July 25, 2014
Suggest app for review
App name: Kuro Jump
AndroidLink: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.blueboat.KuroJump

Description: Just tap x1 or x2 to jump into the bubble. It's easy, fun, and very addictive! Great for spending time or played when bored!

The graphics are also very cute! the white whale is cute and funny!

Currently it ranked 2nd in all categories, 2nd in all games, and 1st in arcade game in Thailand appstore
Before You Prototype a Tech Product, Ask These 5 Questions

No one wants to be behind the curve, especially in regards to technology. All too often we see brands jump on a tech trend just to do it. We’ve seen it with augmented reality, mobile and now wearables.

In an effort to be first, brands dive right into building a product without taking the time to understand their audience or think through the important details that will make or break a product launch (and, maybe, a brand) for a consumer.

But you have to move fast, too, and there is a way to get a product to market quickly and correctly — it’s by understanding your user as deeply as you know your brand. When it comes to prototyping products, I’ve found there are five key questions brands should ask their audience. Once you have these answers, you should be better informed to build a great experience — one that is useful, usable and desired.

1. What are their pain points?

People look to products to address a specific need in their lives. Wearable technology products are no exception. The challenge? Ensure your perception of your audience’s needs align with their actual needs. Build in time to conduct user research, and involve your audience in vetting your prototypes. Skipping this step will result in launching a product with no customers to use it.

2. How have previous solutions fallen short?

The wearables market is in a fairly early stage, but analysis of products on the market today can yield insights for new product opportunities.

Fitbit Force was recalled due to allergic reactions to band materials. Fitbit Flex’s clasp doesn’t stay closed. Nike’s first iteration of the Fuelband didn’t include Bluetooth connectivity, and users hated the inconvenience of plugging the device in to upload data.

Use negative ratings and reviews of products on the market today to spark ideas for future products. Forget analyst reports — just comb through the ratings and reviews of wearables products on ecommerce sites to explore flaws in the product’s hardware and software.

3. What are customers’ technology patterns?

Once you’ve clarified the audience you’re targeting, don’t forget to take the time to understand their technology likes and dislikes. Does your audience have aversions to technology, or are they ravenous, early adopters? Does a wearable tech product conjure up feelings of “obtrusive big brother” or “useful quantified self”?

4. How will they leverage the product?

Knowing how an audience primarily intends to use the product will go a long way in helping to ensure that it’s properly built. Wearable fitness trackers such as the Jawbone Up and the Fitbit Flex are great examples of this — some people wear those devices simply to know their activity levels while others use them as a comprehensive fitness guide.

You need to know what your audience plans to do with your device. It doesn’t make sense to spend time adding all sorts of unnecessary features into a product if they’ll never be touched by the consumer.

5. What would keep them from buying?

While not as paramount to the prototyping process as some of the questions above, knowing what those unacceptable product features are can be incredibly useful information.

Does a reasonable price tag overpower aesthetic? Is a clunky or outdated design a definite deal-breaker? Does functionality trump all?

Understanding what your consumer sees as the most important piece, and building your device to address that, will save your team hassle and frustration down the line.

Remember, once you have answered these questions, you are still at the beginning of a process. You have to now learn from and digest your consumer feedback, turning it into a functional prototype. Then you have to put that prototype through the paces. And you have to give the prototype back to your audience for testing. A constant cycle of development and improvement that will quickly lead to a better, useful, needed solution.

Taking the time to start with your users’ needs will certainly take a bit longer than just pushing a product to market, but, in the end, it will ensure you’re meeting the needs of your audience, which will ultimately bring more success in the long run.

The post Before You Prototype a Tech Product, Ask These 5 Questions appeared first on Mutual Mobile.

Draw a Line and Let Your Device Do the Rest with LineitApp
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Over the years, since even before Android entered the scene, we have striven to have our devices do as much as they can with as little interaction from us as humanly possible (aka the lazy effect). Lets face it, we carry these devices around because we are in constant need of being connected with others, forgetful, and always in a rush. What happens when you combine all of the aforementioned in a single daily routine? You tend to forget to do things–or worse, you remember that you need to do something while you are doing something else (i.e. texting while driving). What if we told you that there is an automation app that can allow you to set things/tasks to do on your device and forget about it? If you are thinking about Tasker, the answer is “No, it is not Tasker but something simpler.” Tasker, as good an automation tool as it is, can be overwhelmingly complex to use (depending, of course on the kind of activities that you need it to do). Because of this, there is a simpler solution that will give you just as good of a solution as the aforementioned one and it was created by XDA Forum Member LineItApp.

LineitApp is an app like no other in terms of functionality and ease of use. The app makes use of wireless communications such as WiFi, AGPS, and GPS, essentially to pinpoint your location on a map.  The map is interactive and you have to decide where you need your actions to take place by drawing a line on the map. Once you are on the move and you cross the line that you made on the map, the GPS/WiFi/etc will determine that you have gotten past that specific coordinate and it will trigger the action that you associated with it.

For instance, LineitApp can set you up to get the device to automatically send a text message to your friend Joe, letting him know that you are on your way. You can instruct the device to send that text when you have gotten a block away from your house by drawing a line on the map exactly on the intersection following the one from your house. Once you cross that, the device sends the text you specified. If you thought that was cool, then the overly controlling parents in the crowd will start drooling over the “Send a line to anyone” feature. This basically will set the same functionality as you have on your device but on anyone else’s device. Once the person crosses the designated line, the action will trigger. For instance, you can instruct the other device to let you know when a person is getting home by setting a line on the path you know he/she takes to come home. Nifty feature.

The app is still in development but the dev seems to be adding more features as we speak (with the latest being an automated garage opener). Please drop by the thread and provide your feedback regarding the app as it will be really interesting to see what the limits for LineitApp are, or even if it has limits at all (as far as potential is concerned). You can find more information in the original LineitApp thread.

The post Draw a Line and Let Your Device Do the Rest with LineitApp appeared first on xda-developers.

July 24, 2014
Android Wear App Review: EchoWear Song Search – XDA Developer TV
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Yesterday on XDA Developer TV, Producer AdamOutler tore down a Samsung Gear Live. If that intrigued you to enter into the realm of Android Wear, you may need some suggestions on what apps to get. Or maybe, you want to see what apps are available before you make the leap into wearables. Well, we are here to help!

XDA Recognized Developer kevdliu offers up an application for Wear that allows you identify a song completely from your Android Wear device. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews EchoWear Sony Search.  TK shows off the application, its uses, and functionality. He then shares his thoughts, so check out this app review.

Be sure to check out other great XDA Developer TV Videos

The post Android Wear App Review: EchoWear Song Search – XDA Developer TV appeared first on xda-developers.

Democrazy, a game where politics and craziness go hand in hand
Democrazy a political game that tries to mirror the craziness behind elections in a democratic country.

In Democrazy you play a young politician with big ideas on how to solve the world's most pressing problems. However, the first obstacle is actually being elected and for that you have to enter and play the political game everyone else is doing. Can you become the President of the United States?

The goal is to gain enough votes until the election day and to do that you have to either spend money to spread your message or perform specific activities. Will you accept money from sleazy lobbyists or use dirty tactics such as slandering ads for your competitors? Here are the features that will “hook” you on Democrazy:
- 3 levels to play through by gathering enough votes to become a Mayor, Governor or ultimately the President of America
- As in real life, you have to gain votes by spending money (that can be obtained from campaigning too) or doing particular tasks
- Your choices influence the perception voters have about you. In politics there is a thin line between being a model citizen or a sleazy politician so choose carefully.

Democrazy is available for free on Google Play.
Run a Hackathon, not a Hack Job

Hackathons are as crucial to developer culture as Reddit and Red Bull. Software-focused companies often leverage these events to help employees blow off steam, socialize and generate ideas—both for fun and profit. However, hosting a hackathon without a gameplan can do more damage than Leeroy Jenkins.

Here at Mutual Mobile, we’ve planned hackathons on everything from wearable tech to Beacons, and we’ve learned a lot along the way. After taking all the successes and shortcomings into account, we’ve created the quintessential Cliff Notes on how to run a hackathon:

1. Respect everyone’s time

Employees give up their personal time to participate in hackathons. Respect that. You’re asking them to give up a Friday evening or sometimes even a weekend. This is a big commitment for working professionals, especially those in a field as stressful and demanding as emerging technology.

Make the time they are investing worthwhile, productive and enjoyable. Have team leads set structure and host kickoff events a week or so leading up to the hackathon to ensure participants their time will be used well. This also helps set expectations and can inspire folks to get brainstorming early.

Also, make it fun. At Mutual Mobile, we provide catering, kegs and a margarita machine. We also make it a family-friendly environment, so spouses, kids and even canines can stop by to cheer on their loved one.

2. Do your homework

Having strong inputs for a hackathon can drive better outputs. Consider hosting a preview event to brief your audience on the core focus of the hackathon, while allowing them to chat with other participants and get their concepts rolling early. Or, consider enlisting a user researcher or market researcher to better understand a particular audience segment you’d like to serve. Leverage the researcher’s data to brief all hackathon participants so they can create solutions for an actual target audience.

Intuit has a similar program they call Idea Jams. The process begins by having real customers come into the office for a day to discuss a problem they’re trying to solve. The company then breaks into 3-person teams (designer, developer, business/product person) that spend the day creating a storyboard on how to solve their client’s problem. When all is said and done, they pitch their concept to the client to solicit additional feedback. Iterations informed by client insights are sure ways to make what you build more meaningful.

3. Don’t make it too specific

You need to strike a balance between focus and a free-for-all. Making a hackathon too centered around a specific problem for a specific audience can suck the fun right out of your event and turn it into another work assignment. Hackathons are supposed to be fun, interesting, hard, and provide freedom for the team to insert themselves and THEIR ideas into the process. If you box in the exercise too much, your participants will be less likely to show up, physically or mentally.

4. Send invites to developers … AND BEYOND!

Innovation can come from all parts of the business. When selecting a hackathon topic, get stakeholders from multiple teams on the same page. Ask those team leads to appoint a lieutenant from each discipline to be your day-to-day contact and lead the details. Successful hackathons involve cross-disciplinary teams. Drive participation across development, design, content and marketing.

While developers may be responsible for a functioning prototype, designers are the ones who bring their idea to life. Add marketers to the mix, and your post-hackathon presentations will be as polished as a new business pitch. Involving marketing in hackathons also helps increase the likelihood that the concepts or prototypes created will see the light of day.

We let our hackathon teams know upfront that we will be filming, photographing, and leveraging prototypes for new business efforts. The fact that their creations could have real-world implications adds an extra element of excitement for our hackathon participants. But whatever you do, do NOT lie. If you make promises to your volunteers, you better be ready to keep them. Otherwise, you’ll only have yourself to blame when interest begins to wane.

5. Make it competitive

Bragging rights matter. Put some competitive spin on your hackathon with polls, winners and prizes. Have your contestants pitch their ideas to the rest of the company once the hackathon is complete. Then, have everyone in the company vote on their favorite execution. Reward the winner with a fun prize, like a job perk or a 3D-printed trophy.

6. Keep the excitement alive until the next event

Don’t let the buzz of a hackathon end once everyone leaves the office. Give the results a home to live on and evolve. Post-hackathon, we host a Demo Day, which gives teams that participated a chance to show-off internally and practice their presentation skills. It’s also a great way to build rapport internally as an “expert” in the eyes of other employees. In addition to Demo Day, we tape the events and presentations for those who missed out on the festivities—or for any participant who would like to relive the moment.

We then host the video on our internal G+ community, giving everyone a great opportunity to find, watch and comment on the video. Platforms like G+ are also a great way to make announcements about upcoming events and recruit participants. We’ve even seen some teams create subcommunities within our G+ Intranet, allowing them brainstorm and discuss how they plan on approaching the next hackathon assignment. With the number of attendees increasing each event, it became very clear that If you build a tribe of passionate folks centered around a particular topic, others will come.

7. Go for it!

You’ve studied the tech. You’ve purchased all the components. You’ve prepped the participants. You’ve ordered the snacks. You’ve alerted the marketers. And, your MakerBot is currently printing a sweet hackathon trophy. All that’s left is to put it in action and watch the innovation and employee satisfaction of your company hit an all time high.

The post Run a Hackathon, not a Hack Job appeared first on Mutual Mobile.

Hide Numbers on Your SMS and Call Logs with Reflection
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How many times have you given your device to someone else in order to show them a picture, website, or something completely unrelated to your daily lives, only to find that person rummaging through your personal data including who you called and even your text messages? Surely, you can delete several of your records, but that can be immensely impractical due to the fact that you may need to call or write to those numbers again. There are also tools available that hide entire sections of your device from sight or even prevent access to them once the tool is active. But once again, that might be cumbersome for many due to the need to activate and deactivate certain things in your app, just to have access to your logs once again. So, how do you protect yourself from prying eyes, while keeping the sanctity of your device intact or without doctoring your own log? XDA Senior Member FemBlack might just have what you need.

Introducing Reflection. This app has the ability to hide your call logs and your inbound and outbound SMS messages. However, the app doesn’t simply hide everything, but rather allows you to hide specific phone numbers from sight in either of the aforementioned. So, you no longer need to roam around your call logs looking for entries to delete or even delete text messages from that person. This app, upon entering the desired phone number, will provide you with options to hide all incoming, or outgoing SMS messages or calls. As you add numbers, you will get a list that gets populated with these numbers and what you block in each one of them. The best part is that the app is PIN protected, which means that not even the nosiest of people will get to your precious logs without your consent.

The app is still in testing phases. The major obstacle at this point is the app’s limited ability to handle SMS in KitKat. However, the dev is diligently working towards fixing that. As of version 5, the feature is in alpha stage for 4.4 and above. The dev is looking for valuable feedback either feature wise or in the shape of bug reports. Maybe if you are savvy with regards to the SMS handling on KitKat, you might be able to lend a hand to the developer to make the app better. Last but not least, the dev has graciously made the app free of charge for XDA members. You can find more information in the Reflection app thread. Enjoy!

The post Hide Numbers on Your SMS and Call Logs with Reflection appeared first on xda-developers.