AndroidTO 2017 Has Come To A Close: Check Out The Excellent Developer Talks On YouTube!

AndroidTO 2017 Has Come To A Close: Check Out The Excellent Developer Talks On YouTube!

This year’s AndroidTO conference has just come to a close, and for the first time the XDA Portal was able to attend in person! AndroidTO is the largest and longest running Android conference in Canada, with 8 years of conferences to date. The conference is hosted by Symbility Intersect at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and is a part of the Google Developer Group DevFest 2017 season.

Speakers at AndroidTO in the past have come from companies including Google, Cyanogen, Facebook, Tumblr, 500px, and Adobe (among others), and this year they are expanding that list with speakers and code labs from Jet.com, XDA Developers, Uber, Symbility Intersect, TD Bank, Little Dada, New York Times, Digital Construction, Citrix, Zoom.ai, and more!

Andy the Bugdroid (Android) at AndroidTO 2017

If you missed this year’s AndroidTO but are still interested in seeing the talks, you’re in luck! They will be uploaded to AndroidTO’s website shortly, and we will link to them from this page once they are up. In the meantime, you can view the talks from AndroidTO 2016 on the AndroidTO website.

Here’s a quick overview of what talks there are to look forward to seeing once the videos are ready. Be sure to bookmark this page to check back later if there are some you think you’ll be interested in!


Jeff Corcoran at AndroidTO 2017Jeff Corcoran, XDA Developers: Bringing Home The App Bacon

Independent Android development is a goal a lot of developers strive toward, but for years people have been saying that the market is completely saturated.

Let’s talk about what opportunities are left and how to succeed as an independent Android developer in 2017.


Ty Smith, Uber: Deep Android Integrations

Usable and efficient app-to-app interactions can empower magical moments for your user, provide growth opportunities, and re-engage existing users, but they can be difficult to reason about and even more difficult to design and build for.

Developer Ty has been building mobile-focused developer platforms at Evernote, Twitter, and now Uber. In this talk, he’ll walk you through many of the best practices that he’s observed and accumulated. You’ll find out how to reason about app-to-app interactions to provide an elegant user-experience for external apps to engage with, and explore technical examples that allow third party developers to seamlessly interact with your app, thus shortcutting expensive server operations while providing more efficient and magical native flows.

Topics will break down specific features he’s built over the years including building Single Sign-on, a deep dive into Deeplinks, powering system level integrations for deep partner integrations, and constructing well-defined interfaces for data and user-flows. Ty will walk you through how to create an app as a platform – if that’s something you want to know, don’t miss it!


Bharati Sethiya and Troy Molnar at AndroidTO 2017Bharati Sethiya & Troy Molnar, TD Bank: Getting Started with Android Things

With Android Things, Google has made it easier for us to experiment with interesting hardware solutions using typical Android development skills. Join us as we go through how we modified our simple voice driven assistant app to take run on an Android Things device, using a Pico NXP kit. We’ll go over how to set up the device and handle the I/O with the device. We’ll also highlight a few of the challenges that we came across while integrating with Android Things for the first time.

This session should expose you to some basic Android things ideas, and equip you with the knowledge to get started on your own Android Things application.

Key Learnings:

  • Setting up Android Things for the first time
  • Using Android to talk to the I/O ports on an Android Things device
  • Some challenges you may encounter along the way

Peter Organa at AndroidTO 2017Peter Organa, Symbility Intersect: Demystifying Android Security

Every day, developers, project managers, and designers make decisions that relate to the security of their products and, more importantly, their users’ private data.

This presentation will walk through several security attack vectors, how they expose your app and your users, how the attacks work, but mostly important what steps you can take to prevent the attack.

We’ll talk about the importance of thinking about security as a part of the development process rather than as an afterthought at the end of the project. Topics include: Certificate pinning; Android storage best practices; How to avoid leaking data; and WTF does HTTPS actually do anyway?

We’ll cover a bunch of Android-specific implementations, but people from all sorts of backgrounds, whether they be non-developers or working on other platforms, will be able to take away something to contemplate on their next project.


Yuliya Kaleda, Jet.com: Instant Apps

Instant Apps absorbs the best of both worlds: mobile web and native apps. Instant Apps is designed with speed, light weight, best UX and modularity in mind. Just like mobile web apps Instant Apps is very light and does not require installation. On the other hand, it provides a truly native user experience with material design and native navigation, which users are so used to.

Building Instant Apps requires a lot of work on the architecture side, modularization and reducing the app size. Instant Apps types, architecture changes, project structure, size and feature constraints, practical tips to slim down the application, lessons learnt will be discussed during the talk.


The Little Dada Android Apparatus at AndroidTO 2017Lindy Wilkins & Hillary Predko, Little Dada: Android Apparatus: Blending the Physical and Digital Worlds

Design research, data visualization, physical computing and performance come together with Android Apparatus, a glowing piece of cyber armour custom fit for an aerial hoop dancer. The costume glows responsively, brightening and dimming, changing colour to compliment both the range and intensity of motion. The wearable rig becomes an instrument that brings out the best in the performer.

Little Dada leads Lindy Wilkins and Hillary Predko will expand on the process of building this piece, with work flows moving back and forth from the physical and digital world. We’ll explore how traditional design thinking processes can be applied to interactions, digital fabrication and expressive data visualization.


Benno Loewenberg at AndroidTO 2017Benno Loewenberg: Google Design Sprint for Devs

An intensive and compact introduction into the method mix from Google Ventures, that combines aspects from business strategy, design thinking, and user research from places like IDEO and Stanford d.school. How the structured process works, and what its strengths are, as well as its comparison and interplay with the established combination of Design Thinking and Lean Startup.

This talk looks at the ways that the Design Sprint framework helps answer critical business questions through rapid prototyping and user testing. Utilizing Design Sprint, teams can reach clearly defined goals and deliverables and gain key learnings, quickly. The structured process helps to spark innovation, encourage user-centered thinking, align teams under a shared vision, and gain insight about a product’s marketability before launch.

This session offers answers to these questions and a lot of practical insights.


Mark Scheel at AndroidTO 2017Mark Scheel, Digital Construction: Programming Amazing Voice Interactions with Google Home and Android

Building conversational experiences for the phone, watch, car and Google Home is within reach for every Android developer. Leveraging the skills you have built making Android apps, you can make Assistant Apps–experiences that extend the Google Assistant. While showing you how we’ll cover concepts like natural language processing, machine learning, intent matching, and entity extraction. Like Android Wear, Android Auto and other new surfaces for Android developers for delivering experiences, making conversational experiences comes with it’s own set of terms and concepts. Using Google tools, code, and partners we’ll find that with just a little practice creating these experiences is easier than you might imagine. For the less technical we will also dive into exactly what Google Home is, giving anyone in an organization the tools to dream up the next great, innovative conversational experience.


Lisa Wray at AndroidTO 2017Lisa Wray, New York Times: The Ties That Bind (Data)

If you like Butterknife, get ready to discover a whole new tool drawer. Data binding in 2017 is a stable framework that can drastically reduce boilerplate code and transform the way you write UI. Animate, transition, and respond to user input without cluttering your code. Add your own custom properties to Android’s View classes (like android:font or android:imageUrl)! We’ll start at the very beginning, discover tricks to supercharge your XML, and end in a deep dive to lambdas and two-way binding. No prior knowledge of data binding needed.


Chris Matthieu, Citrix: Introduction to Workspace IoT

User interaction with apps and data are evolving. What happens when you add context (location, proximity, etc) to existing applications? How about the interaction with smart devices? You get Workspace IoT!

Workspace IoT is not just defined by endpoint devices or things. It is defined by how all of these devices and things interact with users, with machines, with applications, with location, with workflows and with data. It is these interactions that will define future Workspaces. Integrating ‘things’ within Workspaces will help mitigate the estimated $2.7bn technology-productivity gap by empowering ‘things’ to provide real-time insights, trigger analytical and transactional workflows, and rapidly execute activities that were formerly required to have differing levels of human intervention.

This talk will cover both cloud and edge network IoT communications and security as well as in depth examples of Workspace IoT in the enterprise as well as healthcare.


Faisal Abid at AndroidTO 2017Faisal Abid, Zoom.AI: Flutter

Building and maintaining apps for both iOS and Android is a pain for many developers. Flutter, a new native mobile app SDK by Google is looking to solve this problem.

In Flutter, you build your native app using one codebase. Flutter compiles it to run native on Android and iOS, giving developers a smooth, fluid 60 fps experience with a native look and feel.

In this workshop we will learn how to build Flutter apps from the ground up! No app development experience is necessary. We will learn the fundamentals of Flutter, how to write, debug and deploy Flutter apps. You will leave the workshop with the skills to go out and build real world production ready Flutter apps.


Talk summaries are courtesy of AndroidTO and the speakers themselves.

Have you attended a Google Developer Group (GDG) conference or another Android meetup this year? Are you planning on going to one in the near future? Let us know in the comments!

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