Two Toasters’ Android team members Chris Pierick and James Barr recently attended Droidcon London, the largest European conference for Android developers. We sat down with Chris and James to talk about the event and get a few details on what they learned.
Why did you want to attend Droidcon?
Chris: What really interested me were the talks focused on Android 5.0 and the design language. Not to mention the opportunities to learn directly from some of the major players in Android and at Google, like Chris Banes, Chet Haase, and Cyril Mottier.
James: I read a lot of posts written by the Android development community; meeting the people that I learn so much from online, including devs on Twitter and the Styling Android blog, was one of the big reasons I wanted to attend. There were also several talks on specific libraries and tools that I felt I could learn a lot from.
James: I really enjoyed finding out more about RxJava, a relatively new library for handling asynchronous events within Android development. Learning specialized tips and tricks for creating a good-looking app using the Canvas API (Chiu-Ki Chan’s “Fun with Android Shaders and Filters”) was also one of the highlights of the event for me.
Chris: Android Wear is something I am interested in, and Cyril Mottier’s presentation on the topic was very helpful for projects I hope to work on in the near future. Unlike typical Android apps, in which a user launches an app and is faced with a wide variety of potential interactions, developing Android Wear should use contextual UI with very simple actions so that users only get what they need, when they need it. For example, if you create an app that enables train ticket purchases, one option might be to notify the wearer with a notification in his/her context stream when the train is coming.
Were there any pleasant surprises?
Chris: For me the opening talk by Android UI Toolkit team lead Chet Haase was a lot of fun. He’s one of the top people at Google, and having him participate in a light-hearted, comedic speech about the importance of good practices and a positive attitude in Android development was a treat.
James: I had concerns that some of the presentations might be covering things I already knew, but I ended up learning a great deal more than I expected. Referring again to Chiu-Ki Chan’s talk on shaders and filters, she explained how to manipulate images in clever ways to create cool effects, particularly in image-heavy apps. She also provided a really good sample app as a point of reference so we could see how to make something flat look more realistic, but with the caveat that hardware layers couldn’t be turned on.
Was this valuable for you?
James: Definitely, as I’ve already taken what I’ve learned and applied it to my current projects. I only wish Droidcon were a longer event because I couldn’t sit in on every talk that interested me. I look forward to attending next year.
Chris: I agree, although next time I want to give a presentation myself, perhaps on ViewPager animations using PageTransformer, which we used for tutorials in the app we created for eBates.
Earlier this month Two Toasters’ Director of Development Josh Johnson was invited to speak at the inaugural [360|iDev min] conference in Greenville, South Carolina. Josh delivered a technical talk on the new HealthKit framework in iOS 8. Check out his full presentation below.
DURHAM, N.C.—August 20, 2014—Leading mobile app development company Two Toasters today announced that it has been ranked number 787 on Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 list for 2014. The magazine’s list, now in its eighth year, is an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies and represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs.
“Our growth is a testament to our great team that we have assembled over the years and our continued pursuit to improving our craft,” said Rachit Shukla, CEO at Two Toasters, “We are pleased to be included on this distinguished list of our peers.”
To celebrate this achievement, Two Toasters has launched a Crowdrise campaign to benefit the non-profit organization Girls Who Code (http://girlswhocode.com/), whose mission is to close the gender gap in the technology and engineering sectors. The campaign’s goal is to reach $5,000 in donations by September 15, 2014. If the goal is met, Two Toasters will contribute an additional $5,000, providing $10,000 in total funds to the non-profit group. (more…)
Google I/O is fast approaching and there’s an excited buzz coming from the Android corner of the Two Toasters office. In fact, they’re so excited about the conference that they put together this video discussing what they’re hoping for and expecting to be announced at Google I/O. Hear from Chris, Patrick, and Curtis in the video below:
What are you looking forward to seeing happen at Google I/O? Join the conversation and shoot us a tweet at @twotoasters!
Apple’s 2014 WWDC ushered in an era of interconnected mobile apps and iOS devices. In particular Apple introduced App Extensions, Healthkit, HomeKit and Handoff which allow apps to talk with each other, track a user’s health and expand into home automation. As with the iOS 7 launch, our team is hard at work learning and experimenting with the new APIs and tools. Two Toasters is excited to be leading the way in helping our clients integrate these developments into their mobile product strategies. Interested in getting a jumpstart? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (more…)