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Apps World developer event to offer Android-themed workshops

With the rapid growth of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, sales of which are expected to surpass those of PCs by 2017, the app economy boom is unlikely to slow down any time soon. Accordingly, the upcoming third annual Apps World conference will bring together people from all sides of the apposphere - developers, mobile operators, handset manufacturers, and businesses looking to grow their app offerings – with a two-day event chockfull of seminars, workshops, and exhibits.

Some 5,000 people will descend on Earls Court on 2/3 October to network and exchange information about a variety of apps and app-related topics. Big name exhibitors like Samsung, BlackBerry, SAP, Microsoft, and IBM will show off their wares alongside lesser known firms, all giving developers and other industry professionals the opportunity to network, learn, and exchange resources.

The lectures and workshops will cover themes like HTML5, NFC technology, along with cloud and enterprise as they relate to the app ecosystem. One of the most promising of Apps World’s tracks is its Android-focused Droid World section, which will include sessions and speakers from Google, Vodafone, and Pearson International, among a handful of others.

“We are pleased to be offering this 2 day free to attend Android track at Apps World covering a variety of issues across the Android ecosystem such as; monetisation, testing and security whilst also offering developers advice on PR and marketing their apps,” said Apps World organiser Ian Johnson.

“Android is offering lots of new possibilities right now, with new evolving interfaces including voice and 3D, it’s great to see these exciting developers who are making it happen being brought together,” he added.

ITProPortal caught up with leading Android developer and evangelist Royi Benyossef to discuss why Android development is so important and what attendees can expect from the event. Benyossef, who was recently selected by Google as an official Android Expert in its Developer Experts program, made a name for himself as an early Android developer.

Why is Android such an important platform for people to understand?

Android isn’t only the present, it’s also the future.

A lot of businesses are looking for Android programmers, but there aren’t a lot to be found. I started doing community events, things like lectures about Android, in order to boost market and help young developers get into that market.

One of the advantages is that, because Google Play is much looser, developing iterations on Android is faster than other platforms. The learning curve and release time is much easier on Android, both for new products and for new developers. Android is important not because of profit margins, but because it’s easier to get your product out there.

To what extent is developer reticence towards Android valid?

It isn’t. Android is easy to get into. It’s mostly open source, so you don’t have to buy a specific computer and device. You can buy a Chinese board for $50 [£30] and run AOSP [Android Open Source Project]. It’s very open and it’s very flexible.

As of the past year, it’s been getting out of the mobile world. It’s going into televisions and cameras. The knowledge that you gain in Android is not only restricted to tablets and mobile phones; it’s much broader.

What are the Android trends you’re seeing these days?

There are three trends we’re seeing across the industry right now: location-based services for advertising and consumer activity; in-app billing, using NFC and Google’s API to create a financial ecosystem that allows you to use your phone as wallet; cross-spectrum usage to make applications to work with everything from PCs to tablets and to allow different operating systems to interact with each other.

Another upcoming trend is gaming – it’s the next thing. With mobile versions of things like Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne, we’re seeing Android gaming becoming real gaming.

What will you focus on in your Apps World lecture?

I’ll be speaking about a lot of research on the Project Butter process – in other words, making the Android framework more thinkable. Developers have complained that it’s difficult to make apps smooth like they are on the iOS. I’ll be talking about how to use Jelly Bean to make development smoother. I hope to teach developers, to inform them on how it’s possible to use these products.

What can attendees expect from Apps World?

These kinds of conferences are usually iOS-only or Android-only. But Apps World is one of the few ones that bring people together. It’s a fabulous playground and a fabulous place for the ideas to play. While iOS developers have a design view, Android developers are functionality-oriented, and Apps World facilitates collaboration to flow. Plus, it offers all levels of lectures, from 101 to pretty high levels.

Visit the official Apps World website for more information about the event and details on how to register.

Ahead of the event, details about the associated Appsters Awards 2012 have also been revealed. The Awards ceremony, which will be hosted by comedian Miles Jupp at the Roof Gardens venue in Kensington on the evening of 2 October, will celebrate developers and other industry members across 12 categories.

"We've been overwhelmed by the response to this year's call for nominees, and the extremely high standard of entries shows what rude health this industry is in, despite the uncertain economic environment. It's a really tough job for our judging panel, but that's the way we like it. I'd like to extend congratulations to our shortlisted entries, and our sincere thanks to everyone who applied," said Apps World and Appsters Awards founder Ian Johnson.

Visit the official Appsters website for a full shortlist for such categories as Best Entertainment App 2012, Best Payment App 2012, and Best Visual Design 2012, as well as details about the panel of judges. Nominees for Best Start-up App will have to pitch their start-up in front of a panel at the event on 2 October.