All Things CC:

All things Commuication & Computing….

Posts Tagged ‘Android

Getting started with Android & MQTT

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This year, is the year of getting to know Android better for me, and also dig deeper into several Internet of Everything (IoE) technologies such as MQTT. I came across an excellent post by Dale Lane from IBM and his blog post on building an Android MQTT client application. It was extremely helpful and led to a Android project that uploaded to Github.


Written by Ashu Joshi

January 27, 2014 at 4:49 pm

User Interfaces & Interactions

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User Interfaces & Interactions, including touch & gesture based interfaces will always be subject to individual bias, experience, style, and preferences. Individuals using new interfaces either because of it being on a new device (e.g. moving from Blackberry to iPhone) or a changed interface on the existing class of device (e.g. Blackberry Bold – Keyboard to Blackberry Storm – Touch) will learn to adapt – most people do so assuming that they are not turned off to give up the device entirely (either due to other functions such as Phone Call Quality or having compelling features forcing them to adapt to the new interface). 

Adaptation happens, I can safely say based on my own experience and those of my network – family, friends, and colleagues. For example several friends of mine initially remarked that they had trouble using the iPhone’s soft keyboard compared to physical keys of a Blackberry. Over a period these folks have gained a liking to the soft keyboard and adapted to it. This adaptation could be natural – they learn to adapt, and get better at it with each use (like learning anything – Golf for example). Or the adaptation could be ‘forced’ – that is you use the interface and ‘compromise’ with it because of other features on the device. One may learn to deal with the Apple iPhone soft keyboard because of the number of applications available on it. I for one still struggle using Soft Keyboards and I am sure there are others like me. I think interfaces, even touch, will be highly subjective to individuals. 

Apple’s single button for navigating the user interface on the IOS devices at times is constrained. Are consumers able to adapt and use it effectively – absolutely yes! But that does not imply that it is easiest way or the most intuitive way. And Apple may even move away from that one Button given the current release of IOS – 4.3 supports Multi-Touch gestures (I tried them and they work absolutely great – even better than using the Home Button).
Minimalism in design does not translate to simplicity. In other words, just because the device has minimal or one or no buttons, does not imply it is easy to use. Ease of use, or simplicity is a function of features, and the context of it being used. Assuming you are in a bus, with one hand held above to anchor yourself, and you want to access an app. In the multi-touch version of IOS – you have to use 4 or 5 fingers to ‘swipe up’ on the screen and then select the app to launch. Try doing that with one hand…  If this example is not practical enough imagine trying to call somebody by looking them up using one hand on a touch screen. That exercise can be made ‘simple’ by a search button – not a web search – but being able to search for anything – any contact, any app by touching the search button. I like that about my Nexus S and use it frequently. Search is not just about web search – but finding information on the device itself. And as we live more of our life in the Smartphone or Tablet – being able to search easily is critical.
Independent of buttons, simplifying use and removing redundancy is beautiful –  I find the extra press of “OK” after entering the 4-digit security code annoying on my Nexus S compared to an IOS device ….
Post Inspired By, and kind of response to Ross Rubin of NPD wrote an excellent blog post on the subject of buttons and touch-enabled devices.
Must Read: “Living With Complexity” by Donald Norman

Written by Ashu Joshi

March 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Netbook Innovation: Dell + Litl + Boxee

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While my brain is unusually active on ideas, I rarely write them down. Back in May in my post The Dell Dilemma – I wrote about how Dell needs to innovate. At that time I had an idea to propose, I never got around to writing about it. The idea can be best expressed by the seeing what this Litl startup has done. Dell needs to innovate their PC and Notebook lineup to better compete with HP. John Gruber of Daring Fireball makes very good arguments on why PC companies need to out of the box innovation here and here – and gives example of what Litl has done.

For now, Dell is trying to mimic IBM and HP with the acquisition of Perot Systems to compete with them. I think that is, culturally, a much more difficult move for Dell, not to mention it is not their core competency.

Dell should learn from Litl or may be even acquire them and come out with dual function notebook or webbook.  I would, though, enhance the Litl platform in the following ways:

1. A Dual-Mode machine = PC + Media Player

2. Install a Android-based OS (or may be even Ubuntu Karmic!) – increase the PC functionality on the current design of Litl

3. Make it a dual boot OR rather a dual-mode machine by providing a “dock” that has the HDMI connections to the TV

4. When the machine is docked, it would work as a Entertainment Netbook (the SW would switch upon docking)

5. Bundle a nice remote with the package (and of course the Dock)

5. License Boxee software and have it pre-loaded on the Book

6. When Undocked – it works like a PC with support for Google Docs or Open Office

Future editions could bundle the Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook support to make it work like an e-Reader. The bottomline, though, is that Dell’s operational and supply chain expertise could bring down the cost of manufacturing and marketing and introduce a new category in the Computing Market.

Written by Ashu Joshi

December 17, 2009 at 11:03 am

Why BeagleBoard?

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While my day job is @ Cisco’s SPVTG BU is Business Development and/or Product Strategy, I am certainly a geek @ heart. And hence the nature of these posts and the gadgets that I play around with…

I am going to hack with the BeagleBoard which is based on the TI OMAP 3530 (powered by the ARM Cortex-A8 Core) because of the following:

  1. Android has started with OMAP/ARM Cores, you can get all the source and it is based on the Linux 2.6.2x Kernel for OMAP
  2. The ARM Core also powers the Apple 3G iPhone – it is supposed to be a Samsung chip, you can find the info here.
  3. As noted in #1 above, the first Android Phone – the T-Mobile G1 (by HTC) is also powered using OMAP/ARM core.
  4. The Amazon Kindle 2 is also powered by an ARM-11 Core, look here for details.

You see the common theme, it has been a long, long time since I hacked/coded on the ARM core but I am sure this will all come back to me….

(BTW need to look at investing in ARM Holdings, the company that licenses the ARM Cores …)

Written by Ashu Joshi

March 30, 2009 at 2:13 pm

The Beagle Board has Arrived…

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A post on GigaOm led me to get the BeagleBoard by TI.

It has arrived last week! Unfortunately I have not ordered any of the accessories, and as I dug through my tech pile I was unable to find a Micro USB cable that is required. So I wait patiently for a bunch of Beagleboard accessories that I have ordered from here.

I must say the packaging that came with the board was really cool!


Written by Ashu Joshi

March 24, 2009 at 8:21 pm