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5 ways to improve battery life in your app

By Meghan Blanchette
April 18, 2014

Editor’s Note: Mobile HTML5 is a book by front-end engineer and frequent speaker Estelle Weyl. It is packed with hands-on examples to make you a stronger web developer–including best practices for SVG, Canvas, and CSS3 tailored to fit mobile devices. …

Four short links: 9 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 9, 2014

Jasper Project — an open source platform for developing always-on, voice-controlled applications. Shouting is the new swiping—I eagerly await Gartner touting the Internet-of-things-that-misunderstand-you. DeepBeliefSDK — deep neural network library for iOS. (via Pete Warden) Microsoft Spectrum Observatory — crowdsourcing spectrum …

Four short links: 26 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 25, 2014

brick — uncompressed versions of popular web fonts. The difference between compressed and uncompressed is noticeable. Speaking Javascript — free online version of the new O’Reilly book by Axel Rauschmayer. micio.js — clever hack to communicate between Arduino and mobile …

Four short links: 19 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 19, 2014

The Transformation of the Workplace Through Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Automation — fascinating legal questions about the rise of the automated workforce. . Is an employer required to bargain if it wishes to acquire robots to do work previously performed …

Four short links: 17 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 17, 2014

De-Design the Web — quiz, can you recognise common websites from just their wireframes? For the non-designer (like myself) it’s a potent reminder of the power of design. Design’s front of mind as we chew on the Internet of Affordances. …

Four short links: 6 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 6, 2014

Repo Surveillance Network — An automated reader attached to the spotter car takes a picture of every ­license plate it passes and sends it to a company in Texas that already has more than 1.8 billion plate scans from vehicles …

Four short links: 5 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 5, 2014

$1 Gesture-Recognizing Device (GigaOm) — the AllSee is the size of a quarter, harvests RF for power, and detects the variations in signal strength caused by gestures. A Conversation with Sydney Brenner — The thing is to have no discipline …

Talking to Chromecast from iOS

By James Turner
February 24, 2014

Now that Google has opened up the Chromecast API for anyone to play with, it’s possibile to create iOS applications that can leverage the $35 device as a way to display to HDMI devices wirelessly. In this series of tutorials, …

Talking to Chromecast from iOS

By James Turner
February 24, 2014

Now that Google has opened up the Chromecast API for anyone to play with, it’s possibile to create iOS applications that can leverage the $35 device as a way to display to HDMI devices wirelessly. In this series of tutorials, …

Four short links: 11 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 11, 2014

China’s $122BB Boom in Shadow Banking is Happening on Phones (Quartz) — Tencent’s recently launched online money market fund (MMF), Licai Tong, drew in 10 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) in just six days in the last week of January. The …

Four short links: 10 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 10, 2014

Bruce Sterling at transmediale 2014 (YouTube) — “if it works, it’s already obsolete.” Sterling does a great job of capturing the current time: spies in your Internet, lost trust with the BigCos, the impermanence of status quo, the need to …

Upward Mobility: Your phone is your robot’s best friend

By James Turner
February 3, 2014

Recently, Glenn Martin wrote an article describing how robotics in moving out of the factory and into the house. And while Glenn restricted himself mainly to the type of robots that pop into your head when someone says the word …

Four short links: 31 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 31, 2014

Bolts — Facebook’s library of small, low-level utility classes in iOS and Android. Python Idioms (PDF) — useful cheatsheet. Michael Abrash’s Graphics Programming Black Book — Markdown source in github. Notable for elegance and instructive for those learning to optimise. …

Four short links: 28 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 28, 2014

Intel On-Device Voice Recognition (Quartz) — interesting because the tension between client-side and server-side functionality is still alive and well. Features migrate from core to edge and back again as cycles, data, algorithms, and responsiveness expectations change. Meet Microsoft’s Personal …

Upward Mobility: TVs are the new mobile

By James Turner
January 27, 2014

One of the perennial technologies that regularly appears at the Consumer Electronics Show is the smart TV set, but they never seem to gain the kind of traction that the manufacturers hope that they will. This may finally be coming …

The Altar of Shiny

By Courtney Nash
January 13, 2014

Web and mobile users continue to expect faster sites and apps–especially when it comes to mobile–and this year I’d like to see people who work on the web spend more time focusing on performance as a user experience priority instead …

Four short links: 10 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 10, 2014

Software in 2014 (Tim Bray) — a good state of the world, much of which I agree with. Client-side: Things are bad. You have to build everything three times: Web, iOS, Android. We’re talent-starved, this is egregious waste, and it’s …

Upward Mobility: Predictions for 2014

By James Turner
January 6, 2014

It is a generally accepted requirement that all technology pundits attempt a yearly prognostication of the coming 12 months. Having consulted my crystal ball, scryed the entrails of a falcon, and completed a 3 day fasting ritual in a sweat …

Update Mobility: The Year in Mobile

By James Turner
December 16, 2013

As the end of December approaches, it’s time to take a look at the year that was. In a lot of ways, 2013 was a status quo year for mobile, with nothing earthshaking to report, just a steady progression of …

Upward Mobility: 3 Unanswered Questions About Mobile Technology

By James Turner
December 9, 2013

I spend a lot of time on this blog focused on the very short term issues regarding mobile. Is Apple better than Android. Will Blackberry survive? What’s the best strategy in Candy Crush? But sometimes you need to pull up to …

Four short links: 5 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 5, 2013

Deducer — An R Graphical User Interface (GUI) for Everyone. Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Roadmap (PDF, FAA) — first pass at regulatory framework for drones. (via Anil Dash) Bitcoin Stats — …

Upward Mobility: The Forgotten Mobile Platforms

By James Turner
December 2, 2013

When thinking about the mobile development space, it’s easy to make the mistake of restricting it to smartphones. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and the stragglers dominate the news, and seeing someone typing away at a handset has become ubiquitous. But below …

Upwardly Mobile: IPv6 For Mobile?

By James Turner
November 25, 2013

IPv6 is the global warming of the computer industry, an impending disaster that most folks don’t seem to be taking as seriously as they should be. We’re well into the exhaustion phase of the IPv4 address space, but most ISPs …

Four short links: 14 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 14, 2013

An Interactive Machine Learning System for Recognizing Hand Gestures (Greg Borenstein) — a mixed-initiative interactive machine learning system for recognizing hand gestures. It attempts to give the user visibility into the classifier’s prediction confidence and control of the conditions under …

Measuring Mobile Performance

By Manish Lachwani
October 9, 2013

Now that more companies have basic mobile strategies in place, they are turning their attention to the issue of performance. Mobile developers are thinking about how fast their apps and mobile webpages load and—more importantly—what they can do to make …

Upward Mobility: Dig Out Your Tin-Foil Hats

By James Turner
September 23, 2013

The continual drip-drip-drop of NSA secrets, courtesy of Monsieur Snowden, has provided many of us with a new piece of daily entertainment. But as much fun as it can be to see No Such Agency’s dirty laundry being aired in …

Four short links: 9 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 8, 2013

How Google’s Defragging Android (Ars Technica) — Android’s becoming a pudgy microkernel for the Google Play Services layer that’s in userland, closed source, and a way to bypass carriers’ lag for upgrades. Booting a Self-Signed Linux Kernel (Greg Kroah-Hartman) — …

The Role of Big Data in Personalizing the Healthcare Experience: Mobile

By Bonnie Feldman
September 1, 2013

This article was written with Ellen M. Martin and Tobi Skotnes. Dr. Feldman will deliver a webinar on this topic on September 18 and will speak about it at the Strata Rx conference. Cheaper, faster, better technology is enabling nearly …

The Ever-Changing Landscape of Mobile Gaming

By Rachel Roumeliotis
August 1, 2013

Jon Manning (@desplesda) and Paris Buttfield-Addison (@parisba) talk with me about where mobile gaming is going in the next 12 months. Key highlights include: Game-specific APIs and standardized gaming accessories in iOS 7 [Discussed at 0:20] Android needs to catch …

Four short links: 31 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 31, 2013

How to Easily Resize and Cache Images for the Mobile Web (Pete Warden) — I set up a server running the excellent ImageProxy open-source project, and then I placed a Cloudfront CDN in front of it to cache the results. …

Four short links: 23 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 23, 2013

Canary (IndieGogo) — security sensor with video, motion, temperature, microphone, speaker, accelerometer, and smartphone remote control. Page Speed is Only The Beginning — 73% of mobile internet users say they’ve encountered Web pages that are too slow. A 1 second …

Four short links: 15 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 15, 2013

Product Strategy Means Saying No — a resource for strength in saying ‘no’ to unplanned features and direction changes. My favourite illustration is for “but my cousin’s neighbour said”. Yes, this. git-imerge — incremental merge for git. The Paranoid #! …

Context Aware Programming

By Tim O'Reilly
July 5, 2013

I’m increasingly realizing that many of my gripes about applications these days are triggered by their failure to understand my context in the way that they can and should. For example: Unruly apps on my Android phone, like gmail or …

Optimizing Your Websites for Smartphones, Tablets, and More

By Dino Esposito
July 5, 2013

Users expect to be able to use and bookmark a website by name—always the same name, regardless of the device used to reach and view the site. From a user’s standpoint, a site is a site regardless of which device is …

Four short links: 3 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 2, 2013

Mobile Email Numbers (Luke Wroblewski) — 79% use their smartphone for reading email, a higher percentage than those who used it for making calls and in Feb ’12, mobile email overtook webmail client use. ProperSSL — a series of best …

Location Functionality in Mobile Apps

By Rachel Roumeliotis
July 1, 2013

Andy Gup (@agup) is a Developer Evangelist at ESRI and OSCON 2013 Speaker. In this interview we talk about location capabilities in apps as well as location analytics. NOTE: If you are interested in attending OSCON to check out Andy’s …

Mobile First? Not So Fast!

By Laura Klein
June 19, 2013

Are we done with the Mobile First meme, yet? Can we be? Please? Look, don’t get me wrong. I fundamentally agree with a lot of the thoughts behind the annoying catchphrase “mobile first.” For example, I agree that mobile devices …

Four short links: 21 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 17, 2013

Ant-Sized Computers (MIT TR) — The KL02 chip, made by Freescale, is shorter on each side than most ants are long and crams in memory, RAM, a processor, and more. Some Thoughts on Digital Manufacturing (Nick Pinkston) — Whenever I …

The Power of a Private HTTP Archive Instance: Finding a Representative Performance Baseline

By Barbara Bermes
June 13, 2013

Be honest, have you ever wanted to play Steve Souders for a day and pull some revealing stats or trends about some web sites of your choice? Or maybe dig around the HTTP archive? You can do that and more …

Four short links: 31 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 31, 2013

Modeling Users’ Activity on Twitter Networks: Validation of Dunbar’s Number (PLoSone) — In this paper we analyze a dataset of Twitter conversations collected across six months involving 1.7 million individuals and test the theoretical cognitive limit on the number of …

Looking Forward, a Leap

By Simon St. Laurent
May 29, 2013

Over the last few months, I keep finding new signs that the way we approach web development is about to shift. The parts – which have mostly existed for a while – haven’t completely come together yet, but the next …

Four short links: 21 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 21, 2013

Hyperinflation in Diablo 3 — interesting discussion about how video games regulate currency availability, and how Diablo 3 appears to have messed up. several weeks after the game’s debut a source claimed that there were at least 1,000 bots active …

Weekly Highlights and Insights: May 6-10

By Adam Flaherty
May 10, 2013

Fit2Cure: Andy Oram introduces a game that crowdsources the search for drugs to cure under-researched diseases of developing countries. Unit testing core data: James Turner shows iOS developers a less painful way to set up an OCUnit project to test …

Four short links: 9 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 9, 2013

On Google’s Ingress Game (ReadWrite Web) — By rolling out Ingress to developers at I/O, Google hopes to show how mobile, location, multi-player and augmented reality functions can be integrated into developer application offerings. In that way, Ingress becomes a …

Cultural capital goes commercial

By Julia Errens
May 2, 2013

It wasn’t one of my proudest moments when, a week before Christmas last year, I was hunched over my smartphone towards the back of the famous Hamley’s Toy Store on London’s Regent Street, composure tethered to an elusive bar of …

Conquering iOS Core Data

By Rachel Roumeliotis
May 2, 2013

Joshua Smith (@kognate) is a Lead Mobile Developer at iRx Reminder, frequent Cocoa Conference speaker and author of an upcoming book with O’Reilly on core data. We recently sat down to talk about core data and its complexities. What exactly …

Google Glass and the Future

By Mike Loukides
April 29, 2013

I just read a Forbes article about Glass, talking about the split between those who are “sure that it is the future of technology, and others who think society will push back against the technology.” I don’t see this as …

Go native, go big, and go deep

By Zigurd Mednieks
April 29, 2013

Apps have to get bigger and more ambitious. A key question for the developer community is how do you create big, integrated, multi-functional, configurable apps for the mobile enterprise? Curiously, Facebook is providing some answers by not using HTML5 and …

Upward Mobility: Should there be only one?

By James Turner
April 29, 2013

As long as most people can remember, the smartphone space has been a contested one. Before the iPhone became temporarily ubiquitous, RIM and Palm were fighting it out to own the market, and today you have a plethora of platforms …

Building native apps from JavaScript using Titanium

By Andy Oram
April 18, 2013

In this interview, the author of Titanium: Up and Running describes how Titanium can be used to generate native mobile apps from JavaScript code. He distinguishes the Titanium platform from native API programming and from other popular JavaScript platforms for …


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