London App Summit - retrospective

by Peter_vdL Motorola 04-18-2011 04:44 PM - edited 04-18-2011 06:34 PM

"When a man is tired of London," Samuel Johnson (the inventor of the dictionary) famously declared, "he is tired of life." So it was that the MOTODEV team descended on London, to present the third in our global App Summit series on "programming the XOOM tablet and the ATRIX handset".   We flew in over central London, where I took this picture of the Queen's back garden.  She has a nice lawn, mown in neat stripes, an ornamental lake, and a truly hideous 20 ton vase (visible as a white stump in the open glade above and to the left of the lake).  The Queen's large (830,000 square feet) house, and this whole part of London is bustling with preparations for the wedding of the Queen's grandson, William, in a few days time.

              Queen Elizabeth's grandson William will have a big wedding reception in this backyard next week.

The London App Summit was held in the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square.  Grosvenor Square has long been the home of the official American presence in London.  In 1785, John Adams was appointed the first US Ambassador to Britain.    For the next three years, John Adams and his family lived and worked in a house that still stands at one corner of Grosvenor Square, right next to the Marriott Hotel.  Eleven years after the London Ambassador job, Adams moved to an even more august address, when he succeeded George Washington, to become the second President of the United States.



                          John Adams lived in this house from 1785-8, in London's Mayfair district


The London App Summit was a sublime experience. We were located in an established neighborhood with a rich history embracing both the USA and Great Britain.  There was excellent rapport between the Motorola presenters and the audience.  I spoke with many developers about their experiences developing for the XOOM tablet or the ATRIX handset.   Among the comments I heard:


Julian Wald, Senior Developer at Ptolemy Services, remarked "I have used JNI in the past on other platforms, but it was really helpful to see an excellent presentation on how to combine native code with Android development. It helped me fit the pieces together. The presentation (along with the one on Renderscript) was one of the highlights of the London Summit for me."


Ptolemy Services has an innovative and unusual product:  the Jade Noise software.  Jade Noise monitors ambient sound levels in an environment. The current Jade Noise product uses a sound meter, and exports the data to a PC for number crunching and analysis.  Now, tablet hardware featuring a microphone and significant cpu power suddenly offers an integrated lower cost disruptive alternative. 


Roger Womack, Director of Development at My Interactive, explained "My company is currently porting several C++ games to the XOOM tablet. The Summit offered valuable advice on using Fragments to transition the UI design to take advantage of the tablet's extra screen space."


Arthur Embleton, an independent developer and HTML 5 consultant, told me "I had a fantastic time at the Motorola London App Summit!".  Arthur has several apps in the Android Market, including this one for home brewing enthusiasts.  Do you brew your own beer (commonplace in the UK and other beer-friendly places)?  This is a useful app for various brewing calculations.


Circling back to the Grosvenor Square location of the London App Summit, you will find statues of two US presidents there.  A large statue of Franklin Roosevelt gazes out to the South.   And a more modest statue of Dwight Eisenhower keeps watch (characteristically) on the East.  Ike had his wartime HQ in Grosvenor Square.


Perhaps the most unusual Grosvenor Square story concerns Adlai Stevenson.  Like Motorola, Stevenson was well known for hailing from Libertyville, Illinois.  In the 1950's, Stevenson was twice nominated for President by the Democratic Party.  Both times, he was defeated at the polls by Dwight Eisenhower.   Stevenson loved England, and his family lived for a while in Grosvenor Square at the end of World War II.  While walking in the Square in July 1965, Stevenson suffered a heart attack, and died.   His final words, spoken to his walking companion, were "Don't walk so fast... and do hold your head up."  After a long, distinguished career of public service, at last Adlai Stevenson was tired of walking quickly, tired of sloppy posture, tired of London, and perhaps even tired of life itself.   Dr Johnson's tart maxim, uttered 200 years before, had become a proven fact.




Peter van der Linden

Android Technology Evangelist


by (anon) on 05-03-2011 11:39 PM

Hi Peter,


Enjoyed the London session... don't seem to be able to find the slides you said you'd be putting up... any chance of a link ?




by Peter_vdL Motorola on 05-05-2011 03:35 PM

Hi Dan,


Here's the link to the main talk that people want the slides for:


More to follow in the days ahead.



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