Friday, January 04, 2013

Running the SurveyApplicationCS Demo Project under Android Jelly Bean 4.2 on a Google Nexus 7 Tablet

imageMy (@rogerjenn) LightSwitch HTML 5 Client Preview 2: OakLeaf Contoso Survey Application Demo on Office 365 SharePoint Site post updated 12/25/2012 describes the SurveyApplicationCS, a SharePoint App with a Visual Studio LightSwitch HTML Client Preview 2 client UI autohosted in Windows Azure.

• Updated 1/4/2012 the with need to interpose Fiddler2 running on my development PC as a proxy server to run the app. The “Debugging This Application with Fiddler2” section below describes setting up Fiddler2 pro as a proxy server and specifying its address with the Nexus 7 Settings app.

imageI purchased a 32-GB Nexus 7 tablet when Google made them generally available in late June 2012. My interest in the product stemmed from the desire to gain familiarity with the Android operating system without the need to enter into an extended cellphone contract or pay a premium for an unlocked Android cellphone. My wife and I are satisfied Verizon feature-phone customers with LG VX8360s on a low-cost plan.

My attempts to run SurveyApplicationCS from failed until 12/21/2012. On that date, by interposing a Fiddler2 proxy server, I finally was able to log in to OakLeaf Systems’ SharePoint Online Developer Edition site:

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The message reads: “Some apps, such as Get Started with Apps for Office and SharePoint, are not supported in Mobile View. Tapping on the title area can bring up navigation window [sic]” (right). Tapping the blue title bar opens the OakLeaf Systems Team Site’s main menu with a link to the SurveyApplicationCS demo’s landing page (below left).
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Tapping the Add button lets you add a survey (right). Tapping a My Product Surveys List item opens the main page with a products list for that customer (below). The Add New Survey page lets you select from predefined lists of customers and products, as well as shelf positioning and survey year, month, day and time of day.
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Tapping the Photos button opens the Photos screen with thumbnail tiles for previously uploaded images (right). Tapping a tile opens a larger photo facsimile (below left). The Full Image Url data is for troubleshooting.
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Tapping Delete Photo opens a confirmation form. Closing the photo and tapping Add Photo open a Choose an Action form (left). Tapping the SkyDrive app tile opens the shared folder list (below left). Both SkyDrive and Google Drive apps are installed.
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Tapping a folder item opens tiles of available images (right). Tapping the desired tile should but doesn’t add the image to the SharepPoint list. I receive a “Failed to upload image” message (see Problem 1).
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If you add new or edit existing items without clicking the Save button, the Apply Changes form lets you select the appropriate action before you leave the screen. If your session times out, you’ll receive a “You do not have permission to view this directory or page” message or see the above screen (see Problem 2.)

Problem 1: It’s surprising that a tile for Google Drive doesn’t appear in the Choose an Action form. All the above screenshots were uploaded to Google Drive with the Drive app. I don’t know whether Android, the SkyDrive app or the SharePoint App framework is responsible for inability to upload new images. (The Nexus 7 has only a front-facing camera, so it isn’t suited to in-store photography.)

A temporary workaround for this problem is to copy the necessary image files to the Nexus 7’s Internal Storage\SkyDrive\Downloads or similar folder, and then specify Gallery when choosing the path for the Upload Control.

Problem 2: This message will appear when you click the blue Site Pages: DevHome title bar and select the SurveyApplicationCS menu choice after your SharePoint session has timed out. Rebooting (Power Off) the Nexus was the only solution I found for this problem. I can’t determined whether the SharePoint App framework or Android is responsible for the timeout problem. The present timeout setting is way too short.

I’ve alerted Joe Binder of the Visual Studio LightSwitch team about these problems for further investigation.

Downloading OakLeaf’s SurveyApplicationCS Source Code

You can download the C# source code and a copy of the current (v2.2.11.0) file for the customized Visual Studio 2012 SurveyApplicationCS project here from my SkyDrive account. Click here for Visual Studio project prerequisites.

Debugging This Application with Fiddler2

Until the LightSwitch HTML 5 Client team fixes the authentication problem on Nexus tablets, you’ll need to set up Fiddler2 as a proxy server on your development machine as described in the article linked below.

Fiddler2’s Configuring Android / Google Nexus 7 pages provide details to:

Get Traffic to Fiddler

Fiddler runs as a proxy on port 8888 on your Windows PC; you can easily proxy traffic from your Google Nexus device through Fiddler to debug it.

Note: The "Device Debugging" topic is covered in greater depth in the Fiddler Book. …

Decrypt HTTPS

After you have basic proxying working, the next step is to get HTTPS decryption working. …

Some Recent Nexus 7 Kudos

Dan Lyons claims Android Now 'Outshines iOS In Almost Every Aspect' in a 1/4/2013 post to the ReadWriteMobile blog:

Android Now 'Outshines iOS In Almost Every Aspect'

Ralf Rottmann is CTO and co-founder of Grandcentrix, the largest mobile app developer in Germany. He's also a hardcore Apple fanboy who has a house full of Apple products and more than 8,000 songs purchased on the iTunes store. He's tried out every big Android phone and found each one wanting.

But suddenly things have changed. He just got a Nexus 4, the flagship Android phone made by LG and running Jelly Bean, the latest version (4.1) of Android. And since switching it on two weeks ago, he hasn't touched his iPhone 5.

"When iOS 6 came out, for the first time I complained about the lack of innovation in this major new release. I asked myself whether we might see Apple beginning to lose its lead position in mobile platforms," Rottmann writes in an essay on Gizmodo.

Rottmann goes on at great length and great detail about all the ways, big and small, that Jelly Bean outguns Apple's iOS 6. The only thing he misses, he says, is iMessage.

Sure, he's just one guy. But he's a significant guy. And more and more people like him, from all around the world, are coming to the same conclusion.

Meanwhile, Back In Northern California

Nevertheless, in Silicon Valley the conventional wisdom still seems to be that the only people who use Android phones are people who are too cheap or too poor to buy an iPhone. There's a myth in the Valley that Android phones are bargain basement devices, and that people who use them aren't very tech savvy and don't really do anything with them. It's all pure FUD.

There's also this persistent myth the iPhone has some kind of lead. It doesn't. Not in terms of market share, not in terms of engineering, not in terms of design, not in terms of software, not in terms of maps, not in terms of voice recognition, not in terms of performance. In almost every way, the iPhone has been smoked.

(The one exception is profit. Apple is exceedingly profitable and rakes in obscene margins on the iPhone. But that's because Apple has been milking the same platform for years, selling last-generation hardware and investing too little in software. Apple spends a mere 2% of its revenues on R&D, far less than its rivals. Now those chickens are coming home to roost.)

Nevertheless, Valley folk continue to cling to their iPhones, even as their phones get eclipsed by Android.

Consider this article by Liz Gannes of AllThingsD who says 2012 was "the year I stopped using Apple's iOS apps." She's mostly embraced Google's apps, which she admits are better than Apple's.

The question then becomes, If you like Google's software, and why are you still using the iPhone? "I think iOS is a very nice operating system," Gannes writes.

The real answer, I think, is that old habits die hard. Out in Silicon Valley, Apple is the hometown team, and the iPhone, when it came out, was a very big deal. It was truly unique. But it's not anymore.

The rest of the world has figured that out. For once, Silicon Valley is playing catch-up.

Image courtesy of Reuters.

Erick Mack (@EricCMack) reported “Former Mac evangelist Guy Kawasaki says he's purged all iOS devices from his life” in a deck for his Former top Apple fanboy now rocks all Android devices article of 12/12/2012 for C|Net News:

imageKawasaki was quoted in ReadWrite saying he no longer uses any Apple mobile products:

"I fell in love with Android on the smartphone, and then I got a Nexus 7 and started using Android on the tablet as well... To me the great irony is that Apple's slogan was 'Think Different,' but today if you think different you're looking at Android."

Kawasaki says he sees no reason to switch back to iOS now that the iPhone 5 has LTE and the iPad Mini offers a similar form factor to the Nexus 7.

imageToday he says he uses a Samsung Galaxy S3 and loves the fact that he can use the same cable interchangeably between his Nexus 7 and GS3.

"What a concept! A standard cable," Kawasaki said.

See my Get the Right On-The-Go (OTG) Micro-USB Cable for Nexus 7 Tablets post of 12/22/2012 regarding “A standard cable.”

imageLindsey Turrentine (@lturrentine) asserted “CNET editors unveil the 10 best and most influential tech products of the year” in a deck for her Galaxy S3 beats iPhone 5 for best device of 2012 article of 12/11/2012 for C|Net News:

3. Google Nexus 7, the superior small tablet
imageCertainly not the first 7-inch tablet on the market, Google entered the fray with the Nexus 7 in 2012 and left the competition behind, struggling to differentiate themselves. The tablet's native, streamlined Android 4.2 OS -- flexible and open but friendly -- paired with a vivid 1,280x800-pixel-resolution screen and $199 price make it the best small tablet, period. (Read the full Nexus 7 review.)

4. iPad Mini, the luxury latecomer
The iPad Mini arrived so late to the small-tablet race that the competition had already left the starting blocks and rounded the bend. Playing catch-up to the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, and Nook HD proved difficult for the Mini, especially with a lower-resolution screen and significantly higher price than the rest. In spite of those handicaps, Apple's latecomer earns an impressive silver in the tablet race, thanks to its slighly-wider-than-average screen, fantastically light weight, and impeccable fit and finish. (Read the full iPad Mini review.) [Emphasis added.]

Lindsey: The #2 selection (iPhone 5 in this case) usually receives the silver medal, but the Nexus 7 is #3 while the iPad Mini is #4. Which is it?

Popularity of Tablets

Ryan Kim (@oryankim) reported Christmas Day: tablet activations outpace smartphones in a 12/27/2012 article for GigaOm’s Mobile blog:

imageChristmas Day, the biggest day for mobile device activations, lived up to its billing, said Flurry, which noted that device activations hit 17.4 million devices, up from 6.8 million a year ago. Tablets edged out smartphones for activations.

FlurryChristmas Day was huge — not just for present-hungry kids, but also for app developers and device makers. App analytics firm Flurry has tallied up the numbers from Christmas and found that downloads and activations shattered previous records, showing how people love their apps and are increasingly embracing tablets.

Device activations on Flurry’s network hit 17.4 million units, up 332 percent over the first 20 days in December, which represented a baseline of activity. That blew away last year’s mark of 6.8 million new device activations on a single day, said Flurry.

imageTablets were apparently the hot gift item, grabbing 51 percent of mobile device activations. This was the first Christmas that tablets edged out smartphones for activations. During the first 20 days of December, smartphones were activated four times more often than tablets.

FlurryFlurry noted that the most popular devices were iPads, Apple iPad Minis and Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7-inch tablets, and that Amazon in particular had a good Christmas, increasing its tablet activations by several thousand percent over its baseline during the first half of December. The big increase in Christmas tablet sales may reflect the falling price points of tablets, which are becoming more affordable with smaller 7-inch models.

FlurryWith all those new devices, it’s no surprise that app downloads soared on Christmas Day. Flurry said there were 328 million app downloads that day, up 112 percent over the baseline. That flew by last year’s record of 242 million app downloads. The download parade was steady all day long, hitting about 20 million downloads an hour at 11 a.m. local time and remaining steady all the way through 8 p.m.

Flurry, which said it detects 90 percent of iOS and Android devices activated each day, expects app download activity to remain high through New Year with a shot at hitting 2 billion downloads over this week for the first time ever.