gallery: Windows RT on Snapdragon S4 hands-on

Continue reading Windows RT on Snapdragon S4 hands-on and Rob Chandhok interview (update: video)

Windows RT on Snapdragon S4 hands-on and Rob Chandhok interview (update: video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 02:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PlayUp App Review: “Where Sports Get Social”

Posted by wicked May - 26 - 2012 - Saturday Comments Off

Are you a sports fan? Are you a sports fan that is addicted to social media? If so, then PlayUp is quite possibly the best app for you.

With access to 9 different sports and well over 28,000 live games you and your friends will never miss a game again. Basketball, football (soccer), hockey, cricket, baseball, AFL, Rugby League, football (American), and Rugby Union are all on PlayUp’s list of live sports at your disposal. So without further ado, let’s jump into PlayUp.

Design and Usability

At first glance, the app looks very nice and tidy. All the text is easy to read, but not in your face, and it’s easy to see which games are live at a given moment. In the top right corner, you have easy access to your PlayUp profile. Here, you can easily sync your Facebook and/or Twitter account(s) with the app. Furthermore, you have pages with all of your notifications, direct messages, sports, and friends.

Once you have chosen a sport and league, PlayUp displays all of the games that are scheduled for today. You can easily change the date and see games that are scheduled for any day of the season. Furthermore, you can bookmark your favorite sports and leagues for easy access on the home page. Now that you have chosen a league and a scheduled game, your favorite team’s of course, you can see the live score at the top of the page and all of the social interactions at the bottom.

More specifically, under the score there is a live feed displaying all the fans that are talking about the game. In addition, you can create your own public or private hangout for you and your friends. Once you are inside a hangout, you can invite your friends from Facebook and/or Twitter. Finally, once your friends have entered, let the chatter begin. Exchange messages in real time with everyone in the hangout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web App

Instead of restricting PlayUp to just Android and iOS, the developers took it one step further with a web app. You can use PlayUp from your computer, just like you can on your Android device. Every game and every discussion can be found at beta.playup.com. Simply login with your Facebook or Twitter credentials, and you are set to be social. Another benefit of having access to a web application is that you are always able to access PlayUp from any computer that has an internet connection.

Wrap-Up

PlayUp is certainly an awesome way to enjoy sports, with your friends. In addition, it is completely free in Google Play and looks fantastic on any device. With 9 sports and over 28,000 live games, there will never be a dull moment in PlayUp. You can download the app from Google Play free here or stick around and hear how the PlayUp CEO responded to our quick interview questions below.

CEO Interview

Dennis Lee, CEO, PlayUp USA

1.Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got into Android development.

 At PlayUp, we’re committed to changing and enhancing the way sports fans experience sports.  By developing on Android, hardcore and casual sports fans alike are able to connect, chat and engage with each other over their favorite sports action.

2. What initially attracted you to the Android platform? 

 With Android, we are able to provide unique experiences to our users.  Because of the breadth of Android’s ecosystem, with multiple handset manufacturers and carriers, we are offered flexibility in our development to pick and choose features we feel will make the most impact to our user base.

3. How did you come across the idea behind the PlayUp app?

 We, like all sports fans, love to talk about sports…it’s really about all we do each day.  What really makes an impact is seeing how our knowledge and opinions match up against other sports fans across the world.  This is the power of PlayUp.  This is what excites and motivates us to keep doing what we’re doing.

4. How many people did you have working on the development of the PlayUp app?

 With all that we’ve put out, I’m shocked our team isn’t double what it is today. With the hours our staff puts in, I’m extremely proud of what we’ve been able accomplish thanks to the dedication of our staff.

5. What are some of the other apps you have created and how did you market those applications?

 Right now, PlayUp is what we have available to market.  We’re working both on exciting apps to come, but more importantly features within the PlayUp app…really building the value to users, partners and developers alike.

6. When you first started learning development for Android what were some of the obstacles you had to overcome?

Android offers so much in terms of capability.  Really, it was not letting scope creep get in the way of launching. With much we want to achieve, it’s a constant battle to get as much out with the time available.  In short, Android allows our creative minds to flow…and trust me…we come up with some totally awesome stuff.

7. What does it take to make a great app?

Knowing what you want to achieve and sticking with it.  There’s so much out there…it’s really hard to differentiate yourself.  At PlayUp, that’s why we’re committed to such a big and lofty goal…committing to changing and enhancing the way sports fans experience sports.  We’re here to make an impact.

8. What do you recommend for new developers?

If you’re looking to attract sports fans, look out for what’s to come from PlayUp.  We’re building tools that will make development much much easier.


This article, PlayUp App Review: “Where Sports Get Social” , was originally published at AndroidAuthority.com – Your Android News Source.



Interview with Creators of Pops – Notifications Themes

Posted by wicked May - 9 - 2012 - Wednesday Comments Off

http://youtu.be/UoQKFGyyhis Watch on Mobile | Watch on Mobile We caught up with the developers of the Pops – Notifications Themes app for Android at CTIA to get a quick demo of their latest iteration of their software that allows for customizing your notifications rather than having the small icons in the window shade at the [...]

Interview with Creators of Pops – Notifications Themes is a post from: AndroidTapp.com



In an interview with Laptop, HTC’s AVP of User Experience Drew Bamford talked about Sense 4.0, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the HTC One series of phones, and usability. He said during the interview that he believes Sense 4.0 beats stock Android 4.0 in a number of areas.

“ I think one of them that I already mentioned is in the area of personalization. I think between our widget sets, our customizable lock screen and our skins, we offer a much more personal experience overall.

A couple that you’ve probably heard a lot about because they’re our kind of key feature on the HTC One are the camera and authentic sound. I think in both of those areas we use design and technology to really offer a vastly improved experience over not just Ice Cream Sandwich but over any mobile phone.”

Bamford also mentions that HTC didn’t have a lot of time with ICS before they released Sense 4.0, working on elements of Sense before ICS was available to them.

“There was not a lot of time between when we saw Ice Cream Sandwich and when we released our Sense 4. In fact, we were designing things like our recent apps UI well in advance of when Ice Cream Sandwich came out. So really this represents our spacing on the best way to do it; it’s not an intentional rebuttal of the Ice Cream Sandwich design. It’s just a different approach that we eventually came up with.”

This, coupled with the fact that HTC had already decided to put Sense on a diet, is why Sense 4.0 is much lighter on its feet. They boiled it down to the essence of Sense and removed a lot of the unnecessary bells and whistles.

Bamford’s full interview is very interesting and revealing. Hit the source link to read the full transcript.

source: laptopmag
via: engadget



Google CEO Larry Page Interview – Apple’s Fight With Android Was For Show

Posted by wicked April - 5 - 2012 - Thursday Comments Off

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone sat down with Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page recently and discussed everything from Android to tablets to social networking. Oh yes, they also talked a little bit about Steve Jobs and Apple. Larry took over the Google reins when Eric Schmidt departed last year, and seems to be a man who is passionate about the technology he helps develop.

What we see, having these amazing devices in your pocket.  Every time I get a new one, it’s like a kid on Christmas. I mean, it’s just totally—my life has changed. It’s kind of like the experience of first using the Internet or using a computer as you get these new phones.

When asked if there’s an Android tablet he’s happy with, he states:

I really like using my Samsung tablet. I previously used the Motorola Xoom for a while and liked that. I think that those are great experiences, but they’re going to get a lot better. I think that we’re at the pretty early stages of this.

The feud between Apple and Google over Android was a topic that yielded probably one of the most interesting quotes from Page.

I think the Android differences were actually for show… I think that served their interests. For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better.

That’s an interesting way to look at it, and the fact that Page and Steve Jobs were on friendly terms may add some credence to that statement. But I question how much was for show and how much was real anger, especially on the part of Jobs as depicted in his biography by Walter Isaacson.

There’s more interesting tidbits in the interview. Hit the source link for the details.

source: businessweek