Conference2Go JAX is the new Conference APP for attendees of JAX conferences.
BlackBerry 10 FLOW
This article will demonstrate how Conference2Go will be used by Conference attendees. Perhaps you already heard about BlackBerry 10 Flow – but what does this FLOW of seamless integrated workflows mean ? Will this have an impact on the way how to develop mobile Applications ?
Conference2Go APPs are an example and I will explain it. I attended uncount developer conferences in germany and worldwide so I know the requirements and tried to solve as much as possible.
Before you go to the conference
Download the Application
First step of course is to download the application from BlackBerry World.
If you’re wondering about the size of 9 MB – there are some high qualitiy images inside to enable you to zoom into floorplans. Also a first version of data will be delivered with the app, so you don’t have to wait for first initializing the app throught the web. Conferences always have international speaker and attendees, so I want to avoid to transfer a huge amount of data where some attendees are in roaming or expensive hotel wifi or slow conference wifi. Conference2Go later only needs a small amount of traffic to get some updates.
Settings (Calendar, Remember, Foursquare)
If starting the application the very first time, you’ll get a Tip-of-the-day telling you about some settings you should do:
Settings are placed in the Application Menu you reach if swiping down from top bezel:
Conference2Go is integrated with the native BlackBerry Calendar: your private schedule can be synced with Calendar Entries and you get the comfort of collision detection if sessions are overlapping. If you would like to use these features, you have to enable the sync: check the box and select your Calendar:
Conference2Go stores the selection and now uses your selected Calendar to add / remove Sessions and to test against for Collisions.
Conference2Go is also integrated with native BlackBerry 10 Notebooks (Remember App) where you can store all your notes about sessions and more. If you’re using a Notebook from Evernote, then all your notes are synchronized with Evernote, so you have access from other devices and your desktop.
I’m always creating a special Notebook for each conference – so perhaps it’s a good idea at first go to your Remember APP and create a new notebook (Folder) for JAX 2013:
Now from Settings select your Notebook:
Last step is the Connection to Foursquare. Conference2Go is connected App and if you always have running Foursquare on your BlackBerry10 device, you can use Foursquare without a new login. Connecting your Foursquare Acoount with Conference2Go is easy: In Settings there’s a button to do this: Conference2Go then goes to your Account and asks you if you want to allow Conference2Go to use it:
Conference2Go only uses Foursquare to do CheckIns or to search for some criteria near the Conference venue.
Now your settings are configured 🙂
Navigate through the Conference days
It’s a good idea to create your personal schedule before going to the conference. JAX 2013 is a huge conference:
- 180+ speaker
- 220+ sessions
- 30+ tracks
- 24 special days
- 14 rooms
- 3 main conference days (tuesday -thursday)
- 2 extra days (workshops, special days on monday / friday)
here’s an overview from the website of the conference:
HowTo manage this on a small device ? a real challenge !
Here’s my solution on BlackBerry 10 developed as native app with cascades.
The most important part of the conference – the main conference – is reached directly from Conference2Go Home screen.
At the bottom there are the most important Tabs:
tapping on Sessions will give you the sessions from Tuesday to Wednesday. Tap on a day and you’ll see all sessions of this day ordered by starting time.
Also available directly from Home are the workshops:
Tapping on Workshops gives you the workshops and also some sessions of special days happening on Monday or Friday:
If Sessions or Workshops are opened the Tab Bar shrinks and only displays the selected one at bottom left.From there you can navigate through all main components of Conference2Go and here you’ll find more ways to find your sessions and get an overview.
Besides the Sessions and Workshops there are also Tracks and Special Days and infos about Speaker:
Tapping on the Tracks you get a list with all tracks of the conference:
Each session can be connected to one or more tracks. For each Track you see how many sessions will happen on which days.
Tap on the List Item of the Track you’re interested in and you’ll see a list of the sessions available for this track.
The list is ordered by starting time and from top you can select the day.
Same is for the Special Days. Tapping on Special Days from Tab- Sidebar you’ll get the list of all Special Days:
Then it’s the same as for the tracks: tap on a line to see the sessions – also sorted by starting time and by day.
Now you know where to find the sessions for
- Main Conference (Tuesday – Thrursday)
- Extra Days (Monday and Friday)
- Special Days
If you’re interested into the speakers at JAX – there’s a special listing of all Speakers:
For a conference like JAX 2013 this is a long list, so I added a Search.
Tap on Search from ActionBar at Bottom and type your search criteria:
Now it’s up to you to find your favorites:
Configure your schedule
You have seen there are different ways to navigate to a specific session from main conference, workshop, tracks or special days.
If you want to get more informations on a session simple tap on the list row and you’ll get a Session Detail page:
From this details page you see all the categories belonging to this session, the type (Session, Workshop, keynote), the room and you can read the session abstract.
At the bottom of the page you’ll find the list of Speakers for this Session.
You want to add this session to your Favorites to get it into your personal schedule ?
There’s a toggle Button in the ActionBar: “set as favorite” (or remove as favorite if you change your selections.
Sessions marked as Favorite will get a small flag to visualize the status.
Your Session Lists also have a toggle to see all sessions of the selected day or only the favorites.
Here you see a list of sessions only for favorites:
From ActionBar you can toggle to see all sessions again – so you can switch easy.
The Overflow Menu (bottom right) gives you an option to see sessions from your list in a special Overview Page.
Here you see the Sessions you flagged as Favorite. As you can easy see both will be in room “Goldsaal C” and from timeline you see the start and duration of the sessions.
The size of the Overview Page depends on your selections and you can pinch and zoom with your fingers and move the content around.
BTW: the complete page will always be created on demand dynamically and Cascades does a great job: rendering is very smooth and fast.
Here are some more samples what you can get from the Overview:
Using this Overview Page it’s easy…
- to locate your sessions (which rooms)
- to see what happens at the same time (Timeline)
- where are free slots
- to recognize your Favorites (flagged)
- to look at special days or tracks.
From the Overview page you can also tap on a session and get the details and directly from there to set / remove as Favorite.
If you have enabled synchronization with Calendar, Conference2Go automaticalle adds your Favorites to the selected Calendar:
It comes even better: there’s another cool feature helping you doing your schedule. Jumping back and force between days and tracks and special days and marking sessions as your favorite, it may happen that you’re loosing the overview and you run into collisions if marking more then one slot as Favorite .
As soon as you tap on “Select as Favorite” you’ll get a warning:
Now you can decide:
- Cancel ? From the title of the overlapping Session you know that you want to give this session priority
- Manage the Collisions ? You’re not really sure and want to take a look at the overlapping session(s)
- Set as Favorite ? Perhaps you’re only collecting Sessions and want to decide later, then Tap on this and go on
You decided to manage the collsions ? Then you’ll get a special Overlay Page:
Now you can tap on the Sessions, study the details and set/remove as Favorite 🙂
Istn’t this comfortable ?
At the JAX 2013 Conference
CheckIn with Foursquare
Conference2Go is integrated with Foursquare – so it’s a good idea to checkIn at JAX 2013. Using Conference2Go this is a one-tap-action from Home Menus or Venue Tab to get this:
Explore the Conference Center (Venue)
From Home Menus or Venue Tab you can explore the Conference Venue.
You need the Loaction of the Conference ? Locate the Convention Center (Orte das Convention Center) opens the location in BlackBerry Maps. From there you can also easy search what’s nearby: Restaurants, Hotels, …
Where are all the rooms ? There’s a List with Floorplans and Images for each Room:
The list is grouped by Floorplans and sorted by Rooms inside Floorplans.
You can tap on a Floorplan to get the image:
If you tapped on a Room, you get this Room marked with a red arrow:
In all these images you can zoom-in and zoom-out with your fingers. (In fact the image was viewed using BlackBerry 10 ImageViewer, but thanks to Invocation Framework it feels like inside the app.)
Twitter is also integrated and if you’re interested into Tweets using the conference Hashtag #eclipsecon, you can do so from venue Tab and you’ll get the list from the native Twitter APP:
From the Session Detail Page you can do more then only setting as Favorite.
Because Twitter is integrated, you can easy tweet about the session you’re attending. As you see it’s also easy to add an image to the tweet. All of this INSIDE the Conference2Go APP 🙂
At the Bottom of the Session Detail Page you’ll find the Presenters. Tapping on a Presenter you’ll get the Speaker Bio:
If the Speaker has provided a Twitter Account, a Tweet@Speaker Action becomes visible and you can directly mention the Speaker:
From Session Detail you can also take a look at the Room Location:
it’s easy to zoom into the details with your fingers:
For me at conferences there was always aproblem: HowTo write my notes, where to store images and more for a specific Session and HowTo remember at home and HowTo get it on my desktop. Using my MacBook isn’t always comfortable in crowded rooms without tables, so I would prefer to do it all only from my mobile.
Conference2Go makes this easy 🙂
BlackBerry 10 has a native app to manage notebooks on your BlackBerry 10 device. These Notebooks can besynchronized with Evernote and Evernote is available for all platforms.
Thanks to Cascades Invocation Framework I can integrate Remember (Evernote) into my application. Now from a Session Detail page with a simple Tap I can create an Entry in my Conference Notebook. The Title is the name of the Session and I can type my notes. I can even add or capture Audio, Images, Video or add attachments.
From venue Tab there’s also a special list of all my Notes I added for this conference, so it’s easy to edit them and perhaps add a audio.
When you’re back from the conference at home, all your Notes from the conference are already waiting for you.
Don’t delete the app – you’ll get updates for the next JAX conference.
You like this app ?
If you like this app, there are some options to help spread the word on this:
- You can invite others to BBM (BlackBerry Messenger is integrated)
- You can leave a Review (BlackBerry World is integrated)
If you find bugs or have some ideas HowTo make the app better, from ApplicationMenu you can send feedback to me as eMail:
Have Fun with Conference2Go
If you need an App: I’m developing quality BlackBerry10 APPS for customers around the world 😉
If you want to write such kind of apps by yourself: You can book a training (in german or english)
hint: BlackBerry Push Services will be added soon and be integrated for next JAX / W-JAX conference