Apps World London 2012

Apps World London 2012 

AppNotize was at the Apps World fair 2012 in London. Since some of you probably could not be there, we would like to share our impressions with you.


The fair was located in the Earls Court Two building in the center of London. The entry was free and more than 6,000 visitors were expected. Gladly, the hall was big enough to have enough space to move and speak freely, even when it was a little bit noisy sometimes. Wifi was available all the time. Unfortunately it didn't work well with our smartphones (iPhone 4s and Google Nexus S), but we had no problems with our laptops.

The talks were quite interesting and always well visited. The topics of The talks were mostly about marketing, Android, HTML5 and ways how to improve your apps. In the following I would like to introduce some of the booths and their talks.

Aqua

One of the most interesting talks for us were from AQuA - App Quality Alliance: They are a non-profit group, working together with the industry and what they do is to give a lot of advices and guidelines to developers to improve their apps. Please check out their website. They have a lot of interesting material there for improvements. For example if you got an Android app you can look at the Android Testing Criteria PDF. It's totally free and will probably help to get a professional app.

BlackBerry

RIM (Research In Motion), which of you probably know from their mobile phones BlackBerry, announced previously that it will be possible to port Android apps to their BlackBerry OS in a few simple steps. It made us very curious, so we intended to go to their booth and test it with one of our beta apps (the app is still top secret though).

BlackBerry porting apps 

When we went to their booth we first listened to a talk from a RIM employee, who was talking about the possibilities when you port an existing Android app to BlackBerry OS. He explained us that we can just take our apk file (Android executable app file) and run it with BlackBerry 10. He even showed us a live demo with his personal Android app that is actually in the Google Play Store, how his app looks now on a BlackBerry 10 device. These devices are not available yet for the public but RIM gives sometimes devices to developers. There could be some limitations and that everything might not work just as on an Android phone. However, most of the Google API is supported.

At the BlackBerry booth were also some BlackBerry devices with app examples which where ported that way. On one device you could see Cut the Rope by ZeptoLab. It was running very fine and you had a good feeling while playing. There were no lags at all. Beside of games you could hardly see other apps but when you have seen them the GUI looked very like Android. We are no BlackBerry experts yet but we think that users would like to have a native look and feeling with their phone when they are using apps. We think, beside of games, you won't have a professional looking app after porting. You will have to do several changes to make your app feel like a native app and not a ported Android app.

Ok, now full of hope, that we can just port our beta app in a few steps, we went to one of the BlackBerry programmers. He showed us an online tool on the BlackBerry website which allows you to check if your app is compatible with Blackberry 10. This tool is not just a simple check, it also gives you information about the problems you will have and tells you how to fix them. The programmer had good hope that our app will work as well. We uploaded our apk to the test site and the test failed. Ouh :( Why that? We explained him that, different from other Android apps, we are developing with Mono for Android. Sadly they do not support apps written in a different programming language than Java. The BlackBerry programmer felt some kind of sorry for us. So what do you do when you stuck with a problem? Right. Just google it. So we googled for a solution and found MonoBerry. With MonoBerry you can make your Mono app to a native BlackBerry app. We were happy that we found this solution and would like to develop our apps for BlackBerry as well. Well, there might be some obstacles since MonoBerry doesn't seem to be developed far yet. The only working example we found was a hello world app but he hope that we can do more complex apps:

Microsoft

In Windows 8, Microsoft started to introduce their own app store for PC apps. They built, with a good concept, a reliable app store. That is what we can say from our developers point of view. From our end-user view, we do not like the new "Windows 8 Modern UI" (former known as Windows 8 Metro) when used on a normal laptop or PC. Every app is in fullscreen which is giving you the feeling that this Windows version was made for tablets or smartphones.

These were our impressions from the Apps World 2012. We hope the article satisfied your curiosity for news about apps at least a bit. Maybe let's meet next year to the Apps World event 2013.