This year a few of our developers attended Droidcon, the UK’s largest Android conference. Split over two days the event comprised of a number of talks including one from our very own developer Scott Bown. For full programme details click here.

Overall, our developers have had nothing but positive things to say about the event and there are a few key things we want to highlight specifically.

1. Use of Fragments

During one of Google’s talks, Android developer advocate Nick Butcher was quoted as saying “If you are not using fragments, you are doing it wrong.”  Android introduced fragments in Android 3.0 (honeycomb) ‘to support more dynamic and flexible UI designs on large screens, such as tablets.’  Whilst many have already adopted fragments as standard, this presentation acted as a great reminder to the way things on Android should be done in this regard and how to go about doing it. For more information on this you can have a look at the Android developers website.

2. Enterprise Marketplace 

A lot of developers were initially very surprised to see Cisco at Droidcon as the lead sponsor. All was soon understood however as Cisco unveiled the Cisco Cius. The Cisco Cius is a new tablet that was been developed specifically for enterprises. It even has its own enterprise application ecosystem, AppHQ. Whilst this is great news, the real attraction to writing about this is because it just highlights how much of a focus there has been on enterprise generally for Android. With new enterprise devices coming out and the launch of 3LM Android is positioning itself as a major player in the enterprise marketplace.

3. Private Beta Testing

Thai Tran, co-founder of Lightbox, spoke on How to Run a Private Beta on the Android Market.  Thai Tran spoke about his experience of private beta testing, some of the pitfalls to avoid and some best practices to include. The idea behind this is that you have a secondary developer account and upload apps with a password and ask a few of your customers to trial out the app. This has a number of benefits especially when you think about Android’s fragmentation issues, you could specifically ask for customers with certain devices to test the device.  It also means that you decrease the risk of getting a bad rating through a few hiccups incurred on launch.

4. Kirin

James Hugman, from Future Platforms introduced the audience to Kirin. In simple terms, Kirin is a way of writing the business logic (the back-end) of an app once in Javascript and then re-using this code across different platforms so that only the front-end elements have to be created natively. And the best thing is, this is open source. The implications of this could be enormous for developers and therefore we are definitely going to be keeping an eye on this!

You can see a lot more about the individual presentations on the Skills Matter website.

Mubaloo developer wins a prize!

We are also very pleased that another one of our developers, Patryk Glogowski entered HTC’s developers competition and won a new EVO View 4G AND a HTC Sensation due to his development work integrating new API’s into one of his apps! Well done Patryk!

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