Blog Archives

Colonizing Wearables (part 3)

In Landing on Wearables we have approached wearables devices extending our existing app’s notifications and explaining briefly how to bind them to our development machine for debugging purposes. Now it is time to study more in deep what we can achieve directly on a device running Android Wear, understanding the constraints and the possibilities that the platform introduces. We will continue to keep as reference the Books application previously developed and we will try to create an Android Wear module.

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A new #Android App for @MailOnline

In the last few months the MailOnline mobile team has completely rewritten from the scratch their Android application. Getting rid of the old code, we came across to a lot of iterations and problems those have forced us to re-think the entire background synchronization and the resource management. As one of the Android developer who has developed this version, I’m very proud to say that this version is definitely better, faster and smoother than the prior one.

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The main features, improvements and changes that you’ll certainly noticed from the screenshots are:

  • Load more articles when you reach the bottom of a channel
  • Swipe down to sync news in the channels page (with progress percentage)
  • Swipe between different channels
  • A new drawer menu that will appear swiping from the left edge of your screen (enable in settings)
  • Share and comments feedback inside the articles
  • Shortcuts from article to main channels
  • Filters on data and image sync
  • Different priority and order for channels (based on your preferences)
  • Enriched FAQs screens

There’s still always something new to do and to improve but this can be consider a really good app that will allow thousands and thousands of people to read their favorite news paper.

Thanks,
Simone

Algorithms are fu**ing awesome!

If you have a quick look on Wikipedia you’ll find out that algorithms are procedures used to solve calculations and to process data.

When I was in university, one of my teacher has defined them like a receipt. Imagine that you have got dozens of ingredients. You have to mix them in order to obtain something that’s really tasty and that can be considered eatable.

From a certain point of view that’s true. Isn’t it? 🙂

One thing that takes a little bit of attention is the fact that the ingredients have to be selected and manipulated following particular procedures otherwise you’ll obtain a food that it something “similar” to what you are expecting.

One week ago, I was reading a problem on Codility that at the beginning was appearing really… really… EASY PEASY!
That’s the greatest mistake that you can do! It doesn’t exist a problem that is simple… otherwise it’s not a problem 😉

After that assumption, I tried on my favorite editor to solve the problem and it “was failing some tests” (if it doesn’t cover any case it’s wrong).
I misunderstood the fact that my solution wasn’t considering entirely the input.

Hence I decided to focus on the velocity of the execution because maybe some loops + if statements were speed down the execution.
That’s another problem: don’t focus on velocity at the beginning. You’ll incur in a lot of mistakes and the problem will become more complex than expected.

At that point I decided to drink a huge cup of strong Italian coffee. “What am I doing?!?!? That’s not the way!”
This was not the idea that solves all your problems but a kind of ray that was saying me that I should start to think instead of trying a feasible solution .

At the end that’s the result:

Detected time complexity: O(N * M * log(M) + N * log(N))
Score: 100 of 100

…getting back to my teacher’s words, when you are sure that your solution works, you should start to think “Can I do something more?“.

Most of the time the solution is YES! OF COURSE!

Leaving that’s long and boring introduction I think that algorithms are not only a way to solve problems but a tool that allows us, not only geeks or nerds, to find other possible better solutions or to confirm that our one is the best one.
So, if you have a look at the icon, that is taken by the Princeton website, you should consider the opportunity to think a problem as something that has to be solved through organized iterations not only as an intuition.

Taking pics easily with #WeddingSnap

On 17th September I have taken part into WeddingSnap project as Android consultant and developer. At first, I was so confused and astonished by the idea that a guest takes pictures with his phone at a wedding. But after a few days I have noticed that this is a great idea! Far from Italian traditions, catching pics socially is a great thing because it increases and amplifies the sense of friendship and closeness between people. In fact, if you consider that we are talking about unforgettable and precious moments you’ll certain understand that the bride and groom want all best things in their precious day.

15 years ago we were used to take pictures through simple cameras but now, in an era governed by most famous social networks and technologies, we are using smartphones more and more. WeddingSnap tries to collect these special moments merging wedding’s pictures into shared album, avoiding  useless tricks to share pics between guests. Through this idea all people involved in a wedding can take and share a lot of photo shoots without caring of number limits and distribuition of them.

In just one month the Android app is grown quickly, giving to this project a great contribuition. In particular, if you decide to take a look on GooglePlay, you’ll find these new features:

  • Off-line mode: you can collect pictures without connection and upload them in another moment
  • Share: you were so marvellous at your friend wedding! Why not share that shoot on Facebook or Twitter?
  • Get it! now you can download on your phone pictures shared by other guests!
  • Fastness and responsiveness: old version of WS were too slow… and now it looks very fast!
  • Delete it! Don’t worry if you have upload the worst picture of the Wedding!
  • Several improvements on errors! have you noticed that now app is more stable?

If you aren’t ready for your first, second,….. wedding, give a look at ForeverSnap! You aren’t forced to use a wedding app if you only want to collect other events pics 😉

My Bachelor Degree

On 26th September I have obtained my first bachelor degree. This milestone has signed the end (for the moment) of my student career because next month I’ll start my work one at FactoryMind.

There are some moments during your life in which you have to make a choice and this is my new bet for coming months.

For the moment enjoy my bachelor pictures 🙂

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How was the ICT Trade in Ferrara?

In the last two days (8th-9th May) I have participated with father as C.L.T Computers to ICT Trade in Ferrara. In this particular event organized by Sirmi we have seen the most important brands on the Italian scenario like Oracle, HP, Tech Data, Ingram Micro, Telecom,… and many other ones!

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On May 8, Maurizio Cuzari opened the show presenting all that sponsors and talking with them and our about new strategies and solutions against the crisis that is pervading all the world and Italy. So I have learned the real mean of many terms like Channel and Cloud and how this means interact with these companies and their partners. Many of them believe that the idea of Cloud will open in the near feature many new possibilities and opportunities to build new business. In my opinion this is a great possibility but it has to be completed and surrounded by other useful services: money saving and data persistence are primary goals but without services, apps and programs that can solve users problems are useless.

On May 9, we have started our trip visiting stands and having a look to some workshops: in particular we have seen the services offered by Telecom and by Ingram Micro. In the afternoon we had a very interesting meeting with Asus and I had the opportunity to touch and use the most wonderful products of the moment: the Zenbook and the android PadFone. I think that they are nice and cool devices that in a contained price (especially for the PadFone: 2 fast devices in 699€  is a good compromise) offers a good user experience.

Finally the idea that I have stolen from this experience is that it’s a strange and sad period for our peninsula and Europe but there are basic signals from the IT world those make to hope in a better feature.

ICT Days: from Hackathon with love

ICT Days 2012

ICT Days 2012

In the last three days I have participated with some university friends to ICT Days: in particular to Hackathon.

The Hackathon is a challenge in which some teams have  a funny experience in android development and in which a jury choose the best and the most innovative idea.
In our team we have developed a sort of music player that allows user to search song by artist or title in the giant and confused web, playing them like streams.

Based on the idea of Andrea Martinelli (one member of our hackathon team), we have developed, all togheter, an android version base on the original’s core, but with features like a real media player, in which the application does the things for you after your choice.

 

Songr

Songr

Considering that the application involves features like REST, MediaPlayer, Services and android IPC, I think that it’s a great goal in two days.

Now I really want to thank all the people those have participated, supported and helped in these marvellous days.
In particular thank to:

  • my patient girlfriend Erika Baldo
  • Andrea Martinelli, Paolo Sottovia, Roberto Faresin and Simone Casagranda (app developers)
  • Alessandro Tomasi, Aaron Ciaghi and Pietro Molini