Red Dirt RubyConf 2011

  • Keynote
    Aaron Patterson
    Open source contributions include:
    ARel, Nokogiri, and Mechanize
    Aaron Patterson - AT&T Interactive
  • Keynote
    Dr Nic Williams
    Open source contributions include:
    Hudson.rb, RoR Textmate Bundle, and ChocTop
    Dr Nic Williams - Engine Yard
  • Conference Themes
    nike boots jd
    ´╗┐Samsung Gear S2 review The Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 relies on Tizen OS to run the show. Frankly, that's not really surprising, considering the company relied on its mobile OS for previous smartwatch products, but that wasn't always the case. As you might remember, the Korean giant underwent some serious soul searching with its wearables, oscillating between Android Wear and custom solutions. In any case, Tizen is currently the OEM's development path of choice, but we wouldn't be at all surprised if custom Android Wear ROMs for the Gear S2 start popping up online at some point. Overall, this custom approach falls in line with Samsung's other recent wearables and while it does sacrifice on compatibility and misses out some on the ever growing Android Wear ecosystem, it does also have its major advantages. What we weren't expecting, however, is how streamlined and efficient it is. Not to mention fast, really fast. So fast in fact, you would be forgiven to think the Gear S2 is more powerful than its spec sheet suggests. Combined with the physical interaction with the rotating bezel, the sensation you get from interacting with the watch is truly futuristic. In fact, we often found ourselves playing with the wheel for no apparent reason, it is just immensely satisfying. No matter how fast you push it, the interface just keeps up, no lag, no frame drops, just smooth animation all around. On top of that, the Gear S2 user interface looks the part. It's as if Samsung's first circular smartwatch has given them the creative freedom to start over, unfazed by previous failures. Everything is clean, well spaced and properly organized throughout the user interface. The circular design nike air max u is blended seamlessly everywhere, from the menus and icons, all the way to every interface and even the scroll bars. It just seems natural and meant to be, which is a definite plus for the custom solution, as opposed to Android Wear that despite all the visual improvements, still has some oddly cropped interfaces on a round device. There aren't any hidden menus, save for a few tap and hold affairs here and there. The watchface interface is one such area. Whichever watchface you pick, it's going to look nice. An added feature we adore is the ability to stylize the watchface. You can add date, world clock, heart rate, battery status, steps and more. Those appear as little actionable widget style controls in certain areas of a watchface and bring up their own interface when pressed quite convenient. Samsung has made sure to spice things up a bit in terms of this added watchface functionality, including some skins that measure your heart rate nike 72 periodically or remind you visually when you have been sitting for too long, with a growing blob on the dial. Watchfaces have lots of added functionality and in depth customizability In terms of looks, you can pretty much change everything you see, from dials to clock hands. This is available both from the watch and the companion app. The latter is a lot easier, although doing it on the watch itself is arguably more fun, simply because you get to cycle through option with the dial. And if you would rather pick out a ready made skin, Samsung is offering a plethora of those in its Galaxy App store. There, you can also download third party offerings, which can show you stock prices, sports results and news, but more on that later. And as long as we are on the topic of the companion app, we must note that Samsung has broken out of its restriction policy of the past and now allows non Galaxy smartphones to connect to its smartwatch, as well. Naturally, the Gears S2 still prefers to play with a Galaxy phone, preferably a recent and higher end one, but a TouchWiz based environment is no longer mandatory, as long as you are running Android 4.4 or higher and have 1.56GB of free RAM. We tried out the Gear S2 with the recent HTC One A9 and had little issues activating and connecting, but the process did involve installing a few additional services and plugins off the Google Play store. Setting things up on a non Samsung device takes a few extra installs, but is relatively painless It is also worth mentioning that the Gear app has a lot more going on under the hood than might meet the eye. It is actually a big framework of various API's, hooks and services that attach themselves to almost every core functionality of your device, so as to monitor and relay information to your wrist, be it notifications, calls or multimedia. The Android Wear companion app is pretty much the same deal, so this shouldn't worry you, but whereas Google has already set a lot of the groundwork for its wearables inside Android itself, Samsung has a lot more code to implant for the Gear S2 to work. What this all means is that while the Gear S2 can be used with most any recent Android phone out there, your experience may vary greatly and compatibility issues are not unlikely. But, just like iOS compatibility for Android Wear, no one seems to be expecting or aiming for perfection. The Gear manager app offers a clean interface There are also a few apparent things that change in the experience when the Gear S2 is coupled with a non Samsung mate. The dedicated email app disappears from the watch, presumably because it relies in part on the presence of Samsung's own smartphone email client. S Health and Maps continue to work autonomously, but also require their respective Android apps to be downloaded for additional functionality. Having S Health on your phone is particularly important for syncing all the tracking data and assuring various related features run on the watch, but thankfully, it is now available for download by anyone on the Google Play Store. But despite all the aforementioned complexity of the Gear app, it is surprisingly well organized and straight forward form a user standpoint, which is all that matters at the end of the day. Besides the already mentioned watchface editor, the Gear app also offers a notification center for per app control, as well as an easy way to manage the software running on the Gear S2 itself. You can reorganize the menu, install new apps from the Samsung store and even change available setting on the ones you already have installed. Stylizing watchfaces is a pleasant and in depth experience Transferring media to and from the Gear S2's 4GB onboard memory is also done through the Gear Manager and is quite straight forward: select the media, upload it and it becomes available in Music or Gallery, respectively. Last, but definitely not least, there is the Find My Gear option. It can track down your watch easily and make it light up and vibrate. This can naturally be done through Bluetooth or an internet connection. So, if your watch has an active Wi Fi connection, it should be reachable as well. Conveniently enough, Samsung has made sure that the Gear S2 seamlessly gets all the Wi Fi profiles your phone has, making the whole system even more versatile. On the 3G model, finding the device is even more powerful it simply needs to be powered and within cell range. In fact, most every function of the Gear S2 is accessible through Bluetooth, as well as over an internet connection. Searching for your phone via the wearable is just as easy and powerful as well. Besides merely ringing your phone, which shouldn't be an issue anyway, you can also get its GPS coordinates and display them on a map. Generating the interface does put some strain on the Gear S2 and naturally requires a working data connection, but once the content is loaded, scrolling and zooming (with the wheel, of course) is pretty smooth, just like the rest of the UI. As already mentioned, the Gear S2 has no shortage of input controls and you can use most of them interchangeable across the user interface. This is quite convenient and drastically reduces the learning curv