One of the things that make Android L awesome is the new Material Design. Of course the Remote Control Collection won’t miss out following new design guidelines – so I created the app from scratch and made sure it would fit well into the new Android environment.
I’ve completely redesigned the whole experience, not only the UI. Keeping the Google guidelines and lectures from my recent Human Computer Interaction class in mind, I changed the way users would need to interact with the app. For the first time ever, I took advantage of usability testing and used the feedback from communities, highly engaged users and testers to build an app that maintains it’s complex functionality while being super intuitive to use.
Comparison Over Time
Taking a look back to the first release of the app, which was in late 2012, the UI has changed quite a bit. Here’s a comparison of version 1.3 (Gingerbread), version 2.2 (ICS, Holo design) and version 3.2 (L, Material design).
You probably know about FarmVille, a game where you can build a farm in your browser. The problem is that you only have a virtual farm so you will never eat your harvested fruits. Remote farming provides the possibility to plant, water, fertilize, and harvest your own plants in real life taking into account concepts like social media and gamification. This app enables you to monitor the growth of your plants by checking live sensor data and even lets you watch the plants grow using a Webcam – literally.
Together with 4 of my fellow students I participated at this years InnoJam in Berlin, a coding challenge contest where you get to learn about SAP technologies and partner with participants to build a prototype solution for a real-life business scenario or need. The theme was Internet of Things for the Agricultural Industry, so we came up with Remote Farm – and won the InnoJam.
By winning the InnoJam we won the possibility to pitch our idea in front of a few thousand people at the SAP TechEd && d-code DemoJam. Six well prepared teams competed with us on stage, all having only 6 minutes to give a live demonstration of the apps. And it was up to the audience to choose the winner (with the help of the Clap-o-meter). We managed to convince the audience and also took home the prestigious DemoJam medal. You can take a look at the video of our demo presentation and at the live studio interview with Craig Cmehil, Global Director Developer Relations at SAP.
Get rid of your presenter and instead use your smartwatch to switch between slides. Skip the current track on your computer while sitting on your couch. Turn on the lights in your flat when you come home. Hook your smartwatch up to Arduino, Raspberry Pi or any other IoT-ready device and use it for whatever you want.
Remotify is an Android Wear application that has been developed in 40 hours during the HackZurich hackathon by Leo Kotschenreuther, Fabio Niephaus an Stephan Schultz. It allows you to control any device with Internet access. Watch the demo video above to get a sense of what this prototype can be used for. It was nominated as finalist out of 101 other porjects from 350 participants and won the Google award as the best application with support for Android Wear.
Remote Control Collection Integration
The app matches well with the Remote Control Collection app for Android, which already has a community of over 1 million users that like the idea of home automation. For that reason, Remotify will be part of the Remote Control Collection and provide support for Android Wear, extending the usability even further. It will be available for users through the beta community on Google Plus.
I recently updated one of my older apps that shows the menu of the University Potsdam Mensa and the daily meal of Ulf’s Café at the Hasso Plattner Institute. I have rebuild the app from scratch, designed a new user interface and published the source code on GitHub.
The new design
Compared to the old version, the new GUI is much cleaner and has an appealing amount of fresh colors. The updated logo follows the new Android design guidelines and fits well with the new GUI.
The layout is adaptive to any screen size and displays high resolution graphics. It uses custom list adapters and builds its views dynamically based on the meal items (indicator icons, photos, prices, etc.).
The new code
You can take a look at the source code and use it for other (non-commercial) apps, it will be easy to read and self-explanatory. It takes advantage of animations, asynchronous methods, handlers, modified view pagers and list adapters – stuff you will find useful if you have just started developing Android apps.
It was about time to create a nice CV for my applications, so I started to design a neat little website about me and created the CV.
I wanted a small, responsive page that works well on desktop and mobile. It contains some decent transitions, taking advantage of HTML5 and CSS3. It’s not overloaded, feel free to check it out if you have a minute.
My intention was to design a CV that indicated my passion for mobile development. I designed it using Photoshop and based on the Android Holo theme. When I was happy with it, I switched over to InDesign and created an interactive PDF version, which you can download below.