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July 22, 2014

mobiForge blog

Geo-sorting: location-based list ordering

In this article we take a look at how location information can be used to sort a list of items on a webpage. This might be useful for local search results; for example 'Restaurants near me' type searches, or for sorting a predefined list of locations such as a company's office locations in order of distance from the user.

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by ruadhan at July 22, 2014 02:17 PM

July 21, 2014

Cloud Four Blog

Fixed and inflexible

Even before smartphones came along and dashed any hope for a 960-pixel-wide web, designers and organizations have struggled with the challenge of prioritizing and composing content that scrolls. Our screens act like windows to content of variable size and scale, demanding an awful lot of abstract thinking to design for. Sometimes we’re successful, revising content, designing modern day deliverables and embracing compromise like we know in our hearts we should. Other times, we convince ourselves that we can predict this inherently unpredictable medium, making decisions that age quickly and poorly by prioritizing the window instead of the content.

Most recently, I’ve noticed a sharp uptick in the number of requests I receive to explore fixed-position (aka “sticky”) interface elements. Fixed elements are positioned relative to the viewport instead of the page, allowing them to maintain position even as the document scrolls. Some of the most popular sites on the web employ “sticky” menus, and with good reason… when applied thoughtfully, they can yield substantial usability improvements.

But when fixed positioning is used without care, restraint or precision, it can have disastrous consequences. Here are some of the reasons why.

We can’t predict how much space we have.

Our industry has a nasty habit of quietly embracing display resolution “standards” that are mostly fantasy… design decisions are a lot easier if you assume all devices are 320 pixels wide by 480 pixels tall (and users never turn them sideways). The inconvenient truth is that display resolutions vary wildly. Each additional “sticky” element increases the risk of obscuring the page content mostly (or entirely) for some users… in which case the page might as well not exist at all.

We can’t get those pixels back.

Fixed elements aren’t just “prominent,” they photobomb the interface, robbing focus and attention from what really matters — the content! Before you make something “sticky,” consider reevaluating the element’s importance relative to the entire page (instead of on its own merits).

It makes scrolling tougher.

As evidenced by the years-long debate over “The Fold,” the fear that users won’t know (or lack willingness) to scroll persists to this day. When that fear is real, then fixed positioning is a godsend, ensuring the visibility of content regardless of scroll position.

But those fears don’t mesh with reality very well.

Today’s users are so familiar with scrolling that most mobile browsers will hide the scrollbar entirely. “Sticky” elements complicate matters by reducing or obscuring the scrollable area, forcing the user to swipe more carefully to avoid accidental actions.

Ironically, our desire to alleviate the supposed “difficulty” of scrolling may make scrolling that much more difficult!

It can slow everything down.

Users care about speed. But speed isn’t all about navigation… there’s also the overall speed of the experience. Fixed positioning can result in strange browser-specific quirks or even costly repaints, potentially counteracting any efficiency you might have gained.

It may not actually work.

Mobile websites share a lot of their design vocabulary with native mobile apps, where fixed headers, menus and tab bars are commonplace. This makes it easy to forget that fixed positioning as we know it is relatively new to the web, and often unreliable.

“Sticky” headers, footers and navigation flourished in the 1990s, often implemented using frames. When frames fell out of fashion in the early 2000s, most browsers did not support fixed positioning using CSS. In the absence of frames, position: fixed or consistent, intuitive JavaScript, fixed positioning became just another discarded Web 1.0 trend… at least until CSS support arrived in IE7.

But smartphone browsers have historically not supported position: fixed as predictably as their desktop counterparts. It was entirely absent from mobile Safari prior to iOS5, and largely unusable in Android browsers prior to Honeycomb. To this day, behavior can be inconsistent across platforms. To quote Brad Frost in his excellent post on Fixed Positioning in Mobile Browsers, “‘support’ isn’t exactly binary.”

Since you can’t rely on support for fixed positioning, you’ll need to make sure your experience works without it anyway. Which begs the question…

Why position: fixed at all?

I believe there are plenty of interface elements that benefit from fixed positioning, provided they follow a few best practices:

  • The “sticky” element is clearly more important than everything else on the page.
  • The footprint of the element is modest enough that it does not obscure too much of the page content (even in landscape).
  • Any efficiency gained from the element’s consistent availability is significantly greater than any lost as a result of the element’s inclusion (due to performance, obscuring of page content, etc.).
  • There should only be one “global” (navigation, tab bar, etc.) and one “temporary” (modal, dialog, etc.) fixed-position element on-screen at any one time.
  • Fixed positioning should always be an enhancement. Your interfaces should never rely on it.

If any of these considerations completely upend your design aspirations, you may want to rethink your user experience with less rigidity. As John Allsopp so aptly put it fourteen years ago, “The journey begins by letting go of control, and becoming flexible.”

by Tyler Sticka at July 21, 2014 10:58 PM


Carlos Ghosn: “the four global socio-economic mega-trends reshaping the auto industry”

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault, Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance The Renault-Nissan Alliance was started on March 27, 1999 with Renault acquiring 36.8% of outstanding Nissan shares, and with Nissan acquiring 15% of Renault later in 2001. Chronological details can be found in the EU-Japan Direct Investment Register. Carlos Ghosn speaks at the […]

The post Carlos Ghosn: “the four global socio-economic mega-trends reshaping the auto industry” appeared first on Eurotechnology Japan.

by fasol@eurotechnology.com (Gerhard Fasol) at July 21, 2014 07:25 AM

July 20, 2014


Panasonic to sell mobile phone base station division to Nokia

Panasonic to sell mobile phone base station division to Nokia Panasonic to focus on core business, Nokia to expand market share in Japan Panasonic, after years of weak financial performance, is focusing on core business. Nikkei reports that Panasonic is planning to sell the base station division, Panasonic System Networks, to Nokia. Nokia expands No. […]

The post Panasonic to sell mobile phone base station division to Nokia appeared first on Eurotechnology Japan.

by fasol@eurotechnology.com (Gerhard Fasol) at July 20, 2014 12:07 PM

July 19, 2014

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

Some Thoughts on Data Roaming Costs From A Technical Point Of View

This is a follow up to a previous post in which I described a new 5€ a month roaming offer I've subscribed to which allows me to use my included voice minutes, SMS and my 1 GB mobile data bucket not only in my home country (Germany) but also in other EU countries.

Previously the all inclusive bundle + 1 GB of data traffic I've subscribed to was only valid in Germany, all traffic and phone calls abroad were charged separately. That means that when I had been abroad for two weeks I had to pay for my full subscription even though I was not in the country. In other words, I had to pay for two weeks of service without being able to use it.

What the new roaming offer now effectively does from a psychological point of view is to give the two weeks worth of my subscription to the network operator abroad who delivers the service (i.e. Internet access, voice calls, etc) to me instead.Think about this idea for a minute!

From a technical point of view this works out as I am not using the radio network at home, which is the most expensive part in the transmission chain. Instead I'm using the radio network of a network operator in another country. On average, that is neither more nor less expensive than using the radio access network at home. Note that I'm looking at this from a technical point of view, what network operators charge each other for roaming is another matter entirely.

From a technical point of view, the cost of using the mobile network at home or abroad is almost the same. The only difference is that my data still flows through a gateway located in the network of the home operator which then connects to the Internet. But data traffic on the backbone is cheap and the 5 euros extra a month easily cover that.

It's clear that mobile network operators don't especially like this because now they forward money they could previously keep to themselves. But this change is very much in line with the desire to have a single EU economy which has also triggered changes in other areas as well. An example is the banking sector, where already many years ago, extra charges for money transfers between EU countries were abolished. Another example is extra charges for use of credit cards in other EU countries, which also no longer exist.

Let me set this into a historical context by looking back only 30 years: In the 1980's there was no interoperability between mobile networks of different countries in Europe and it was in many cases even forbidden to take 'mobile' phones (i.e. big equipment in trunks of cars) accross a border! Unbelievable from today's point of view.

GSM changed this mindset of "our [nation's] frequencies, our [nation's] network" to "we all build networks based on the same standard and enable our subscribers to use their devices in other networks abroad". A radical shift to something we take for granted that didn't come easy and lots of battles of words had to be fought over it. Compared to this, the change of the current mindset from "subscribers pay for national service" to "subscribers pay for EU service" seems much less dramatic and it might even seem strange 30 years from now why it was so difficult to achieve this.

But as strange as it might seem 30 years from now I'm sure there will still be many battles of words to be fought before we arrive at this point. But we are getting there one step at a time!

by mobilesociety at July 19, 2014 09:28 AM

July 16, 2014

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

Secure Hotel Wi-Fi Sharing Over A Single VPN Tunnel For All Your Devices With A Raspberry Pi

Raspi-wifi-vpnAs I often stay in hotels and try to make the best of the available hotel Wi-Fi, I've bought a Wi-Fi distribution dongle that connects to the Internet over the hotel Wi-Fi on the one side and spans up a private Wi-Fi network on the other side for all my devices to connect to. The advantage is that I only need to configure the Wi-Fi distribution dongle and that I only need to pay for one connection. The disadvantage of the approach is that while I can use a VPN tunnel on the PC to protect my data traffic, a lot of data that I exchange with services on the Internet with my other devices is unprotected. Needless to say that at some point it was time to change this.

The platform of choice for this project is of course a Raspberry Pi with two Wi-Fi interfaces. I did a lot of research on the net but could not find a single project that combined the Wi-Fi Access Point functionality I needed with a second Wi-Fi USB stick for the client connection that acts as a backhaul and an OpenVPN client configuration that uses the backhaul to tunnel all traffic of my private Wi-Fi network. But each of these things are described separately and after experimenting a bit with all bits of the puzzle I was able to put the project together. In addition to using a Wi-Fi network as a backhaul link it's also possible to use the Ethernet port in case the hotel has cabled Internet access.

At first I thought I'd describe the solution in a blog entry but I soon realized that describing how to install a dozen packages and to modify 15+ configuration files is a bit too much in a single blog entry. So I put together an installation script, sample configuration files plus installation and usage information and put the result on GitHub. I spent two weekends to get the script and configuration files in a form and shape that their usage is straight forward on a newly installed Raspian with little manual work required. A lot of comments have gone into the script file so for those who'd like to know the details, have a look there and also at the configuration files used for the different components that are installed.

I've been using the solution in quite a number of environments over the past few weeks now and I'm pretty happy with the result and hope that this will be useful for others as well. Have fun!

by mobilesociety at July 16, 2014 05:44 AM

July 15, 2014

Kai Hendry's blog

Back to bash after fish

Fish logo

I tried the http://fishshell.com/ instead of bash, mainly because my bash history is continually truncated despite my efforts to keep every command I've ever successfully (return code 0) typed!

x220:~$ wc -l .bash_history
84 .bash_history
x220:~$ history | wc -l

The fish shell's 85k SLOC versus bash's 225k was also re-assuring. autotools and cpp did make me cringe however.

So porting my aliases and such from ~/.config/fish/config.fish from my ~/.bashrc was a bit of a PITA since:

  • fish's conditional statements are not POSIX shell compatible <--- insane

Nonetheless I got fish up and running... and I used fish 2.1 for about a month.

So... does shell history work in fish?

Yes, yes it does. fishd provided me the commands I typed in, HOWEVER:

  • it logged failed commands, I DO NOT WANT FAILED COMMANDS SAVED
  • failed commands could be a password. To remove them I had to 'fish_config' and go to history tab.
  • ctrl+r (bash's reverse search) doesn't work. Instead you need to toggle between ctrl+f (autocomplete) and ctrl+p (search)

Tbh I could live with this fishiness. Simply because I had a working shell history. Seriously.

Why I stopped using fish

Consider this code from http://git.suckless.org/dmenu/tree/dmenu_run

dmenu_path | dmenu "$@" | ${SHELL:-"/bin/sh"} &

So I would choose a bash script like screenshot, to be run by dmenu, which is then piped to $SHELL. $SHELL being /usr/bin/fish when using fish. Screenshot's shebang #!/bin/bash does not apply.

IIUC variable expansion in fish is done different causing 99% of shell scripts to fail when run by fish. Nevermind the crazy stderr caret stuff. fish being a non-compatible shell is just a TOTAL FAIL.

Furthermore setting up PATH on Linux is just generally insane, probably because I've (wrongly) setup the PATH mainly in my ~/.bashrc, instead of ~/.profile or is it somewhere else? Anyway my PATH was consistency broken in fish too and I never figured 100% why. Perhaps because of its variable expansion anti-feature.

Back to GNU bash

Tbh, ctrl+r aka (reverse-i-search) is much better & intuitive than fish's ctrl+f & ctrl+p.

Now if only I could get my bash history working. I miss fishd I guess. Tbh I did like fish's fish_config and the way it attempted but kinda failed to integrate with the browser.

July 15, 2014 09:47 AM

July 13, 2014


Japan iPhone AppStore: 25 top grossing game apps

Japan is No. 1 globally in terms of iOS AppStore + Google Play revenues, bigger and faster growing than USA Japan iPhone AppStore 25 top grossing game app ranking as of July 13, 2014 Download our report on “Japan’s game makers and markets”. We have written about Japan’s AppStore rankings before, and we are updating […]

The post Japan iPhone AppStore: 25 top grossing game apps appeared first on Eurotechnology Japan.

by fasol@eurotechnology.com (Gerhard Fasol) at July 13, 2014 06:14 AM

July 12, 2014

Ric Ferraro's Blog

Layar-ing Blippar - Post-acquisition thoughts on major shake-up in AR browser market

BARCELONA - If you’re into AR and have played around with the many AR-enabled mobile apps published in iTunes and Google Play, you have probably heard by now about Blippar acquiring Layar. This means different things for everyone involved in the AR industry, for consumers, for professionals and for the future of the AR industry as a whole.

I first came into contact with Layar at a startup event in Barcelona in 2009 and was impressed with Layar's vision and ability to market AR's potential for immersive experiences on mobile to both techies and marketeers alike. I also described Layar's use of geo-location in my book on Location Aware Applications.

If you’re not entirely certain what those companies do, the rundown is that they both provide an app which enables consumers to scan printed media or packaged products that have an interactive campaign or digital content attached to them. Typically users know about that content because there is a call to action. Those apps compete with others like Junaio or Wikitude, alternative ‘AR browsers’.

The most prominent advantage of AR browsers is that users need only one app for multiple content. Once installed, it pulls new content on demand from the cloud.The disadvantage when comparing branded apps and browsers is for content creators. Brands and publishers have limited control of the whole experience (as well as the branding) and they share the same space with competitors.

Blippar has been doing a very good job of providing high quality experiences on their browser. Operating like an agency, they take care of the end to end solution but publish on Blippar’s app. Layar is probably the king in terms of volume of experiences inside their platform. But with volume and scale, comes some limitations on the versatility of the experiences as you cannot go one-by-one. It remains to be seen if a new Layar-Blippar browser app will lean more towards volume or towards curated content.

So what lies in store in the future? Beautifully crafted, branded AR-capable apps are more likely to win hearts-and-minds of mobile users.A foreseeable option is that, just as happened with location, AR and image recognition capabilities will increasingly be embedded within a multitude of apps in a seamless fashion. (Credit to D.Marimon for parts of this post).

by Mobverge (noreply@blogger.com) at July 12, 2014 02:02 PM

July 07, 2014


Japan biomass electricity generation booming

Japan biomass electricity generation approaches 4 GigaWatt Renewables in Japan is not just solar… Looking superficially at Japan’s renewable energy sector, its easy to overestimate geo-thermal energy, and to underestimate biomass. Biomass electricity generation capacity is about 5 times higher than geo-thermal Currently the installed biomass electricity generation capacity is about 5 times higher than […]

The post Japan biomass electricity generation booming appeared first on Eurotechnology Japan.

by fasol@eurotechnology.com (Gerhard Fasol) at July 07, 2014 07:38 PM

Solar Japan: Japan approves a full Germany worth of renewable energy in a single month

Solar Japan: some of the world’s most attractive feed-in-tariffs In the single month of March 2014 Japan approved almost as much renewable energy projects as all solar ever installed in Germany Japan’s ten regional electricity monopoly operators traditionally kept renewable energy below 1% following an unwritten rule. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) kept renewable well […]

The post Solar Japan: Japan approves a full Germany worth of renewable energy in a single month appeared first on Eurotechnology Japan.

by fasol@eurotechnology.com (Gerhard Fasol) at July 07, 2014 07:08 PM

July 06, 2014

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

No Roaming Charges (in the EU) Anymore for 5 Euros Extra Per Month

It's good to see that the continuing pressure of the EU on European mobile network operators for affordable roaming charges has resulted in a further improvement of roaming tariffs. My preferred German network operator, for example, now offers to lift roaming charges in the EU for 5 Euros extra per month.

This means that I can use my (previously national) flatrate for voice minutes for calls in the visited country and back to Germany, for SMS messages and, most importantly, I can use my 1 GB data bucket for mobile Internet access in any EU member state and some other places such as Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Iceland and, believe it or not, French Guayana (in South America), Reunion and a couple of other French territories. This offer was an absolute no-brainer and I activated it immediately when it became available earlier this month.

I expected to see similar offers from network operators in other countries so I had a look on the websites of operators in Austria and France but came up pretty much empty handed. Incredible, should Germany for once become the leader in roaming pricing!?

I'd be quite interested to hear from you what kind of roaming tariffs you use at the moment and what mobile network operators offer in your country at the moment. So if you have a minute, please consider leaving a comment below. Thanks!

by mobilesociety at July 06, 2014 07:41 AM

July 02, 2014

mobiForge blog

Getting Started with Pebble Development

Pebble is a smartwatch developed by Pebble Technology Corporation. It is one of the most successful Kickstarter projects to-date and has received significant successes with consumers. The Pebble watch itself comes with a black-and-white e-paper display, and includes several sensors such as magnetometer, ambient light sensor, and an accelerometer. The Pebble watch supports the following types of applications:

read more

by weimenglee at July 02, 2014 03:20 PM

June 30, 2014

Brad Frost Web » Brad Frost Web | Web Design, Speaking, Consulting, Music, and Art

Web Friends Podcast

I had the great pleasure to chat with Garth Braithwaite about the best advice I’ve received, and advice I wish I would have received.

by Brad Frost at June 30, 2014 12:32 PM

Ric Ferraro's Blog

AWE 2014 -Augmented World Expo Summary (how wearables came one step closer to a commodity product...)

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. - Now my second AWE in a row, there is plenty to be amazed at this one-of-a-kind augmented reality (AR) conference set in the midst of Silicon Valley.

As the AR industry evolves away from a niche to being a concept more and more consumers are exposed to and understand, so does AWE evolve from an enthusiast's playground to a showcase for multimillion dollar businesses and opportunities.

You know things are a-changing when companies like Bosch join the expo floor and when more than one exhibitor brings along a connected car to showroom cool tech with. To boot, AWE has almost doubled in size from last year and this maturity was also clear from the visitors to the event (and the questions they ask). While last year I got a fair amount of "How do I use your tech" type questions, this year is more along the lines of "QR codes are not right for my business, what do I need to do to use your image recognition and augmented reality software instead".

Yes, businesses are now more comfortable with technology that enhances their physical products and links these to digital content. In fact, many brands understand today that unless their brand is connected somehow to their Facebook page, mobile apps, m-commerce store etc, some other brand will and so steal their market share. Consumers are overwhelmingly digital today and image recognition is a great way to connect the real world to the digital one (in fact, add an image to an ad and let users interact with it and you can expect 40x greater engagement than without it -that's ROI for you!).

AWE also marked a shift away from the Google Glass "geek-factor" to a point where Glass is cooler (though privacy still remains a concern). So much cooler, that Glass is no longer alone, and Epson want to give Google a run-for-their money with the BT-200 Moverio. These are clearly not commodity products yet, but we're a lot closer to this happening.

At last year's AWE, the audience loved actual case studies of consumer brands using AR -this year, it was more about wearables and how different industries can use AR to become more efficient.

It was great to see Robert Scoble on stage and his message of contextual awareness (as endorsed by Google at Le Web in 2010) is still relevant today and in fact, as AWE proved, we are one step closer to seeing that vision come true.

by Mobverge (noreply@blogger.com) at June 30, 2014 10:35 AM


Japan electricity sector disruption – new business models and deregulation overdue

Japan electricity regional operators’ income peaked about 10 years ago Japanese electricity companies’ business models face massive disruption by technology innovation and the Fukushima nuclear accident With the annual general shareholder meetings completed and financial results published, we have analyzed the financial results of Japan’s 10 regional electric power companies (plus several other Japanese electricity […]

The post Japan electricity sector disruption – new business models and deregulation overdue appeared first on Eurotechnology Japan.

by fasol@eurotechnology.com (Gerhard Fasol) at June 30, 2014 01:32 AM

Mobile Web Programming

Android L and other news for web developers from Google IO

android new logoThe Google’s annual developer conference gave us the preview release of Android L. There are some news I want to share with web and hybrid app developers, not only about Android but also for the future of other Google-based solutions, such as Chrome OS and Chrome Developer Tools for mobile development.

Websites and webapps as first class citizens

On Android L, native apps can expose different “windows” to the Recent App list on the operating system and it was already announced that Google Chrome will expose every tab as a window. Therefore, every tab opened in Chrome will appear in the OS as a different app removing visual differences between webapps and native apps.

On Android L each Chrome tab will appear in the Recent multitasking panel as other appOn Android L each Chrome tab will appear in the Recent multitasking panel as other app

With the “Add to the homescreen” Webapp feature for fullscreen usage and a more powerful future version of that feature announced from the Chrome team, this feature will give us more power in the OS.

Android L WebView

Because there is no more “stock browser” promoted by Google on Android since KitKat, on the next version known as Android L so far, it’s more important to talk about the WebView.

I have confirmation from the Chrome engineering team that the final WebView on Android L will be based on Chromium 36 with WebGL and WebRTC enabled –compared to Chromium 30 without those APIs on KitKat and 33 on KitKat 4.4.3-.

UPDATE 6/29: WebAudio will also be enabled on L’s WebView, as well as a ~200% 2D Canvas performance improvement.

While on preview, the Android L SDK and preview firmwares available will use the beta version of that Chromium version.

New emulation tools coming to Chrome

The Chrome team has redesigned the emulation tools in Developer Tools available right now in Chrome. Starting today at Canary channel, you will find a new emulation tab with a new design and options.

New tools for mobile emulation on Chrome Developers Tools (only at Canary at the time of this writing)New tools for mobile emulation on Chrome Developers Tools (only at Canary at the time of this writing)

Now, besides the previously available options of emulate viewport, touch events and user agent, we can:

  • Fit a big device with a scale option
  • See your media queries breakpoints on your code and quickly see layout differences
  • Throttle your network connection (just in your current tab) including emulation of bandwidth and latency for cellular connection.
  • Make the current tab offline

Also an experimental feature can be enabled to accelerate the remote debugging abilities.

Android One

Android One is a new effort from Google to bring Android smartphones to emerging markets with low prices. It was announced that the stock Android will be delivered in these devices, so we expect Chrome to be shipped on most of these phones by default.

Material design language on the web

Google has just released a new design language for multi-screen known as Material Design and the web is also a platform were we can take advantage of this new kind of interactions, visual controls and animations.

Polymer web framework for using Material-like design elementsPolymer web framework for using Material-like design elements

Chrome will use it later, as well as Google search results. If we want to use it on our mobile website we can use an open source solution in the Polymer project. You can test it on any browser accessing http://www.polymer-project.org/apps/topeka/

Android apps on Chrome

A feature -not ready yet- was announced for the future of Chrome OS: the ability to run Android native apps. That will allow the so far HTML5-only OS to run native apps. It’s not clear yet how are you going to install those apps or if we’ll need some kind of repackaging or cross-compilation.

There is no much information yet about how this is going to work. The only comment I could get from a Chrome engineer is that those apps will run through Native Client and that not every Android feature will be available –such as Intents or Broadcast Receivers-. Apps will appear in the App Launcher as any Chrome App.

Android apps will run on ChromeOS in the futureAndroid apps will run on ChromeOS in the future

Each app will run in a “smartphone” window mode or a tablet mode as a Chrome OS window. Developers will need to make some small work, such as test and add support for non-touch devices with keyboard and pointer.

While this feature was announced for Chrome OS only I think it can easily be ported to Windows, Mac and Linux.

So far, Google has opened a form that you can use to nominate apps you want to see in Chrome OS. If you are the developer of that app, you can nominate yourself too.

Google App Indexing

With Google App Indexing, we can link an HTML page with a deep link to your native Android App on Google Play Store. If the user already has the app, Google will invite the user to open the app instead of the link. You can even index your app’s content even if you don’t have a corresponding HTML site.


This feature was already available but just for a couple of developers. Now it’s open to everyone at https://developers.google.com/app-indexing.

It seems there is no way to take advantage of this API from third-party websites.

New flavors of Android


In the case of Android Wear, already available on the Samsung Gear Live and the LG smartwatch, there is no browser available. The user can search by voice on Google and get a snippet on the watch. If the user clicks the snippet then the website will be opened in the phone. That is a difference with Google Glass, where you can actually browse the web.

UPDATE 6/29: Android Wear will not have access to a WebView, so the only way to render web content is to do it on the phone and send the rendered image to the Watch (native apps on Wear travel inside a smartphone app).

Android TV and Android Auto are also coming soon; these versions don’t have browsers, but they do have WebViews so hybrid development will be possible.


by firt at June 30, 2014 12:48 AM

June 27, 2014

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

Battery Backup for My Owncloud At Home

UpsPower doesn't fail often in Germany but just as luck had it, I experienced two failures in a row in the past year that rendered my cloud services at home out of service for a couple of hours. Needless to say that both incidents occurred at the least convenient time, i.e. while I was traveling.

So far, I've stayed away from uninterruptible power supplies (UPSes) as the last one's I've seen were bulky and had a noisy fan. But recently, I discovered the APC ES-700, a small UPS the size of a shoe box without active cooling that perfectly fitted my needs.

Despite it's size it can drive equipment that requires around 40 watts for around 70 minutes before it shuts down. Just like its big brothers it has a USB port for status messages and control input and the interface is compatible to Linux's APCUPS daemon that is easily installed. Apart from letting me query the status of the UPS from the server, the softare also logs power failures and automatically shuts down my Owncloud server before the battery is empty. No noise, open source software on Linux that is easy to use, it couldn't be any better. Two thumbs up!

The screenshot on the left shows log entries generated after the software installation while the UPS was not yet connected and some real messages once the setup was in place.

by mobilesociety at June 27, 2014 06:54 AM

SPDY in the Wild

Spdy-in-useSo far I assumed that the SPDY protocol, a more efficient version of HTTP, is still in some sort of experimental state but not widely used. Therefore I was very surprised when I recently saw it being used in a Google search request. For those of you wondering how I found out, take a look at the screenshot at the left. During TLS authentication, the servers sends the optional 'Next Protocol Negotiation' information element in the TLS 'Server Hello' message. As Firefox also supports SPDY, the communication then continues using this protocol. I couldn't observe this directly as everything is done inside the TLS encrypted traffic flow. However, there's only a single TCP connection to the server which is a pretty good indication that SPDY is used. Also, the Wikipedia entry on SPDY notes that there are quite a number of popular services in addition to Google that have also activated support for the protocol. How interesting!

by mobilesociety at June 27, 2014 05:51 AM

June 26, 2014

Brad Frost Web » Brad Frost Web | Web Design, Speaking, Consulting, Music, and Art

On The Gently Mad Podcast

I had a blast talking to Adam Clark on The Gently Mad Podcast. We talked about how I got started, creativity, and the importance of answering the question “why do I enjoy doing the things I do?”

by Brad Frost at June 26, 2014 04:34 PM