Google I/O 2013: Day three

And we come to the last day of the Google I/O 2013 conference. On Friday, besides sessions there were also Code Labs, where you can get your feet wet on the new APIs and new features. I don’t know what was longer, the line for breakfast or the line for dropping off luggage at the coat check. Sessions started at 9, and my first session was “The New Android SDK Build System“, which was basically an introduction to Gradle, which is now the recommended build system for Android. If you know gradle the session will be pretty basic, but there are certain things that are android specific like assembleDebug or assembleRelease, so it’s worth check it out.

After that I stayed for the next session “High Performance Applications with RenderScript“, which was a really technical session on how to use RenderScript, the new library that allows you to take advantage of the device’s GPU to run parallel, high performance calculations.

The first Code Lab I went to was the one entitled “From Zero to Hero: Integrating Google+ Sign-In on Android and Web in Less than Three Hours“. Unfortunately the lab took longer than that and I couldn’t finish it, but it was a nice introduction on how to use Google+ APIs.

Then I went to the last session of the day, which was a repeat session from earlier, “UX Design for Developers“. In this session they described a couple of interesting concepts on how to design an application based on a certain Persona and certain Use Cases, and to focus more on the features instead of the product. It was an interesting session, and they have a Google+ community for people who want to learn more.

Overall the conference was OK in my opinion, but I think most of the session lacked more details. I suppose it is hard to really get deep into a topic in only one hour, plus you have to cater to a large group of people, some of which might not be as technical. I will definitely dig deeper into Android development and I hope to share my findings here. I was hoping to get an actual android device (tablet or phone) to deploy and test apps, but I guess that’s not too much of a deal. As for the Pixel, I will do a more extensive review later, but one advantage that I really like (as I finish typing this blog post on the plane before they close the door) is the included LTE feature. And I just got the free 100MB/month, but for now that seems more than enough. And the Flight Attendant just announced they’re closin the cabin doors…

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