Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 was a mixed year

2014 was a mixed year. I lost my brother Dr. Vijaya Raghavan Krishnaswamy, a neuro-surgeon by profession. He left a void that cannot be filled.

I did not complete the book I was writing.

Regarding the blogs I did quite well with a record number of posts.
                                                 Year   Posts
Hodentek.blogspot.com           2013   94
                                                 2014   246

HodentekHelp.blogspot.com.  2013.  17
                                                 2014   56

HodentekMsss.blogspot.com   2013   34
                                                  2014  48
HoentekMobile.blogspot.com  2013   13
                                                  2014   56

I started a new blog in 2014- http://hodentekPlus.blogspot.com.

I also found that a certain person was pilfering (http://hodentek.blogspot.in/2014/12/domain-name-service-dns-and-dns-changer.html) entire content from blog, my hardwork of about 10 years. I complained to Google without any success. I suppose this is not on Google's priority. Google wants every post that is stolen with proof of content stolen. There were over 900 posts in my blog and you can imagine the work involved.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dual-SIM Lumia 535 phone launched in India

Costs Rs.9199.00 and Microsoft will be looking forward to a 'Money Rain' as the phone is quite affordable and best off breed. You can buy in store or online starting Nov 28,2014.

This is the first time Microsoft has its own brand instead of tagged on to Nokia. Microsoft's best of the productive products Office, Skype, OneNote, OneDrive and Bing are all free for the life of the phone.

For previous posts on this blog read here to see the specifications:


Read the full story here:

Apps for Mobile Phones with HTML5

HTML5 is just one of the essential features for HTML based phone apps that provide the scaffolding. You will also need CSS3 to dress it up in more delightful ways and of course JavaScript to power the interactivity of the app without which it is dead in the water.

While you could use DOM and vanilla JavaScript, it is lot more easier to use a framework (there is a learning curve), a User Interface Framework which combines JavaScript with CSS to provide a set of programming tools to deliver rich mobile applications. Quite a lot of them use jQuery in one form or another. The frameworks save a lot of development time and effort.

There are different kind of devices (iPhones, Androids and Windows Phones) but also different operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc) and it will be desirable if one could use one tool to cover all these variations.

This area has developed to the extent that you can develop cross-platform, cross-device (response design!) apps but still there iss a great deal of room for improvement.

Here are some popular frameworks:

App Framework
Basically used for mobile devices and supports native OS such as Googl Android, Apple iOS, RIMBlackberry and Microsffot Windows 8. It has no outside dependencies and optimized for speed. It is Javascript library for mobile HTML5 apps.

Bootstrap 3
It is an open source UI library mostly used for web. Although not meant for mobile devices it still works OK. It is heavy on CSS3 and uses jQuery

jQuery Mobile
Uses JQuery and meant for mobile and optimized for touch. Use HTML5 for UI design for rsponsive weeb and apps (smartphone, tablet and desktop).

Pure Open source CSS for clean mobile and web apps. Optimized for performance with no other dependencies. It has its origins in Adobe design.

Intel XDK provides support for all these different frameworks. We will take a look at these in future posts.
There are many other frameworks such as Dojo Mobile, Sencha, Apple Flex Builder etc.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

AppMethod - One-stop mulitdevice app development platform

IoT has to be 'Universal'. Therefore, it has to be multi-platform, multi-device, device-size agnostic and more. This is why you hear more and more 'cross-platform' development. This app works on iPhone but not on Android etc. will not do. AppMethod is one such program from the veteran, Embarcadero.

Sign up here to get software that you can use to build apps in record short time.
Registration is needed, but easy with few elements.

Note that the downlaoded program (file size: 3GB) is free for only one year. Read the information on
the download page above.

See overview here taken from a video on the site

Features overview
  • One-stop mulitdevice app development platform

  • Supports Internet of Things

  • FireUI Multi-device designer

  • Enterprisemobility Devices with FireDAC support

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lumia Cyan and Denim Updates

These are Windows Phone 8.1 updates.

Lumia Cyan Update features:
  • Personal Start Screen
  • Action Center
  • Word Flow Keyboard
  • Improved and updated imaging Apps
    • Nokia Camera
    • Nokia Storyteller
    • Creative Studio
More details here:

Here is a Lumia Cyan Update Video

Denim Update aka Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1

Supported features/enhancements:

  • Cortana
    •  UK and China as Beta
    • India, Australia and Canada Public alpha
    • US-Natural language, Car kit integration via Bluetooth; snooze reminders and better calendar
  • Live folders
  • Organize Folders, apps
  • Apps Corner-Customized Start Screen suitable for employees
  • SMS Merge and Forwarding
  • Snooze Time for Alarm App
  • Consumer VPN-Security feature while using public Wi-Fi
  • Mobile Web Site improvements
  • Store Live Tile
List of Nokia Phones that leverage Denim update features such as Lumia Camera:
Lumia 930
Lumia Icon
Lumia 1520
Lumia 830

Cyan Update for Nokia Lumia Icon is not coming soon

It looks like Verizon is not going to roll out Cyan Update in the near future as they are "taking quality issues very seriously". It is being rolled out to so many others and they even have a schedule.

Thankfully I have no fixed contract for my Nokia Icon and I am seriously considering returning it.

All high 5's for Microsoft Lumia 535

Microsoft launched a low priced smart phone (Lumia 525)  today with some very desirable features. Probably I will ditch my Nokia Icon 929 and get this one as Verizon is most likely not going to roll out Windows 8.1 for this Nokia Icon.

It has,
  • 5" screen
  • 5 Megapixel front-facing camera
  • 5 Megapixel rear-facing camera
  • Skype & OneNote
  • Reasonable battery capacity 1905 mAh
  • Single SIM or Smart Dual SIM(both 3G)
  • Personal experience with Action Center, Word Flow, Live Folders, Cortana
  • 1.2 GHZ quar-core processor and 1 GB RAM
  • 8GB Internal memory Plus microSD card slot (up to 128 GB) for external memory Plus 15GB Free OneDrive
  • Available colors: Cyan, bright Orange, bright Green, white, dark Grey and Blackat a very
affordable price, about 110 euros (8000 Indian Rupees in India).

When can you buy? Soon, during this month
More details here
Watch this promo video here:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Windows Phone Sensors and Carriers

I have been looking at sensors as related to Health and Fitness apps and I came across a problem which prompted me to look at all Nokia phones to see the sensors available on the phones and the carriers who offer the phones.

Well, Verizon sold me a phone which is really a Nokia 929 as a Nokia Icon Black. I am not if it is the same as Nokia Icon.

Here is a listing:

Verizon Phones
Lumia 822
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer.
Lumia 928
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer.
Lumia Icon
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, SensorCore.
Reference: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/mobile/phone/lumia-icon/specifications/

AT&T Phones
Lumia 830
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, SensorCore.
Lumia 635
Accelerometer, SensorCore.
Lumia 1520
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, SensorCore.
Lumia 1020
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Barometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer.
Lumia 925
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer.
Lumia 520
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor.
Lumia 920
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer.
Lumia 820
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer.

T-Mobile Phones:
Lumia 530
Lumia 635
Accelerometer, SensorCore.
Lumia 925
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer.
Lumia 521
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor.
Lumia 810
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer.

Cricket Phones
Lumia 635
Accelerometer, SensorCore.
Lumia 630
Accelerometer, SensorCore.
Lumia 1320
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Magnetometer.
Lumia 530

Metro PCS
Lumia 521
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Creating cross-platform apps with a tab view template - Part 1

If you have not reviewed my previous posts please do so now.

Cross-Platform Project apps that you can choose for designing apps here:

Step-by-step procedure to create a ListView app here:

There are some slight changes in this version and I recommend you download the latest.
Here in Part 1, I will cover using the tab view template in Intel XDK for cross-platform and
in Part 2, I will cover modifying the template and deploying it to your device.

If you do not have the latest Intel XDK you can get it from here:

Download the above and double click to install.
Launch the Intel XDK application from its shortcut. You may get a warning as shown.

Click Yes - Safe Restart
This happens if you did not exit the application normally the previous time.

The following page is displayed.

Click Open an Intel XDK project.

You will get displayed the Start a New Project window as shown above.

Click Start with a template
Choose tab view and click on Tab View App.

Click on Use this template

This takes you to:

This template, like the List View template,  uses the Intel App Framework which is free and Open Source targeting mobile apps for HTML5 Mobile browsers.

Click Download ZIP. You could also clone as explained in the my previous post, but to keep it simple just click Download ZIP and save it to a location of your choice.

You have downloaded template-tab-view-master (258KB) file. Extract the files from this ZIP.

In the previous screen  click on Use this template.

You may need to login to your account to get started.

You will be taken to create a Project screen to specify folder and project name.

Click Create.

If successful you will see a congratulatory message. Click OK to the message.

In the Your Intel'XDK Projects page click on MyTabView (the name given by you)

Click on Develop tab in the Toolbar at the top.
You will get displayed the index.html page as shown.

The coding for the tab view is at the bottom as in the enxt paragraph:


Each tab is associated with a page having its own icon and navigation.

At this point you can run the app right away.

You can just run this app without doing anything else as the right hand side shows the live development tasks. There are tow of them:
  • Run My App
  • Live Layout Editing
Click Run My App
You can run it on your own device (my Windows Phone) or run in an Emulator of your choice. There is quite a bit of choice of the device here.

For now click on Run in Emulator.
Nokia Icon emulator opens in a new window as shown. You can play clicking the tabs (4 of them) and see how the pages are rendered.

This next one is for iPhone.

There are many other choices here.

You want to build a Web App with Intel XDK? Find here.

Read about other Intel XDK templates here.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Come Tuesday it is not Nokia Lumia, it is Microsoft Lumia

Microsoft Lumia smartphone will be released on coming Tuesday. The promotional image is not
breathtaking. I am not sure what kind of designers they have in Redmond. They should send them out to Cupertino.

This picture is from the below link
This is the beginning of change over of names from Nokia to Microsoft. I do sincerely hope that
Microsoft does not fire its staff responsible for Camera as I believe the Nokia branded cameras (I
have an Icon) are perhaps the best of the cameras.

Add your comments here:

Another change I would personally like to happen is that Microsoft provide the upgraded OS (Windows Phone  8.1) to all phone owners irrespective of the carrier. This is a must, I would not take no for an answer. I have been ranting about it for a considerable time.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Get the latest Intel XDK and jump start app development

Intel XDK is continuously evolving. The version number now is (November 4) v1536 and you can download from here for the major mobile platforms:

Also download product briefing here:

The key benefits from the pdf are listed here:
  • Easy-to-use streamlined intuitive workflow from idea, design, debug, build and deploy
  • Develop efficiently: Integrated design, test, and build tools for many devices
  • Deploy simply: Across more app stores, and form factor devices
The new features in this release:
  • Apache Cordova CLI and Plugin version is updated to 3.5
  • Intel App Preview Updates
  • App Designer Updates- App Starter deprecated
  • Code editor and Web Services updated
  • Google Play games services add to featured Cardova plugins list
  • Build system has been updated
Also serveral issues in the previous version have been addressed
Read more here:

Get the latest version:
Version 1995 here.

Build Web Apps with Intel XDK.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Xiaomi strikes gold in India and humbles Samsung

In order to serve the growing number of Indian users of Xiaomi, a new dedicated data center is planned to be opened in India in 2015. Xiaomi was storing Indian users' data on Servers in China but after receiving warning from Indian Air force they have decided to move out from servers in China. Presently they will be moved to servers in Singapore and later to Indian datacenter when it gets ready.

Read my previous post oon Xiaomi here:

Are they more popular than iPhones?
I bet they are.
Here is a piece of text quoted here from the previous link:
"And you thought iPhones were popular. At 2 p.m. on Oct. 14, Xiaomi put 100,000 of its Redmi 1S smartphones up for sale in India, using local e-commerce site Flipkart to sell them, unsubsidized, for 5,999 rupees ($98) apiece. Within four seconds the phones sold out. Such Flipkart flash sales have become weekly events since China’s Xiaomi entered India in July. “It’s the most important market for us after China,” says Hugo Barra, the Google (GOOG) alumnus now in charge of Xiaomi’s international expansion."

Samsung has been hit with a double punch, Xiaomi from China and Micromax from India. It's all about pricing. If it is Micromax in India it is Xiaomi in China humbling Samsung. Read this turf war details here:


To freshen up, if you have not seen this video 'Xiaomi Rising', why don't you?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Deploying an app to your Windows Phone 8.1

You may find this helpful if you are developing an application for Windows Phone.

You are a Windows Phone 8.1 Preview developer and you have created a nice app that you want to
test on a phone you own.

How do  you test it?

While developing the application using Visual Studio 2013 Express for Windows Update 3 (this is a
free developer resource, read more here) you will see it on a emulator, the phone image that emulates your actual phone  that comes on your PC/Laptop when you run the app. After running the app on your laptop you should deploy it to your phone. The phone you buy is by default locked and you need to unlock it.

Details of unlocking the phone are here:
Go to this link:

This is how I was able to do.
  • I connected my phone (Nokia Icon) to the laptop.
  • On my Windows 8.1 Professional (x64 bit) laptop I searched for Windows Phone and got these results(few shown)

  • I clicked on the Windows Phone Developer Registration. I do have a developer license attached to my Windows LiveID (you shold have one too).

The following screen opened up. Notice the last line in this screen referring to the status. The phone I am using is identified.

I clicked on Register

The phone gets registered and the status shows it is unlocked now.

I can now deploy the app to the device. If deployment is successful I will be able to see the app on my app list in the phone.

I have to take care of the following before I deploy.
Make sure the phone is connected to the PC/laptop on which you developed the application.
Build the app for ARM architecture (you should find it immediately below the menu item Store on your Visual Studio 2013 IDE, see next image) and make sure the phone is working and is not locked.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

How do I get health and wellness app to my Windows Phone?

First of all it does not run on all Windows Phones (hereafter they are called Microsoft Lumias). Only the following Lumia phones have the support of Lumia SensorCore which is needed for this feature:
  • Lumia 630
  • Lumia 635
  • Lumia 730
  • Lumia 735
  • Lumia 830
  • Lumia 930
  • Lumia 1520
  • Lumia Icon
running on Windows 8.1
However I was able to install it on Lumia Icon running 8.0 as well.

You can get it from the Windows Store. Just search for Health and Fitness; download and enjoy.
You should see a screen like this when you activate the app. This one is on my Nokia Icon running Windows Phone 8.1 Preview.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Do you want to build health and fitness apps with Windows Phone?

This is possible if you use the LumiaSensorCore SDK. 
What is LumiaSensorCore SDK?

Read here:

How do start using the SDK?
Well you need to bring it to your application. It is not like downloading it as an executable but it is a Visual Studio Extension that you should install.

If you have Visual Studio 2013 Express Update 3

You should launch VS2013 and from its Tool menu you should access Manager NuGet Packages and download the SDK as shown.

You should have NuGet Package manager. If you do not have go here and install it.

Go here to this link:

Once you do this you should be able to start working with this.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Bad news! If you have Nokia Icon from Verizon you are stuck with Windows 8.0

Yes. You are stuck with it as Verizon does not tell (or it does not know) when it can push the Windows Phone 8.1 to your Icon. It was rumored that the 'push' is going to happen at the end of August.

Come on, today is September 19.

May be you should trade it at a AT&T stall.

Actually, I admit I had a rough conversation going with a Verizon assitant at one of the local stores here. They have one answer, "I don't know when". They were nice and better at anger management.

Verizon sells a phone and does not tell when it is going to push the new OS.
Nokia and Microsoft seems to have no bearing on this 'push'. Nobody takes the responsibility!

Practically you are stranded!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Get CodeShow() and improve your Windows 8 coding skills

The CodeShow() on CodePlex is one source which may help you a great deal in programming for the Windows 8 Platform. You may get a comprehensive picture of an end-to-end app but more importantly CodeShow() gives you an opportunity to learn all the bits and pieces of accessing devices like camera, error handling with grace etc.

In order to install CodeShow() there are some options. You can install from Windows Store from here:

This not some kind of an executable but bundled source code.

Another option is to get the source code from here

Once here, you can download a zip file by hitting the marked tab (Download). This will give you a snapshot of the source code as it exists at the time you downloaded. Mark you,  it gets continuously updated and if you are not vigilant you may miss out. This is a zip file and extract everything to your favorite folder.

There is yet another option Clone it or Fork it.

If you are going to fork it then it  means you are going to contribute to its development.

If you clone it you will be getting the latest version to work on and you can do this from Visual Studio 2013 (should be at least Update2). You will use the Team explorer tab in the Solution Explorer.

The details of getting to work with the clone are available at the CodePlex site.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Intel XDK - Grab the latest September release

After the July 2014 release, the September 2014 SDK was released (Intel XDK - Release - 2014
September 08 v1332) recently.
Plugins and Services integration especially for games development with HTML5 was the
high point of the July release.

Read previous posts if you have missed:
Details of July release here:

Types of project you can create with Intel XDK here:

Creating a ListView type of cross-platform app with Intel XDK here:

Step-by-step procedure to create a ListView cross-platform app with a template here:

New features in the September release are:
Improvements to Live Development
  •    Live Development in Develop tab has been changed. Simultaneous editing and previewing  within  browsers or devices now possible.
  • Run my APP lets you test your app on the emulator in a separate window or on the Android       connected to an USB port. This allows access to  test native device functionality.
  •  Live Layout allows you to test your app's UI over WiFi on Android and iOS devices.
  •  App Security API's first release aid in providing security for on-device app data and      storage.     
Other related improvements:
  •      Updated App Preview
  •      Deprecated App Games Interfaces
  •      New Samples to illustrate Ads and Monetization
  •      Improvements to UI for Cardova plugins(App Security & Dolby Audio)
  •      Bug fixes

Download the new release from here:

Downloaded file name: xdk_web_win_master_1332  
File size: 128MB

Double click the above file to install. You need not remove the previous version to install.
When you launch IntelSDK from its shortcut on the taskbar, you may get a message to update your most recent application on the old SDK followed by a login screen.

Release information here:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Now JumpStart games is on Azure Cloud

The jump was partly from RackSpace to Azure Cloud. In the process the entire on-premise infrastructure has also been moved to Azure according to

JumpStart is a leader in the learning-based multiplayer games for kids with recent releases like School of Dragons and Madagascar Math Ops.

According to a JumpStart article it has thrown all of its eggs in Azure basket that includes all of its web content, web and mobile game products to Azure.

Read more about this here: http://www.jumpstart.com/aboutus/press-releases/jumpstart-transitions-to-microsoft-azure-scalable-cloud-technology

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Samsung ruggedizes an Android tablet for the work force

Samsung Tab Active is a ruggedized Android tablet targeting the rough and the tough.

With home building picking up construction workers will all be carrying this tablet as Samsung imagines.

It is toughned against occasional drops and spills from coffee or soda. It is sheathed in a anti-shock housing which is also dust-proof. Otherwise it appears to be a standard Android (4.4 KitKat) with a 1.2GHZ Quad processor and having a display resolution of 1280x800 resolution.

Other feature highlights:
  • 3.1 MP camera designed for barcode scanning
  • Replaceable battery
  • Specially built construction worker-friendly C-Pen
  • Wi-Fi / WiFi LTE versions
  • Samsung's proprietary KNOX Security protocol
  • 16 GB storage plues MicroSD slot
More details here:

Here is a video you may want to watch from


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Creating Projects with Intel XDK, ListView - Part 3

In my previous post http://hodentekmobile.blogspot.com/2014/08/creating-projects-with-intel-xdk-part-2.html   I covered the various project options that you can choose for designing your apps that can be accessed by multiple devices, iPhones, Windows Phones, iPads etc.

In this post I describe the steps to create a ListView App with the Intel XDK using the published templates.

A list view consists of a list and when you click on one of the list items, you get a detailed page related to the item. This is a very common type of application.

Download the source code for the template from github here:

The following note is from the above site:
'App Designer Ready-This template can be used for simple list view application
that has a main view with scrollable list and detail view for each list item,
this template can be used for creating applications similar to Mail app, Messages
app or Twitter* app'

After downloading the code, extract to a folder (Herein MyListView)
Launch Intel XDK and choose Start with a template and browse to the extracted folder location.

The extracted folder is as shown:

In the Intel XDK after browsing to the folder location click Create.
It will take a few seconds and you get a 'Success' message.

Click OK to the message.
The complete IDE is revealed as shown.

These are the top menu items (from left)
Projects--showing MyListView

Below the menu is the toolbar that has two buttons CODE|DESIGN followed by an
icon 'i' which can toggle the Code\Design views. This is followed by the
'reload', 'delete', 'Activity log'. This group is then followed by screen related
 ico that can be Phone (320x480),phablet (360x640) or tablet (768x1024);
orientations; and 'Guide Lines'. At the right end you have 'click to download
updates', 'App Designer Videos in the question mark'; 'General information', 'Intel Twitter Feeds', and  'logout'.

Below the toolbar you will find Working files (starts with index.html) and the
folder for the template (MyListView)

The next tab show the Pages and Controls.

In the 'Pages' tab you find the Mainpage and six item pages. You could also add a
page by clicking the New Page or delete pages if you do not need.

There are also controls that you can drag and drop. Note that the controls conform to the App frame work.

The 'Themes' tab allows you to set the theme for the type of device you choose. The next image shows the theme set for Windows Phone dark. For this post, the 'Phone' device type has been chosen (the other two are Phablet and tablet mentioned previously in the toolbar description). You could choose any of the available themes from the drop-down list.

In order to simplfy, before we proceed we will delete all but the two itmes pages as shown. You can delete from the tab 'Pages'.

Presently the code for the pages are as shown:

Click on each of page mainpage, page item2_page, and page item1_page and you will
see that the displays of those are as shown in this composite image.


Checking the page navigation in an emulator

Without doing anymore modification we can check how the page navigation is working by testing on an emulator.
Click on the 'Emulate' tab in the menu tabs after choosing Nokia Lumia 920 in the 'DEVICES' as shown.

Clicking on Item1 in the list opens the page for Item1 and the back button brings
it back to mainpage. Item2 list item works in the same way as shown in next

How was this achieved without any coding? The explanation can be seen in the
screen shot of page main page set up. The next image shows the page as it is designed on the left and its properties on the right. The title of the main page is Title. There is no need for a back button for this page.

The two list items when clicked go to the hyperlinks shown in the INTERACTIVITY pane.

What about ListItem1 and ListItem2 pages?
These are simple pages with a back button that takes you back to the Main Page as shown in this image.

You can modify the template to add your content, images, media etc.

Here is a picture of the app (on the Intel XDK Server) showing clicked page for Item2 on a Nokia Icon and an IPad (photo taken with Windows Phone Nokia Icon on top of an iPad)..

Read about the September 2014 Intel XDK release here:

Build Web Apps with Intel XDK

Read about other templates here.