A tool for all Android UI Developers

A blog post at The Serval Project

العربية: Android logo

on what one of our incredibly talented engineers has come up with to help me in my major reworking of the Serval UI for our upcoming major release.

Android UI Tool

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Google – can it compete with Facebook? Or anyone besides search engines?


Image via Wikipedia

Farhad Manjoo has this article running atm : Google+ had a chance to compete with Facebook. Not anymore. – Slate Magazine.

It got me thinking. Look, i love Google+. It is the same rush of intense gratitude for a service I had when first using Facebook, before it becoame so big and monstrous (all things to all people works for some, not me, and that’s ok). Google+ combines that with the integration of its other services. Wonderful. And blessed shock, for once, the interface is good. Not great, but good. Damning with faint praise.

I have written often on how, from a developer pov (and a user who wants so much to embrace their products), their UI is woeful, and they could benefit hugely from feedback from both developers and users there. I have an iPhone4. My husband has the Samsung Galaxy 2. I look at it, and admire it, but I wouldn’t swap for the world, and he is NOT enjoying Android – but I can see how much the iOS would suit him. I have tried living in Android world, I have had Android handsets, and always gone back to iOS. And I WANT to live in a Googleverse. But Apple UI beats them hands down – and I know of others working in Android who regretfully feel the same way. (Often they are people who care about UI and the user experience too).

But being a developer in Android, I know how hard it is to get Google to take feedback. By hard, I mean damn impossible. They are like a black box – feedback goes in, their own ideas come out. And we at the Serval Project want to work with them – they have teams working on similar ideas to us in mesh networking.It has been interesting at the IEEE 802 PLenary how many people say the same thing about Google being hard to connect to, to work with. And that is a pity. Because we get technical genius that misses the need – Wave, Buzz. They brush it off as learning, and integrate useful bits. But that is expensive, and alienates users. The more they do that, the more cynical people are about their products, and the further behind they are.

So in reading Farhad’s article, I so want to disagree with him, I really do. But he is probably right, because Google hasn’t learned that lesson yet.

But if you ever are Google – let’s talk.

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Need to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow

MBP inside

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Le sigh. Fan on MBP is intermittently attempting to spin, so sounds like controller on motherboard, or fan itself is borked. The wonderful and necessary SMC fan control is not helping it, so thinking is hardware rather than software. Fortunately, a dear friend (hi Corey!) is rescuing me with his studio 27″ iMac (spoilt!), as my under warranty repair has to wait 5 days before even being looked at – and two days if parts not to hand.

Thank the small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri that i have a good friend to bail me…as much as I love my iPad, a desktop/laptop/full on machine work replacement for a developer it is most definitely not.

Of course, taking my first small class of students at the University tomorrow as part of Serval…will let Tardis the 13″Macbook Pro settle down for a while before restarting him, and seeing if i can finish what i was doing in Eclipse with the Android SDK to get ready…

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Testing Blogpress on the iPad

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This is to test my new blogging tool – Blogpress, versus the WordPress option. While free, the WordPress option had draft issues that bugged me* – let us see if this does the same.

* losing changes i had made to a lengthy post in draft format. Irksome.

– posted from K9, my companion iPad

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Stuff to read – iPad and iPhone Edition

Do iPhone Users Face a Draconian Future

Chat with Friends Across the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Nokia Devices

iPad App Store pushed internationally

Has the iPhone Lost Its Cool?

Wi-Fi Sync for iPhone video hands-on: it works!

Foldable Solar Panel to recharge iPad

Sneak Peek at Reeder for iPad

The iPad: Separating Play from Work

4 Awesome Free iPad Music Apps To Play With

You Don’t Want To Take Your Telstra 3G iPad Overseas

Open source video blimp controlled by an iPad

Trip Journal Turns Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Trip Scrapbook

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