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Mar 25

It is not enough to just develop mobile apps and publish them to the different app markets – you must also make sure that the app is working and not causing any problems for your customers (or users if you like). To make sure that the app is working as intended you will run it through initial tests (often using test cases) and fix the issues you have found before you publish. We all do this, some more structured than others, but in a way or other the app is tested, fixed and published. This will never be enough and here is why: Diversity.

By diversity I mean that you will never be able to anticipate all possible situations that will occur when a huge amount of users are running the app on different OS (iOS, Android, WP7 ++) and again different phones/tablets on the various OS. I think it is a fact you just need to accept; there will most likely be some kind of unidentified bugs hiding in the app when you publish it. You should do everything you can to minimize the error factor, but you will need to have a good strategy on how to deal with the unidentified bugs. This is where live crash reports and BugSense comes in to play.

In a normal app life cycle you will continue development (new or improved features) and fix errors reported by the users. I think that the errors reported by users is just the top of the ice berg. If your app is pointed to the mass consumer market I guess that only 10-20% of errors are being reported (have no numbers to back this up, but it is my gut feeling). This means that 80% of the users will accept the issue and live with it or just simply stop using your app because of issues annoying them.

Live bug reports will enable you to stay one step ahead. You can then fix errors before they are reported by the app users. A good tool for live bug reports across the major OS is BugSense. What I like with BugSense is that it is really powerful while still being easy to use. It only takes one line of code and a library to use it in your app. BugSense supports iOS, Android, WP7, HTML5 and Google AppEngine. You get a nice dashboard with statistics and details about bugs that have occurred in your app. When you look at an error you get a lot of good information that will ease your process of recreating and fixing it. You will see what device and OS version the users have, is WiFi enabled, users location ++. You can even have users experiencing issues notified when you have fixed it.

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Nov 23

It is now soon 6 months since I started in a new job as CTO at mBricks and in this post I will explain what we do at mBricks.

Even if I just started in this job for 6 months ago I have a long history with mBricks. I started in mBricks back in 2005 (fresh out of school) and was a part of the core team writing the very first code lines that today is a part of what we call mBricks SDK. I worked there til 2009 and then I decided to widen my horizons and try something else for a while. I am now very pleased to be back in mBricks. The circle is closed :)

mBricks facilities located at Lysaker, Norway in our mother company Teleplans' building

What is mBricks?

mBricks is a software company focusing on mobile applications. We do all kind of consulting within the mobile application area but what we are most proud about is our cross platform solution for developing/building mobile applications. This is what really makes mBricks stand out in the crowd.

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Jan 22

I have now been using the Samsung Galaxy Tab for about four months and this is my thoughts about this device.

The device

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is very solid and feels good in your hand. The display is a 7 inch WSVGA display and it is running Android 2.2. I am impressed by the battery capacity and even though I use the device quite a lot I only have to charge it now and then. It’s also very handy that you can use the device as a phone with a SIM card. I don’t use it very often as a phone but it’s nice to be able to go online when there is no wireless networks available.

The display is very good and watching videos, images or just surfing the web is no stress for the eyes. Some persons are criticising the device because the think the 7 inch display is to small… In my opinion that has nothing to do with the device. For me the size is perfect and if you wanted a larger display, well you should have bought the iPad 😉

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Nov 08

Finally I found time to start looking at Android development. In the past I have been developing mobile applications on Java ME, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7, now it’s time to have a look at the Android platform. In this post I will describe what you need to do to get started with Android development.

At developers.android.com there is a good Quick Start guide explaining step by step what you need to do to get started:

  1. Start with installing JDK 6
  2. Download Eclipse Classic 3.6.1 and unzip it on your disk (I unzipped it to location c:\eclipse) Updated 9th Nov: There are know issues with the ADT plugin running on Eclipse 3.6, so to be safe download Eclipse 3.5. Thank you Robert Peterson for letting me know.
  3. Download Android SDK (for Windows platform in my case) and unzip it on your disk (I unzipped it to location c:\android sdk)
  4. Add the android sdk location to your path
  5. Install the Android Development Tools (ADT) plugin in Eclipse. Remote update/install site: https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/
  6. Add Android platforms and components to your SDK by running the SDK Manager. I chose accept all and install, this will give me all available Android platforms and components including Google API, Usb driver, samples and documentation.

You have now installed all you need and you can now follow the steps below to create your Android project and run the application from Eclipse. Once again developers.android.com have a good tutorial on how to create Hello World application: Continue reading »

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Aug 06

One of my main area of interest is mobility and I read a lot of blogs and news sites to keep my self up to date. In this post I will share some of my favorite blogs and sites about mobility with you. The last 1 1/2 year I have mainly been working with Microsoft technology when it comes to mobility and therefore you will see a majority of Windows Phone and Windows Mobile blogs in this list.

The Windows Team Blog is a good place to start if you want to be updated on what the Windows teams are up to. There are three blogs I often read on this site:

Windows Mobile 6 Developer Blog, Windows Phone Developer Blog and Windows Phone Blog

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Apr 28

mobile devicesIt is a tough technology race in the mobile software business that have been ongoing since the early years of applications for mobile devices. I have been developing mobile applications for several years and asked my self many times; who will win this race? After all these years I still ask my selves (and others) the same question, I guess that is why I enjoy this business so much :)

I were asked at work today if I could help contributing on a presentation about mobile application trends, therefore I will write some of my thoughts regarding to this. The technologies I find most interesting are: Android, iPhone, Java ME, Symbian and Windows Mobile. Let’s have a closer look at these.

htc androidAndroid

This is a software platform and operating system based on the Linux kernel. Android were announced in 2007 by Google but are now owned and founded by the Open Handset Alliance. This technology is quite new and the first official handset have just reached the markets. I think that with the smooth design, open source licensing, Google and several large manufactures behind this will be a technology to recon with in the future. Android have already a large amount of developers and applications in their community. It will be very interesting to follow Android and see what kind of market shares they will be able to get in the next years.

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Mar 10

iphonesimulatorI have added a plugin called WPtouch on this blog. Reading this blog from iPhone or iPod touch will now give you an iPone application-like look and feel. This should also work for Android phones (have been tested on the T-mobile G1). I hope you enjoy:)

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