Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Google App Inventor Experiment

The Introduction
Google is releasing one very interesting product for trial soon. The new product which is called App Inventor allows the development of Android applications using a simple drag and drop interface and requires very little coding. This will allow people with little or no previous programming experience to develop simple apps. At least that's the idea, but will it really allow somebody with no previous programming or development experience to create a polished well designed application?

The Experiment
There is only one real way to answer the above question and that is to test it in an experiment. The experiment will be an application development task which will be performed by somebody who has no previous programming or development experience. Their technical experience will be of an average level. While the task is being undertaken the participant will only have access to Google's App Inventor and any documentation that is provided with it, no other help will be available.

The Candidate
After much consideration I have found the perfect participant. Maria from The Gourmet Challenge fits the criteria perfectly. She has no previous coding experience and average technical skills which allow her to use a computer but sadly only allow her to complain when things don't work. As an added benefit she is very creative which should help with the initial application design. Apart from all that she still owes me one due to an interesting post she wrote about me a little while ago. I believe the words she used in that post were "sad tragic tech gadget geek".

In the next post I will outline the specifics of the application criteria.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Android 3.0 Gingerbread

In the IT world everything moves fast and Android is no different. Just as Android 2.2 (Froyo) has been officially release, we are now setting our eyes on the next increment of Android. So just what are the rumours concerning Gingerbread:
  • Recommended requirements: 1Ghz CPU, 512MB RAM and 3.5 Inch screen
  • Support for 1280 x 720 resolution on 4 inch and larger screens
  • Redesigned 3D user interface consistent with the Nexus One image gallery
The recommended requirements appear to be what I would have expected, high end of todays phones but reasonable for the time period that Gingerbread will be release in . The larger screen support is a welcome feature for those of use that are eyeing of an Android tablet in the next quarter or so. Hopefully this means that Google has accepted Android's position as a tablet OS and perhaps convince them to open the market up to tablets.

The most interesting rumour out of the bunch is the new 3D UI and what this will mean for companies that create their own user interfaces. A lot of people seem to think that this will spell the end for custom UI's like HTC sense. However without more information I would be hesitant to draw such a conclusion, it is more likely that this 3D UI is just an advanced launcher. If that's the case it will simply be business as usual.