Guest: Vidya Setlur of Nokia Research (updated)


Next week on Thursday April 7 we will be joined remotely by Vidya Setlur of Nokia Research. Vidya is a leading researcher in mobile interfaces, and is based out of Nokia's Palo Alto Research facility.

Vidya and I are still working out what exactly she will talk about; more soon.

Updated: here is Vidya's talk info:

Mobile Browsing and Search 

The fastest growing community of Internet users is made up of people who use various ubiquitous devices to access the Internet. Such web content is becoming more important for searching, sharing, expressing, and exchanging information on devices such as smartphones, handheld PCs, home-networked media appliances, and informational displays in automobiles . As the amount of information available on these small-screen, ‘on-the-go’ types of devices continues to grow, it is essential to prevent users from wading through a morass of irrelevant content to find a single piece of relevant information.

In this talk, I will talk about two recent pieces of my work concerning the mobile web. Firstly, I will introduce ‘SemantiLynx’, a system to visually augment hyperlinks on web pages for better supporting the task of directed searches on small-screen devices. Secondly, I will present Myngle, a device-agnostic system that lets users quickly find the information they need from previously visited web pages without having to plan ahead, and talk about the generation of web page snippets for managing this information. I will conclude my talk by briefly discussing technology and research trends in this topic.



Find: Phone as a Game Controller

Hey folks,

Abhijit found this on Engadget, which is very cool, but unfortunately duplicates much of what they intended to do.

They will be choosing a different game for their project, hopefully an unprotected one that would let them submit their app to the app store.

Phone as a Game Controller
by Abhijit Sachidananda - Tuesday, 22 March 2011, 06:10 PM
engadget has this video, where a Grant Skinner has implemented Asteroid multiplayer game, controlled by Android devices, which act as game contrrollers:

Guest: Chris Paul from IBM, and a couple minor announcements

Hey folks,

Just a reminder that we will be visited by Chris Paul of IBM tomorrow. Please do your best to come.

A couple minor announcements/notes:

  • When posting to reactions, you are limited to one post on the Moodle, to keep things simple. Please make sure to put your reactions to all the readings in one post. You should be able to edit your post, should you make a mistake (or at least comment on it).
  • I assume that most of you have began coding. As you encounter difficulties, please feel free to post any questions you have on our Moodle's Forum -- and answer any that you find there! I will grade your projects on the resulting app, not on where you got your code from (though the core code should remain your own). I will also start reserving 10 minutes of studio time for you the ask any coding questions you may have live.

Talk: Future of Games - Effective 3D Visual Design for Games

An old colleague of mine, Magy Seif El-Nasr, will give a talk this Friday. Sounds interesting!

Speaker: Magy Seif El-Nasr , School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University
Effective 3D Visual Design for Games: Integrating Artificial Intelligence Techniques, Results from Experimental Studies, and Artistic Tacit Knowledge
Date: Friday April 01, 2011
Time: 10:00 AM
Place: 3211, EB2; NCSU Centennial Campus (click for courtesy parking request)

Find: No iPhone 5 at WWDC this year?

Hmm... Apple treading water, or more carefully?

Find: Is Amazon Working on an Android Kindle?

Kindle needs to get cheaper if it is to survive (free with subscription?). But does it need to? Only if amz wants a closed ecosystem, and they don't seem to now. 

Find: Android 2.2 is now the dominant version of Google's OS with 61.3 percent

Gingerbread at 1.7%, Honeycomb at 0.3%.

Find: Smart Cover magnets can turn your Apple tablet into a FridgePad

Haha! Don't forget about the peanut butter kiddie fingers.

Find: BlackBerry PlayBook priced at $500 for 16GB WiFi model, pre orders today

Playbook says "hutt 1"

Find: 'Hummer' handsets now account for 24 percent of US smartphone sales, prove Steve Jobs wrong

Remember when Steve Jobs had a dig at Apple's mobile competition and proclaimed that "no one" would buy their Hummer-like 4-inch-plus smartphones? Well, going by the latest NPD data, that group of "no ones" among US smartphone consumers is now a meaty 24 percent. Separating handsets into screen categories of 3.4 inches and below, 3.5 to 3.9 inches, and those above 4 inches, the stat mavens discovered that the midrange is holding steady, but smaller-screened devices are starting to lose out to their jumbo-sized brethren. No prizes for guessing that Android-powered devices were behind that big sales increase, with the HTC EVO 4G and Motorola Droid X leading the way, followed by Samsung's multivariate Galaxy S range. Now, care to tell us more about our mobile future, Steve?

[Thanks, Skylar]

Disclaimer: NPD's Ross Rubin is a contributor to Engadget.

Continue reading 'Hummer' handsets now account for 24 percent of US smartphone sales, prove Steve Jobs wrong

'Hummer' handsets now account for 24 percent of US smartphone sales, prove Steve Jobs wrong originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 09:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceNPD  | 

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Find: HTC EVO 3D first hands-on!

Bad idea. 

Find: Windows Phone 7 update starts rolling out, brings copy / paste


Find: Android in-app billing coming next week, starts developer testing today

Google promised us the ability to buy stuff while inside Android apps, and sure enough, it's now just about ready to deliver it. Eric Chu, responsible for the company's Android Developer Ecosystem, has announced app submissions are now being accepted from those wanting to offer up purchasable items within their software. He also points out there'll be about a week's worth of internal testing before the whole system opens up to the public, likely before the end of the month so that Google may stick to its word of rolling out the service in the first quarter of this year. Once that's done, you'll finally be able to buy your way to in-game glory instead of having to grind away at it like some unenlightened schmo.

Android in-app billing coming next week, starts developer testing today originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 25 Mar 2011 06:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Studio: second crit begins


Tuesday we will begin our second crits.

We have several goals this time around:

  • Respond to the comments you received in the first crit.
  • Improve your prototype -- go higher fidelity
    • e.g. slide to slide linking in Powerpoint
    • e.g. a bit on the phone -- but only front end
  • Compare your plans to existing apps, even if they are not very similar


Lecture: text (updated)


Next Thursday I will lecture about text input on mobiles, with notes (updated) here, and images here. Please read the following papers in preparation:

Other papers of interest:

Fond: Insert punchline: Duke Nukem Forever delayed again

Hah hah.

Find: Motorola reportedly building new HTML-powered mobile platform

Bad idea. 

Find: rim will put its tablet os on "superphones". What's next? Superduperphones? Puhleez!

Find: RIM adds Android app support to BlackBerry PlayBook

Smart, if they work well. Will they integrate well?

Find: RIM deems BlackBerry OS 6.1 a 'major upgrade,' promises a spring release

We weren't expecting to hear too much about it, but RIM's year-end / Q4 fiscal 2011 earnings call uncovered a good bit of information surrounding BlackBerry OS 6.1. As you've likely learned by now, we weren't exactly throwing our iPhones and Droids into the nearest refuse bin after handling the Torch, and it seems as if quite a few bigwigs at RIM were equally disappointed. In response to a question about the rollout of BB OS 6.1, we were told that it would truly be a "major upgrade" over what's out there now, and rather than being an incremental update, it'll be more like "an overhaul." The company made no bones about its excitement for the release, and frankly, we're having a hard time keeping our expectations in check after listening in. Thankfully, we'll be able to get our paws on it at some point this spring, with a number of elements to be teased at BlackBerry World this May. Naturally, we'll be there to keep you up-to-date with how it's rolling along.

RIM deems BlackBerry OS 6.1 a 'major upgrade,' promises a spring release originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 24 Mar 2011 17:43:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Find: Apple sues Amazon for App Store trademark infringement

Hey, it's MY app store. But they may have a point: did you hear of an app before the iphone?

Find: webOS 2.1 SDK now available to all comers

WebOS for all!

Find: AT&T agrees to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion

Watch your wallets. Maybe FCC will find its inner regulator and make wireless neutral. 

Announcement: more extra credit

Hey folks,

I've put out some more extra credit reading related to the visual design and visualization lecture.



Lecture: interfaces

Next Thursday we'll be talking about mobile interfaces in general. My notes and imagery.

In the meanwhile, please read these papers, and react to them by Wednesday night:


Lecture: visual design and visualization (updated with extra credit)

My notes and matching figures.

Below are several readings which you can complete for extra credit:
As before, please enter your reactions in the week for this lecture within a couple weeks.



Find: See Which Carriers Have the Fastest 4G Network

Tmobile fastest on phones, Verizon on modems

Find: Apple iPad 2 GPU Performance Explored: PowerVR SGX543MP2 Benchmarked

New gpu in iPad 2 5x faster than iPad, 2.5x faster than tegra 2 in xoom. Wassup nvidia?

Find: Mobile App Revenue to Reach $38 Billion by 2015

Still plenty of momentum to ride. 

Finds: Twilio Powering Mobile Start-Ups at SXSW

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Find: World mobile data traffic to explode by factor of 26 by 2015

Fascinating, eg majority data traffic end 2012 will be video

Find: HP's shot across Microsoft's bow: webOS to ship on all HP PCs

Webos on all hp pcs on top of win 7. Ms' lack of tablet os begins hurt it's desktop market. 

Find: Xcode 4 unifies design and code view, available to all for $4.99

Xcode 4 integrates interface builder w compiler. 

Profit shocker! Android brings home more bacon than iOS for Pocket Legends developer

Back in 2009, we wrote a story on crack mobile developer Larva Labs lamenting its inability to make a living off top-rated games in the Android Market. Well, to put it lightly, it ain't 2009 anymore: the Android ecosystem has expanded exponentially in every conceivable direction, the Market has taken on tens of thousands of additional apps, and -- according to one research firm, anyway -- Android has now overtaken BlackBerry to become the most prolific smartphone platform in the US.

To that end, Spacetime Studios -- the company behind mobile MMORPG Pocket Legends, which brings in revenue through in-app purchases -- was shocked to discover that it's making some 30 to 50 percent more from its Android users than its iOS ones. Furthermore, they're spending more time playing and downloading the app with far greater frequency, which might be a testament to the fact that really great apps still stand out in the Market better than they do in the more mature (and more populated) App Store. The in-app purchase disparity is a little more difficult to explain, though -- especially since iOS has a slick, integrated purchase mechanism that Google won't be rolling out in Android for a little while yet. At any rate, the online mobile economy -- regardless of platform -- clearly still has some growing, maturing, and stabilizing to do.

[Thanks, Michael]

Profit shocker! Android brings home more bacon than iOS for Pocket Legends developer originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 09 Mar 2011 03:59:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Find: Windows Phone 7 marketplace hits 10k

It's a milestone in the life of any OS: the day you reach that magical 10,000 app number. Windows Phone 7 is the latest kindred soul to achieve the feat, accomplishing the task in just over four and a half months. For some perspective, it took the Android Market 11 months to hit five figures, and just under five months for the iTunes app store to do the same. Microsoft's been adding around 1,000 apps a week since it hit 5k right before the New Year, and as of late that rate's been picking up. Congrats WP7 devs, you've officially issued more software updates than Microsoft itself. Your move Microsoft, we're still waiting for copy & paste.

Windows Phone 7 marketplace hits 10,000 apps, Microsoft WP7 updates still way outnumbered originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 21:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceWindows Phone 7 Applications  | Email this | Comments

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Find: IDC: 18 million tablets, 12 million e-readers shipped in 2010

We've already seen Apple boast that it's sold 15 million iPads in 2010 and commanded more than a 90 percent market share, but IDC has now come in and provided a broader picture of the tablet market as a whole -- and e-readers, too. Not surprisingly, it too found that the tablet industry is basically all about Apple at the moment, although its market share did dip from a whopping 93 percent in the third quarter to 73 percent in Q4, which averages out to 83 percent for the year -- all told, there were 18 million tablets sold in 2010. Things are a bit more competitive in the e-reader market -- where there were 12 million devices sold -- although Amazon is still head and shoulders above everyone else with a 48 percent share. Interestingly, it's followed not by Barnes & Noble as you might expect but by Pandigital, which just eeked into the number two spot for Q4 (though B&N is slightly ahead for the full year). Hanvon came in fourth based largely on strong sales in China, and Sony rounded out the top five with sales of 800,000 units in 2010. Check out the press release after the break for some additional details

Continue reading IDC: 18 million tablets, 12 million e-readers shipped in 2010

IDC: 18 million tablets, 12 million e-readers shipped in 2010 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 10 Mar 2011 15:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Find: Symbian UI overhaul scheduled for the fall?

S^3 ui improvement coming?

Find: ComScore: Android takes first in US smartphone share

Last time we checked in with ComScore's report on smartphone platform market share among US subscribers three months ago, Android was doing a little happy dance as it overtook iOS for the number two spot overall. Well, the cuddly green bots have self-replicated yet again, enough to overtake RIM this time thanks in part to a 5.4 percent decline on BlackBerry's part (down to 30.4 percent in January) coupled with a 7.7 percent boost on the Android side, moving up to 31.2 percent. We imagine ComScore's next report -- covering the period through March -- will see a little boost on the iOS side thanks to Verizon's iPhone launch, but RIM's knight in shining armor might be further out; we still don't know when QNX-based phones are going to happen, after all, and devices like the Monaco don't really seem like cure-alls.

ComScore: Android leapfrogs BlackBerry among US smartphone subscribers to take first place in market share originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 07 Mar 2011 16:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceComScore  | Email this | Comments

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Find: Nokia sells Qt commercial licensing and services business to Digia

So, if you're interested in developing in Qt commercially, Digia will be your contact just as soon as the transaction completes sometime later this month.
[Thanks, Nisse]
Continue reading Nokia sells Qt commercial licensing and services business to Digia
Nokia sells Qt commercial licensing and services business to Digia originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 07 Mar 2011 05:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Find: Apple's new iPad2 lid design causes a bit of a stir in Japan

Looks cooler than I thought. Can it act like a book spine or rolled magazine?

Find: Imagination Technologies' PowerVR SGX543MP2

Next imgn tech gpu

Find: RIM preparing to bring BBM to iOS and Android

Blackberry Msgr on other OSs

Find: Smartphones and tablets still have a long way to grow

Announcement: guest lecturer 3/31 -- Chris Paul of IBM

Hey folks,

We will have a guest lecturer on 3/31, Chris Paul of IBM, Design Director of the Lotus User Experience Design Group. You can follow him on twitter at cpaul.


Announcement: extra credit readings

Hey folks,

I've updated my graphics lecture posting to include some related readings which you can do for extra credit. Please do the readings within the next couple weeks. In the future, if you need extra credit, keep an eye out for the extra credit tag.



Studio: continuing our first crit

Hey folks,

On the Tuesday after spring break, we'll continue with our first crit. Please volunteer to present your design to date, or you will be "volunteered".

Whenever one starts working on a project, there is always a tension between implementing more and leaving design decisions open. In computer science, we often commit to design decisions too early in favor of implementation. I encourage you to delay final design decisions on at least the visual front end of your app until your second crit. If you start coding now, focus on the functionality in the back end. We will continue to critique your visual and interaction design for several more weeks.


Find: Editorial: It's Apple's 'post-PC' world

JT was smart to notice Steve's use of the phrase "post PC". Apple is still smarter to be the first riding that wave.


On Wednesday, Apple introduced the world to the iPad 2. A beautiful device, to be sure. Feature packed? You bet. Soon to be selling like hotcakes? Absolutely. But the introduction of an iteration on an already existing product wasn't the most notable piece of the event, nor was the surprise appearance of Steve Jobs. No, Wednesday's event was significant because it introduced the world to Apple's real vision for the foreseeable future, a theme the company has hinted at but never fully expressed. This week, Apple showed everyone where it was headed, challenged competitors on that direction, and made it clear that the company not only has staked a claim in that space, but is defining it.

This week, Apple stepped into the "post-PC" era of computing -- and there's no looking back, at least not for the folks in Cupertino.

By joining the company's ongoing vision of a "different" kind of computing with a soundbite friendly piece of marketing-speak, Apple has changed the rules of the game, and made the competition's efforts not just an uphill battle, but -- at least in the eyes of Steve Jobs and co. -- essentially moot. But what exactly is the "post-PC" world? And why is it significant? Let me explain.

Find: Who is Winning the U.S. Smartphone Battle?

Os vs manufacturer, os vs age. Uses treemaps! 

Lecture: graphics (updated with extra credit)

Hi folks,

My notes for today's lecture on graphics.

Updated:  I've updated my notes. Also, I'm inserting some readings you can do for extra credit. If you do it, please post your reactions in this weeks slot for them (the graphics week). The readings are about graphics and more on phones:



Find: iDisplay now ready to turn your Android device into a secondary display

Extending display to multiple devices on Android -- but just from desktop to phone, not multiple phones.

Find: Tobii and Lenovo show off prototype eye-controlled laptop

This would be great for one hand interaction with mobiles

Find: The Engadget Interview: Ryan Bidan, BlackBerry PlayBook senior product manager

RIM would be very smart to support Android apps on its OS QNX. Since they run on a virtual machine, maybe they won't be slow, either.

Find: The iPad 2

Thinner, lighter, faster, cameras, gyro. Not sure thinner is really better in this case: how would you like to hold a clipboard for a few hours?

Find: iPad 2 vs. original iPad: what's changed?

Find: iPad 2 vs. Motorola Xoom vs. HP TouchPad vs. BlackBerry PlayBook

Find: Apple's iPad 2 keynote video

Find: Android Will Soon Allow Screenshots Without the Painful Setup

Not yet but soon. 

Find: Beluga Messages Select Groups of Friends in Near-Real-Time

Finally an app that seems to support human sociality, with groups, not just one to one or broadcast. 

Find: 3DS in Japan: handheld sells out

Let's see how the gaijin like it.