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Developer Events

17 Posts authored by: Daniel Quagliana Expert

This year I had the pleasure of attending three droidcons--Italy, London, and San Francisco--representing Zebra Technologies. I’ve already shared my experiences from Turin. London and San Francisco each offered unique events where I learned a lot and met some awesome people developing some amazing apps!

 

About 1500 developers descended on London at the end of October for droidcon. People came from all across Europe and even Asia and Africa. And this crowd wanted to learn. It was fascinating watching the waves of people file into and out of the sessions. Normally, you see a fair number of people just hanging out and skipping sessions, but not in London.

 

During breaks between sessions, we talked to at least a third of the event attendees at our Zebra booth. There was a huge amount of curiosity around the Enterprise space and how Zebra is helping business gain intelligence and visibility into their operations. Barcode scanning demonstrations impressed, but the Mobility DNA Android tools were most appreciated for the management of the device through deployment, device management, app management, and user management.

 

Android Security has been a very hot topic this year. My colleague Pietro Maggi presented on it in Turin and Berlin. In London, I attended Scott Alexander-Bown’s session; O-mg what's new in Android Security? Scott did a great job reviewing new enhancements in Android O such as the SafetyNet APIs like Attestation and Google Safe Browsing. Seriously, you should check them out and add them to your app. Don’t forget Verify Apps, too.

 

I chatted with Chris Le Roy, who led the session Hacking Android, a Hacker's narrative, quite a bit. Chris opened my eyes to some of the methods hackers use to gain access to apps and devices. This reinforced even more, the importance of developers using the SafetyNet APIs and the services through Google Play Protect. To augment protections those services should be combined with the Android and Zebra management tools for deployment (StageNow), Device Management (EMM APIs, EMM Tool Kit, Enterprise Home Screen), App Management, and OS security updates (LifeGuard for Android).

 

In San Francisco, I attended a session similar to Chris’ on the importance of penetration testing on your app. It highlighted some of the methods used to compromise apps.

 

Compiling these concepts together led to the Android Security talk I gave in San Francisco.  I spoke about the security impacts of the entire ecosystem around Android. This includes the OS, add-ons by the device OEMs, the apps, services and methods around getting apps on device, the user and the deployment and management mentioned above. Looking across the whole landscape demonstrates that security is everyone’s responsibility.

I walked through the tools Android and Zebra have provided for developers and those who manage the devices. The presentation slides are attached below.

 

The talk seemed to resonate well with the attendees. It was good to hear feedback from the attendees including some who are using the Attestation and other SafetyNet APIs. There were questions around management of devices running older flavors of Android, a very common issue in the Enterprise. Thankfully, via EMM or the Zebra LifeGuard for Android program, some of these issues can be addressed.

Zebra’s tenets around security:

Droidcon San Francisco 2017 also gave Zebra the opportunity to present a CodeLab on Bluetooth. Manuel Caicedo walked through the standard Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy APIs. He highlighted some of the issues and lessons he has learned and some ways Zebra streamlines the code with the Link-OS SDK. The Zebra table piqued interest of the attendees where we showcased the Zebra portfolio and everyone’s favorite game, Barcode Blaster.

Both Droidcon London and San Francisco showcased great speakers and developers at the forefront of innovation. It was incredibly rewarding to expose Zebra’s Enterprise Asset Intelligence leadership through Mobility, Printer, and Scanner DNA to the attendees.

Next week, 14-16 June, Zebra will be hosting Europe APPFORUM in Prague. Register now to hear from Zebra, Google, Microsoft, Xamarin, Philips Lighting and more on how to build best in class visibility software solutions for the Enterprise.

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Following the success of Americas APPFORUM I am happy to announce that registration has opened for the China and Asia/Australia APPFORUMs.

 

The China event will be in Shanghai on July 27-28 with keynotes from Microsoft, Zebra CTO Office, and Global Platinum Sponsor Ivanti. We have breakout sessions for developers and technology leaders from Zebra product teams, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, and Seagull Scientific. The event will be conducted in Chinese, but we will have live translation for those who cannot speak Chinese.

The Asia/Australia APPFORUM will be in Melbourne, Australia on July 31-August 1 focused on India, Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. The Google Android team will be presenting a keynote and breakout sessions. Microsoft, the Zebra CTO Office, Ivanti and Kevin Drinkwater, CIO of Mainfreight will also lead keynote sessions.

Register today for China APPFORUM or Asia APPFORUM! appforum2017

Turin greeted me with a downpour of rain. I couldn’t check in to my hotel for another 3 hours so I decided to get to know the city. And what a great city it is. Convenient metro/subway, beautiful architecture, churches, museums and piazzas (not to be confused with the delicious pizza). Spending a few hours orienting myself in Turin set a positive tone that continued for the whole conference and trip.

 

Tuesday night, the droidcon Italy team set up a dinner for the speakers. I had the pleasure of meeting Erik Hellman, Google Developer Expert and author of Android Programming: Pushing the Limits, Martin Woolley from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group,  and Mathias Seguy, currently leading the architecture and development effort on Android Auto for a large auto manufacturer. It was great networking and had me excited to meet developers and attend sessions the next morning.

 

Droidcon Italy started off strong with a lot of traffic to the Zebra booth. There were a lot of people who were unfamiliar with Zebra but quickly identified our value to the Enterprise segment and why to work with Zebra. We met several companies in the midst of projects integrating Zebra mobile computers like the TC18 and TC70x or with Zebra printers. And as usual there were a lot of “A-ha!” moments from developers wishing they had known about Zebra when working on a previous project, showing that my job is never finished in Developer Relations. My favorite group that stopped by the table was a group of middle school children. They were fascinated by the unique form factor of the TC8000 and thermal printing, and asked very sharp questions about Zebra SDKs and customer use cases! It was so great to see young students mingling with adults from all over the world and their curiosity for learning.

 

Clearly, I must be a total nerd because the first session I attended was on Testing and QA. The Zebra ISV Partner Program offers three software testing services to ISVs: the Zebra Validated and Compatible Programs and iOS MFI App White Listing. Our teams have reviewed nearly a thousand applications and I’ve been surprised to see that Software Quality often isn’t up to the standards we’d expect. I encourage all developers to take the testing component seriously. No, it isn’t as fun as building the app, but the reputation and success of the application is defined by its quality.

I also got the chance to hear Wiebe Elsinga, Android Google Development Expert, highlight the importance of truly understanding your customer’s needs when scoping and designing an application. He walked through his latest project creating an app for a major European airport and how some fundamental miscommunications and assumptions, even to the level of who would use the app, hindered the success of the app. It highlighted the value of documenting users, personas of the users, and their workflows to prioritize feature development. These lessons, combined with those in the testing session, elevate the importance of all aspects of the development process.

 

Next up was a session by Martin Woolley of the Bluetooth SIG on updates to Bluetooth including a proximity demo, beacons, The Physical Web by Google, and Bluetooth 5. Very cool stuff. It tied in very well with some Zebra initiatives like SmartSense and a project to tighten the range and battery life of beacons to optimize loading of delivery vehicles for UPS. Martin showed a demo on a museum experience where approaching a specific exhibit would display content for that exhibit on a user’s phone via Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons.

 

It aligned closely with Brian Duff’s talk on the Android Nearby API focused on proximity. Brian did a great job of highlighting proximity use cases and then walking through the Nearby.Messages, Nearby.Notifications, and Nearby.Connections APIs and how to implement them. Nearby is a fascinating proximity technology with significant benefits for the Enterprise audience Zebra targets. I’m excited to share that Brian will be presenting on Nearby at Zebra APPFORUM.

 

My colleague Pietro Maggi, Developer Evangelist at Zebra, reviewed the myths and reality of Android Security from an Enterprise Perspective to a packed room. Pietro analyzed Android Security reports to go behind the headlines of risks like Dirty Cow or StageFright. He showed that there were no known actual attacks, but that these were only vulnerabilities that Google quickly addressed. He walked through Android OS enhancements, Google Mobile Services endpoint security and antivirus services, the Google SafetyNet program that checks 6 billion apps a day and even how Google hires the broader community to identify vulnerabilities.  Pietro lastly reviewed Enterprise challenges and best practices such as locking down devices and Zebra’s LifeGuard™ for Android™ program which add years of OS security support after consumer support stops to match the enterprise hardware life-cycle. For those questioning the security reputation of Android, I strongly encourage you to watch this session to learn the reality of modern Android.

 

Overall, droidcon Italy was a fantastic event. I attended several other great talks, in addition to those listed above, learning about new tools and approaches. I introduced Zebra to hundreds of new developers and meet dozens already working with our products and tools. Zebra even received some coverage by media outlets (hope your Italian is good…)

 

One of the most rewarding parts was engaging with the broader community: talking to other developers and speakers from across Europe and the world about their professional and personal projects, whether adding Android Auto to a car or the specialized equipment needed to photograph the night sky.

 

And, of course, there was the pasta:

The Zebra team had a very busy time at the AT&T Developer Summit 2017 in Las Vegas, January 3-4. And I’m not just talking about listening to keynote speaker Joseph Gordon Levitt or hearing BLINK-182 play.

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attdev2.jpgBeing a B2B company, Zebra isn’t always a household name. But once developers see our products, tools, and how they are used lightbulbs start going off. Some users are still connecting the dots that Zebra isn’t just a printer or scanner company. That’s why events like the AT&T Developer Summit, with over 1800 attendees, are so impactful for us.

 

This event had a young crowd full of innovative minds breaking into the Enterprise Software space. We were able to have great conversations about how we can collaborate to build solutions that provide businesses with real-time visibility into their operations, enabling them to take smarter actions and transform their organization.

 

‘Collaboration’ was a key word at this event and this was very evident in AT&T’s new IoT solution which pulls together tools from big name brands like Amazon Web Services and ARM. This makes the toolset very attractive for the developers as they are either already familiar with their offerings or have trust in those companies.

 

Developers also saw value in the visibility solutions & toolsets Zebra offered. Mobility DNA and Link-OS both provide common architectures to streamline development and help give physical assets a digital voice.

 

We are now excited to continue the conversation and collaboration with many of these same people at Zebra APPFORUM in Las Vegas, May 9-11.

Android Marshmallow and Nougat represent a concerted effort from Google to cater for the Enterprise with greater security and the ability to manage ruggedized devices such as those offered by Zebra.  Understandably Marshmallow & Nougat also expose a slew of new functionality primarily aimed at consumers giving them more responsibility and power such as run time permissions and multi-window features. Zebra has already started releasing Marshmallow devices.

In this DEV { TALK } we will cover:

  • The considerations for a Zebra developer targeting these new Marshmallow devices (TC51, TC75X and more to come)
  • Demonstrate some of the real value-adds of Google’s Enterprise offering (formally Android For Work)
  • Explore upcoming considerations that the new features of Android Nougat bring to the table

 

 

Thank you to all who attended. Please find the video and the slides for the presentation attached.

 

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Zebra will be back at Droidcon Italy, 6-7 April 2017 in Turin, as a Silver Sponsor. Come hear Zebra Developer Evangelist, Pietro Maggi, talk about how to achieve Enterprise-class security with Android or visit us at our booth.

 

 

Pietro's session is titled Android Security, an Enterprise Perspective: Debunking Android Security Myths with Data. In this talk he will review hot topics for European Corporations in the process of adopting Android as COSU (Corporate-owned, single-use) devices. He will cover how features introduced in Android 6.0, Google Mobile Services and third party extensions collaborate to provide state of the art solutions to the market. Attend to learn specifically what threats are real, why security updates are critical for the Enterprise market, and best practices for Security and the Life Cycle of Android devices.

 

We hope to see you there.

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Hit pause on all of the ubiquitous holiday cheer and ignore the cold—for just a moment—and make a mental note to mark May 9-11 on next year’s calendar.  Because that’s when anyone focused on building or deploying enterprise software will want to be in Las Vegas attending APPFORUM 2017, Zebra’s Enterprise Software Conference Series. 

 

We’re already deep in the planning of our three-day collaborative learning workshop that has continued to take attendees to technology’s cutting edge since 2012. But this year we’re going outside of the striped box to follow a broader approach that encompasses enterprise software and industry trends in addition to offering opportunities for hands-on learning about and coding for Zebra tools and devices.

 

In addition, we’re bringing a number of high-level industry experts in to speak. And yes, the rumors are true. GOOGLE is confirmed on our roster and will be giving the keynote address at all four of APPFORUM’s regional events. Conversations are also ongoing with a number of other major players who shall not (as yet) be named. The plan is to bring in a host of industry power houses for their insight and inspiration. 

 

We’re also casting a wider net to attract a few different kinds of conference attendees. In addition to rounding up the usual crowd, we’ll be inviting our exalted CTOs (who struggle to keep up with the constant change in the software space, no matter what they tell you) to join us.  We want to gather people from the entire Enterprise Software community—from Zebra ISVs, Resellers, end-users and independents to CTOs, Technical Architects and Developers. We will share trends, technical tools, and expert tips on how to architect, develop, deploy and manage apps for the enterprise.

 

Finally, we’re putting together our agenda sessions with a more expansive, yet refined, eye. Added to the technical deep dives for developers, we’ll also present thought leadership pieces from industry leading partners. We’ve honed our cutting edge topics and added items such as cross-platform trends, automated sensing, and analytics to the more foundational subjects like security, Operating System trends and features, or the Internet of Things.

 

It’s time to innovate, engage and transform. Plan to do all of that and more at APPFORUM 2017.

Click to learn more.

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What’s the differentiation between consumer and built-for-enterprise devices, and what does this mean to developers?  How do we make Android the right fit for businesses?

 

Let’s focus on the real issue: security. How does an operating system built toward ease of use for millions of consumers provide the level of security the top global corporations require?  In a technology space constantly changing and evolving businesses need to evolve and adapt in an agile fashion. Security updates and patches are being pushed more frequently to consumers by Google.  But with a fragmented OS like Android how significant is the delay in deploying these updates to devices made by other vendors? How does an enterprise manage the deployment of these updates across a fleet of thousands of devices? Zebra Technologies addresses security through patches for known security issues quickly and by providing a support interface through device management allowing seamless deployment.

 

In the consumer market, we are seeing things move in a positive direction. The good news is that Google is getting more serious about the Enterprise with Android for Work and updates in Android M and N. Is this enough to fulfill all a corporation’s needs? We at Zebra feel there are additional gaps.

 

Zebra offers enhanced control over Android such as managed profiles, lock-task mode, and app restrictions—do you really want your employee downloading Angry Birds, or worse yet, a mal-ware infested app? With app restrictions through features like Enterprise Home Screen a company can limit access to unwanted apps based on user profiles and even shift times.

 

You want APIs? Zebra has created a software layer with APIs to address these items like user and app profiles, capturing and analyzing data, and staging and managing the devices. Yes, we have the hardware solutions, including barcode scanners, printers, mobile computers and other data capture services to give visibility to an Enterprise’s operations. But while we build the devices and framework, we need developers to build the solutions, especially when you are taking Android to work.

 

Stop by stand 2 @droidconUK London 2016, or better yet, show off your coding skills at the Zebra sponsored Hack Weekend to connect, share and learn more about Zebra Technologies and our devices built by us, with apps built by you.   #droidconUK #android @androidforwork @Zebradevs

Join Zebra at droidcon London Hack Weekend 2016 for the chance to win a HooToo 3D VR Headset. Zebra will be sponsoring the hackathon Friday, 28th - Sunday, 30th October at CodeNode, London. We will be rewarding developers who build the most innovative apps for the TC8000.

Join Zebra experts and top developers to show off your coding skills.

Also be sure to visit Zebra’s booth at droidcon London Thursday, 27th - Friday, 28th October at Business Design Centre, London.

Do you want to attend Europe’s largest gathering of passionate Developers, Mobile and Marketing professionals? Come visit Zebra at Apps World London, October 19-20.

 

Learn about the latest updates to Zebra developer tools like the EMDK for Android & Xamarin and the Link-OS SDK. Listen to our experts explain how to deploy Android into demanding Enterprise environments.

 

See if you can beat the high score in Barcode Blaster, the most fun way to show off the TC8000’s blazing scanning speed! We will also show off our newest devices like the WT6000 wearable and RS6000 ring scanner.

Connecting to and receiving data from a printer through Web apps is very complicated. Come learn how Zebra’s newest developer tool, Browser Print, makes adding print capabilities to your Web-based app simple and straightforward. Browser Print even enables bi-directional communication between a Web app and printer connected to a PC via local ports, such as USB. This gives you the ability to implement best practices by checking printer status, and making real-time decisions based on the information, conveying that information to the user via the UI.

 

We will outline the capabilities of the tool and walk through sample code to show how to use it to build your app.

 

Register for the webinar.

 

Thank you to all who attended the DevTalk! For those who were not able to view the Webinar live, below is a recording of the session.

 

AnDevCon Boston introduced a host of developers to Zebra’s Enterprise portfolio and APIs. Zebra engineers spoke about the visibility developers can provide to their Enterprise customers through technologies such as barcode scanning, RFID, augmented reality, and other sensors and devices such as the innovative TC8000 and wearables like the Android WT6000 computer, and RS6000 ring scanner.

 

But we had a lot of fun as well!

 

Developers loved interacting with augmented reality on the TC8000 for a simulated retail shelf or trying to beat the top scores in the Barcode Blaster Android game.

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The most engaging experience was at the Zebra TC8000 Hackathon where teams were challenged to come up with the most innovative apps utilizing the sensors & features of the TC8000.

 

Fueled by pizza and more caffeine than any normal human should consume, two teams created winning apps that earned each member the prize of a VR Headset.

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  • First place team, Mr. Good Scanner, developed a line busting application for the ‘Zebra Café’ to allow guests to quickly go through the cafeteria menu, using their own smart phones scanned barcodes of items they wanted to purchase. Utilizing a 3rd party payment library, they were able to scan the barcodes of the items they wanted and complete payment with a credit card.
  • Second place team, Jazz, built a museum application designed to use barcode scanning, and in the future, augmented reality of the device to focus on and learn about pieces of art in a museum by students/visitors. The application displays and can play audio messages to describe the artwork, the history behind its creation and the artist who created it.

 

A huge thank you to all hackathon participants and those who visited Zebra at our booth!

Introducing our newest workshop exclusively for Zebra’s technical and developer community. Our DEV { KITCHEN } is an informational workshop where you can craft recipes for your own apps while using the highest quality Zebra ingredients.

 

The focus of our first DEV { KITCHEN } will be on:

 

  • Mobility DNA: This environment for mobile computers is the perfect place to sample how to use each of the development tools and administration utilities to leverage the simplicity of consumer smartphone platforms without sacrificing critical data functionality and security.
  • Link-OS: Within our toolset for printers, you will be able to get a taste of how we add zing to apps with barcode and receipt tracking capabilities across the most popular operating systems.

 

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT

 

This is the perfect opportunity for you to become more familiar with Zebra’s suite of tools so you can use them as the secret ingredient in your app!

 

DATE: June 7, 2016

TIME: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central

PLACE: Lincolnshire, Illinois

Zebra is thrilled to have two of our partners participating in the Xamarin Evolve 2016 event!

Stop by Pariveda’s booth to learn how a Fortune 100 Pharmaceutical Distributor increased revenue & inventory accuracy with Zebra and Xamarin. They are a top Xamarin Enterprise contract house and strong proponent of Zebra. Their booth is next to Zebra's booth, so we would both like to engage with you and talk about your interests in this emerging technology.

Eight Bot is leading a presentation – Why you should be building better mobile apps with reactive programming. Stop in the session and hear how Reactive Extensions can simplify your applications and benefit you when you are building mobile apps.

Looking forward to connecting with you!

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