My overall impression of the conference is very positive, but there were a few negative points, so let me start with them:
- Beverages (coffee, water, ...) were only free during some official breaks, otherwise you had to pay for it.
- You were supposed to pay 30 cents to go to the toilet. There is no way that I'll pay for that after paying 150 Euros conference admission! Using the toilets must be included!
- Some of the sessions were rather boring, and the first keynote by Prof. Jean-Pierre Seifert was outright bad (unstructured, lots of bullet points, often he was talking about a completely different topic than what was on the slides, ...). (Side note: Why do speakers from the USA deliver better sessions than than german native speakers?)
But: There were some really good sessions too.
My personal favourite: “Dragonbot” by Adam Setapen from MIT Media Lab. He told us about a robot they develop which does amazing stuff and is powerd by an off the shelf android phone. He also showed some videos of earlier prototypes, including the incredibly cute Leonardo.
Also really good: The Keynote “What’s new in Android” by Mike West from Google. The topic here was (mainly) Chrome on Android. The talk was delivered very well and he had beautiful, easy to understand slides. The topic was very interesting too. I think I should try Chrome for Android in the next couple of days.
There was a session about developing for Windows Phone, and I must say, I am impressed. It all looks really easy (My WPF experience would really come in handy here), and the emulator does some amazing things. And: The emulater is fast. A completely different but also very interesting technology was shown in another session by Motorola Systems: Rho Mobile is a way to develop cross platform apps for all kinds of devices (even Windows Mobile!) using Ruby, HTML5 and JS.
The session “Developing fault tolerant Android applications” by Andrew Levy from Crittercism was very interesting too: It was no sales pitch at all, he provided some interesting statistics and common real world problems. He had nice slides and delivered his presentation very well (of course, I mean, he is american :) ).
I also tried some phones: The Xperia S from Sony is great - I want one of those! The Xperia sola (announced yesterday) is a really nice phone too. I also played a little bit with some windows phones at the Nokia booth. They really feel solid and the operating system is very smooth, I think these are good phones. I guess I won’t switch though - I just like android better (at least for now).
I am really glad I came here, it was a great experience.