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Remy Porter's Blog I love Open Source. It's a great way to develop software. But it has its weaknesses. One of the main weaknesses is consistency. Take a look at these Android apps. When you look at these applications for the Google backed smartphone OS, what you'll see is a complete lack of consistency in the look and feel of applications. I've done a little work with iPhone app development. I'm an avid user of a wide array of other iPhone apps. Apple provides a pretty standard set of UI widgets. There's some variation; the slider control looks different depending on where it's used, for example. Those variations are largely cosmetic. If you want to have tabs in your application, there's a built-in tab control. It rests at the bottom of the screen as a set of buttons. Every app that wants to have tabbed screens will use the same widget and the same family of control... (more)

Android Apps Promised on Non-Android Platforms

The Zürich-based Myriad Group, which is already being sued by Oracle for ceasing to pay what Myriad claims are excessive Java licensing fees, appears to be daring Oracle to find new grounds to take it to court. On Tuesday Myriad announced that it was going to try to get between Oracle and its God-given right to collect Java taxes - just like Google has with Android - and launch a thing called Alien Dalvik that will let Android apps run on non-Android platforms. It means to begin, oddly enough, with the not-very-promising MeeGo Linux operating system and show off what it's got so far on the Nokia N900 smartphone next week in its suite at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Myriad may want to rethink some of its plans considering Reuters' report that Nokia has just scrapped its plans to go with a MeeGo phone, the combination of Intel's Moblin OS and Nokia's Maemo O... (more)

The Magic of Mobile Cloud Debunked

It’s like unicorns…and rainbows! #mobile Mark my words, the term “mobile” is the noun (or is it a verb? Depends on the context, doesn’t it?) that will replace “cloud” as the most used and abused and misapplied term in technology in the coming year. If I was to find a pitch in my inbox that did not someway invoke the term “mobile” I’d be surprised. The latest one to catch my eye was pitching a survey on the “mobile cloud”. The idea, apparently, around this pitch involving “mobile cloud” is the miraculous capability bestowed upon cloud deployed services to automagically perform synchronization and storage tasks. The proliferation of mobile devices has created demand for services that allow users to access personal data and content from any device at any time. Mobile cloud services are emerging that synchronise data across multiple mobile devices with centralised storag... (more)

Scary App Games. SSL Without Benefit

Remember the Maginot line and how powerful and defensive it was going to be… And then the Germans just bypassed it? Remember the West Wall, where the Allies were going to throw themselves against in the waning days of World War II… And then it was not just pierced but effectively eliminated as a protective barrier in five days of fighting? That’s what happens when you know you need a defense, and you place all of your eggs in one basket. At least in the IT world a little caution can save you a lot. Here’s a cautionary tale. We trust SSL explicitly, but from a “download random app X” perspective, that’s a mistake. I’ve been spending my evenings on a home project developing an app for the Android. There are a ton of things that the app needs to work, so when I hit the “must communicate with SSL” part, I wanted a quick fix work-around for prototyping because my test si... (more)

Weekly Roundup: Android Comes to Windows Azure Mobile Services

The cloud world seems to have been received some interesting announcements and offerings over the last week. There were some new feature releases and price offerings from Amazon. Microsoft has announced some important updates to Windows Azure Mobile Services. Plus, Cloud Foundry has also announced its ‘handshake’ with Pivotal Initiative. Here’s a quick summary of cloud happenings over the last week: Beginning with the IaaS leader, Amazon has offered a month long free trial of the AWS Trusted Advisor to all AWS customers. This service inspects the AWS environment and makes recommendations to help users save money, improve performance or close security gaps. Additionally, enhanced the Trusted Advisor’s user interface and added a new suppress feature that allow users to hide the results of certain checks. Next, they have also announced that AWS customers will get a $1... (more)

Repel the Jedi Mind Trick by Turning to Enterprise Open Source Solutions

The Jedi mind trick is a Force power that can influence the actions of weak-minded sentient beings. Vendors will often try to apply the Jedi mind trick in selling silver-bullet software solutions that solve global warming and stop celebrity feuding while enabling service-based architecture development. Let's quickly put on our aluminum foil caps and repel the Jedi mind trick by turning to open source solutions. Service-based architectures are being touted as the next step in reaching programming nirvana. With these marching orders it's often difficult to build a framework that allows for simple service creation. This framework should also be flexible, scalable, and lightweight as well as easy in exposing services externally. Without the correct framework(s) and guardrails in place your application services can quickly become a jumbled mess. Circular dependencies, m... (more)

Android: Who Hates Google Over the Phone?

After Google’s Android announcement , at least four big guys should be irritated:Sun Microsystems, Apple, Adobe and Microsoft. Google approaches telephony from the open source side – Linux-based platform uses Java but does not care about sticking to Java ME – they are planning to use fast OpenGL libraries and are not afraid to be hardware-specific.  Check out the Youtube videos at the android site. Performance-wise that device looks pretty impressive.  Google has created an alliance of more than thirty parties – phone manufacturers and service providers.  Google knows how to do things right. Obviously,  Android is a direct outside threat to Java ME, which makes it two now. The first one is Sun’s own JavaFX which should become a commercial product for creating visual telephony applications around the same time when Android will be officially released – next Fall. T... (more)

Developing Open Source Mobile Messaging and Sync Apps for iPhone vs. Android

The iPhone and Google Android platform are undisputedly transforming the mobile industry by bringing smartphone capabilities to the masses. They are also making for enticing new mobile platforms for developing and deploying new types of mobile apps and services for mass market users. Yet, developing for them is not that easy. This session will focus on our experience of developing open source-based mobile messaging and sync applications for both of these platforms. It will compare and contrast the platforms in terms of the development methods and tools required, and their strengths and weaknesses from a developer's perspective. The presentation will share lessons learned as well as tips and techniques for developing for both platforms. Speaker Bio: Andrea Gazzaniga is Software Development Manager at Funambol, the leading mobile open source company in the world that ... (more)

AdMob Announces New Open Source SDK for Palm

Mobile advertising network, AdMob has always been quick to seize happening platforms like iPhone and Android to serve up their ads. Now that Palm has announced that their smartphone sales rose 134% to 823,000 units during the latest quarter, AdMob was quick to catch on and has announced support for Palm ‘s webOS as well. It has launched a new open source SDK to integrate its CPC text ads and CPM banner ads on Palm Pre and Pixi. It is already working with several developers – including Delicious Morsel and Byte Sequencing – to incorporate AdMob’s new Palm ad unit into their applications. The SDK is available for download from Google Code. ... (more)

Android 3’s Not Ready Yet: Google

Google held a quasi-private viewing at the GooglePlex Wednesday so the press could ooh and ah over the still-unfinished Android 3.0, its tablet- friendly version of the operating system also known as Honeycomb that still has no fixed release date. Product management director Hugo Barra said the widgetry is “not quite ready” to leave home although Motorola Mobility wants to start selling the Honeycomb-based Xoom tablet that Google used for the demo by the end of March. The Android rev’s got a new “holographic” user interface, as expected, and a new 2D and 3D Renderscript graphics engine. It supports video chat and multitasking, can drag and drop e-mail messages, and promises developers richer APIs. Meanwhile, the disappointingly slow-growing Android Market will be supporting in-app purchases in local currencies (just like Apple’s doing) as well as purchases from o... (more)

SMEStorage Update Their Android Cloud File Manager to Version 2.1

SMEStorage, the Open Cloud Platform Vendor, have updated their Cloud File manager product for Android to version 2.1. The SMEStorage Android Cloud File Manager enables the management of multiple storage clouds in one single Cloud File System. The 2.1 update is a substantial update that adds more features for local transfer of files from PC's and laptops. Now users can transfer files directly from their PC over WiFi using FTP clients or a browser. This makes very easy to take files with you that you have stored locally. The update also adds a scheduler for automation of the synchronisation of files to/from the device and one or more storage clouds. The third major part of the update is better integration with the Android Operating System so that all upload, download, and file event notifications are visible in the Android notification taskbar. CEO Ian Osborne stated, "We a... (more)