This was a pretty substantial week in the Ultimate Coder Challenge, as contestants showed that they are well past the drawing board and in full-on development mode, some teams even reaching feature freeze and beta stage. Judges are impressed with how far developers have come in so short a time, but they definitely are making their preferences known as far as what’s being shown each week with Ultrabook integration and presentation.
Lee: Lee went all out this week with multiple video updates, including an entire week in the life of a coder sped up to about three minutes. The man doesn’t seem to have much need for sleep. Graphics for his “Love Hearts” app are complete, and he also integrated accelerometer, multi-touch, and NFC sensor commands (you’ve got to check out his video of NFC First Contact. It’s pretty awesome). Lee also gave us a list of what he’s completed so far with pending features coming our way, and left us with a quick plug for Freedom Engine, a cross-platform development kit operating in the cloud that he’s using to develop his Ultimate Coder project on. See Lee’s update here: http://ultimatecodertgc.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/intel-ultimate-coder-challenge-part-four.html.
George and Suresh: Another team that seems to have little need for sleep. George and Suresh managed to put together an entirely new website to support their money management app, MoneyBag, a new demo video, and heck, why not? A beginners’ guide to Ultrabook development ebook. In between all of this, they also worked on location API integration, more touch optimization based on best postures, and gave us a sneak preview of what to expect in week 5. See George and Suresh’s update here: http://theblueinnovations.com/blog/week-4-summary-stepping-closer-to-the-destination/#more-852
Shailesh: Shailesh gave us a nice “before and after” view of Performance Analysis test results for his BioIQ app, and it looks like there was some significant progress made for this educational app. He also worked on monetization, and he’s leaning toward in-app purchases. Game experience refinement for different size screens is something that Shailesh really worked on this week, making the user experience the best it can be no matter how the game may be approached. You can view Shailesh’s post here: http://www.clefsoftware.com/blog/towards-beta-and-figuring-out-monetization
John: The team at Soma gave us a good video about the merits of touch performance and graphics, discussing how best to optimize the touch experience so that consumers will really “get” the experience developers are intending. The features list for Wind Up Football is officially complete, and the team is working on refining the overall game play, including a really cool hover feature for the touch screen (who ever said hover was dead, right?). Go check out John’s post here: http://www.somagames.com/somaniloquy/2012/09/04/ultimate-coder-week-4-all-about-touch/
Sagar: The Shufflr team made some fun improvements to their social video app this week, including tilt navigation coupled with the accelerometer and a multi-touch user experience. Following their tradition of getting into some kind of Mission Impossible adventure every week, Sagar and team got caught in a pretty realistic fire drill when visiting the Intel Bangalore offices. Even with all the excitement, they still managed to solve the somewhat tricky problem of Windows 8 RTM app compatibility. Read Sagar’s post here: http://altheasystems.com/blog/2012/09/04/shufflr-and-the-ultrabook-challenge-week-4/
Andreas: Andreas takes a break from the developer side of things and walks us through his app from a user’s viewpoint. Vocabulary training is definitely in place, but he’s thinking a few enhancements are needed – perhaps a flashcard skill training game. You can see Andreas’s post here: http://www.ab-weblog.com/en/ultimate-coder-challenge-vocabulary-training/
Chippy: Steve “Chippy” Paine’s enthusiasm for the technological expertise shown so far in this contest is refreshing. He’s genuinely excited about what developers are doing, and looks forward to more beta releases in the next stage of the contest (and at IDF next week!). You can see Chippy’s post here: http://ultrabooknews.com/2012/09/05/ultimate-coder-ultrabook-challenge-week-4-feature-freeze-on-the-horizon/
Chris: While Chris has a couple potential winners of the Ultimate Coder Challenge already picked out in his mind, he is quick to point out that this contest is completely up for grabs. He really likes contestants who “push the boundary”, so to speak, but he also appreciates the thoughtfulness of working through the app development process methodically step by step. You can read Chris’s post here: http://www.codeproject.com/Members/Chris-Maunder?msg=4357266#xx4357266xx
Helena: The old adage “less is more” doesn’t fly with Helena when it comes to Ultrabook feature integration. She’s definitely impressed with how far contestants have managed to come in such a short time, but she doesn’t expect anyone to slow down at this point in the race. You can read Helena’s post here: http://www.chipchick.com/2012/09/intels-ultimate-coder-week-4.html
Jon: Jon seems to be picking a few favorites in Week 4. He really likes Blue Innovations’ sheer tidal wave of information, and he also appreciates how Lee pushed through some API challenges. Jon also appreciates Clef Software’s monetization investigation and Soma Games feature freeze, but questions the tilt integration for Althea Systems’ Shufflr app. You can read Jon’s post here: http://www.technobuffalo.com/companies/intel/ultimate-coder-ultrabook-challenge-%E2%80%93-week-four/.
There you have it, folks!
Another great week of progress in the Ultimate Coder Challenge. This next week, both developers and judges will be at the Intel Developers’ Forum in San Francisco, so we’ll be taking a break from updates (and maybe our developers will get some much-needed sleep? We’ll see). What do you think of the Ultimate Coder Challenge so far? Do you have a favorite? Please share in the comments.