A new conference has appeared for mobile application developers: AppCon, produced by ConvExx and Taptopia, and sponsored by Wiley/Wrox publishing. The conference takes place August 24-26 in Las Vegas, and, so far as I can tell, it is the only major conference dedicated solely to the issues surrounding mobile applications.

Normally this blog focuses lower down the stack on Linux kernel and integration issues. However, as a Developer’s Advocate, I don’t want to ignore the big picture, and of course the end user’s experience is nearly completely driven by the application layer. Mobile apps definitely have different UI and HMI requirements from desktop apps, but more than that, they also have to have a stronger interaction with the (embedded) OS. For that reason a conference like AppCon is important, as it can address the whole spectrum of issues surrounding embedded application development.

It is important to note as well that this conference is not specific to open source, though naturally operating systems like Symbian, Android and other Linux-based mobile operating systems, and presumably open-source toolkits like gcc will be addressed. Similar issues are faced by all embedded app developers, and it is important to collaborate where we can and differentiate at other levels, which itself is an open-source tenet.

The conference has three main tracks (taken from the press release):

  • Developer: technical sessions for developers, architects and technical managers covering location-based services, cross-platform integration and gaming.
  • IT: technical/management sessions for IT experts evaluating, designing or implementing mobile support in the enterprise, with topics including MS Exchange integration, mobile App security and compliance issues.
  • Business: sessions covering the business, legal, sales, marketing and other aspects, including a special focus on small businesses and startups.
  • I am very happy to see conferences such as this one appear, because despite its massive visibility, mobile application development is just now reaching the stage where “experimental”-level classes are starting to appear in universities. I am particularly happy to see the business track – so many conferences concentrate solely on the technical aspects of application development while ignoring the larger picture.

    And if none of that convinces you, keep in mind that it happens in Las Vegas, and that Penn Jillette is giving the keynote address. 🙂