Summary of Google Devfest 2011 Chiang Mai, Thailand

I attended Google Devfest 2011 in Chiang Mai, Thailand last Saturday (24 September 2011) . This was really interesting and enlightening. So if are a developer, I really recommend to register to a Devfest if Google comes to your city. I was relatively surprised by the number of attendees which I estimate between 150 to 200.

Android, HTML5 and Google Analytics Sessions at DevFest Thailand
Google Devfest 2011 at Chiang Mai University

This Devfest focused on three main subjects:

  • Android
  • HTML5 (and Chrome)
  • Google Analytics

Please find the complete schedule below:

Track 1
Track 2
09:00 – 09:30
Keynote
09:30 – 10:30
Android Market for Developers (Ankur Kotwal)
10:30 – 11:00
AM Break
11:00 – 12:00
Bleeding Edge HTML5 (Eric Bidelman)
12:00 – 13:00
Implementing Google Analytics (Vinoaj Vijeyakumaar)
13:00 – 14:00
Lunch
14:00 – 15:00
What’s New and Important in Android (Ankur Kotwal)
Displaying Large Geographic Datasets: Google Fusion Tables (Luke Mahe)
15:00 – 16:00
These Aren’t the Site You’re Looking For: Modern HTML5 Web Apps (Eric Bidelman)
Working Off the Grid: HTML5 Offline (Ernest Delgado)
16:00 – 16:30
PM Break
16:30 – 17:30
Insights to Drive Your Business Forward (Analytics Codelab) (Vinoaj Vijeyakumaar)
Fusion Tables (Geo Codelab) (Luke Mahe)
17:30 – 18:30
Demos
18:30 – 19:00
Q & A

Please note that all presentation sides and a recording of the live stream will be made available after the 1st of October. If you follow my twitter I’ll retweet it once it is available. Alternatively you can follow one of the speakers above.

I followed Track 1 sessions. Here are summaries and resources related to those sessions:

  • Android Market for Developers:
    Ankur Kotwal described the market potential for Android developers with currently 6.5 Billion App installatin and 1.5 Billions app installed every 2 months. He also spent a while explaining how to protect apps against piracy with the License Verification Library (LVL), tips on how to make your app a success (payment options, targetting apps, publisher tools and getting your app featured).
  • Bleeding Edge HTML5:
    Eric Bidelman showcased the “bleeding edge” features of HTML:
    • Intelligent webs apps: smarter animation, pre-rendering (aka off screen rendering), and offline/online status detection.
    • Web intents: New service that allows developers to ignore the service used. For explample for photo sharing, the developers does not need to know if the service is picassa, flickr,…
    • Rich multimedia:
      • Camera & Microphone Access (Still work in progress)
      • Fullscreen support
      • Webaudio API for low latency, real-time audio and audio effects.
    • Chrome Frame plugins for older version of IE in order to support HTML5

    The presentation slides will be made available at http://bleedinghtml5.appspot.com and the code at http://code.google.com/p/bleedinghtml5/.
    You can also access notes by Vinoaj Vijeyakumaar.

  • Implementing Google Analytics:
    The slides are already available for this session. You can download them at: http://goo.gl/PlmfG.
    Vinoaj Vijeyakumaar explained how Google Analytics (GA) works, how to track behaviors and use event, custom variable and social interaction tracking. He also provided one example where a customer tracked loading page time and based on the data, was able to decrease the time on slow loading pages (following page speed recommendations) and greatly increase sales. Finally, he quickly discussed mobile tracking and GA Mobile SDK for IoS and Android.
  • What’s New and Important in Android:
    In this session, Ankur described the new features available in Android 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2, mainly:

    He also provided tips to update an Android App to honeycomb.
    Further details about Android 3.0 can be found on http://developer.android.com

  • These Aren’t the Site You’re Looking For: Modern HTML5 Web Apps:
    There was a lot of demos with HTML5 on Google Chrome:
    • They showed different CSS used depending on detected browser window size so that a website can be customized for smartphones, tablet and desktops. You can refer to http://formfactorjs.com
    • HTML5 terminal with 3D view of the directories and files structure rendered via WebGL.
    • Files drag and drop between the web browser and the desktop.
    • Speech recognition with HTML5
    • Notification API

    He also talked about the web store, how developers can monetize their apps and the follwing web store development resources:

    For those interested in getting started with HTML5, he recommended HTML5 Boiler plate, Modernizr (for website compatibility) and HTML5 Rocks.To follow the update in the Chrome API, visit http://www.chromestatus.com

  • Insights to Drive Your Business Forward (Analytics Codelab):
    During this labs, Vinoaj demoed GA with Google Store data and show how to track visitors using a few of the over 100 metrics gathered by GA.  He was able to show us the number visitors from Thailand who bought something (nobody :o) and which device was used. I was quite impressed when he checked the devices used as they could tell you which model (e.g. IPAD, IPhone 4, HTC Sensation..), which resolution, orientation (portrait/landscape), operating system… All this data help you determine whether you should develop a website targeted at a specific country or optimized the website for some devices or OS.

After all those sessions and nearly 10 hours onsite, I started to seriously lose my focus. The next part was the  demos by Thai developers:

  • The first demo was about using an HTML5 to  Java Swing wrapper for Internet Explorer. Or least it’s what I think it was. To be honest, I did not really understand what he was trying to achieve. He will make his application open source. You can follow him on twitter @heartnetkung.
  • The second demo showcased Google Chart Tools in Chrome.

Finally, there was the Q&A session mainly focused on issues related to Thailand such as Android marketplace and Chrome Webstore monetization for Thai developers and issues with Thai language in several Google applications.

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