An Open Source WebOS

Today’s announcement from HP that WebOS will be set free as an Open Source project opens up room for some interesting changes in the mobile landscape.  Both CNET’s Stephen Shankland  and The VAR Guy think nothing much will come of this move.  As both a long time Open Source zealot and a mobile developer, I think there is more there there than they do.

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D’oh! Not Again

Having worked for many years at HP, the recent announcement cancelling HP’s Webos program is rich with personal irony. Until yesterday’s announcement, I was working on a bar code scanning application for HP’s Pre 3 phone.

Thinking about life as an independent “app” developer, I’m reminded of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s famous remark about the United States:

Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.

I hope the new PC company gets off to a good start and they get to keep WebOS, but they will have to move forward without my efforts as an “app” developer.

RecallCheck Post-Mortem

Recently, I’ve been answering a lot of questions about about RecallCheck, which was an Android based mobile application to allow uses to scan UPC bar codes on packaged food and find out about any recent recalls involving that product.  Developing and marketing RecallCheck, I worked with my business partner Scott. With the project is now over, I’d like to cover some of the learnings and reasons I believe we were ultimately unsuccessful. Continue reading

The Best Business Card App for Android (or any other Smart Phone)

One of the best business card tricks you can use is to turn your contact info into a bar code that can then be scanned into most smart phones. While this post will deal with the free bar code scanner from The Google for Android, apps are available for iPhone,RIM’s Blackberry, and Nokia’s Symbian OS. By encoding the information on your business card in a QR Code, any one with a modern mobile smart phone, like Android, can then scan the information directly onto their phone.  This blog post will walk you through creating the bar code and using the Android app to read the business card information.  Continue reading