Software development

Android development has its own Swift

In Apple’s WWDC in June, Swift was announced as their new lean and mean language for developing iOS and OS X apps, meant to eventually replace Objective-C. A few weeks later, it was Google’s turn to announce new exciting technology at their Google I/O conference. They had a lot of interesting developments to show, but not a programming language to replace Java for Android development. Although Google is known for creating languages, such as Go and Dart, there is no evidence they are preparing a language for Android, which is primarily Java-only.

In theory, you can develop Android applications in Clojure, Scala, Groovy, and JVM-based languages. However, because Android runs Dalvik bytecode and not Java …

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Reservator

Software Developer

Reserving conference rooms used to be a pain in the ass. A few years ago we used to have paper lists printed on the side of each room, but it took a long time to walk by every meeting room just to see if they’re available. Later we adapted an electronic system, but then it was hard to reserve a room on the spot. We started to look for a better solution to the problem. At the time, we couldn’t find a system suited for our needs, so two of our great developers, Oleg Grenrus and Vihtori Mäntylä, decided to create a reservation display application for Android tablets. A few sweaty days later, the first version of Reservator was born, …

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Design
Software development

Adaptive Views in iOS 8

Senior Mobile Specialist

Topics

,

(with Pekka Pulli)

One of the first new things I saw on the Xcode 6 beta was the Resizable simulator. Obvious jokes about an upcoming stretchable iPhone aside, trying it out revealed a simulator where you can set the size of the screen and also set either horizontal or vertical dimension into Regular or Compact. Of course I had to play around with the size settings, and noticed the app I was working on at the time promptly broke completely when the size changed… And the same thing seems to happen to other apps too, as exemplified by the Ruisrock app here.

This is all related to the new way of adapting to different screen sizes on iOS …

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Managing UX in Scrum Project

Organizational ScrumMaster

As an Agile trainer, I sometimes get very good questions from my past students. And as I try to reply meaningfully, I sometimes end up writing something worth sharing. Here’s one very recent conversation.

The question:

I am working on an agile project and I don’t know when to incorporate prototyping.

The project is a private web application with a number of complex workflows. We have developed high level user stories, but we would like to validate some of the user stories by testing them with a clickable prototype. 

I can approach this a few ways, and I am a little confused. Maybe your advice could help me.

Option 1:  I treat the prototype as part of the user story, …

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Design
Events
Futurice
Software development
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An Unholy Alliance?

When is the last time a software consultancy, a museum, and media scholars collaborated on building something physical? How to build concrete social impact in topics we find very important? This blog post is how Futurice got together with the Finnish Museum of Photography and the CMT at Tampere University and started building an interactive photo exhibition called #snapshot.

Last April, Elina Heikka from the museum and myself sat down in a meeting with Canon in Finland. Elina opened the conversation by describing our collaboration: “This unholy alliance between a cultural institution and a software company…”. I thought it rather inspiring.

Last September Elina contacted us and told the great news: the museum would really …

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Towards modern healthcare

Senior Consultant

Topics

This post is a summary of a presentation given a while back at the Openness and Future of Health Care Information Systems seminar at Aalto University Business School. The seminar was part of a series of events on the openness theme, giving the opportunity to discuss both the openness and ownership of health care data. It also allowed us to explore the drastic changes that will happen in the health care sector in the near future.

Other speakers and panelists were Karri Vainio from Kuntaliitto, VIlle Oksanen from Aalto University and co-founder of EFFI, and Sami Laine from Aalto University. Vainio discussed the challenges and solutions on the current health care system and the planned next …

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Facegame

Software Developer

Facegame is the first contribution to our open source program, Summer of Love. Facegame is a simple game made for learning the faces and names of fellow employees. The game will give you a picture of an employee and you have to select the corresponding name from a few choices. Essentially Facegame is a great game for all kinds of organizations where it’s becoming increasingly harder to get to know your colleagues.

“Three years ago we were growing fast and established new offices abroad. We realised we were reaching the point that not everyone could meet new Futurice people personally during the on-boarding period. It’s known, that when we walk to a room full of people, we automatically look …

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How does automatic learning of customer preferences improve your business?

By providing what the customers want

Consider the Netflix front page and how it is always filled with the content we find interesting and desirable. In a similar way, Amazon and other modern web services populate their pages with items that just seem to match your needs. Supercell’s mobile game Hay Day offers in-App purchases that seem always to appear at the right time, when needed. None of this happens by chance. At those times you have experienced a form of automated learning about you and your spending habits.

Now consider the same ideas working for other services that we use daily. In a newspaper the sports fans would be greeted with sports news, …

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Greetings from summer interns

For the first two weeks of summer we, Johanna Laine and Pinja Vuorinen, 18 and 17 year old girls respectively, have been running around the Futurice Helsinki office trying to understand what working life is really about.

So how did we get this unusual summer job? 

Last autumn we participated in a competition called Super-Ada, an event aimed at young women to learn more about the IT-field. The competitors had to perform various tasks, such as identifying computer parts and playing Angry Birds. With the power of Google and Wikipedia we somehow won. The tasks were really diverse and original, making the whole event fun, and of course good prizes did not hurt either. Neither of …

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Software development

A Swift Outlook

As we all probably noticed, Apple introduced a new programming language, Swift, at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). It is intended to replace Objective-C, the language that iOS and OS X applications have been written in for as long as these platforms have existed.

New winds are blowing from Cupertino — here are some thoughts three of our developers have on the topic:

Oleg Grenrus

When Apple introduced Swift in the WWDC keynote, my twitter feed was instantly flooded with #swiftlang tweets:

So Swift has algebraic data types and pattern matching. We’ve won! Swift makes Java look tired. Just read the Swift book. Looks like a decent, traditional OO language. Nothing ground shaking.

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