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Old 08-03-2010, 06:22 PM   #1
kol

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Not sure why the Fan Faire App Announcement is locked, but I wanted to point out that a few of us Android users (I'm a Nexus One user, FYI... Droid refers to a specific line of phones (Droid, Eris, Incredible, Droid X) and is a trademark owned by LucasFilm, ltd.. and used by Verizon under license... sorry to be a stickler about that).

Writing an app is simple. The thing is, we only have the schedule and vague information on the website which is subject to change.

Also, as suggested earlier... it would be much easier if a public calendar was created with the schedule of events. I'm sure it would be much appreciated by those without a smartphone, or for those that want to write an application for another platform, or for someone that wants to import the events into their native calendar application (computer of phone).

It sounds like the data for the iPhone application is embedded in the application (hence the need to download the updated via iTunes). By using a public calendar, anything that consumes that data will get the updates on their devices, yet still have a downloaded copy if they don't have service. At every single Fan Faire I've attended, there have been cancelled and/or rescheduled sessions.

When several people offer to help but get no further guidance, is it any wonder that nobody steps forward? I highly doubt any developer to take the time to transcribe the schedule from the webpage when its subject to change, unless they have A LOT of free time on their hands. If you make your data available in an open and freely consumable format, then people are more likely to build interesting things on top of it.

Just my Two Plat

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Old 08-04-2010, 03:01 AM   #2
Arwyn_RoV

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Welp.  They've given you what you need to write one pretty much.    I'm somewhat certain some of you have access to both platforms.

The App is straightforward in structure and can be broken down into 5 parts.

1) A list of the schedule of events (with a means for you to check what your going to) broken down several ways,  everything, by game, or by Subject.

2) A map, which consists of a flat image that doesn't seem to do anything when tapped upon, doesn't pinch, zoom or scroll.

3) News, which is either a twitter feed or an RSS feed.

4) Dining, which is a scrolling linked list of restaurants and their various details, sorted by price.

and finally 5) Travel, which is a flat text file with details about how to get there.

All this brouhaha fussing over them doing an iPhone app vs. an Android app is bogus.   Someone there did this for side fun because they were curious and wanted to help.   He probably didn't do an Android app because he didn't have one... or only had time to do a single app.      Marketshare concerns, etc most likely didn't enter into it.   Its not a new product..   Its a bloody leaflet for the convention rendered as an app.      Chill dude, or write your own.

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Old 08-04-2010, 09:52 PM   #3
kol

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First of all and most importantly.. the app was written by a Sony employee (granted, on his own time).. who likely had access to the information that the rest of us didn't, making it near impossible to expect that an alternative (with quality data) would be produced by the community. 

I can only speak for myself, but I don't have access to an iOS device... and this is the first I've heard of any of its features.

The schedule of events is the most important thing, and I was simply stating that making the calendar available in some other format then raw HTML at: http://events.station.sony.com/fanf...ire/schedule.vm would be nice. A standard calendar format would take a lot of the grunt work out of extracting the data from that HTML. Also, if said calendar was available, pretty much any smartphone could subscribe to it, get updates as things change, and copy selected events to their Main Calendar.. set alerts.. whatever they wanted to do.

Secondly, the map is nowhere to be found on the website. Sure, I could probably find my welcome packet and scan last years map and hope that the rooms are in the same locations, but does that sound like something a developer is going to do on his own time? When it might not even be right? 

A news feed seems like a silly addition (in terms of usefulness in an app).. but great that it has that. Twitter is readily available and RSS might be great for leading up to the event, but its not all that great for realtime notifications due to its polling architecture (disregarding PubSubHubBub).

Again, Dining is probably better covered by something like Yelp or even Foursquare... and the same for Travel info... if you need directions on how to get around in Vegas... you need more then a FanFaire iPhone app. (Hint: Get off the plane, hop in a cab or shuttle and tell them "Bally's")

I wasn't making this into an Android vs. iPhone issue. I was making the point that focusing on just one excludes a growing portion of their attendees. Some simple things like a public calendar (in iCal format or something similar) or a mobile website (which presumes good cell service) would be a much better use of Sony's resources.

I wasn't suggesting that Sony should produce apps for every platform imaginable. In fact, I posted in an earlier thread suggesting many of these same things over a month and a half ago (6/18, http://forums.station.sony.com/stat..._id=11500017286) .. The author of the app responded thoughtfully.. and I am not trashing him for his efforts, nor did I expect him to write an Android app. I think its great he did something on the side. You'll notice that there were offers for people to write apps for Android and Windows Mobile.. and requests made to get access to some of the data used for the app.

And thanks for telling me to calm down... I didn't realize I wasn't calm. There was no ALL CAPS PROFANITY FILLED RANTS nor do I even see a single exclamation mark (which is odd since I often overuse them!). Please tell me where I said Sony had to make apps for my platform (or anyone else's). Clearly its too late for that now, so I was expressing my disappointment at the lack of opportunity for people to contribute and give back to the community and reiterated some of the things that could have been done to enable developers to innovate a little bit.

So, how exactly do you propose that I go off and write my own without accurate schedule/maps?

(and yes, in the time I spent discussing this... an alternative could have been produced if I had access to the data... the only reason to go into it is to hope for next year)

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Old 08-05-2010, 02:06 AM   #4
Arwyn_RoV

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I'd imagine based on the feedback they got on this topic that next year we'll either have no app, or they'll give us the materials and a hearty "there ya go" pat on the butt.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:14 AM   #5
Jyve

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If there's an RSS feed of the schedule next year (well, or even not tbh), I'll have an android app ready to go. I made a simple map program, and had a listing of events, I just needed to tidy it up before it'd be ready to be used by others. Getting up to date data would be my only concern really, would love to be able to get the notification that a room was changed pushed out. Surprised me actually how many Android phones (in all version) were being used. But there WILL be an Android app next year.
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