A post Google I/O 2017 conversation with Google Home

OK Google, generate a clickbait title for my Google I/O 2017 blog post

I’ve generated a title, Gareth. What would you like to add next?

OK Google, I’m a bit jet lagged – remind me what I saw at Google I/O 2017

I would love to help, Gareth, but I’m going to need a little more information. Would you like that information in chronological order, or grouped by topic?

An intro to Virtual Reality

The concept of Virtual Reality (VR) has been around since the 1950’s. The first real working prototype, known as The Sword of Damocles, was created in the late 60’s. Since then, we’ve had Virtuality, Sega VR, the Virtual Boy and the VFX1, all without anything really catching on.

But I think now is a special time for VR. Why, you say? Glad you asked …

Shiner Ben Teese to speak at YOW! Conference 2015

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Shine is super proud to announce that senior consultant Ben Teese (@benteese) will be speaking at the YOW! Conference being held in Melbourne on the 3rd and 4th of December 2015.

Ben will actually be co-presenting this one with Sam Ritchie (@FakeSamRitchie), an iOS developer from Perth. Sam will be talking about ReactiveCocoa, while Ben’s topic will be React Native, an innovative new framework that applies the principles of the React web development library to native mobile application development.

The focus of the talk will be on the functional programming techniques that both of these frameworks use (uni-directional dataflow in the case of React Native, functional reactive programming (FRP) in the case of ReactiveCocoa).

If you haven’t purchased a ticket to YOW! Conference yet, be sure to get one whilst they’re still available. And if you’re already coming, be sure to check out Ben’s talk and say hi afterwards – Ben is always keen to chew the fat on all things developer related!

YOW! Connected 2015: Conference Report

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Last week I had the privilege of attending the YOW! Connected conference in Melbourne, Australia. YOW! Connected offers a look at all the interesting things that are happening in the mobile and IoT (Internet of Things) space, from the perspective of both software developers and UX designers.

On the mobile front it included a variety of talks relating to both the iOS and Android platforms and yes, even a little bit of Windows.

In general all the talks that I went to were pretty good,  but here I will write about a few that particularly interested me.

Geekapalooza: My recent visit to Google I/O

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src: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/105113874753230740413

Last week I had to pry myself away from my day-to-day life as a software developer and fly over the Pacific to attend Google I/O. Okay maybe I didn’t have to pry myself away – rather, it was more like me excitedly not sleeping for 2 days, giddy as a school kid, prior to leaving. I was lucky enough to be personally invited this year to both the conference and to other GDG organiser events to meet other community leaders across the globe. It’s safe to say I had high expectations.

I was expecting it to be big, but what I found was a mecca for geeks. A place where being a nerd was cool, wearing glass and wearables was not only normal but encouraged, and a place where everyone wanted to talk to you about the products they have been building and what tech stack and services made it possible. To say that I was blown away is an understatement — and this is just the people and culture surrounding the event. Let’s not forget the main reason I was there: I/O is the main stage for Google to announce their new product pipeline for the year. In this blog entry I’ll highlight the big announcements, albeit at a very high level.

Testing for Android with Robotium

Android’s built-in testing framework is lacking on a number of levels. Enter Robotium, an open-source project. Robotium connects the dots by extending Android’s testing framework and providing convenience methods to help developers rapidly create tests.

In this entry I will show how Robotium can be used for data input, finding and testing views and buttons, testing between multiple activities, and testing activities with extras. I’ll also show how to work around issues with race-conditions in UI tests. I have created a GitHub project with a sample application and test project.

Easing the Pain of Android Software Fragmentation

The Android FamilySoftware fragmentation is a common concern for Android developers. Right now, supporting all versions down to Android 2.2 (Froyo) will make your application available to 93.5% of Google Play users. However, doing so also means you miss out on APIs that were released in the last 2 years.

In this post I’ll talk about this problem in detail, and highlight a few libraries available that help you develop an Android 2.2 application without limiting yourself to old APIs.

A Good Look at Android Location Data

Getting started with the development of location-based services on Android is relatively easy thanks to the well documented location API. However, getting more serious shows there is still much uncharted territory. One such area concerns the accuracy of real-life location data, which I have recently taken a close look at. In short, location data can be far more accurate than Google’s conservative estimates – at least with the phone that I used.