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Interview with Andromium CEO Gordon Zheng

Posted by wicked January - 21 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Here at XDA we look forward to newer technologies and the impact they could have in our lives. Lately we’ve been introduced to many enticing possibilities like Ampere and ExoDrive through kickstarter projects that aim towards solving the problems we smartphone users face every day and are very aware of. But Andromium wants to bring a new category of computing into our lives, and with it fix a problem that many of us didn’t know we had: we are wasting the full capabilities of our favourite devices.

I reached out to Andromium Inc. and got in contact with the company’s CEO to get some answers to some questions we had in mind, and he kindly accepted to do an interview with me. Gordon Zheng has been an XDA user since the old Motorola Joy days, and has contributed to the community in the past.  He will be releasing an open beta of Andromium on January, that will last for a couple of weeks to a month.

What kind of software work did you do before Andromium, and how does your past experience affect your development?

“My background has always been enterprise software, but I’ve been doing some consumer apps and products in the last couple of years. It’s a change of environment – enterprise is a lot slower and a lot bigger, and it takes a little more to ramp up and get feedback. On a consumer side, things ramp up fast, and you get crazy amounts of feedback – so it’s good, and bad. You can make changes and update right away, but consumers are very demanding and one little bug can be made the end of the world in the support forums. So it is quite a change of scene. We are keenly aware of this, and we are working on the product until we are confident that we are ready to go.”

The Andromium platform will be priced at $39.99  right?

“It’s actually going to be 39.99 for the package including the OS and the dock. A lot of our users – specially power users – might have an existing dock that will be compatible with the software, so we are releasing just an Andromium OS too. We are still discussing the final target price, but right now the current target price is $15 for the OS only, and then if you pay for the dock, you get the OS on it, so it’d be $40 including the OS and the dock or $15 for the OS only. We are also exploring other models as well, where we can reduce or completely eliminate pricing for our users without having to resort to online ads.”

How did the concept of Andromium come to be?

“This is not a new concept or idea, and other companies have tried it in the past. So, the first one I’m aware of is actually from Motorola, They used to have a phone called Motorola Atrix, that would come with a webdock or lapdock. The webdock is $80, and it is very similar to the Andromium dock. The dock itself hooks up to a TV and a mouse, and you are basically using your Atrix as a computer to go online, surf online, run basic apps, etc. So that was kind of the first iteration where I saw this concept of mobile device as a desktop.

The problem with them is the fact that the technology when they tried it was still a little bit too early.They were working with the first generation dual core phones, so it was a Tegra 2, they were just getting 1GB of RAM, and so the CPU was a little bit too slow and the Android OS a little immature to do what they wanted to do. So it wasn’t the best user experience. They mispriced it a little bit as well. The most popular form factor was the lapdock, where you plug your phone into, and it was like $600. And you had to pay $20 additional premium to AT&T to use it, or else you couldn’t use cellular data on it. So you know, not many people wanted to pay $600 for just a dock for their phone plus additional $20 a month premium. (…) It was a very neat concept, just ahead of its time. People that tried it wanted the concept developed further, and unfortunately Motorola abandoned it in 2012. So they tried it for a year, it didn’t work and then they decided to give up on it. It was unfortunate.

Then the next generation was the Ubuntu Edge. The unfortunate thing about Ubuntu – Chronicle, was they really never wanted to make that phone, they did it more for publicity from everything I gather. So the CEO, they did an interview to him, and he said ‘we want to get the idea out there, make a name for ourselves, and get Ubuntu for Android, get publicity for it, get manufacturers on board.’ It was a great publicity stunt, I definitely give them that. I wanted the phone, I contributed for it, but you know… 30 million was just not doable. But unfortunately Ubuntu for Android didn’t take off either. I had my hopes up, I was waiting for it, they had a couple of ROMs for Nexus devices. They tried it, but in the end they didn’t get the manufacturer support they needed to make it wide. And at that time – about 8 months ago – I decided “you know what? I could do this myself” and decided to learn from the mistakes of these last two projects and maybe try to sidestep these issues and create my own. And this is where the Andromium platform comes in.”

What are the limitations that Andromium OS faces by being limited to an Android APK – for example, you mentioned that there’s no resizing or multi-instancing of Android applications [like in the Note series] and that they can only run in the background layer.

“Well, I think this is a difference and it is a conscious design decision. One of the things we planned for Andromium is that any phone can use it, so you don’t even need root access, and you definitely don’t need a custom ROM for it. So the reason that we chose that route is to have mass adoption; If we limited it to a custom ROM, the number of people that can use it is very small. As big as the [XDA] community and developer community is, we are not a major representation of standard Android users. Most Android users don’t do custom ROMs, they don’t void their warranty, they don’t do S-OFF, and those kind of things. They stick with stock Android. And even rooting, in my opinion, used to be very big back in the 2.0 and even the 3.0 days, but the reasons to have rooting were less and less in the 4.0 days. So the rooting community is not the biggest representation.

So for us, the reason why the app cannot do small screens is that we chose to ignore any API that uses superuser access, or require additional APIs that we have to embed into the OS itself. So we are using just standard Android API that is accessible or is not a hack. We are limited to using the regular app’s life cycle. We cannot inject additional behaviors into the apps. So we respect the sandboxing of the own apps instead of try to hack around it. Which is what [TouchWiz] does, Samsung has additional APIs inside their ROMs that allows them to hijack some of the apps’ life cycles a little bit. And even then they require any apps that do [things like] resizing windows, to at least sign their app for it, like saying “I support this API”. It’s not like any apps can do it on the Android phone. Xposed Module [XHaloFloatingWindow] goes with this, basically they hack around the apps’ default life cycle and they are hijacking some of that functionality, some of the API in order to do it. Which is a really good way to do it, but unfortunately it requires root access and sometimes even ROM support to get all the pieces together and that would restrict our user community too much so we decided against it.”

How do you think Andromium would evolve with [Stock] Android? For example, with this multi-window case, unfinished multi-window code has been found in Stock Android code before, would you implement it?

“Oh, absolutely! We would love it if AOSP had stock windowed apps, we would use it as soon as it becomes available. But [as of now] Google is kind of reluctant to do it (…) they are still reluctant to move from the phone and tablet model for Android.”

I noticed that all the supported devices are not necessarily super high-end at this point, but they are still flagship devices, still Full HD screens and up. And Andromium only supports Full HD screens and up as well. At the same time, Andromiums goal is reaching every possible consumer. So that reach is mitigated by the predominance of lower specced devices in key regions. How will you go about that? Will older/weaker devices be supported too?

“Well I think there’s two points to that. One is that we are a start-up, so there’s a lot of things we could do to support standard resolution TVs as well, it is just we need an HDMI to analogue converter, and it’s a thing we talked to manufacturers about and they could build it. But it is just that we are a start-up and we are just releasing our first iterations of the OS, so we can’t do everything at the same time. So we support the high-end phones because that would give us the most power, and even with areas we can optimize later on, that horse-power would at least mask any kind of issue we might have at the beginning. And at least for now, we want to focus on the developer community and ask them to help us grow our app store later on. For example we support Note 2, Note 3, they are high-end devices, but that kind of tells you about the “entry horse-power” we are aiming for.

One thing about smartphones is that they are evolving so fast. I’m seeing like, the Asus ZenFone 2… 4GB of RAM. The fundamental thing that is exciting for us is that the difference [in hardware] between a high-end device and a low-end device is only one and a half years. So by 2016, entry level phones could have the same specs as a Galaxy S5 or even a Galaxy Note 4.

For us, it takes time to build up a community, and refine the OS – so that it could be a primary computer for everyone, everyday, instead of a secondary computer. And I think [with] that half year to a year to get out there, and get developer feedback and support to grow the ecosystem, by the time 2015 ends, for those phones that’ll come to market ready we will be ready for them too.”

There is competition in the “mobile desktop” space already, like the Microsoft Surface. Will you move Andromium to a tablet form factor, and if the tablet is big enough display it on the tablet with no need for a monitor?

“Yes, that question was actually brought up in our comment section as well, that our users sent us. Originally we never thought about that form factor, but it makes sense, right? With a 10 inch or 12 inch tablet that I can prop up on my desk, with bluetooth mouse and keyboard or even USB using OTG then I can turn my Android tablet into a sort of Microsoft Surface. When that was brought up, we thought “maybe there’s not many users that want it”, but then we got a lot of comments and a lot of messages from people asking for it. So we decided to support that and our current plan is to have that functionality enabled for people.

It’s actually very simple to do, because we’ve already got all the components; only difference is, instead of turning the screen off on the device and displaying it on a larger screen, you just keep the device enabled and dismiss the requirement for external monitors. So we are totally going to support that.”

Will you support older Android versions? What would the entry version be?

“We think it’s going to be 4.4. We rely on a couple of 4.4-specific APIs, mainly it is the web browser. We are using the standard internal rendering framework inside Android, and Android made a huge change in 4.4 for the rendering framework. So because of that, we are supporting 4.4 and above.”

After the recent security controversy, I wouldn’t think you guys would want to support anything older!

“Yeah, exactly! And you know that’s the way it is going to be going forward. Google has never been very good at supporting what they consider obsolete versions. So we are going to start with 4.4 and 5.0 and above. And we think that initially that will be a little bit restrictive for our user base, but again, as time moves on that won’t become a problem.”

On the Kickstarter there seems to be a very strong emphasis on the more philanthropic consequences of the software; how important do you think Andromium could become for developing countries?

“I grew up in China, then came to the US. One of the co-founders is also from Paraguay. So, he used to volunteer at the favelas, teaching children english. Both me and him absolutely see the requirement for this. One is the fact that most of those South American countries, to a lesser extent China, and to a greater extent India, are skipping broadband [infrastructure] altogether, it is a mobile-only kind of situation. And in the mobile only world, it makes no sense to have a desktop or even a laptop because without broadband, wifi doesn’t have huge penetration.

The power of SmartphoneSo everybody has only cellphones, or if they have the money, the USB that lets them hook up to cellular. But when we are talking about an income range of maybe $2000 a year for a family, it makes no sense to spend that much money on a laptop or desktop. And some of the places that we are looking at have even less than $1000 USD a year income. (…) So they would spend money on a cellphone, but they wouldn’t spend money on a $500 or $600 computer, especially when they can’t even get internet access. So for us, mobile is the true way for people to be getting online in emerging markets.

The problem with mobile, the fundamental flaw that I see in mobile only is that it is not a platform geared towards productivity. We can consume media, we can use social media on it, and even read up on news and emails. But I can’t imagine a child spending an hour or two writing a 3 or 4 page essay on a cellphone. Even on a tablet, I just can’t see myself doing it.”

Or learning programming, with programmers being a valuable human resource for economic growth in today’s day and age. It could help the promotion of computer science in developing countries and bring equal tools for them.

“Absolutely! And I think that, fundamentally, you need a different platform than a smartphone to do it. Or at least, not a smartphone by itself to do it. The minimum requirement I see for a developer is a keyboard. You can probably get away away with it without a mouse, having a touchscreen. But without a keyboard, any sort of productivity work is insane.

This is where I think Andromium really makes up for the gap. There’s usually one or two smartphones per family, that’s usually the tool for the adults. But for kids, how are you going to teach them to be productive, online? How are you going to give them tools for education rather than playing games or going on social media? Attaching a keyboard is the best way to do it. And when you attach a keyboard, the next thing you want is a bigger screen to work on. So a 4.5 or 5 inch screen is decent for everything else, but it is horrible for programming!

So you attach it to a cheap TV or monitor and suddenly the smartphone that you have for entertainment becomes a smartphone you can use for work. And that is where I see Andromium having, fundamentally, the most impact. Bringing productivity to the smartphone.”

The internet “globalized” knowledge and opened the gates of it to all of mankind, but at the same time, some people don’t have the tools. And smartphones are mainly designed for media consumption, not for deeper academic pursuits. I see Andromium really bringing these tools for these countries. How do you see Andromium evolving?

“Fundamentally, we are talking about how we enable that kind of tool. Today everybody thinks we need a computer to do development, and we’ve got a cellphone on the side for work or a cellphone on the side for fun and social media, but in reality, the only reason we do that is because we don’t realize the fact that a lot of the tools already exist on the cellphone, to do the same thing. So [if] this is one area that you are interested in, about teaching development to Argentina, to Paraguay… I think, absolutely. Andromium is the right set for it.

As far as long term evolution… so this is something that is actually in the works, and is not done yet. (…) [In developing countries] data is fairly expensive, especially for the income people have. So it is great and all that we have a super-smartphone at our disposal, but people are very stingy about using data because it is still very expensive compared to their income. In the US we’ve got 1, 2, 3 or 4GB of data every month. But a lot of people we’ve talked to have less than 100MB, and they pay as they go. They have to make sure they are using it at the right time of day to keep the cheapest data rate, or juggle between SIM cards in order to get the best rate during that time of day.

It is something that is so foreign to us in the US, but in order to make Andromium a success in third-world markets, this is also something we’ve got to tackle: How to solve a data problem. We give them a platform where they can do more on, but they are still limited by what they can do online. We have to find out how to solve the online issue next.

This is an area where we are focusing a lot of effort on, because we really see it as the next step. Having the platform, having the OS is the first step. The next step is to enable users to take full advantage of that platform. And to take full advantage, you need the internet access, unfortunately. And you have to find a way to get cheaper, if not free, internet access to our users. We are heading for this next step. Right now we are having discussions in Paraguay with content providers as well as telecoms in there, and we got a great feedback. So we are just waiting for signing our first partner on board so that we can announce that next step to our users, and get them excited! (…) We are hoping to have something announced within the next couple of months.”

Do you see Andromium getting competitors, and do you see Andromium-like platforms overtaking traditional desktop computers for most activities?

“Do we envision Andromium get competitors? Absolutely. I’m hoping that the Ubuntu One project will come online and be another player in this market. We are fully aware that this is the evolution of computing platforms in general and we are seeing early leaders becoming online, and we consider us one of the early leaders right now. But Ubuntu will be one of the early leaders coming online, and potentially Microsoft is rumored to plan the same thing as well.

So there’s a lot of players that are interested and [we are] testing the waters of this space. I am glad we’ve got a head start, compared to Ubuntu for example. We are able to have a fully ready OS-to-go, available in 2015. I think where we can make a difference is that Ubuntu is focused on the high-end (…) For us we want to start at the low-end of market, and once the technology is mature enough, move back into the high-end.

So users today can use Andromium in the high-end market, and they can use it to replace their work computer, but a lot of our effort is basically not the high-end developer requiring 10GB of RAM, but supporting low-end users for who 2GB of RAM is enough to go online, to do light development, work editing, homework and all that.

We definitely will see competitors, and we love that we will. It means that this is definitely a right move for the next big thing.”

What features do you want to incorporate later on?

“As the first step on the OS, there’s still a lot of things we’ve got to refine. For example, the notifications framework; we are relying on standard Android notifications, with the drop-down menu bar, which is not the best way to see what message you are getting. For a lot of those, we put an additional UI layer on top. So a lot of it is going to be UI enhancements and refinements, that is kind of our next step.

But in long term, for us, one of the things we are really excited about that we are not dedicating much effort to until at least next year, is multi-monitor support. I have a laptop that hooks up to two monitors, that allows me to do development – that’s my kind of work setup. Andromium currently is one-monitor-only because of the hardware limitations. But that is evaporating. Newer phones coming online in 2015 all have the capability to do external multi-monitor support; so it is a matter of of us spending time in refinement to have a good multi-monitor user experience, specially for our power users.”

What was one of the hardest features that you worked on, or which are you the most proud of?

“I think the hardest feature. fundamentally, is how to create an OS on top of Android. To this day I am not aware of any other operating system that does what ours does. For example, a traditional VM works as a black box on their host system, so they have their own drivers, they have their own reserve memories, they have their own file system and everything. That is a great way to go if you’ve got the computer power for it. For example, on my MacBook Air I require 8GB of RAM to have a good host VM running on top of Mac OS X. That is not possible on a 2GB RAM environment.

In order to do it on Android we had to learn how to write a guest OS. A lot of network management, file systems, underneath file system security, we had to delegate under our host OS, which is Android, and then there’s parts where we have to take over ourselves, for example UI lifecycle rendering, freeing and then allocating memory to Andromium apps or apps that we create ourselves. So a lot of those things we have to do them as an OS, but we have to make the OS as light as possible so that way we don’t have to use as much RAM.

When we first started, our target was 3 GB of RAM, and we optimized it enough to go down to 2GB of RAM. And that is our proudest [feature], the fact that we can actually do that when nobody else could.”

So would you say that, as far as real world usage goes, it is optimized for market release on all supported devices?

“We are optimized enough to give a good user experience most of the time. In the [demo walkthrough] video, we purposely stressed the phone to the max, to kind of show what it can do. Power users can do that on an every-day basis, so they would still see lag like when we demoed it [on those conditions]. For the most part, if you are limited to 3 or 4 apps at the same time. you would have a great user experience.”

What limitations would Andromium apps face as far as memory and processing goes?

“The limitation that they would face would be the same as a standard Android application would face. The Andromium OS does a lot of work in order to hide the memory management issues away from the user (…). If you know how to program a regular Android app, you should be able to use the Andromium SDK as well. That said, it’d still be very difficult to program 3D games, like a Unity game, in Andromium. That is a little further away. But as far as writing an e-mail client, or a light-game like Angry Birds, that is doable for Andromium SDK. I think we can give at least 80% if not more of the native horsepower you would expect from a native Android app.”

How much of Google’s philosophies have you retained from working there? How is being a “Googler” different than running your own start-up?

“When I worked at Google, I had a great experience. There’s a lot of things that I learned from Google. Unfortunately there’s something that I couldn’t take away. As a start-up, we are a lot more resource-constrained. So at Google it is easy to spin up like, a 10,000 different VMs and doing [all kinds of] testing, and you can’t do that in a one-year start-up.

A lot of the development practices, as far as how to write clean code, some light AP testing, we could do, but a lot of heavy-handed testing requires unlimited resources, and [that’s something that] unfortunately as a start-up we can’t do.”

 

And as far as the more humanitarian aspect goes, would you say some of that stuck with you as well? How much of that is seen in the Google development environment?

“A lot, I think! One of the reasons I joined Google was that philanthropic mission they had, but I would say that comes much more from my MBA background from Georgetown. So Georgetown University is a Jesuit school, and they focus on the religious part as well as doing good for your society. So it is from that background that I got inspired in this mission. Doing a start-up project not only has huge potential as far as the technology goes, but also huge potential for making a greater good.”

What would you say to your followers at XDA?

“Stay updated with our current progress! We are releasing an SDK in June-timeframe, so we are rooting for the developer community to get on board, and help develop apps for Andromium. Right now we’ve got the standard set of apps which is web browser, video player, file explorer, a photo viewer, quick games and stuff like that. But we want more! We want everything that is capable on the Android system… Do it as an Andromium app. It is very fast and easy to convert. We are making our SDK as painless as possible. So please support us when the SDK comes out!”

 

Learn more about the Andromium project in our introduction article, and head over to the Andromium Kickstarter page to show support.

The post Interview with Andromium CEO Gordon Zheng appeared first on xda-developers.

Xiaomi growth is impressive, but not expected to hit U.S. or Europe for a few years

Posted by wicked January - 20 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

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When Hugo Barra left Google to join Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, many people saw that as a sign that the company might be the next big thing to sweep the globe in the smartphone industry. To some extent, that has proven to be true. Xiaomi has quickly risen to become the third largest smartphone manufacturer. That achievement has been accomplished on the back of their sales success in China and India. With some impressive devices, many are hoping Xiaomi will expand to other markets sooner rather than later, but in a recent interview with the BBC, Barra says not so fast.

Barra did confirm that Xiaomi has some ambitious, or as he puts it “insane,” plans to expand their global footprint. However, despite rumors flying during CES 2015, Barra says it will still be a few years until the company expands to European markets or the U.S. According to Barra, the market saturation and demands from consumers in those markets present some challenges for Xiaomi compared to some of the markets they are working on like India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey and Mexico.

Do you think Xiaomi will eventually succeed in European and North American markets if they take their time or will they miss a window of opportunity? Would you consider buying a Xiaomi smartphone if they were generally available in the U.S.?

source: BBC

Come comment on this article: Xiaomi growth is impressive, but not expected to hit U.S. or Europe for a few years

Google, Sony Release “The Interview” Available For Streaming Today

Posted by wicked December - 24 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

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International threats, hacking scandals, a major production company brought to its knees and a hilarious Dr. Evil Saturday Night Live bit later, these past couple of months have been a wild ride for Sony’s film The Interview. Starring James Franco and Seth Rogan, the premise of the film is centered around two talk show hosts being tasked with assassinating the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.

It is widely believed, even by the FBI, that North Korea is responsible for retaliating against Sony with a massive data breach that exposed many terabytes of confidential information from Sony’s computers to the world. The data released globally ranged from completed films like Annie to medical records of famous celebrities.

Amid denying responsibility for the hacking, North Korea simultaneously threatened any theatre wanting to show The Interview, as well as delivering a myriad of insults against the United States and its allies.

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Sony, stuck with a feature film on its hands that no one wanted to show, sought out a rather interesting approach. On December 17th, Sony reached out to a number of companies, specifically Google, to attempt to bring The Interview to the masses via streaming media.

Today, on Google’s official blog, the company’s Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond, had this to say:

Last Wednesday Sony began contacting a number of companies, including Google, to ask if we’d be able to make their movie, “The Interview,” available online. We’d had a similar thought and were eager to help—though given everything that’s happened, the security implications were very much at the front of our minds.

Of course it was tempting to hope that something else would happen to ensure this movie saw the light of day. But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be).

So starting at 10 a.m. PST in the U.S., you can rent or buy “The Interview” on Google Play and YouTube Movies. It will also be available to Xbox Video customers and via www.seetheinterview.com.

Based on today’s announcement, the conspiracy mill is already in full-swing with claims that this whole thing has been orchestrated by Sony in order to drum up hype.

So if you want to see what all the fuss was about, check out the link below to rent the movie in HD for $6, or purchase it in HD for $15, on Google’s Play Store.

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Google Play Download Link

Source: Google

Come comment on this article: Google, Sony Release “The Interview” Available For Streaming Today

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.

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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.

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“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.