Lots of pomp and circumstance preceded Appcelerator CEO Jeff Haynie taking the stage at the 2012 CODESTRONG Mobile Developer Conference, including a comedic intro by mobile developer Stephen Feather of MyCommunicator, plucking a banjo and toasting Mobile … Alabama.
Humbly, Haynie spent his first moments on the stage acknowledging attendees and sponsors, noting that attendance at CODESTRONG doubled this year. Haynie praised the mobile development community, saying “You are discovering the new and unimaginable … You’re responsible for correcting what’s wrong in the world, and you help protect it when it’s not right.” He used that to segue into Hack to Help: Silicon Valley Gives Back, last night’s all-night hackathon that delivered 10 new mobile apps valued at over $50,000 each to charities.
Get back to work! Rainn Wilson of “The Office” disrupts conference…..
While paying tribute to Hack to Help, Haynie was ordered off of the stage by actor Rainn Wilson, who plays “Dwight Schrute” on NBC’s The Office. Wilson joined CODESTRONG via teleconference from the set of The Office, sharing that he and his wife are involved with Mona Foundation, a nonprofit development agency that establishes long-term partnerships with locally-based educational initiatives in the USA and around the world. Its main objectives are to support quality education for all children, with a focus on raising the status of girls and women. Wilson also shared that he briefly participated in computer club in high school until he realized that there were no girls in there, so he joined drama club instead; Wilson suggested that developers in the room might want to seek out the same since 97% of developers are male, and the 3% who are female does not include Siri. Wilson used his prolific, incessant humor to praise the developers who participated in Hack to Help, offering this by way of true-geek thanks: “Hack to Help developers are like Frodo throwing the ring into the volcano thereby making the Shire a better place for smoking long pipes.” The room erupted in laughter and appreciation.
With Wilson having to return to work on The Office, Haynie snuck back on stage to finish his keynote, sharing first Appcelerator’s mission: to enable the delivery of transformative mobile experiences to the world. Haynie shared his strong sense that we are participating in a monumental moment in history, even bigger than the advent of the internet, saying “I believe mobility is going to be much much bigger and grow much much faster.” He cited evidence such as how five years ago mobile internet usage was virtually non-existent – and he nodded to Steve Jobs for how he changed the mobile industry in that regard. Haynie also cited the change in mobile usage over time: in March 2011, users spent 16 minutes on the web and 48 minutes on apps; a year later, in March 2012, growth in app usage more than doubled: users spent 22 minutes on the web versus 120 minutes on apps. More people are using apps to connect to the web than accessing the web itself directly.
As well, Haynie shared his excitement about the potential for huge growth in mobile’s use for eCommerce. Currently, mobile accounts for 8% of all eCommerce, which is a 4x growth in 2 years. Haynie feels strongly that our mobile devices will serve as mobile wallets in the near future. With 1 billion smartphones in use around the world, and 2 billion predicted to be in use in next 2 years, it’s easy to imagine this growth.
The crowd expressed giddy excitement at CEO Haynie’s announcement of Appcelerator’s partnership with Microsoft to bring the Windows 8 platform to Titanium. Joe Shirey, Director, Developer and Platform Evangelism, joined Haynie onstage to introduce a demo video of the Windows 8 platform.
Citing the car as a future platform, Haynie invited Doug Patton, Sr. VP of Engineering at Denso, to join him onstage to celebrate the new partnership alongside the graphic “Denso Hardware Strength + Appcelerator Software Imagination = First to Market.” Integrating the capabilities of a leading automotive telematics provider and a proven mobile application development platform, this partnership enables the automotive industry to create compelling user experiences in an in-car environment. Specifically, Appcelerator’s Titanium technology will be closely integrated into DENSO’s NaviBridge Module, enabling any Titanium app to transmit points of interest, such as restaurant or museum locations, to in-dash navigational systems that support NaviBridge. The first comprehensive development and delivery solution involving software, hardware and services, this partnership indicates both parties leading roles in bringing mobile applications into non-traditional environments.
Jim Guerrero, Director of Product Marketing for Openshift, RedHat, appeared onstage with Haynie to hype the really exciting work going on in the cloud as well as RedHat’s upcoming breakout session on how to build a cloud-ready app later this afternoon. RedHat is a sponsor of Codestrong and of the Mobile Dev Challenge. Grant Shipley, Senior Manager/Developer Evangelist for RedHat, shares the beauty of OpenShift: “OpenShift integration in Titanium Studio makes deploying back-ends easy for mobile developers.”
Haynie also welcomed to the stage Ed Schmit, Executive Director of AT&T, who was momentarily the most popular person in the room as conference attendees reached under their seats to see if they scored one of five “golden tickets,” exchangeable at the conference for brand-new AT&T phones. Last week, Appcelerator announced that AT&T modules are now available in its marketplace. Through the addition of its APIs, developers will now have access to using speech-to-talk transcription and in-app messaging, along with other telephony services the company provides through its feed.
Earlier this month, Appcelerator announced the Appcelerator Innovation Fund, a startup investment program to support and fund transformative early-stage mobile companies. Codestrong welcome the first Appcelerator Innovation Fund investment to the stage: Lanica‘s CEO Carlos Icaza. Icaza demonstrated some games running on top of Titanium including a multiplayer one. Lanica will be running a breakout session at Codestrong demonstrating how they use Titanium for rapid game development.
More announcements from Appcelerator will be coming over the next two days from the 2012 CODESTRONG Mobile Developer Conference.