December 2012

JetBrains make really good tools —ReSharper was indispensable during my days at Microsoft, I find myself using AppCode quite a bit for iOS development and I’ve been meaning to get my paws on IntelliJ IDEA to do Android programming to make Java (ugh) a little more bearable and ditch Eclipse (double ugh).

"Weekly World News" cover talking about the end of the world using REM lyrics

JetBrains are taking advantage of the popular myth that the world is going to end tomorrow, December 21st, 2012 by having a sale that cuts 75% off the price of personal licences for the following IDEs and developer tools:

jetbrains tools

As of this writing, you’ve got a little over 13 hours to catch these deals. Get one of their tools today and make sure the End Times are also productive times!

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Meanwhile, on Mobilize!…

by Joey deVilla on December 18, 2012

Sampling of photos from Mobilize! articles

Here are the latest articles on Mobilize!, the blog of my company, CTS

  • Decommissioning BYOD Mobile Devices: When coming up with a BYOD policy, it’s all too easy to forget about what should happen when employees replace their old BYOD mobile devices. If they’re not careful, they could be leaving both personal and corporate information on the device. This article looks at some statistics on how often people replace their mobile devices and what they do with their old devices, and it also provides a simple four-step plan for decommissioning old BYOD phones and tablets.
  • Bring Your Own Anxiety (or: BYOD’s not as bad as some articles make it seem, plus BYOD advice): We’ve seen many BYOD articles with scary titles with phrases like “hidden dangers”, “security threats” and “BYOD kills kittens”, but is BYOD really that bad? We think that these sensationalistic titles are linkbait, and if you actually read the articles, they’ve got some solid, sane and sound advice.
  • BYOA (Bring Your Own Apps) by the Numbers: Not only are employees doing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), they’re also doing BYOA (Bring Your Own Apps). A recent survey taken by Edge Strategies on behalf of LogMeIn in which 1,200 respondents from SMBs in North America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand shows some pretty interesting numbers.

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Seeking Office Space in Toronto

by Joey deVilla on December 18, 2012

John Cusack and Caroline Keener in a "tiny office" scene from "Being John Malovich"

While the new office is quite nice, we’re taking on a few more people and the place is getting a bit cramped. So we’re looking around for some new space. Here are our criteria:

If you know of any available office space in Toronto, whether solo or shared, let me know in the comments or please drop me a line!

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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New Blog: Mobilize!

by Joey deVilla on December 17, 2012

Screenshot of the "Mobilize!" blog
I’ve been blogging on behalf of a number of companies through my career:

…and now that I’m the co-founder/CTO of CTS — that’s short for Comprehensive Technology Solutions — the blog had to come sooner or later. That time is now, and the blog is called Mobilize!

CTS is in the business of helping enterprises and organizations make the transition to mobile tech and build a strategy for doing so, and the blog will be about that as well. If you manage mobile technologies, write mobile apps or just want to keep up with what’s up in the mobile world, you might want to bookmark Mobilize!

(And yes, a good number of articles on Mobilize! will also appear here on Global Nerdy.)

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Moleskine’s “Paper Notebooks vs. Smartphones” Video

by Joey deVilla on December 16, 2012

Stills from Moleskine's "Paper Notebooks vs. Smartphones" video: "Notetaking can be easier with a notebook" vs. "Some functions are not available on paper"

Judging from my hanging out with artists, designers, user interface specialists and other creative types, Moleskine notebooks have remained popular even though these same people often have very portable technologies including ultra-thin laptops (mostly MacBook Airs), smartphones and iPads. It seems that they’ve managed to find their old-school product into a world of smartphones and tablets. They’ve done some clever things including releasing their own app, the Moleskine Journal; they’ve also shown that they can fit in the Brave New Mobile World in a video titled Paper Notebooks vs. Smartphones:

This article also appears in Mobilize!: The CTS Mobile Tech Blog.

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Google Maps Comes to iOS

Skeleton in the desert beside an iPhone displaying Apple Maps

I couldn’t resist posting this Apple Maps joke.

You can now get Google Maps for the iPhone, and there’s also a Google Maps SDK for iOS! Among other things, the SDK’s features include:

  • Quick-loading vector-based maps
  • 2D and 3D views, with controllable camera positions for 3D views
  • Gesture-based map rotation and tilt
  • Traffic conditions, and control camera positions in 3D.

According to the announcement, access to the Google Maps SDK for iOS’ API keys is being progressively rolled out to developers who register interest.

How To Use jQuery Mobile 1.3’s Panels

Here’s a video that explains how to use jQuery Mobile 1.3’s “sliding panel” UI elements. You see them in native iOS apps such as YouTube, and you can now have them in your HTML5 mobile apps.

Windows Store Apps for iOS Developers: An Online Tutorial

Joe HealyMy friend Joe Healy, Tampa-based developer evangelist with Microsoft points to an online course done in cooperation with iOS tutorial heavyweights Big Nerd Ranch on developing Windows Store Apps for iOS developers taking place today and tomorrow. Check it out!

This article also appears in Mobilize!: The CTS Mobile Tech Blog.

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Ereaders Losing Out to Tablets

Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs iPad and iPad Mini

GeekWire reports that the tablet is “killing the e-reader”. They cite an IHS report titled Ebook Readers: Device to Go the Way of Dinosaurs?, which reports that shipments of ereaders will be just under 15 million units by the end of the year, a 36% drop from the end of 2011, when they were over 23 million.

According to IHS, tablets are doing quite well:

In contrast, tablets are enjoying unstoppable growth, mostly thanks to the Apple iPad, which made its appearance in 2010. Tablet shipments will hit 120 million units in 2012 only after two short years of the device being on the market, and 340 million systems are expected by 2016—a magnitude of sales exceeded just by mobile handsets.

It seems that tablets are pretty good ereaders, in addition to being capable of doing a lot of things that used to be the sole province of multimedia-capable computers. The three areas in which ereaders have traditionally surpassed tablets are being eroded as well:

  • Size: With tablets like the iPad mini and the Nexus 7, the small-size advantage that ereaders enjoyed is going away. The Kindle Fire HD is Amazon’s answer to this challenge: as tablets get smaller and more ereader-like, the Kindle Fire HD is an ereader that got more powerful and tablet-like.
  • Price: Tablets are getting cheaper, especially the Android ones. With 7″ Android tablets dropping below the $200 mark (a 16GB Nexus 7 sells for $199), ereaders have to lower their price points in order to remain attractive.
  • Battery Life: The low power requirements of epaper and cheaper processors give ereaders a considerably longer battery life than any tablet. This is the one advantage that will ereaders will continue to have over tablets, given the current trend for tablets to get better processors and displays.

Owned by an Angel

Justin Angel (in a suit) and Joey deVilla (in an Aloha shirt) sitting in a cafe

Justin Angel and Yours Truly. Photo by John Bristowe.

I know Justin Angel from my Microsoft days — he was a Silverlight engineer and I was a developer evangelist. He’s now with Nokia and is naturally working on Windows Phone, which leads me to wonder why he wrote an article on his site explaining how to get around in-app purchases, upgrade apps from trial mode to full-on mode without paying, and get rid of in-app ads. His site is currently down; whether it’s because of reasons technological or corporate is anyone’s guess.

2012’s Top Mobile Vulnerabilities and Exploits

Broken padlock

Dark Reading has compiler their list of the top mobile vulnerabilities and exploits for 2012. You should read the article for the full version; here’s the list of items:

  1. Twitter SMS spoofing (discovered by my former Shopify coworker, Jonathan Rudenberg!)
  2. Dirty USSD
  3. Android SSL/TLS woes
  4. Android NFC vulnerabilities
  5. Mobile man-in-the-middle attacks using Exchange
  6. Social and sharing authentication flaws
  7. Zitmo, a.k.a. Zeus-in-the-Mobile

Chart showing mobile traffic to The Guardian

The chart above is from the Guardian article Fragmented world: what two years of traffic data teaches you about mobile. In 2010, Apple devices were already accounting for over half the Guardian’s mobile traffic; by 2012, they’re now accounting for about three-quarters. The Guardian serves about 3.3 million page a day to mobile devices, not counting those served to their iPad-specific app.

DevOps Best Practices for Cross-Platform Mobile Apps

This video features IBM’s Sanjeev Sharma’s presentation, DevOps Best Practices for Cross-Platform Mobile Apps, which he gave last month at MoDevEast 2012. DevOps gets little love in the mobile world, and I’m glad to see Sharma explaining its importance as well as showing some good techniques.

This article also appears in Mobilize!: The CTS Mobile Tech Blog.

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