Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The September Roundup

Okay, I admit, this post is at least a week late, but I've been so ridiculously busy that I just haven't had any time for blogging. As everyone knows by now, the first Android phone, the G1, will hit the shelves on October 22nd, so I've been working very hard to fix any outstanding issues that I can in our app, most of them are small, UI annoyances and such, but it's still work. The application is already polished nicely, but there's always more you can do.

The last week of September was exhausting, and I don't care to see the inside of an airport again anytime soon. T-Mobile put us up in the Le Parker Meridien, a fairly posh hotel not far from Central Park. WTF, that place is expensive. In the bar downstairs a draft beer will cost you $16, and don't be late checking out, or they'll hit you up with a $350 half-day charge. Not the kind of hotel I'd pick for myself, but I did appreciate the royal treatment that T-Mobile gave us.

This was my first time in Manhattan, and it felt like an alien world, so many people and structures scrunched up together. I can't imagine myself living there, I like my space. The UN was in session and the traffic was just absurd. As in, quickly roll down your window to fold in your side mirror so you don't scrape the car next to you kind of absurd.

The press conference itself was quite an event, I've never been a part of anything like it. They put our team on the very front row (the whole idea was to highlight us and the EcoRio guys as 3rd party developers leveraging Android's open platform model).



After the press conference itself, viewable here, I would have loved to get a five second introduction to Sergei and Larry, but no such luck! The press was herded downstairs, and we manned our kiosk giving demos and answering questions.

It was very interesting watching the press reactions to the G1. Some of these guys were all business. They would walk up to our kiosk and furiously study the device for several minutes without uttering a word. Others were much more friendly, asking questions, etc. I usually did fine until they brought out the cameras and then I would lose about 10 IQ points. Thankfully Alex and Rylan handled the video demos just fine.

We finally returned to Dallas very late Tuesday night. I managed to spend a little bit of time with my family, and then it was back to the airport. Google held a two day device readiness hackathon, the intent of which was to put a lot of the ADC 50 winners together in a room, and let us mix it up with the Google engineers and knock out difficult bugs/issues in our apps. It was an amazing amount of fun.

I had plenty of time to converse with a lot of the Google engineers that have been so helpful on the google Android groups, Justin, Megha Joshi, Diane Hackbod, Jason Chen, Dan Morrill, Dan Bornstein, and several others whose names I can't think of right now.

I also had the chance to hang out with a lot of the ADC winners, the Locale guys from MIT, Michael DeJadon (Safety Net), my friends Zach Hobbs and Amnon Sarig (TuneWiki), Anthony Stevens (Pocket Journey), Virgil Dobjanschi (Maverick IM), Jeff Sharkey (Compare Everywhere), Philipp Breuss (Wikitude), Mary Ann Cotter (Cooking Capsules).

We went out for drinks on Saturday night and had a good time, but despite all the socializing, I did manage to get some code written and have some very insightful conversations regarding android.


Sharkey and Rylan, scanning barcodes of course.



After hours at the Tied House Cafe and Brewery



Now it's well into October and there's still plenty to be done, so I better get back to it!