If you didn’t make it to the BBQ, you missed a good one. I attended last year and this one was a thousand times better. There were more people, more vendors, and more goodies than you can shake a stick at. If you haven’t seen pictures or footage from the BBQ stay tuned. I’ll post some and I’m sure many others will do the same. I’ll give you a highlights post so that you can see some of the major happenings from the BBQ. Enjoy!
They came to party. They had giveaways, announcements, and some pretty cute tent girls to boot. One of our very own Cal Brower won a Samsung phone and so did Derek De La Cruz’s friend. Needless to see they all felt like winners. Samsung also announced their new developer tool that allows developers to test sensor based apps in the development stages. Samsung also gave away some tablets and other prizes. They were trying to gain the spot of top vendor.
These two took to the stage to discuss challenges they both face when trying to bridge between beta testers, end users and OEM’s. It was interesting, but got a bit long. They discussed how excited they were to have made the progress they have made and how they look forward to continuing to push out quality products. Swiftkey gave all attendees a coupon to get their app for free… and I must say it is impressive. Swiftkey let devs know that they are releasing a dev program that allows developers access to their fluency engine (which runs swiftkey), so that devs can have their way with the keyboard. Swype also announced that they are releasing an actual Swype installer, so no more needing to have the beta to install or wonky updates. They also stated that OEM’s will now be pushing out OTA updates so that your phone can stay current. They both talked about data collection and that it was solely for the purpose of making the apps better. They don’t store words, just data about words. I can see where people would get a little weary about this, but they were very forthcoming and adamant about their commitment to privacy.
They had all of their phones on display and one of the reps was even nice enough to let me see his HTC Amaze. That’s a phone worth getting. I’m not a fan of sense, but for those who have enjoyed it, this phone will knock your socks off. I talked to one rep about an issue that has been troubling me for a while. I asked if she knew of any phones coming out in the future that would be less than 4.3 inches, more in the 3.8-4.0 in range but with updated chipsets and hardware and she gave me a sad “no”. I would really like for the screen size war to end and phones fall back into my range, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Other than that, HTC did some giveaways and drawings and the folks who won seemed happy.
The other vendors there were showing off their goods and wares and made for a nice day. Verizon, TI, and a few others had tents set up just to talk to people about upcoming products. The day was an Android dream. There was beautiful weather, awesome people, free phone and more tech than you could shake a stick at. I would call this event a success. For those who weren’t able to make it, I hope to see you there next year and for those who did make it, feel free to send us some pics and leave some comments about your favorite Android BBQ moments.