Droidcon London 2010 report

Last week I attended Droidcon for the first time. Someone asked me if I spotted any trends so I thought I would write about it.
One of speakers mentioned that there were about three times more people attending than last year which mirrors Android’s recent rapid growth. Although it was impossible to attend all the talks, three big themes emerged for me: monetization, community and UI design.
Monetization was covered most heavily I think. From ads to social gaming to emerging markets to alternatives to the Android Market, there were many talks based around earning more money. It’s almost as if developers feel that they are not making enough from Android!
The sense of community came from sharing techniques, best practices and encouragement of re-use. Kevin McDonagh’s talk on the first day gave some interesting tips on how to structure an Android project. I only caught the end of Sean Owen’s session on “Driving Downloads via Intents” but it was an interesting example of how an app that can be re-used by others to become essential.
Excellence in the Android User Experience” was the title of Roman Nurik’s talk. Fellow Googler Reto Meier also mentioned UI design in his talk. As Android matures I think Google and the community want to concentrate more on a unified UI design language that makes apps more aesthetically appealing and easier to use. Patterns such as action bars, quick action pop-ups and dashboard screens were emphasized and re-emphasized in several of the sessions.
The whole two days were a great insight into the direction Android is going in. I learnt a few things that I can use in my own projects and it got me fired up for Android development all over again. My calendar allowing I will definitely be attending again next year. Maybe there will be three times as many people again!