AT&T Hackathon Winner : Taylor Hoover with FollowMe
Come and join us to hear the stories of these very cool startups and their successful experiences at recent hackathons in the SF Bay Area. They’ll talk about their products, challenges and plans for the future.
StackMob is generously hosting this event again.
Their offices are located at 541 8th St, San Francisco, CA
The coming weeks I will be in Greece. Besides enjoying the sun and great food I want to help setup a Greek Appsterdam Embassy in Athens, where we will be the last week of August.
In the week we are there, we will help you get connected with the Appsterdam community, the local university and businesses. We will give you tips and tricks on how to run a volunteer-based organization, and have a look at which events would work well in Greece and how to get them started.
On Wednesday, the 29th of August, we will have a Meeten and Drinken to officially launch the Embassy. If all goes well, we will open a live connection with the Amsterdam Meeten en Drinken so we can meet each other in most direct way, considering the distance.
In the days leading up to this I will be at your full disposal to help—but you don’t have to wait for us to appear. Start now.
Meeten en Drinken
Appsterdam is a community and communities are made of people.
Although the internet allows us to connect and stay connected, there is no substitute for meeting each other in person.
We organize many events where people can come together and share thoughts, but none are as powerful as our weekly Meeten en Drinken.
It is important to have face time with your peers. Time to talk and share thoughts without a set agenda. This is how innovation gets stimulated and alliances get formed.
Meeten en Drinken is every Wednesday at 19:00, and is always at the same bar (or taverna). It would great if the first Meeten en Drinken of the Greek Embassy will take place on 22th of August or before.
You pick the place and start finding people who want to join. Let us know and we will help spread the word.
You will be amazed how powerful a room full of people with skills and ideas can be.
Appsterdam in the Sun
The Greek Embassy should be a hub for local talent—the place to be if you want to connect with your peers or find mentoring to become an App Maker—making the community visible and addressable.
One of the powerful things we provide in Amsterdam is an infrastructure allowing people to land in the city and have like-minded friends from the first day. People who will show them around, help them get setup, join them for dinner and drinks.
The Embassy should be a hub for international App Makers who would like to spend some time in a beautiful, sunny country with great food and people—and good wifi.
It should be a place where App Makers from all over the world come to spend some time working on their Apps, or recover from launching their products, while enjoying the pleasures of Greece. And while they are here, you get to drain all the knowledge from their brains.
They can help you get connected with clients abroad, share their network and knowledge—and they just might return the favor when you visit their home towns.
In other words, Appsterdam in the sun.
Who We Are Looking For
We are looking for App Makers and people who want to become or work with App Makers.
This means developers, designers, marketeers, project managers, lawyers, academics and anybody who can organize, create and get things done.
If you are working as an architect, painter or construction worker, but would like to get connected with an international crowd, we are looking for you.
If you want to get your hands dirty with programming, design or any other skill required to create and ship a quality digital product, you should get in touch.
Education is one of our biggest pillars. We share knowledge and educate each other. We have been doing this in Amsterdam, and we will be doing it in Greece.
If you find yourself taking on the challenge of coordinating the Greek embassy here are some tips:
Get a buddy. You can not do it alone. Find someone to help.
Find a bar or taverna which will be the base of Meeten en Drinken—something not too crowded, with wifi. Make sure it is conveniently located and can be reached by public transportation.
Now start announcing. Twitter is a good way to start. We will make sure your tweets get amplified by retweeting from the @appsterdamrs account.
Start a blog with the details from the event, like location and other useful information. Perhaps write a post to introduce yourself and tell the world why you feel having a Greek Embassy is a good idea.
The first few times you meet it is a good idea to keep track of who shows up. Those are the people you are most likely be running the Embassy with. If you have an iPad, open a Notes or Numbers document and pass it around as a guestbook. Simple solutions are often the best.
But I Live In Thessaloniki!
If you can be in Athens while we are there, come over, help out and see how you can setup an Embassy elsewhere.
Knowing your fellow App Makers in different cities is a good thing, and we can use all the help we can get.
If you like to help remotely, I am sure we can find you something for you to do.
If you are a Greek App Maker living abroad, we would love to hear from you.
Get In Touch
If you want to help set up the Greek Appsterdam presence contact us. I can be found on twitter as @spllr , or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not yet comfortable writing an email in English, no problem, we have Greek speakers in our organization. Just make sure the first sentence of your email is in English so we can identify what to forward.
At this year’s iOSDevCamp over 29 open source projects for iOS were released! We wish to celebrate all of them as they represent our core values of contribution, sharing, openess and “can do” attitude.
Here is a look at the teams and links to their code. Yes, go ahead, please take a peek at their code!
Everyone wants photo filters, but why should developers waste time recreating Instagram? FilterKit makes adding photo filters to your app as easy as dropping in a library and calling our customizable FilterKit filter picker. Unlike existing Open Source libraries, FilterKit offers everything developers need to add filters to their apps: a filter framework, filter picker, filter builder and filter gallery. FilterKit is designed to be technology-agnostic: Our base filters were built using the GPUImage library but we plan to support CoreImage filters and future libraries as well.
IntentKit – Winner, Best Developer Tool Developers: Zac Bowling, Jonathan Dalrymple, Matthieu Lucas, Doug Mason,
Paul Mendros Source Code:https://github.com/intent License: iOS code MIT/X11, Web service AGPL 3.0 Project Page: http://www.intentkit.com
Our open source system provides dynamic app discovery and inter-app communication for iOS. You publish your applications Intents on IntentKit.com. The SDK will query these intents, caching where possible, and provide end users with a list of apps that support what the user wants to do. This works with both native and web apps and is nearly compatible with the Web Intents initiative. You have control over which apps your user sees, and this works with or without network access.
Our app is for people who wish to train to become black belts. It includes notes and information needed for the test. It also embeds videos for all color belts. Check out the feature that allows you to view martial arts techniques (using open GL, still a work in progress).
Want to shop for gear? We have a link to the Adidas/eBay site for taekwondo gear.
In our next iterations the app will incorporate the ability to buy gear or donate to Taekwondo Kix.
Food unites people, crosses boundaries, language and cultures. Ever tried finding good, cheap and interesting food that suits your taste buds? Enter TruckWiser. It’s an app that allows you to find cheap gourmet food from the food trucks nearby. Simply see, sense, search or filter for food by popularity, location and/or time. The app also includes nutrition facts and an ingredient list about the food you are ordering.
One of our favorite features is the “scheduler” for the truck owner. Truck owners simply add their location and hours of operation. The coolest thing is that we made it open source. So go ahead, get TruckWiser today.
MegaJam is a portable PA system that links iOS devices with Bluetooth-enabled devices (like a Jambox) to create a megaphone. Want to broadcast a toast at the wedding without a fancy PA system — use MegaJam.
It’s all kinds of cool. This multi-player shoot’em up video game tests your tank driving skills and pits you against other tanks. Use your iPhone as controller. This game can be played on the iPhone or Apple TV.
Dox on Box Reader – Winner, Best Reading App/Use of Beeline Reader Developers: Daniel DeCovnick and Arshad Tayyeb Source Code:https://github.com/snarshad/doxonbox License: BSD + Attribution
Want to read faster? Try this app that extends Beeline functionality to your documents stored on Box (including Google Docs!). This iPad reader app includes pagination, linguistic tagging features and a dyslexic mode which renders text with fonts shown to aid dyslexics in reading.
Use your iOS device to drive through the magical obstacles of JoyRide. This game was created with WebGL, DeviceOrientation, and Web Audio. The real-time interaction was made possible using node.js and WebSockets.
In this kinetic app the user waves a stuffed animal (mascot) in front of the iPad to play soccer on the screen. Also available, turn off the game mode and just enjoy moving the clouds around by waving a toy or throwing a big beanbag.
This app is a programmable alarm clock that activates the towel warmer (through a webserver and raspberry pi) to pre-warm your bath towels in time for your morning shower. Simply set a wake up time in the app and the towel warmer will turn on 1 hour before you wake up. This app is easily transferrable to a coffee maker, too!
In this iPad video chat app you can draw your emotions on your chat buddy’s face. This app utilizes natural gestures of touch to invite genuine expression and meaningful connection.
The app provides a palette to create shared language of togetherness. We call it emotiffects!
Stamps is an iOS library that gives developers the ability to integrate a real-face emoticon system. With Stamps users can create their own emoticons using the front-facing camera to capture their emotions. Then the user can express these emoticons as stamps on their friends posts. The library features a robust data layer which allows integration to various backends. We will be using Skydrive to store Stamps data for our demo and integrating the Stamps library into the Quilt (http://qui.lt) iPhone application.
In 2010 Ronald arrived in this country with just one suitcase and a dream to build the coolest Air Guitar device for the iPhone. In 2011 he raised $32K on Kickstarter; and in 2012 he shipped the first 700 units. Ronald received many requests from developers for access to our SDK. One problem: there wasn’t one to be had. That is, until 3am Sunday morning. Ronald created an open source SDK for developers to use his hardware in their games and apps. Basically, Air Guitar Move is an accelerometer, so developers now read accelerometer data from two hands (one being the iPhone). Imagine the cool interfaces possible with that. Minority report-like interface? Now possible. Super engaging guitar games? Now possible.
Play googly eyes with your kids remotely! Moppets is an app controlling virtual characters through their facial movements. This app was rapidly put together using iOS’ native facial detection (no OpenCV) and OpenTok to handle the remote calling. Eyes are kept in sync by finding the eyes in the captured video or stream TokBox image on the client side.
A.K.A. the “Hangover” app. Ever experience a wild & crazy night and need some help the next day in remembering the night before. This app can help tell you where you’ve been. After remaining in the location for a given period of time, the location is recorded. A region (geofence) is created around the user’s current location. When the user exits the current region, we once again look for the user to spend a period of time within any area. You can review on a Map View what those locations were where you spent any time, and see when you were there.
SL5ComposeViewController class presents a view to the user to compose a post for both social networking services of Twitter and Facebook from iOS5.
It’s build with modern interface with no delegates but complete Handler blocks. SL5ActivityViewController class is super easy way to show a ActionSheet to dispatch. You don’t need to wait until iOS6 to implement a “Share” button.
Create your own set of gesture controls that “feel” like part of a consistent system. Caster is an experiment in using the frequency domain representation, and other transformations, of gesture inputs to trigger game controls.
CVFunhouse is a framework that lets you easily write computer vision applications using the OpenCV library. CVFunhouse takes care of all the work of getting image data from the camera and back to the screen, so you can focus on computer vision. The app is designed to be both a cool demo and a starting point for writing your own dedicated computer vision apps.
Bestmix is a simple implementation of iOS app and Rails-based backend integration. You can build your own iOS app and backend web API by extending it. They are connected with JSON REST API supporting pagination, HTTP caching, Core Data, OAuth2 and Facebook integration. It is similar to BaaS, but it is easier to customize and add your own code.
An eye checker app is a battery of tests to assess vision health. For example, the app tests the users ability to focus on and discern objects.
If you have a correction to this list, or attended iOSDevCamp 2012 and have open source to offer, please submit your updates to Christopher Allen (@ChristopherA). Please also feel free to send us project website links, video demonstrations, photos and stories about your weekend, we’ll add them to this post!
Civ Orbis wins “Best App from a Satellite Location” at the iOSDevCamp 2012.
A hard fought victory for the Civ Orbis team consisting of Nelson Ferraz, Kris Markel, Robert Shepherd and Thomas Adelaar.
“We wrote this app from scratch in less than 48 hours, during the iOS
Dev Camp in Amsterdam. I’d like to thank the Appsterdam team for the
organization of the event and all the support they provided during the
weekend. I’d also like to invite anyone interested in this idea to
join this open source project, and contribute with code, art,
knowledge or ideas.” -Nelson Ferraz, Civ Orbis Team
“This was my first iOSDevCamp and I had an absolute blast. The idea of building an app in a weekend seemed outrageous at the beginning, but we all managed to pull it off. It helped that everyone I met was really cool (especially the organizers!) and the venue was well suited for collaborating with small teams. I can’t wait until the next one!” -Kris Markel, Civ Orbis Team
The Jury was united in its opinion:
“We chose Civ Orbis because we liked the concept a lot: a map application that allows you to travel in time right at the spot where you are. We also loved the open character, integrating public data. Another plus was the fact that it promotes culture and history, of which we have a lot in Europe. And finally, the app itself is lovely, nice animations with great design. We hope that winning the iOSDevCamp stimulates Nelson and Kris to finish the app and ship it.”
What is iOSDevCamp?
iOSDevCamp is an annual not-for-profit gathering held in San Jose, CA (USA) to develop applications for iOS, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, using both the native SDK and web standards
iOSDevCamp Amsterdam, graciously hosted by BounceSpace and emceed by Dirk de Kok (CEO of Mobtest), attracted over 50 local attendees for competition from Friday July 20th to Sunday the 22nd. The winner of the event was then selected to compete for the “Best App from a Satellite Location” against the iOSDevCamp Satellite of Sydney, Australia held at the same time.
From presenting the idea, getting enough audience votes, pulling together a talented team of strangers, coding nonstop to surviving on a full weekend of pizza; Civ Orbis beat out three other local teams and ultimately the international competitor, the iOSDevCamp Satellite of Sydney, Australia.
Civ Orbis representing the satellite iOSDevcamp Amsterdam in the iOSDevCamp 2012 hackathon won the honor of “Best App from a Satellite Location.” This award and its prizes given by iOSDevCamp in San Jose, CA were sponsored by Push.io.
Even though not all of the teams won, everyone went home feeling energized, with a sense of camaraderie, and new friends. It is the hope of Appsterdam that this event inspires all attendees to continue with the further development of these apps, honing their craft of appmaking and to have a closer connection within the appmaking community.
What is Civ Orbis?
Nelson Ferraz’s explanation of the project:
Georg Braun (1541-1622) was a catholic cleric and topo-geographer that
lived in Cologne. From 1572 to 1617 he edited the Civitates orbis
terrarum, which contains dozens of maps of cities from all around the
This mashup of techniques from the 16th and 21th centuries allows the
user to find his position in the old maps while he walks on the
streets of cities like Amsterdam, Brugges and Cologne.
Kris Markel also explains: App Description:
Civis Orbis will allow you to experience the cities of Europe as they existed in the 16th century. Using maps from the Civitates orbis terrarium, you’ll be able to explore and learn about Amsterdam, Cologne, and Brugge, with more cities on the way. As you visit each landmark in the cities and learn interesting historical facts, you be able to check in, share the experience with your friends, and see what others have posted. You also be able to select tours tailored to your interests in each city, so you’ll be sure to hit the highlights you want to see.
After hashing out the initial direction of the application with the full team, building the app came down to just Nelson and me, and neither of us are designers by trade. Nelson really stepped up to the plate and created the production assets we needed to provide the level of polish we wanted the app to have.
Staying focused was also key. We initially had a rather large feature list, but we pared it down to the bare minimum so we knew we would have something that was demo-worthy by Sunday afternoon. We actually wrapped up with about an hour to spare, so Nelson pushed for “just two more screens”. I was quite reluctant, but Nelson insisted and we actually pulled it off. I’m glad he pushed for it.
Check out the Teams and their Code on Github!
Civ Orbis (1st Place & Winner)
Nelson Ferraz, Kris Markel, Robert Shepherd and Thomas Adelaar
Beer Buddies (2nd Place)
Wybren van der Zee, Paul Wagener, Gyorgy Varadi and Marco Pizzichemi
Blues Buddies (3rd Place)
Valentina Rao, Ian Murray, Jerke van den Braak, David Kousemaker, David Pitts, Nadjib Amar and Sijmen Mulder
Samuel Colak, Francesco Mattia, Oskar Smith and Wesley De Groot
This was my second WWDC, and I had a much different experience from last year. Last year I didn’t know anyone there, while this year I had the chance to catch up with dozens of people I’ve met in the last 12 months, and to meet lots of new people.
I saw a few people Appsterdammers would know: Saul Mora, Kendal Gelner, Dave Wiskus, Rob Elkin, Kyle Kinkade, and Lassi from Sanoma (thanks for taxi from airport).
I bumped into Daniel Jalkut on the street, and met Wil Shipley at one of the parties… if you want to meet everyone who is everyone, hang out with Saul Mora — he knows everyone, and everyone seems to know him!
It’s kind of weird meeting new people by their real name — often I recognised their Twitter handle but not their name! But it’s really cool meeting people in real life that I’d been following on Twitter for ages.
I’d like to thank Rob Elkin and Kyle Kinkade for their tremendous work in setting up Appsterdam’s two alternative embassies in San Francisco. Feedback from the 100s of people who attended was great; we’ll definitely have a special WWDC embassy again in 2013! I think we definitely showed that it is feasible to offer alternative events for people during WWDC; not just for people who missed out on tickets, but also for those that got tickets. We’re also setting up a permanent embassy there, thanks to Jana Boruta and Martin Rosas.
What it feels like
Someone (I forget who) pointed out that WWDC is a lot like Christmas for nerds:
First you have the anticipation; the buildup
Then friends and relatives descend on town
Then the opening keynote is like Santa coming and dropping off presents
Then there’s opening those presents and playing with them (downloading the new SDKs, seeing the new Macbook Pro’s etc)
Then there’s all the parties, the drinking, eating too much, the hangovers (just like the real thing!)
And there’s more presents — people give you things while you’re standing in line, or at the parties
My schwag haul: at least half a dozen t-shirts, the WWDC jacket, stickers, badges/pins, couple of iPhone cases, couple of pairs of gloves that work with touch screens (my favourite).
A well-run show
WWDC is overall very well run: well-rehearsed, polished speakers. The presentations by engineers are almost as good as Steve’s famous keynotes. They have obviously practised and polished their presentations, and been coached (in a good way). These engineers do better presentations than most CEOs, politicians and conference speakers (i.e. people whose job description includes making presentations)!
Most conferences have some time set aside to mingle in an informal way. WWDC’s Thursday evening Beer Bash is way, way better than most of these mingle-type functions. Neon Trees at this year’s BB were good! (It is weird, though, to be watching a band surrounded by about 5000 men and maybe 100 or so women. Maybe that’s par for the course in San Francisco, but to me it felt strange!)
No-one was dressed up in business suits — not the executives, the presenters, the security people, the attendees; nobody — but their behaviour was more professional. So much for accusations that Apple values looks over function. They seem to concentrate on knowing what’s important and getting that right.
Sessions are good, the labs are better, and meeting up with friends (old and new) is best.
Things they could do better:
Obviously, better notice of when it is going to be on would be good. (Maybe pre-announce when tickets will go on sale to avoid the surprise and people missing out simply because they were asleep.)
And lining up for everything, all the time, sucks.
So you've been inspired to visit Appsterdam, perhaps like me you heard Mike give a talk at a conference and have found yourself planning a trip to Appsterdam. What's next? How do I get around? Where is everything? What do I need to do to survive my first few days in Amsterdam?
Here are some tips for those arriving in Appsterdam.
Before you arrive
Get involved in the meetup group
First things first, join the Appsterdam Meetup group and introduce yourself. Check the dates for the regular sessions (weekly lunchtime lectures and weekly evening drinks every Wednesday) and look for upcoming guru sessions and speakers club meetings. RSVP well in advance for these as they fill up fast.
Consider timing your arrival so you can get yourself sorted (see below) and then meet everyone on the Wed lunchtime lectures and/or Wed evening social meet up.
Follow some Appsterdamers on Twitter
Add some of the @appsterdamrs (Official Twitter Account) to you twitter such as @bmf (Mike Lee) Mayor of Appsterdam, @pauldarcey (Paul Darcey) CEO of Appsterdam, @judykitteh (Judy Chen) Chief Community Officer, @spllr (Klaas Speller) COO of Appsterdam and the many others using the #Appsterdam hashtag.
Learn at least a few words of Dutch
Knowing the local language is not 100% necessary because the Dutch speak excellent english but any effort you put in will help you feel more comfortable here. I've had some luck with the Pimsleur digital dutch lessons. I downloaded them to my iPhone and listened to them for 30 mins each day for the month before I visited. I wished I had started earlier as I only made it to lesson 8 of the 30 in that time.
Book some Accommodation
Accommodation in Amsterdam is expensive and generally a little difficult to arrange. I had a lot of success with the AirBNB service. You should get someone in your social network to provide a reference on airbnb if you can. A similar but sometimes less expensive accommodation booking service is run locally by Frederic Rent a Bike.
You’ll probably not have a data plan on your phone when you arrive, so until you obtain a sim card (see the section later on how to get one) you’ll probably find an offline map useful for getting around. I use the CityMaps2Go app for my iPhone in Amsterdam, as the open source map data for Amsterdam is excellent, has offline search, shows your compass heading, and has bookmarks.
For public transport info (trams, trains, busses, ferrys) you can’t go past the 9292ov Pro app. It works in english, has search, planning and maps. As an online alternative, Google Transit is excellent in the Netherlands.
For finding places to eat or drink Foursquare has been pretty useful. You can use the lists of favorite places from other users to discover Amsterdam.
Getting yourself sorted on your first day here
Navigating the Airport
The airport is huge. Be prepared for a long walk from your arrival gate and pass through immigration. Once you have your luggage don't forget to use your credit card to get some local currency (euros) from the ATM machines. You'll use this currency in the next step.
You'll want to catch the train to get from the airport to the city, Central Amsterdam, it's cheap, fast and frequent.
Get a chipcaart for use on public transport
Find the train station and line up at the big ticket counter so you can acquire your amazing OV-chipkaart. This is a touch-on / touch-off card similar to London's oyster card or a working version of Melbourne's myki card with the bonus of working everywhere in the Netherlands and on all form of transport including busses, ferries, metro, tram and train. The card itself costs € 7.50 and you will need to put at least € 20 on the card to be allowed to use it on trains.
Platform 1 has the trains to the city. On the platform walk along until you find the chipcaart reader and check in (touch the card to the reader). Board any train going to Amsterdam CS (central station) other than the "freya" as this train requires a special ticket.
At central station you will need to check out (touch the card to the reader again) at the exit of the station rather than on the platform. Try not to forget to check out otherwise you will be charged additional fees on your card.
Find a tram to your accommodation
The trams are fast and frequent and only surpassed by using a bike to get around (see later for how to acquire a bike). Your accommodation host will typically tell you what trams you can catch to your place. Have a look at the official simplified tram map to see how the trams work.
Get a sim card with data
Being offline is a real problem. After a little research I settled on T-Mobile’s pre-paid sim card with a 1GB data bundle. It’s a small fee for the sim card and you add € 14.95 for the internet. Ask the friendly staff at the store to activate your internet for you in the store, and to change the telephone system default language to english.
Now you are online and can find your way about, get yourself to the Appsterdam Centraal HQ located in the co-working space called BounceSpace. The address is Weteringschans 28. Here you can hang out, use the wifi and meet some appsterdamers.
Getting a Bike
And finally, to become a true appsterdamer you need a bike. Grab an appsterdamer from the HQ and head out to a market. I went to the second hand bike place at Waterlooplein Flea Market. Take a bike for a test drive, make sure they adjust the height of the seat to suit you. Make sure they add on the front and back lights, at least one ‘better quality’ lock (locals use two locks) and a bell. Negotiate a price for the whole lot (not each individual part). Expect to pay between €80 and €100.
Update 11th July: Accommodation and bike rental tips thanks to Judy.