domenica 27 giugno 2010


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venerdì 28 maggio 2010

Vodafone UK and Vodafone IT

Today is the Italy gDay day: Google Nexus One came on the italian market. WOW!! Then I browsed the Vodafone site and I saw offers around all technologies they deliver such as iPad, ADSL (...), but quite anything about Nexus in the home page, just a little link (?!?). I was a little afraid... Then I presumed that it was a market strategy of vodafone not to do that big marketing around the new gPhone... Then I went on the UK site and I found this: they say "Android smatphones to suit all pockets"... I'm a little surprised... Any consideration? ;)

Stay connected...

martedì 25 maggio 2010

Android Camera performance: new Options for preview callbacks in froyo

I managed to install the new Android Froyo release on my nexus one yesterday (a bit late I know... ;) ). I was really excited by the new features introduced by the google team (WiFi and BlueTooth hotspot device transformation capability, increased JIT performance, and so on...). Among the other features the release note reported some improvement on the camera preview side. The problem with the camera was that using the preview callback didn't allow to directly access the buffered preview calls running into poor performance frame preview that involved too many gc() calls for camera applications (Further informations are reported both in google group discussions and in details at - see comment #6 of that post to find a reflection trick to avoid using native code). Anyway it seems that the new Android platform version fixed this problem on the SDK!!! I haven't already tested the new implementation in order to understand the real performances, but if you dive into the android.hardware.Camera documentation both on 2.1 and 2.2 version, you can find the possible reason of that: new methods that were @hidden into the 2.1 version are now available (in particular: addCallbackBuffer(PreviewCallback pc) and setPreviewCallBackWithBuffer(byte[] buffer)). They will not only help to avoid gc() but their usage will also help performances when manipulating image frames to realize real time camera applications... I'm gonna test the implementation in my spare time...

Stay connected...

domenica 23 maggio 2010

Impressions on the WhyMCA Mobile Developer Conference 2010

Friday the last I attended the WhyMCA Mobile Developer Conference 2010. It has been a really big event if you consider that the idea has been created and developed in few months: the start has been given by Alfredo Morresi, my colleague at Funambol ( when he posted the proposal for "Mobile development, an event I'd like to an I'll try to realize" - in his (italian) blog.

Here are my few impressions:

- The event was greatly organized: the WhyMCA staff did a really great work in order all things to go fine there beginning from the quality of the discussed arguments. I definitely must say it has been a "WOW" experience.

- The numbers talk about 250 persons involved, also not italian people; the event was attended, of course by developers, but also by sales and courious users. This is important as the spread of mobile technology in Italy is a little complicated to be explained, but it is anchored to the billing model that carriers created during the latest years: just to understand SMS is always king feature for a SIM data plan as italian users prefer to send SMS than other way of communication such as push email and voice in general. Finally I think that many users just don't use internet data plans just because the capabilities of their devices.

- A lot of speech were about the emerging Android platform and iPhone latest architecture development. A room was quite entirely reserved for the Android platform discussion and I think this is good. Win Mobile 7 was presented personally by a Microsoft representative at the beginning of the conference and also RIM sent an italian sales representative to talk about the BlackBerry cloud services. Technologies like HTML 5 and flash were covered.

- Many Speakers (like me) were not technology gurus: I mean that the topic of their speech is out of their work field and they did it for passion. In my case I talked about Augmented Reality (see next bullet) but in the latest 4 years I've always been developing synchronization mobile clients and API for Funambol. In other words I think the whole event was "Passion Driven" both for the speakers and the attendees.

- I'm not surprised that Augmented reality is so a really hot topic also in Italy: I personally presented a speech that was intended to show how simply an Augmented Reality Application can be created using the android SDK (if anyone's interested, please take a look at my slide here). A parallel discussion track was related to the iPhone technology and the speech was realized by Stefano Zingarini and Lucio Riccardi (I directly worked with them previously to solve some Blackberry signature issues but I personally met them at the event).

In general I think it the WhyMCA Mobile Developer Conference 2010 was one of the most interesting event I've ever attended and I hope there could be more and more like that in italy.

Stay connected!!

martedì 16 febbraio 2010

Augmented reality: new applications era

I was looking around for news coming from the Mobile World Congress 2010 that is going on in these days in Barcellona. My company is there to promote our new Funambol portal and products and the CEO Fabrizio Capobianco will have a talk (see for further infos).

The scope of my company is synchronization ( but I've always been addicted by everything concerning the mobile experience and in general the issue of how improving user experience using new technologies. My first tech background when I was graduating at university concerned robotics and AI control, thus when I'm googleing around for the latest news about mobile world I am always excited when I find something about what in the early '80 was called "Virtual Reality". I was just a child when the "The_Lawnmower_Man" movie was out: it clearly explain what a vitural reality approach could be (something like "Virtual reality for dummies" - see more at made on the original Stephen King's book).

As a developer I tried to figure out how to use a mobile device in order the user to have a "Virtual user experience" as 3 years ago, I was learning the basics about the Java ME Sun's technology. I made some experiment on how to interact with the real world using the device's camera and sensor (jsr 234 specz in general) but I realized that technology was a bit too young.

Today we use to talk about "Augmented Reality" as we talked about "Virtual Reality" in '80. I found this interesting article on Games Alfresco blog: it seems that if you own a last generation device the Virtual Reality issue is resolved on it. The link below shows a full video of what a mobile device can do with the current implemented technologies:

Wow!! I found it really impressive!!

The applications shown in the video are demos but just try to figure out how they can be applied to the real world. I remember when I was playing "Doom" on my first vga PC, shooting the biggest monsters with the biggest cannons many hours per day: my mother always blaming me not to be out with my friends but wasting my time in front of that violent game... Soon I think people will be able to play games down the streets, using their own device just pointing their cameras and shooting the enemies maybe in multyplayer mode...

Also think about how these new technologies can be applied to the real world using the right approach (maybe not just games ;) ) they can be used in a wide application area, starting from games, of course, down to world accessibility improvements (search "The VOICe" app in the android market to have an example).

Let's see how the market will be dealing with these new technologies...

mercoledì 3 febbraio 2010

Last minute update: Multitouch on Android Google Nexus one

I was a little anxious to use the new features... I was googling and at the end I found this:

It works and I managed to zoom my first photo with 2 fingers thanks to the multitouch feature. The installation is a little tricky but it seems to be working...

In other words now I have a multitouch and multitask device... That is the best solution!

Multitouch and more on Google Nexus One

The latest official updates of the Nexus One include the implementation of multitouch technology. The strange thing is that it is now available for the Android Google Nexus One device but the update will be provided OTA (Over the air) to all devices "gradually". This means that you have to wait for a notification message and then download the update. For further information about the latest update fix see the link below:

I haven't received the update message right now. Let's see in the next days... :)