Non-Functional Requirements in Mobile Applications

Abhishek Kathuria:

Fantastic piece on Non-Functional Requirements in Mobile Apps; a key question in our #HKUiSAD discussions!

Originally posted on Sachin S Date:

Imagine if your bank’s website were to display the following disclaimer on its homepage: “We do not guarantee the security of your personal data or your account information while transacting on our net-banking portal”. Will you still use it? Almost certainly not!

View original 3,875 more words

Project Anarchy: a free mobile 3D game engine

Havok, the folks behind games such as Halo 4, Assassin’s Creed III, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Guild Wars 2Call of Duty: Black Ops have released a free 3D mobile game engine. Called Project Anarchy, the toolset enables developers (or #HKUiSAD students) to develop and publish games on iOS and Android. The toolset can be installed from here.

Havok™ announces today that it has publicly launched Project Anarchy, Havok’s complete end-to-end mobile 3D game production engine. Games developed using Project Anarchy technology can be deployed for free on iOS, Android and Tizen mobile platforms without commercial restrictions on company size or revenue.

See the original press release here.

 

So what’s the catch?

To help Havok make Project Anarchy free for iOS, Android and Tizen we only ask for a few things in return. First and foremost we’d encourage you to become part of the Project Anarchy community and join us in making Project Anarchy a great place to make awesome games. Secondly we’d like the opportunity to do some co-marketing with you when you come to ship your game. We won’t be able to work with everyone that ships a title but when you sign up we do ask that you agree to Havok having the option, and don’t worry – we don’t bite! Thirdly, if you have created a game targeting Android (or another platform that supports x86 devices such as Tizen) that you plan to upload to an app store, the license requires that you build an equivalent x86-compatible version of the game and upload it alongside any other versions that you have built.

See here for more.

 

Below is the video with Project Anarchy in action.

 

Here is the original trailer.

 

App Monetization & Growth Cross-Promotion

A new startup, Appfuel.me,  offers App developers a free and easy way to leverage the strengths of cross-promotion. The SDK enables app developers (or #HKUiSAD students) to promote their app on other apps for free via a reciprocal arrangement and also get paid to promote sponsored apps.  Appfuel also provides a dashboard with real time analytics. The Android and iOS SDKs can be found here.

Cross-promotion between apps is a big part of the ecosystem, but CEO Andrew Boos said Appfuel is unique because of its simplicity. Developers add a “suggested apps” unit to their own apps, and they can either grow their user base by getting a reciprocal recommendation in another app, or they can earn money by running sponsored suggestions — or rather, with Appfuel, they do a mix of both

See original article here.

Resources for Design Fundamentals

List of Resources to learn the fundamentals of design

 

In the spirit of the famous quote by Steve Jobs “It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing“, we cover several aspects of the principles and fundamentals of design during the UI Design session in my course #HKUiSAD. Below is a list of links to various resources used in the session:

 

1. Wikipedia Page on Principles of UI Design

 

2. Mac Developer Library’s “The Philosophy of UI Design: Fundamental Principles” Page (under the OS X Human Interface Guidelines)

 

3. Mac Developer Library’s “User Experience Guidelines” Page (under the OS X Human Interface Guidelines)

 

4. Audio Podcast on “Design Fundamentals for Everyone”

“Stuff Designers Do” is a series of video tutorials that will help you learn the fundamentals of design. Whether you’re interested in graphic design, art, photography, or anything where design fundamentals can help — this series will be helpful. Brent Spore, the host, is a professional designer who is passionate about making things look beautiful.

 

5. An article on the evolution of Foursquare’s mobile app towards a simple design titled “The hardest trick in mobile design: making the product simpler

The company’s dilemma, though, is that new features typically add complexity, which is the Achilles’ heel of mobile products. Apps that succeed on phones are often simple in the extreme, hiding their intricacies from the main view. What’s remarkable about Foursquare is that the company has managed to add features and make its product simpler at the same time.

 

Image via Quartz

 

6. An article listing “20 Incredibly useful tools and resources for Web designers

Technology Trends

Key tech trends include wearable computing, contextual apps, big data and maturation of social networks.

 

Futurologist Robert Scoble has predicted four major tech trends – wearable computing (see my previous posts here), contextual apps, Big Data (see previous posts here), and social network maturation.

future

future (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

 

While these trends will surely change commerce practice in the coming years, the nexus of these trends will be immensely disruptive. Think convergence – contextual apps on wearable computers that provide services based on real-time analysis of social and location data, delivered via omnipresent wireless internet access.

 

Wearable computing: Think Google Glasses or Motorola Solutions’ new HC1 headset computer that you attach to your head and operate with voice commands

The “open world”: Android’s relative openness has encouraged “contextual apps” to emerge from the woodwork. “Apple doesn’t let them [developers] talk to the WiFi radio or bluetooth radio,” said Scoble.

Weird databases and the rise of “big data”: “We are seeing weird databases spring up like mushrooms,” said Scoble. These include NoSQL, Firebase, and MongoDB.

The maturation of social networks: The leading social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are accumulating a massive store of user-generated data. What will they do with it?

 

Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2012/10/24/scoble-kawasaki/#B8hsX6orKpglPyWy.99

Platform Wars 3.0: Resources for making Windows Apps

A list of resources for building Apps for Windows 8

 

One of the biggest criticisms of Windows 8 has been the lack of apps for the platform. [Besides the confusion that is reigning supreme due to Microsoft launching 3 different operating systems and app stores with the same / similar names].

 

Image via Microsoft

Microsoft has been ‘priming the pump’ by releasing a series of resources for developers. The ongoing BUILD development conference in Redmond is the first in a series of steps in this direction. Microsoft is also hosting Windows Store App Labs in 30 other physical locations around the globe.

 

With 10,000 apps and counting, the Windows App Store seems set for explosive growth. Below is a list of resources from Microsoft to help you get started:

 

1. The BUILD website

 

2. Windows Store App Labs

Windows Store App Labs are physical locations in more than 30 cities where you can access Windows 8 devices, get design help, and meet with Windows experts to make your app great. All for free!

 

3. Sample code for printing from a Windows 8 App

    Basic code for printing from a Windows 8 App is below:

To get your printing support started, all you need to do is to add these lines of code to your app.

// Register for print contract
var printManager = Windows.Graphics.Printing.PrintManager.getForCurrentView();
printManager.onprinttaskrequested = onPrintTaskRequested;
    function onPrintTaskRequested(printEvent) {
        printEvent.request.createPrintTask("Print Sample", function (args) {
            args.setSource(MSApp.getHtmlPrintDocumentSource(document));
        });
    }

 

4. Code samples for Windows 8 Apps

This sample pack includes all the app code examples developed for Windows 8. The sample pack provides a convenient way to download all the samples at once. The samples in this sample pack are available in C#, C++, VB.NET, and JavaScript

 

5. Documentation for the Windows 8 App Store

Includes a Getting Started article.

Begin building Windows apps quickly and easily. Our getting started guide walks you through the essentials of writing your first app.

 

6. Code samples for Windows Phone 8

 

7. SDK for Windows Phone 8

The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 enables you to develop apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.5 devices

 

8. To top it all registration for the Windows Phone 8 Developer Center has been dropped to $8 for the next 8 days (instead of the usual $100).

Windows Phone 8 is out, the tools are available, and devices are about to be released—it’s time to get coding. As an added incentive, for the next 8 days individual developers can register for a Dev Center account for just $8 (a 92 percent savings). Please note because this is a very limited time offer. You’ll be charged $99 USD or equivalent in your local currency, and we’ll refund the difference in the next 30 to 45 days. Watch for more details on Dev Center soon.