June 27, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android has become the dominant mobile operating system. Many of us love Android, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore any new mobile OSes that may come along. What if we ignored Android when it was first released? In that spirit of support of new ideas, XDA has added forums for other OSes such as Ubuntu Touch, and we are having some discussions about Ubuntu Touch at XDA:DevCon 2013.
We already know the Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon will be discussing Building a Convergent Future With Ubuntu. But what if you want to learn how to develop for Ubuntu Touch? Is there some kind of workshop you can attend? There is!
Open Source software developer, community manager, and technology evangelist Michael Hall will be holding an Ubuntu Touch Development Workshop at XDA:DevCon 2013. Working for Canonical, maker of the popular Ubuntu operating system, and experienced in Perl, Java, PHP and Python languages and a number of desktop applications and libraries, he was responsible for promoting development of Ubuntu itself and the applications that run on it. He led projects to improve integration with Ubuntu’s flagship Unity desktop among desktop and web application and Canonical’s Skunkworks initiative, which brought in select community contributors to work on unannounced projects being developed internally.
When Ubuntu announced their plans to enter the mobile phone and tablet market and released an early preview of their SDK, Michael took a leading role in bringing it to application developers and working with Ubuntu engineers to extend and improve on the developer toolkit. He has overseen the collaborative development of a number of core applications for Ubuntu’s mobile offering, bringing community developers together with Canonical staff to plan, develop, and deliver high quality and visually stunning apps.
With all this experience in hand, he will be leading a workshop on getting started with Ubuntu Touch development. During this workshop, he will present the new Ubuntu SDK, what it has to offer mobile application developers, and how you can use it to create your own apps for Ubuntu devices of all sizes. You will be shown how to get a development environment setup, install the SDK, and where to find extra help and documentation. Finally, you will be shown step-by-step how to develop a working real-world Ubuntu Touch app, so bring your Ubuntu laptop (or VM) to code along!
June 25, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
At XDA, we get downright giddy when we see a heavily locked down device unlocked and rooted. An unlocked bootloader and rooted device opens the door for many options of custom ROMs. Without root we have no recovery, no ROMs, no kernel optimizations, and very limited other development. Most of us are guilty of just flashing away what greater minds say we need to without ever understanding what they do.
Justin Case, aka XDA Elite Recognized Developer jcase, is a mobile security researcher and the developer of many of these Android exploits. He is one of these great minds, and he will be presenting at XDA:DevCon 2013. Jcase will be discussing vulnerabilities and common security shortfalls in Android applications and firmware. He will also be walking the audience through identification of a vulnerability and development of an Android root exploit.
Being one of the great minds that understands Android security, jcase knows that the very same exploits we use to root our phones expose us and others to malicious activities such as spyware, bots, keyloggers, and other forms of malware. At XDA:DevCon, jcase will discuss past vulnerabilities in applications and firmware, as well as how they are mitigated today. He will teach the audience about some of the tools and methods used in identifying vulnerabilities. Finally, he will be speaking about application and firmware security, citing and explaining common mistakes, and how we can mitigate them. To end the presentation, jcase will publish and discuss a brand new root exploit for the LG Optimus series of phones.
June 23, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The main benefit to rooting one’s Android device is the ability to run applications that are developed for root users. These applications allow you to take control of your device and do a wide variety of actions not normally permitted or possible without root access. Some of these applications allow you to take entire system-wide backups, change your devices screen density, or even alter the look and feel of your device. There is no doubt that rooting a device has many advantages.
At XDA:DevCon 2013, we are talking all about app development. Scheduled to present is XDA Elite Recognized Developer Stericson. Also known as Stephen Erickson, Stericson has been involved in the Android community since the prerelease of the T-Mobile G1, or since rc19 if we want to go in terms of Android releases. He started out learning how to create themes for Android and then he moved on to hex edits that enabled one device’s apps to work on another device. He finally moved on to developing Android applications and the RootTools library to assist others with creating applications for root users.
As a developer, creating root-enabled applications becomes trivial with the RootTools open source library. Sterison’s presentation will focus on how to use the RootTools library in order to create root applications that your users will love and appreciate.
June 21, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
I will be the first to admit that I’m cheap. When browsing the Google Play Store, an application has to do a lot and do it simply and easily for me to spend any amount of money on the app. However, I understand that developing an app takes a lot of time, effort, cursing, and knowledge; and the developer deserves to be paid. So I tolerate ads and in-app purchases.
Android is the world’s most popular mobile OS, with the Play Store growing at an incredible rate. Thousands of new apps are added daily, all trying to get a piece of the pie and turn into the next Angry Birds. What is really the best strategy to pursue to consistently generate revenue in this “free” ecosystem?
Ariel Shimoni, Director of Publisher Relations at StartApp, will be discussing this and monetization in general at XDA:DevCon 2013. He has been with StartApp for the past 2 years, handling their developer lifecycle. From lead to account and support, helping grow StartApp to over 25,000 apps and an Ad SDK downloaded over 800M times to date. Before StartApp, he spent 3 years as an account manager in the online marketing world, focusing on performance and downloadable products.
With this knowledge and skills in hand, Ariel will review some of the most popular models currently used by apps in the Play Store, like banners to icon ads. During the presentation he analyze each model and try to help you to figure out how to best match your app to the right business model for you.
June 19, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
From HTML to LEDs or Android to Arduino, Hardware Hacking is a pastime of many people including XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler. Another hardware enthusiast is Pearl Chen. When working on something, she takes on a cross-disciplinary approach. With over 9 years of professional experience in web technologies, Pearl has a body of work that includes Facebook campaigns for Google Chrome and microsites for Nike. Pearl also tackles more unusual jobs such as modifying the guts of Nintendo Wii controllers and dynamically creating origami objects from SMS messages.
Alongside contributing to open source educational resources hosted on Github, Pearl is a published author and contributed the NFC and Open Accessory API chapters to Professional Android Sensor Programming. Pearl enjoys building tools for other educators and her goal is to raise the bar for technology education by using collaborative platforms to help construct open source curriculums and by creating engaging and effective educational user experiences.
With this impressive resume, we invited Pearl to speak at XDA:DevCon 2013. In her session, Pearl will talk about near field communications or NFC. So quit waiting for Google Wallet to come to your local retailer, or for the next rumored iPhone with built-in mobile payment to ship, because NFC is already here. This technology can be used for much more than waving your phone at the cash register. Pearl with show you some unexpected ways that NFC can be utilized on Android phones (and other NFC-enabled devices) that go beyond the checkout line.
June 17, 2013 By: jerdog
Ubuntu has become the most successful *nix distribution for a number of reasons, with perhaps the most important being community engagement. Ubuntu’s Community actively encourages participation, collaboration, and contribution; and the user community has responded well over the years.
Ubuntu has continued this tradition of working with the community with their approach to Ubuntu Touch, and the recent news that they would be actively seeking out questions from the XDA user community and having their engineers respond directly on XDA. After just one day, there were well over 100 questions. And as it stands now, there are just shy of 200 questions in slightly over one week. True to their word, Ubuntu engineers have in fact begun answering those questions in the thread. Here are a few of the most popular questions asked (and answered) so far:
Is there any plan to make a final version of ubuntu touch for nexus series?
The 13.10 release will be the first official release for the four targeted Nexus devices.
Are there plan to merge works from Meego/Harmattan community? since both are deb based?
Any works from Meego or Mer that can be leveraged would be welcome, we constantly look for existing solutions.For example the File Manager app is using a QML plugin from Mer/Nemo, which is descended from Meego.
1. Will ubuntu touch support existing android applications?
2. Will it be possible for every device to run ubuntu touch like the desktop os supporting most configurations?
3. Will my device supported for future versions of the OS or a device per OS policy?
1- Ubuntu Touch is a very different product than Android, there are common things in the plumbing but that is about it.
2- The desktop world and the device world are very different, so in practice no.
3- For minor updates I would say yes, for major updates it would probably work like in the industry (I’m not a subject matter expert to answer this one). That said, the community can take core of making sure it is.
For more answers, or to submit your questions, make sure to subscribe to the thread. And if you want to hear more about Ubuntu’s future plans, make sure to register (hint: discount link) for XDA:DevCon and hear Ubuntu’s Community Manager Jono Bacon speak about Ubuntu Unification.
June 17, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
If you are an Android app developer, you know that however great the Android OS is, it has some failings. One of those limitations is inflexible permissions. However, there are ways to work around that. Using a plugin strategy where the main app can be extended by users is one way to get around that limitation. Except Android doesn’t have a single model for plugins, but it does offer many ways to create plugin-centric architectures for apps.
If you have often thought about building an app to support plugins or wondered why plugins are important, you should attend this year’s XDA:DevCon 2013. One of our speakers is Mark Murphy, founder of CommonsWare and author of “The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development.” He is active in supporting the Android developer community, from answering questions on StackOverflow to publishing sample code and reusable components as open source.
Mark’s experience ranges from consulting on Open Source and collaborative development for Fortune 500 companies to application development on just about anything smaller than a mainframe, and he is a three-time entrepreneur. He has been a software developer for nearly three decades, from the TRS-80 to the latest crop of mobile devices.
As a man with immense experience, Mark will give anyone interested in app development loads of information at XDA:DevCon by presenting why plugins can be important and how to plugin-enable your app. He will be using apps like Roman Nurik’s DashClock as an example. Join us August 9 to 11 in Miami for XDA:DevCon 2013. Register to attend using this link for exclusive savings.
June 15, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
If you’ve been paying attention to the latest Ubuntu developments, you will know that Canonical is trying to unify the experiences between your different devices—from phones to tablets to computers. We are excited to announce that Ubuntu will be represented at XDA:DevCon 2013 by a well-known man in the open source community, Jono Bacon.
If you don’t know, Jono Bacon is a leading community manager, engineering manager, consultant, and author. Working as the Ubuntu Community Manager at Canonical, he leads a team that grows and inspires the global Ubuntu community numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
Bacon is a prominent author and speaker on community management and best practice, and he wrote the bestselling The Art of Community, is the founder of Community Leadership Summit (the primary annual conference for community managers and leaders), and is a regular keynote speaker at events about community management, leadership, and best practice.
Bacon was the co-founder of the popular LugRadio podcast, which ran for four years with more than 2 million downloads and 15,000 listeners, as well as spawning five live events in both the UK and the USA, and co-founded the Shot Of Jaq podcast. He is also the founder of the Ubuntu Accomplishments, Jokosher, Acire, Python Snippets, and Lernid software projects.
When you attend XDA:DevCon 2013, you will hear a new talk from Jono Bacon. He will present the vision of a single, ubiquitous, free and open OS that Ubuntu is working on that spans phone, tablets, desktops, and TVs. This vision is built from a central code-base, and a consistent yet responsive design across these different form factors. In the presentation, Bacon will present where Ubuntu stands today, how Canonical is working with the XDA community, the new application developer community that is forming, and the roadmap for the next year.
June 13, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Daniel Nazer is a Staff Attorney on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s intellectual property team, focusing on patent reform. Daniel has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Western Australia, an M.A. in philosophy from Rutgers, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He also practiced at Keker & Van Nest, LLP, where he represented technology clients in patent and antitrust litigation.
You may be saying to yourself, “That’s great for Daniel! But, why should I care?” Well you should care for two reasons. First, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is a wonderful non-profit organization that supports your digital freedom. From protecting people from the Righthaven patent trolls to supporting privacy technology and helping us stand up against SOPA and other government threats to our digital lifestyle. We here at XDA support the EFF so much that we donated all profits from the sale of our book on Amazon to them.
Second, Daniel Nazer will be speaking at XDA:DevCon 2013! The last decade has seen an explosion of litigation from patent trolls, entities that produce nothing but buy patents to launch lawsuits. Recently, trolls have been targeting small companies and startups, including application developers. A flood of low quality software patents is behind this outbreak. As an independent that is developing an application this should cause you some alarm.
Even the copyleft principles of free and open source software licenses, like the much touted GNU General Public License, are difficult to apply to patents, leaving the entire FOSS community vulnerable to attacks by these idiots. With the troll problem growing, there are a number of proposed reforms being considered by Congress. However, the cogs of government move slowly. In the meantime, developers must take steps to minimize the risk of becoming the latest patent troll road kill. Nazer will be showing what steps you can take to fight back in this situation.
[Image from PatentTrolls.org]
XDA:DevCon 2013 is shaping up to be a great experience. We have some of the biggest names in application security, NFC, UI/UX development, and root applications on tap to speak, as well as companies like Sony Mobile, Ubuntu and StartApp slated to speak about development and technology.
Seeing as this is about helping people grow in their development skills, we would love to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to attend. So fill out this form telling us about yourself and why you want to attend DevCon. We will pick 10 lucky winners from the entrants and they will receive 2 nights hotel stay at the event in Miami and free food while there. All we ask is that you be able to pay for your travel arrangements to Miami, FL August 9-11.
The contest closes on Saturday, June 22, so make sure you get out there and submit your entry!
If there’s one thing that Sony Mobile has done over the past year to change its image, that’s been to support the independent Android developer community. From open-sourcing DASH to releasing an ALPHA build of Jelly Bean with the kernel source to contributing to AOSP projects, Sony has signaled that they are a company that embraces open source and (by extension) the community as a whole. If you haven’t already, you should really check out their Developer World site where you’ll find tutorials, source code, and all sorts of interesting announcements.
Due to their contributions, it comes as no shock that Sony Mobile is sponsoring XDA:DevCon 2013 at the “Elite Recognized Sponsor” level. What this means is they are committed to helping bring the highest level of content and participation possible. They’ll be sponsoring their own “supersession,” as well as hosting a booth for you to meet and greet some Sony engineers.
We can’t say enough how happy we are to have Sony Mobile join us on this adventure, and we look forward to bigger and better things to come. And to provide further incentive, register to attend using this link for exclusive savings.
This is a multipart series on planning the XDA Development Conference to be held in Miami August 9 – 11 (http://www.xda-devcon.com). We want to give everyone a sense of what the event’s all about—and maybe some insight on what it takes to put on even a small conference.
Before we start, we want to apologize for stupidly using the same web “event” template (as well as some sponsorship language) as the Big Android BBQ. We’ve since changed our site, and we have no excuse other than that we’ve been focused on organizing a great event—and the website was the 100th thing on a long list of to-dos. In any case, the Big Android BBQ is still the premiere Android community event (which we still plan on sponsoring again this year)—and it is very different from our DevCon. So, please consider this an official apology.
First thing’s first: Putting on a conference is expensive: similar to a multi-day wedding, without all the flowers. This is a true community event. All the speakers are graciously contributing their time and expertise (for free). All sponsorships and ticket fees are being plowed back into the event, and we (XDA) are making up the difference. XDA moderators (and even some wives) will be organizing and staffing the event. It is our way of trying to give back to the development community that has made XDA so amazing. If there’s anyone out there who wants to attend but for whom the conference registration fee is too much, send a message to the DevCon contact email (email@example.com). We’ll send you a code for a free ticket.
The hardest part of organizing a conference is making it different and memorable. Free food, fun, and giveaways can help (and we’ll have all that); but the key is being interesting, educational, and unique. Our goal with the event is to interactively cover a broad range of development topics, and attendees should be prepared to contribute actively to the discussion. We hunted for presenters who could go well beyond a PowerPoint to engage an audience while teaching. And in addition to all of those speakers, every attendee will have the opportunity to get on stage, present a project, ask questions, and solicit feedback. We expect to have attendees with all levels of development skills– so please don’t feel intimidated. XDA is all about community and learning. DevCon will be the same.
We’ll leave you with bios of just a couple of our speakers. All of this is on the DevCon website, but for those too lazy to click over, hopefully this will help you get interested:
From HTML to LEDs, or Android to Arduino — Pearl Chen takes on a cross-disciplinary approach to her work. With over 9 years of professional experience in web technologies, Pearl has a body of work that includes Facebook campaigns for Google Chrome and microsites for Nike. Pearl also tackles more unusual jobs such as modifying the guts of Nintendo Wii controllers and dynamically creating origami objects from SMS messages.
Pearl was most recently the Senior Manager Research & Technology at the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab and is now working independently as an educator teaching web development, Android, and electronics — while also building tools for other educators.
Alongside contributing to open source educational resources hosted on Github, Pearl is a published author and contributed the NFC and Open Accessory API chapters to Professional Android Sensor Programming published by Wrox.
Pearl enjoys building tools for other educators and her goal is to raise the bar for technology education by using collaborative platforms to help construct open source curriculums, and by creating engaging and effective educational user experiences.
Justin Case, known as jcase, is a mobile security researcher, CTO of Applied Cybersecurity LLC, a contributor to the popular Android blog AndroidPolice.com and the developer of many Android exploits.
Justin will be discussing vulnerabilities and common security shortfalls in Android applications and firmware. He will also be walking the audience through identification of a vulnerability, and development of an android root exploit. Additionally, he will be speaking about application and firmware security, citing and explaining common mistakes and how we can mitigate them.
April 24, 2013 By: jerdog
A little over a year ago, a thought began to permeate among some of the staff here at XDA: “Why doesn’t XDA create its own conference?” After much exploring and discussion, and maybe even a few group hugs (inside joke), we’re pleased to announce the first XDA:DevCon on August 9th to 11th.
We want to offer a conference where developers from across the spectrum can gather, collaborate with other developers, learn something new, and hone their existing skills. So we are bringing in some of the biggest names in the mobile development space to teach on app development, UI/UX design, app security, root apps, Windows Phone development, and more.
As for the location, we wanted a place that was attractive, easy to get in and out of, and relatively inexpensive (in August). The result: beautiful Miami, FL.
The other thing we wanted was a venue that was comfortable, accessible to a lot of great attractions, and reasonably priced. So after some nifty negotiations, we’ve arranged to have the conference at the Conrad Hilton. Situated just a few blocks from the Bay of Biscayne, and a short drive away from South Beach, it really doesn’t get any better than this. The room rates are very competitive, with a really nice breakfast included as well.
We will also have free food, giveaways, and a few more surprises sure to be in store. To find out more about the conference, visit the website at http://www.xda-devcon.com. You can also keep tabs here on the Portal, as we’ll continue to keep you up to date.
Despite the size of our community, our ethos still stands strong: to advance the technology we use by means of research and collaboration. We are delighted to see our growth, but we also have a sense of responsibility to give back to the community. All ticket fees (and sponsor contributions) are going back into the conference to make it more fun, valuable, and educational for the attendees. The conference is sure to attract a lot of attention, so make sure you register soon.