dev:mobile 2013

I attended the dev:mobile conference in Göteborg. It is held at Folkets Hus and focuses on everything related to mobile software. This articles summarizes my notes from the presentations as well as my personal thoughts.


Keynote – Panel reflection about the future of mobile platforms from a developers perspective

The keynote was moderated by Patrik Malmquist (who is from the same company as I) and the speakers were Dag Köning, Erik Hellman, Conny Svensson

The future of mobile platforms

  • Apple and Samsung are dominating the market and are making it hard for other companies to compete.
  • Androids advantage is that it is used on a diversity of devices.
  • Apples strategy is to focus on building products and are not interested in openness.
  • Google is driven by advertisement and is focusing on integrating ads into their services.
  • Microsoft is more of a software company and has for a long time had a multi-platform strategy.
  • Up until now most applications have been consumer oriented.

The challengers

  • Some of the newcomers are Firefox OS,Tizen, Jolla, Ubuntu. Blackberry is also starting to penetrate a larger market.
  • Many of these systems are targeting different user groups and are not at the moment intended for high-end, premium experiences.
  • Firefox OS is the contender to stand out the most since it is based on HTML5 and will use it for native apps.

Generate native code or HTML5?

  • One problem when using technologies that bridge systems is that the GUI’s usually end up feeling out of place.
  • Generated code adds an extra layer.
  • Going HTML5 changes the segmentation to the browsers.


  • It is getting more usual for organizations to develop more enterprise applications.
  • Many of these applications are focused on removing the static workstation and making employees more mobile.
  • Enterprise appstores are also starting to break through.

In the future

  • It is necessary to focus more on services to make code reusable and clients more maintainable.
  • This also requires better API’s as well as more open source solutions.

Introduction to RoboVM – Java on iOS

The speaker for this presentation was Niklas Therning, founder of RoboVM and co-founder of Trillian AB

  • RoboVM enables Java and other JVM languages to be run on iOS.
  • There were legal restrictions for creating this kind of implementation, but they were removed in 2010.
  • No JIT compilation is available on iOS.
  • JNI is allowed but not with dynamic libraries.
  • RoboVM is a compiler and runtime.
  • Static JNI can be used
  • Bro (swedish for bridge), call native code without JNI. It supports structs, enum and callbacks.
  • Java to Objective-C bridge.
  • Cocoa Touch binding.
  • RoboVM plugin is available for Eclipse.
  • Future improvements

    • Optimized release builds, debugging, complete Cocoa Touch bindings, interface builder integration and toolchain for Windows/Linux

    Lessons learned from delivering large hybrid apps!

    The speakers for this presentation was Patrik Malmquist, Johan Holm and Joakim Jonsson, Sigma.

    • Advantages of doing a hybrid are high code reuse and being able to bypass Apples review process, thus allowing to do updates faster.
    • All content was loaded as scenes and then changed with partial updates.
    • The biggest problems are when users go offline for different reasons, which cause layout and functionality to break.
    • Content should be pre downloaded and cached in the local filesystem.
    • Pre loading caused issues when the amount of media content grew.
    • DOM caused problems, so they instead converted markup to JSON data stores. Which were then split in chunks that could be managed.
    • Upgrades of different frameworks and plugins create conflicts.
    • A good debugging strategy is needed.
    • Things that need to be improved are threads, memory handling and debugging.

    Tips and tricks

    • Use asyncronous calls
    • Visualize the DOM as an I/O system
    • Define a memory strategy
    • Use hardware accelerated CSS3 properties
    • Use DCN
    • Testflight
    • Define log strategies for both web and native.

    Low Latency Messaging for Mobile Apps – Or When HTTP and Push Messages Are Simply Not Enough

    The speaker for this presentation was Henrik Sjöstrand, CTO Mobility, IBM Nordic.

    • The underlying protocols used for communicating over the net have changed over time and now HTTP has started to show it’s limitations.
    • HTTP is chatty and lacks reliabilty in that it sends messages without caring if they are received.
    • MQTT rivals HTTP greatly with both speed and data size, even when using encryption.
    • MQTT has three levels of QoS depending on the needs of the service or the messages importance.


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