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  1. The Samsung Developer Program has announced the launch of the Best of Galaxy Store Awards 2019! The inaugural Best of Galaxy Store Awards launched at SDC 2018 and acknowledged the best app, game, theme, watch face and watch app. Galaxy Store publishers selected for this prestigious award exemplify excellence in innovation, quality and creativity. Here is a look at what’s new with the Galaxy Store in 2019, including exciting new features, offering increased promotional opportunities for developers. With the addition of editorial pages, also known as Editor’s Picks, developers have the opportunity to see their apps featured in personalized app recommendations (which are automatically algorithm-generated relevant recommended apps) for the category a user is searching for. We talked with Ed Viejo, Director, Content & Services, Galaxy Store, and here is what we learned: Q. Tell us what is new with the Galaxy Store? A. So many exciting changes have happened with the Galaxy Store. Earlier this year we launched a new version. Not only did it bring a brand-new look but also a number of improvements as well as new features. From more personalized recommendations to enhanced search capability. Integration with Samsung Rewards give our users more ways to spend their earned points. However, the most exciting feature is our new editorial pages which enable us to craft stories to more effectively promote the unique content and apps available in the Galaxy Store. Q. Why did you launch the Best of Galaxy Store Awards? A. We believe the hardworking and dedicated community of developers are the heart of the Galaxy Store. Over the last few years the store has made some incredible strides forward and our developers have contributed to this success. Therefore, we wanted to recognize and reward the best work that this community has to offer because the store cannot exist without them. We are looking forward to recognizing those developers with the Best of Galaxy Store Awards 2019. Q: How can the Galaxy App store can help developers get new revenue streams and user acquisition? A. There are many resources available to publishers on the Galaxy Store to support the success of their apps. A key resource available to publishers is the Galaxy Store Badge. Samsung Developer Program members can create their very own Galaxy Store Badges that put their apps, watch faces, and themes center stage on their personal website, their branded media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and drive customers to their Galaxy Store pages in a single click. Whether they’re running paid media campaigns or just promoting themselves on the web, Galaxy Store Badges can increase downloads by 7 times over organic search. TIP: Learn more about how to use the Galaxy Badge to promote through your own channels, improving discoverability and the opportunity to be selected as a Best of Galaxy Store 2019 winner. Q. What can winners of the Best of Galaxy Store Awards 2019 expect? A. This year we are looking to expand the number of categories to recognize even more developers. Some of the benefits winners will receive are additional personalized promotion within the store, best of 2019 app banner, an award and other partner recognitions that are still in the works. New this year we plan to do an editorial spotlight featuring of all the winners. Q. How can developers reach more customers across more devices with the Galaxy Store? A. In 2018, Samsung shipped more than 292 million smartphones worldwide. As the global leading smartphone vendor, Samsung is known for consumer products such as mobile devices, home entertainment systems and more. The Galaxy Store is a premium, one-stop-shop marketplace where our users can get the most out of their Galaxy devices tailored to their needs. Customers are looking for Wallpapers, Themes, Fonts and Galaxy Watch Faces to personalize their devices and give it a unique look that fits them. They use Stickers to make your messages fun. The Galaxy store helps these customers discover curated and Made for Samsung apps that are optimized for their device for the best user experience. Our goal is to help more developers reach more customers and delight end users by delivering experiences that blend with the intent of each device and service context. Q. What is next with the Best of Galaxy Store Awards 2019? A. Stay tuned to updates on the Best of Galaxy Store Awards 2019, including information on the selection process an expanded list of categories, interviews from some of last years’ winners, and tips and tricks on being selected. Q. When will the winners of the Best of Galaxy Store Awards 2019 be announced? A. Winners will be announced on October 29th at the Samsung Developer Conference in San Jose, California. View the full blog at its source
  2. This is the third post in the series covering Samsung’s participation in the MIT’s Medicine Grand Hack. You can find the first post here, and the second post here. The Promentia team was the Grand Prize Winner in the Mental Health and Professional Burnout track. Promentia’s project was an Alzheimer’s Disease prevention app, also named Promentia, with the tagline “Stay You.” Promentia accepting their award The team’s main point is that people do not realize that Alzheimer’s Disease is a highly delayable disease. More and more people are finding out that they are at higher risk of Alzheimer’s Disease as the popularity of at home genome services continues to rise. Promentia demoing their app They created a mobile prototype deployed on a Samsung Galaxy Note 9, and showed how they could use Samsung’s technology to develop a way to digitally enable ‪Alzheimer’s disease prevention.‬‬ By monitoring the results from blood tests for six specific biomarkers scientifically proven to correlate to the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease (hsCRP, Homocysteine, Fasting insulin, Hemoglobin A1C, Fasting glucose, and Vitamin D), sleep, and exercise, the app tailors personalized feedback. Personalized feedback provided by the app The full team This is the first product of its kind. Promentia’s goal was to make Alzheimer’s Disease prevention tactics more easily accessible to the general public, so you can Stay You. View the full blog at its source
  3. In my previous post I covered Samsung’s partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Department of Veterans Affairs to host and sponsor the MIT’s Medicine Grand Hack, to foster creativity to solve some of the problems in the health care system. In this post I want to highlight one of the teams that participated in the hack: Insomniax. With the clarity of their focus, and how they integrated Samsung’s wearable devices in their pitch, they were able to stand out during the weekend’s activities and win the Department of Veteran’s Affairs award. The Insomniax team participated in the mental health and professional burnout track, and created an application that uses biometrics and self-reported data to develop personalized recommendations for veterans with mental illnesses, who have poor sleep quality. Their prototype highlighted the importance of having an easily accessible device that helps you tracking your daily routine and, with the help of an Artificial Intelligence system, gives you relevant advice to improve your quality of life. Insomniax showcasing their app The concept of the application they were working on was a way to combine data already collected by the Samsung Watch’s multiple sensors (things like heart rate, sleep, stress) along with a nightly questionnaire on activities/pre-sleep habits. The combined collected data then would be sent to a server with a REST API, then the system would process the data and revise the user’s recorded medical history to provide personalized recommendations on how they can get better sleep. The Insomniax Team Their demo was developed as a web app using Tizen Studio, and it was deployed on the Galaxy Watches that were made available to the Hackathon’s attendees. These kind of apps can take advantage of the advanced features included in the Samsung Watches, like the Human Activity Monitor, that gives you access to and record human activity data from various sensors and recorders on the device. View the full blog at its source
  4. Samsung Electronics is in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to foster creativity and innovation to solve health care big problems, with the help of modern technology. As part of this partnership, we recently hosted the MIT Hacking Medicine Grand Hack in Washington DC. Just like the Boston event held in June, this hackathon differed from other developer events in a few important ways: The interdisciplinary focus was obvious from the moment teams were formed, just after the keynote on Friday. Feasibility and business viability were integral to all pitches. But most importantly, there was no need to code and all projects were problem-centered work or covered real user needs. The three-day event started on August 2nd and was hosted in Samsung’s Solutions Center in Washington D.C. During the weekend students, engineers, designers and developers participated in one of the three tracks forming groups, and bringing their diverse views and backgrounds to offer new solutions to problems that affect the lives of millions of people in America. These were the three tracks that participants could be part of: Access to health care Mental health and professional burnout Rare and orphan diseases. Each track had a winner, and sponsors and partners also awarded teams that showed promising ideas. Samsung provided Galaxy Note9 phones and Galaxy Watches to allow teams experiment and find out the best way to integrate the different sensors and SDKs into their own projects. We saw some creative uses of Samsung technologies and genuine desire to improve the health care system leveraging modern technology. The Key Watch team won the Samsung Breakthroughs That Matter Award in the Rare and Orphan Diseases track. This team was distinguished not only for the clarity of their project, but also for their enthusiasm to incorporate Samsung technologies in their pitch. The Key Watch team with Christopher Balcik, Samsung Vice President of Federal Government Business During the weekend, the team developed a way to monitor response to medication to tackle misdiagnosis of Parkinson’s disease vs drug-induced parkinsonism (DIP), which is the second most common cause for parkinsonism. While displaying similar symptoms, a rare disease requires an entirely separate treatment process. Additionally, up to 15% of Parkinson’s disease patients have the rare variant DIP, so, Key Watch’s solution could improve the life of tens of thousands, just in the US. Their envisioned system would work like this: A patient having parkinsonism symptoms would come in to consult with the doctor on an actionable plan for their treatment. Because Parkinson’s Disease accounts for 85% parkinsonism cases, they are likely to be classified as having Parkinson’s disease (PD). They are given treatment for PD and monitored – if their symptoms get better, as detected by Key Watch’s platform, then that would support their diagnosis. However, if the patient actually has DIP, the PD medication would have little to no effect, and through Key Watch’s continuous monitoring tool doctors can quickly intervene and pivot the treatment protocol. After enrolling on the platform, Key Watch would have continuous feedback on the patients tracked symptoms over time, which enables the doctor to effectively adjust the drug dosage. Key Watch: The full team The Key Watch members looked into the different sensors that the Samsung Galaxy watches could provide them, and focused on the gyroscope and the accelerometer APIs, that would give them data from a patient’s movements, including tremors and slow movement. With enough data, and medical experience, the proposed system would be able to detect the source of a patient’s movement abnormalities. To learn more about how you can get access to the Samsung wearable devices sensors, visit the Samsung Developer Program and start creating your own apps now. Stay tuned for more information about this event in the coming weeks! View the full blog at its source
  5. You can’t really change the weather using Galaxy Watch Designer (GWD). However, GWD version 1.7.1 introduced the ability to design a watch face that uses a button to display weather content in various units on the watch face. The temperature unit selector lets users change the temperature unit. Previously, you could set the Auto-refresh time of any weather data; now the update weather data feature allows users to update weather information, which is provided by OpenWeatherMap, whenever they want. Get Started The temperature unit selector and update weather data features both require the use of weather components. However, keep in mind the following limitations with using any weather components in GWD. Avoid using the following with weather components: In-App Purchase Tag expression Text elements: Steps % Step counts Steps goal Speed Burned calorie Moved distance Heart rate Water intake Caffeine intake Floor You must use a weather API key to facilitate the use of any weather component. For more details, see this section. Note: The Weather API can determine a watch’s location to show the current weather data, but it can’t detect your location on the Galaxy Watch Designer tool. To see the current weather data on the GWD tool, select your location manually from Edit > Preferences > APIs > Current location > Select location. Temperature Unit Selector The Text > Temperature element displays the current weather temperature on your watch face. The temperature unit selector enables you to select the temperature unit (Celsius, Fahrenheit, or Kelvin). To create a temperature unit selector on your watch face: From the sidebar, click Text > Temperature: A dialog box opens, warning you of the limitation of using this element. Check Do not show again if you understand the limitation, and click OK. We recommend: Don’t check Do not show again, so you’ll be reminded of the limitations the next time you use this element. From Properties, click the Set as Button menu option. From Properties > Action, click Action > Interaction > Tap, and then set Action to Change Temperature Unit. Update Weather Data Follow these steps to add the update weather data feature: From the sidebar, click Text > {any weather type}. From Properties, click the Set as Button menu option. From Properties > Action, click Action > Interaction > Tap, and then set Action to Update Weather Data. Test the feature Test your ability to modify weather content using the attached sample GWD file. Tap on the temperature text to change to another unit. If it is not the unit you want, tap again. Because there are three temperature unit options, you must tap twice to cycle through the units (see Figure 1). Figure 1 Tap on the update weather data button for the latest weather data (see Figure 2). In this figure, the last time data was updated was at 09:40. Figure 2 To check weather on a real device, make sure your watch is connected to the Internet, and location services are enabled. View the full blog at its source
  6. Last month, the Samsung Galaxy GameDev team attended Develop: Brighton – the UK’s biggest developer-focused games industry event. The sun-kissed conference showcased the best local talent, with some fantastic experiences from indies and big publishers alike. I particularly enjoyed nDreams’ showcase of their upcoming VR game Phantom: Covert Ops – it looks set to be the biggest kayaking stealth shooter of the year! Samsung was out in force at the event with two business staff and two technical staff, along with yours truly. We spent most of the time having meetings on the beach in the delightfully bright sunshine. I’m leaving a note to myself that breakfast beachside chats are my new favorite way to spend a work trip! It was particularly lovely to see ex-colleagues and friends from SEGA, Sony, Jagex, Miniclip, and Sumo Digital while hanging out in the bar. Though I can’t go into great detail about what we discussed behind closed doors, believe me when I say the UK has some incredible products coming to mobile over the next couple of years. I am not talking your typical hyper-casual games either – core gaming might be seeing a bit of a shakeup very soon! Another show highlight was the Develop: Star Awards, which featured industry heavy hitters like Gabe Newell and Sean Murray, and of course, many excellent games. While we were too busy networking to attend any sessions, there were many interesting topics discussed during the conference. Three of the speakers that caught my eye were: In-game Content Generation Using Machine Learning (Raheel Yawar) MMObile: Bringing Old School RuneScape to Smartphones (Christopher Knowles) Next Gen VR – What Developers Need to Know (Andrew Ayre/Alvaro Barua) It would be remiss of me not to mention the social side of Develop: Brighton, as it is part of what makes the conference so popular. We managed to get along to the GamesIndustry.biz party on Wednesday night and what a turn out it was. The warm night was filled with energy & laughter, with some excellent new connections made and far too many cheeky lemonades. I can’t tell you how grateful I was to MAG Interactive for providing free bacon rolls the morning after. If you were there, then thank you for being part of such a great event. If you weren’t, I strongly recommend you come along next time – I may even buy you a beachside breakfast! View the full blog at its source
  7. Samsung Developer Conference is coming up fast! From October 29 – 30, the industry’s top tech leaders will cover topics from AI to IoT to blockchain. We just announced the first wave of sessions! Check out some highlights below: Secure Your Decentralized App with Samsung Blockchain Keystore Samsung Blockchain Keystore on the Galaxy S10 addresses the vulnerabilities of using blockchain tech on your phone. During this session, learn about blockchain from the most innovative industry thinkers, and dive into Samsung Blockchain Keystore’s overall architecture and security features. Haven’t used the Blockchain Keystore SDK before? No problem. This session walks you through how to integrate it into your app. Explore Progressive Web Apps and the Evolution of the Web Building and distributing apps using web tech just got easier. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) leverage new capabilities to better integrate your app into the OS. Learn about new features and tools during this in-depth session, and hear from Samsung experts and partners about how PWA can benefit from WebAPK, OneUI CSS, and more. Optimize Your Mobile Game with Vulkan During this session, hear from the Galaxy GameDev team as they share tips and tricks about Vulkan optimization. Plus, explore case studies and best practices from past and present game partner collaborations. Dive Into Knox Partner Program and Knox Dev Tools Learn about the Knox Partner Program and how Samsung’s mobile enterprise partner program supports partners and devs with the right resources and B2B dev tools such as EMM, Mobile Threat Detection, Remote Control, and Secure Voice. Discover the Next Phase of IoT Engagement and Growth There are lots of exciting things in store for the SmartThings IoT business platform. Explore future services and offerings, and find out how to join the SmartThings community. This session presents improvements made to the IoT environment to improve business growth for partners and devs. These are just five sessions of many. Check out the rest on the SDC19 website and stay tuned for more coming soon! In the meantime, register today and save $150 with early bird pricing. View the full blog at its source
  8. SIGGRAPH, inaugurated in 1974, is the largest general-purpose computer graphics (“…and interactive techniques”) technical conference in the world. Since 1999 I’ve visited whenever I can. There’s a lot of focus in off-line production rendering and desktop graphics, and I find that the latest research, techniques, and technology eventually percolate to real-time and mobile devices. It’s also inspiring to see advances in state of the art. If you see a talk like “Fractional Gaussian Fields for Modeling and Rendering of Spatially-Correlated Media” and think “ooh!” SIGGRAPH is the conference for you. Pixel gets ignored by an attendee at the South Hall entrance This year the conference returned to Los Angeles. It was the largest since 2012, with 180 exhibitors and 18,700 attendees. No longer bigger than GDC, and less than half the size of my first SIGGRAPH, but still a reassuring upward trend. Several sessions were heavily over-subscribed – notably the always-popular “Advances in Real-Time Rendering” course (with a “…for games” suffix the last couple of years), and the NVIDIA “Deep Learning for Content Creation and Real-Time Rendering” session. Packed sessions were made more uncomfortable by poor air conditioning, so I was glad to have been acclimatized by the brief heatwave in the UK. Mobile sessions were relatively sparse this year – although Google had several interesting papers, mostly in the area of computational photography. Unusually, Apple presented vendor sessions on RealityKit and Metal. Virtual reality remained popular, with the now-annual VR Theatre and several examples in the Emerging Technologies area. While neither phone vendors such as Samsung nor mobile GPU vendors like Arm and Qualcomm had exhibitor booths this year, engineers were present in force. In contrast, game engine titans Unity and Epic were highly visible on the show floor, as were the perennial motion capture rigs – which are becoming more effective, real-time and commoditized for game developer use. The annual Real Time Live session goes from strength to strength. Notable this year was an encore appearance by Level Ex, demonstrating real-time ray tracing on mobile, although not necessarily rendering what you might expect. I was pleased to see both awards for the participants go to the very cool AI technology GauGAN, co-developed by Chris Hebert, a Samsung UK alumnus (see image below). GauGAN (draw the image on the left, get the image on the right, AI is scary) There is usually a hot research topic at each SIGGRAPH which dominates the technical sessions. Unsurprisingly, after last year’s announcement of DXR and this year’s reveal of the NVIDIA Turing architecture, there was a heavy focus on ray tracing. One could spend almost the entire conference in ray-tracing sessions and still miss some. Dedicated ray tracing hardware has expanded the number of game engines using true ray casting, increasing developer productivity. Although increasing GPU speed has allowed selective ray-traced effects for some years now, research is currently very active. The importance of appropriate sampling and ray types in practical engines was stressed to non-expert developers, and there was a public claim that ray tracing would be ubiquitous in five years. Still, even with a Titan RTX, current ray-traced scenes were often visibly noisy. Technology has advanced, but not infinitely. While there was some evidence of this in previous years, there was a big step forward this time in noise reduction: blue noise, temporal AA, and especially machine-learning denoising networks. Some of the denoising networks can achieve remarkable results with a minimal number of samples; others are in active use by film studios to improve preview times. Currently, the most effective techniques are computationally costly, but EA discussed how best to combine real-time approaches in the PICA PICA demo, and NVIDIA discussed denoising in Quake II RTX. We are some way from mobile-ray-tracing being viable for general use, but the results achieved with such limited ray throughput are starting to convince me that it should be on everyone’s radar, especially with machine learning hardware taking off. I think we’ll be busy with the rasterizer for a while yet, though! Exhibition floor and Geek Bar It wasn’t all ray tracing. Motion capture, learned character motion, and simulating real-world surfaces all got their time, along with advances in fluid and collision modeling. SIGGRAPH typically has several parallel tracks and usually manages to have at least two talks you’d like to see at any given moment, not counting the customary papers that are cool, but you’ll never need to use. Fortunately, the technical papers fast-forward session was available to provide an overview of everything (with traditional damage to the Stanford bunny and armadillo models). It’s too bad the reduced presentation times this year made it disappointingly more serious than usual. Usually, the Computer Animation Festival lightens things up a bit. Alongside the showcase of major studio work, there were some examples of the traditional dark humor: Wild Love and Stuffed, as well as the inappropriate comedy of Kinky Kitchen. This year the organizers seem to have felt the need to have a message in a lot of the pieces, though. Igor Coric’s “Passage,” The Stained Club, Hedgehog, and The Tree were all moving, but hardly uplifting, and I left slightly shell-shocked. Even if more political than usual, the festival did at least maintain the tradition of something weird. Cap’s Shield – Marvel Studios (Production Gallery) Victoria Alonso, executive VP of production at Marvel Studios, gave this year’s keynote. She endeared herself to the audience by saying she was a long-time SIGGRAPH attendee, and further won over a subset of the crowd by saying she wanted to keep film production local to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I was I bit less enamoured of her admitted dislike of comics and fixation on the record earnings of Avengers: Endgame — but I suppose film producers don’t have to be geeks like me! Several Marvel costumes did make it to the Production Gallery for the second year running, which was cool to see.  In contrast, I had the privilege to catch Katie Bouman (above), of the Event Horizon team, giving her “Imaging a Black Hole with the Event Horizon Telescope” talk. The audience of image-processing and computer-vision professionals really appreciated this session. Finally, the Khronos Group gave a well-attended round-up of the state of their APIs. Their after-party was unusually filled with many new faces – apparently due to the launch of the company’s “3D Commerce” initiative. The sun sets on another SIGGRAPH And so another SIGGRAPH came to an end. Next year SIGGRAPH hits Washington DC, which at least means my flights will be cheaper and shorter. I hope to see you there! View the full blog at its source
  9. On Wednesday, August 7th, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note10 in New York City. Now in two sizes, these powerful phones pack a variety of features for productivity and creativity. Most interesting for developers is the evolution of the S Pen and the introduction of Air Actions. While the Note9 allowed developers to leverage a single- or double-click of the S Pen to control apps, the new S Pen has both a gyroscope and an accelerometer. Air Actions let developers use gestures to enhance app functionality by detecting basic movements. Furthermore, the full S Pen Remote SDK gives devs access to raw data, enabling you to capture complex movements. Whether your app requires users to swipe right, cast magic spells, or engage in a lightsaber battle, the updated S Pen SDK has you covered. I know you’re thinking “that’s impossible, even for a computer!” but it’s true! Want to conduct a symphony? Perfect your golf swing? Now you can with the Note10. The Note10 also extends the capabilities of DeX by making it easier for users to access mobile capabilities on a PC or Mac. Developers can learn more about optimizing their apps for DeX on the developer portal. Galaxy Watch Active2 The newest addition to the Galaxy Watch portfolio is the Galaxy Watch Active2. It combines the best features of the original Galaxy Watch with those of the Galaxy Watch Active by bringing back the rotating bezel, this time in digital form. Users can disable the touch bezel, so check out our user-interface guidelines to ensure you know how to support the rotating bezel, touch bezel, and bezel-less devices in your apps. Designers can continue to be creative and build beautiful custom watch faces for the Galaxy Watch Active2. Learn more about Galaxy Watch Designer and unleash your creative juices. You might have caught the moment during Unpacked where they showed someone taking a group selfie from their phone by simply tapping an app on their watch. Apps like this are built with Tizen, which supports native, web, and .NET development. Last year’s Best of Galaxy Store Watch App winner was Kemas Dimas, who created a wrist camera app that does just what you saw onstage. If you’re in San Francisco on August 22, we invite you to register now and join us at an event focused on growth and innovation in the wearable device market. You’ll hear from Samsung and partner experts in the health and wearable space, and we’ll be previewing the new Galaxy Watch Active2. Galaxy Tab S6 We also highlighted the new Galaxy Tab S6. Like the Note10, it supports Bixby. Developers can start building Bixby capsules today. The Tab S6 also supports the new Air Actions and full S Pen SDK.  If you didn’t catch Unpacked live, or want to watch it again, the full video replay is above. You can also check out the Samsung Newsroom for more on the day’s announcements. See these products in action and learn more about all of the different SDKs and tools available for developers and designers at this year’s Samsung Developer Conference! Register by September 27 to capture early bird prices. Do or do not. There is no try. View the full blog at its source
  10. In April, Samsung Galaxy GameDev went to Croatia for Reboot Develop Blue. We sent two technical staff and an account manager for a whole host of activities, and I’ll admit that we looked at the event (which is new to us) as a rather speculative attempt to connect with game developers. After all, Reboot previously had no technical track and has only been running for a handful of years; maybe it would turn out to be a non-event. But Reboot managed to exceed all our expectations. We had approximately 60 seriously-interesting and highly-competent game developers in our sessions. Alon Or Bach, who heads our Vulkan standards effort, did a great job in a talk on advanced Vulkan programming techniques, which are used in Croteam’s Serious Engine for Mobile. Alon then went on to host a panel discussion on the merits of Vulkan. This panel featured some lively and informative input from Karlo Jež from Croteam, Christian Forfang from ARM, and Graham Wihlidal from EA’s SEED group.  Quiz Time! Watch the above video of Alon presenting at Reboot, then answer the following multiple-choice questions (scroll to the end of the blog the answers). 1. What is the most significant performance gain you can reasonably expect to see when you completely fix some badly-chosen pipeline barriers in a trivial Vulkan app? a. 25% b. 50% c. 100% d. Nothing, there’s no such thing as a badly-chosen pipeline barrier. 2. In general, what’s the preferred draw order for opaque geometry in Vulkan? a. Left to Right b. Right to Left c. Top to Bottom d. Bottom to Top e. Front to Back f. Back to Front g. Some other order that isn’t listed here. 3. In terms of texture formats, why is a “Tiled” buffer generally preferred to a “Linear” buffer? a. Samsung’s Tiling architectures store Tiled buffers on chip. b. Reducing power consumption is more important for mobile devices than protecting bandwidth. c. There’s a bug in the driver. d. Ha! It’s a trick question! Tiling isn’t preferred. e. Texture fetches cooperate better with the cache that way. 4. To make sure you were paying attention — and for two special bonus points — What animal did Alon reference in his talk, and why? On the account management side, David Pither spent most of his meal and coffee breaks over the three days having enlightening conversations with both developers and publishers who might benefit from collaborating with Samsung’s Galaxy GameDev group. It was business networking at its best, and we came back with a long list of action items which has kept David busy for weeks. David also set up conversations with folks that we regularly work with like Sega, Croteam, and EA. It’s always good to keep in touch with the big boys of gaming. We now know more about their technology and publishing roadmaps, which means we now know more about how we can help. My trip home was a bit of a disappointment. Getting home roughly 15 hours late isn’t high on my list of “Fun ways to start a holiday,” but it certainly won’t stop me (and more importantly) Samsung from going back next year. In fact, my enthusiasm levels for the Reboot events are so high that we plan to attend the Reboot Develop Red event in Banff in October. And of course, we’ll be back in Croatia next spring. Hopefully, we’ll see you there as well! Reboot Blue, and Reboot Red – they’re both firmly in our calendar from here on. Soon we’re going Reboot Purple. We’re adding a lot more technical info over the coming months, so make sure you revisit the blog soon to learn more about Vulkan. In the meantime, to keep you going: A gentle intro: vulkan-tutorial.com/Introduction A set of beginner’s guides: khronos.org/blog/beginners-guide-to-vulkan Getting in deep: khronos.org/developers/library/2019-vulkanised-is-back (.pdf format) youtube.com/user/khronosgroup (videos) Quiz Answers 1: C 2: E 3: E 4: A hedgehog – because Alon’s fellow speaker’s name is “Karlo Jež” and Jež is Croatian for Hedgehog! View the full blog at its source
  11. Samsung Developer Conference is Where Now Meets Next. It’s two days of learning and inspiration where Samsung introduces new technology for the now and a greater vision for what’s next. Join fellow developers to imagine future possibilities and master the skills to realize them. At last year’s conference, Samsung broke barriers and redefined technology with announcements on One UI, Bixby Developer Studio, and more. Plus, devs learned about the latest SDKs directly from Samsung engineers during hands-on code labs. Technical sessions provided more updates on a range of topics, including Bixby and the New Exponential Frontier of Intelligent Assistants, which was one of the most attended sessions in 2018. Key leaders from the Samsung team broke down what Bixby was, why it was different, how to capitalize on it, tips for integration, and more. SDC19 Will Be One for the Books SDC19 will once again operate at the intersection of now and next with two days of exciting code labs, demos, technical sessions, and keynotes with the industry’s leading experts. Discover the latest in tech with groundbreaking sessions on Bixby, AI, blockchain, wearables, and more. Every element of this year’s conference is about the developer experience, including the brand identity. For SDC19, emoticons were created out of programming code — a playful representation of the developers, creators, technologists, and Samsung pros that make up the conference’s diverse audience. Emoticons symbolize what tiny bits of code can create when thoughtfully assembled. Get Early Bird Pricing Grab your spot today for Samsung Developer Conference and save $150! Don’t miss your chance to experience cutting-edge technology, network with tech leaders, and learn Samsung’s latest dev tools first-hand. See you there on October 29–30 at the San Jose Convention Center. Already registered? We can’t wait to see you! In the meantime, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for the latest updates on sessions, speakers, and more. View the full blog at its source
  12. At GDC 2019, Arm and Samsung were joined on stage in the “All-in-One Guide to Vulkan on Mobile” talk to share their learning from helping numerous developers and studios in optimizing their Vulkan mobile games. In tandem, Arm released Vulkan Best Practices for Mobile Developers to address some of the most common challenges faced when coding Vulkan applications on mobile. It includes an expansive list of runnable samples with full source code available online. This blog series delves in detail into each sample, investigates individual Vulkan features, and demonstrates best practices of how to use them. Overview Setting up a Vulkan swapchain involves picking between options that don’t have a straightforward connection to performance. The default options might not be the most efficient ones, and what works best on a desktop may be different from what works on mobile. Looking at the VkSwapchainCreateInfoKHR struct, we identified three options that need a more detailed analysis: presentMode: what does each present mode imply in terms of performance? minImageCount: which is the best number of images? preTransform: what does it mean, and what do we need to do about it? This blog post covers the first two points, as they are both tied to the concept of buffering swapchain images. Surface transform is quite a complex topic that we’ll cover in a future post on the Arm community. Choosing a present mode Vulkan has several present modes, but mobile GPUs only support a subset of them. In general, presenting an image directly to the screen (immediate mode) is not supported. The application will render an image, then pass it to the presentation engine via vkQueuePresentKHR. The presentation engine will display the image for the next VSync cycle, and then it will make it available to the application again. The only present modes which support VSync are: FIFO: VK_PRESENT_MODE_FIFO_KHR MAILBOX: VK_PRESENT_MODE_MAILBOX_KHR We will now each of these in more detail to understand which one is better for mobile. Figure 1 shows an outline of how the FIFO present mode works. The presentation engine has a queue (or “FIFO”) of images, in this case, three of them. At each VSync signal, the image in front of the queue displays on screen and is then released. The application will acquire one of the available ones, draw to it and then hand it over to the presentation engine, which will push it to the back of the queue. You may be used to this behavior from other graphics APIs, double or triple buffering – more on that later! An interesting property of the FIFO present mode is that if the GPU can process images really fast, the queue can become full at some point. When this happens, the CPU and the GPU will idle until an image finishes its time on screen and is available again. The framerate will be capped at a stable 60 fps, corresponding to VSync. This idling behavior works well on mobile because it means that no unnecessary work is performed. The extra CPU and GPU budget will be detected by the DVFS (Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling) system, which reduces their frequencies to save power at no performance cost. This limits overheating and saves battery life – even a small detail such as the present mode can have a significant impact on your users’ experience! Let us take a look at MAILBOX now. The main difference, as you can see from Figure 2 below, is that there is no queue anymore. The presentation engine will now hold a single image that will be presented at each VSync signal. The app can acquire a new image straight away, render to it, and present it. If an image is queued for presentation, it will be discarded. Mobile demands efficiency; hence, the word “discarded” should be a big red flag when developing on mobile – the aim should always be to avoid unnecessary work. Since an image was queued for presentation, the framerate will not improve. What is the advantage of MAILBOX then? Being able to keep submitting frames lets you ensure you have the latest user input, so input latency can be lower versus FIFO. The price you pay for MAILBOX can be very steep. If you don’t throttle your CPU and GPU at all, one of them may be fully utilized, resulting in higher power consumption. Unless you need low-input latency, our recommendation is to use FIFO. Choosing the number of images It is now clear that FIFO is the most efficient present mode for mobile, but what about minImageCount? In the context of FIFO, minImageCount differentiates between double and triple buffering, which can have an impact on performance. The number of images you ask for needs to be bound within the minimum and maximum images supported by the surface (you can query these values via surface capabilities). You will typically ask for 2 or 3 images, but the presentation engine can decide to allocate more. Let us start with double buffering. Figure 4 outlines the expected double-buffering behavior. Double buffering works well if frames can be processed within 16.6ms, which is the interval between VSync signals at a rate of 60 fps. The rendered image is presented to the swapchain, and the previously presented one is made available to the application again. What happens if the GPU cannot process frames within 16.6ms? Double buffering breaks! As you can see from Figure 5, if no images are ready when the VSync signal arrives, the only option for the presentation engine is to keep the current image on screen. The app has to wait for another whole VSync cycle before it acquires a new image, which effectively limits the framerate to 30 fps. A much higher rate could be achieved if the GPU could keep processing frames. This may be ok for you if you are happy to limit framerate to 30 fps, but if you’re aiming for 60 fps, you should consider triple buffering. Even if your app can achieve 60 fps most of the time, with double buffering the tiniest slowdown below 60 fps results in an immediate drop to 30 fps. Figure 6 shows triple buffering in action. Even if the GPU has not finished rendering when VSync arrives, a previous frame is queued for presentation. This means that the presentation engine can release the currently displayed image and the GPU can acquire it as soon as it is ready. In the example shown, triple buffering results in ~50 fps versus 30 fps with double buffering. The sample Our Vulkan Best Practice for Mobile Developers project on Github has a sample on swapchain images, that specifically compares double and triple buffering. You can check out the tutorial for the Swapchain Images sample. As you can see from Figures 7 and 8, triple buffering lets the app achieve a stable 60 fps (16.6 ms frame time), providing x2 higher frame rate. When switching to double buffering the framerate drops. We encourage you to check out the project on the Vulkan Mobile Best Practice GitHub page and try this or other samples for yourself! The sample code gives developers on-screen control to demonstrate multiple ways of using the feature. It also shows the performance impact of the different approaches through real-time hardware counters on the display. You are also warmly invited to contribute to the project by providing feedback and fixes and creating additional samples. Please also visit the Arm Community for more in-depth blogs on the other Vulkan samples. View the full blog at its source
  13. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G has now arrived in the U.S. That means that now is a great time for forward-thinking developers to target this device in anticipation of upcoming growth of 5G technology. As a technologist at Samsung, I am very excited about the possibilities created by 5G, and have been investigating how we can build a foundation to create 5G apps and games on the S10 5G. What’s so special about 5G? You may know it’s another generation of network transfer standard faster than the 4G/LTE speed we are used to now. While that is true, it overlooks the extent of the technological advance of this generation. It’s exponentially faster than 4G and has lower latency. These upgrades will both enhance and empower a whole set of technologies previously unfeasible. As a global leader of 5G devices, we will guide you through upcoming Android APIs and common practices to: Check for and test for 5G capabilities Monitor real-world device connection speed App design considerations to take advantage of 5G speed For example, the most straight-forward use case of mobile networks is watching videos on the go. Prior to 4G, the slow speed and low resolution supported by 3G resulted in poor experiences. Now 5G enhances the video resolution even further, producing film-like experiences. However, as is the case in the current 4G era, your device will not always be at 5G. Your connected speed could be affected by a number of factors. What do these varying factors mean to the application developer who’s working with videos? Ideally, depending on the actual connection speed, an appropriately sized video stream should be sent to the user. If instead you always stream the highest definition version, the video will inevitably lag and result in a bad experience. Don’t worry, as long as you follow the tip below, this won’t be a problem for you or your users. Stating with Android Q, there are capabilities to detect actual connection speed. A developer will use the class: NetworkCapabilities While this may seem like another long, complex class with many options, the functions of interest to a 5G developer are: getLinkDownstreamBandwidthKbps() This returns downstream bandwidth measured in kilobytes-per-second. A developer can poll this value periodically to gauge actual connection speed. They can then route appropriately-sized streams to the end user. NetworkCapabilities.NET_CAPABILITY_NOT_METERED This indicates that the end user has not set, or doesn’t have a connection limitation imposed upon them, thus bandwidth isn’t a cost factor to the end user. If this flag were false, a developer might want to warn the user and give them steps to handle the situation appropriately. Otherwise, the user may misplace blame of any video stoppage on the developer. The exact strategies of monitoring and switching to non-5G mode are usually the same whether you develop a video app or competitive networked game, with customizations on frequency and indication to the user. Overall, it is not a daunting task and does not interfere with your app’s structure. At Samsung we are eager to help developers succeed on our platforms. This is only the first of many guides we have planned to assist you in preparing your apps to take advantage of 5G. For more developmental resources on 5G and Samsung in general, please go to developer.samsung.com. We are excited to have you onboard. View the full blog at its source
  14. A key component of theme design is custom icons. These icons can launch apps like email, camera, and music, and are also used as weather app symbols and user-interface indicators throughout a theme. Icons are a great way to show off your design skills, enhance your theme concept, and set your design apart from others. They can be sold as Icon Packs or as part of a Galaxy Theme on the Galaxy Store. In this article, you’ll find some useful tips for both prospective Galaxy Theme designers and current designers on how to create custom theme icons. Becoming a Samsung Theme Partner Only those who have been accepted into a Samsung Theme Partnership can design and sell themes on the Galaxy Store. You can learn more about how to apply for a theme partnership by reading How to Submit a Galaxy Themes Portfolio. You can download the Theme Editor software and start customizing the icons in your theme design once you’re a part of the program. Customization When building a theme there are many opportunities to replace the default icons, buttons, and indicator symbols with customized graphics. However, only the icons in the Icon Pack have to be customized when you submit a theme for approval. The theme will be rejected if the default icons are not replaced with customized icons. Non-Customizable Icons Certain icons cannot be changed. These icons include third-party apps like YouTube and Facebook, or system apps like Smart Switch and Optical Reader. However, you can still add a custom background or frame to these icons by using the Icon Tray feature. Read below for more information on Icon Trays. Icon Design Tips Download Default Icons. If you would like to have example files of the default icons, download by right-clicking one of the icons in the UI preview window and selecting [Download]. To download all of the icons, right-click and select [Download All]. Size and Resolution. Icons within the Icon Pack must be 144 pixels square in size, with a screen resolution of 72ppi. Color Mode. The document image color mode for icons must be either grayscale or RGB. Adobe Illustrator. Use a vector-based program like Adobe Illustrator to easily edit or enlarge your icon artwork without losing quality. Adobe Photoshop. If using a bitmap-based program like Adobe Photoshop, place vector artwork as smart object layers. This allows the artwork to be enlarged without losing quality. Document size. As mobile device screens improve, the Themes Editor software may increase the required size for app icons. Start with a larger document size that can be easily reduced to 144 pixels. Example: A 576 pixel document can be reduced to 144 pixels when multiplying by 25%. Designing at a larger size ensures that you have master files that can be exported larger than 144 pixels in the future. JPGs & PNGs. Even though icons can be imported into Theme Editor as JPGs or PNGs, I would suggest PNGs to allow for transparent backgrounds. Color Palette. Icons are easy to read at a quick glance when fewer colors are used. Create a simplified, cohesive color palette with enough background contrast so that your icons can be seen. Icon Tray Use the Icon Tray feature to add a background or frame to your Icon Pack apps. The Icon Tray displays an additional image independent of the icon image within the app. This is helpful when adding a similar background, or to frame third-party and system app icons that cannot be customized. To use the Icon Tray feature, click [Icon pack] in the sidebar and then [App icons]. Then, click anywhere in the UI Preview Window that is not within the dotted-lined rows of icons to display the Icon Tray builder window. Select [All Apps] if you would like every app in the UI theme to have the same custom background. Select [Unassigned Apps] to add a custom background to the app icons that cannot be customized. When choosing this option you must still replace the icons that can be customized. Weather Widget Icons The Weather widget consists of 27 icons, one for each weather condition. Even though it is not required to change these symbols, doing so is a great way to create a unique theme. To access the Weather widget, click [Home screen] in the sidebar and then [Partly Sunny] in the default UI screen window. Take note that the size of the icons are 219 x 219 pixels. Calendar App Icon There are two options to customize the calendar app. The first is to upload a custom icon that symbolizes a calendar. The second option is to create a Live icon that shows the current date on top of a custom icon background. 1. To create a Live icon, click [Icon pack] in the left sidebar and then the [Calendar app icon row] in the default UI screen window. 2. Click the [default icon] to the right of the Calendar app to replace the app icon. Once replaced, the option to add a Live icon will appear. 3. Click [Live icon] to open the icon builder. In this window you can add a calendar background image, and set the font color for both the day of the week and day of the month. Both font colors must be changed from the default font colors. If not, the Save button will not be active. If you do not want the day of the week to appear, set the font color opacity to 0% in the middle option of the three customizable sections. If you would like the style of the standard calendar icon to match the style of the Live icon, place a checkmark next to [Set the current preview as a normal]. If not, an icon image must be uploaded for the normal calendar icon. Free Icons For Free Themes If you would like to offer a free theme and are looking for free icons, you can download different public icon packs by logging into your Samsung Account and visiting the Themes page. These free icons are only available to those who have been accepted as a Theme Partner. Each icon set is a Photoshop file with embedded smart object icons. You can customize and save icons individually. Uploading Icons Click the image button to the right of each icon to upload an individual icon. Click the “Add All” folder button in the upper right of the icons window to add a group. If using the “Add All” feature, file names must match the names the default icons. Bad Design The majority of Theme Partnership applications are rejected because: Icons are not customized Backgrounds make the icon too difficult to read Symbols do not correlate to their specific app Icons are poor quality Below are examples of bad icons: Final Design Thoughts Your icon designs have the greatest impact on the look of your theme design and give it unique characteristics. True for all aspects of UI design, clean and simple is the approach you should take when designing app icons. They should be easy to read not only at first glance but also when distinguishing between other apps on the same UI screen. Testing the readability of your apps at actual size is very important. It is highly suggested to either view your theme on a mobile phone or print out your theme at actual size. Stepping back and quickly glancing allows you to determine if your icons are designed well and that it’s easy to understand what they represent. For tips on designing themes, be sure to read the blog Design Tips: Galaxy Themes. If you are not familiar with 9-patch images or the 9-patch editor, please read the blog Use The 9-Patch Editor To Create Responsive Galaxy Themes Components. View the full blog at its source
  15. Registration for Samsung Developer Conference 2019 is now open! Join more than 5,000 innovators, developers, technologists, and content creators to explore the next wave of intelligent tech. If you enjoy meeting and collaborating with industry leaders and world-renowned speakers, then SDC19 is for you. The two-day conference will be packed with code labs, demos, technical sessions, and keynotes from Samsung executives and the industry’s most-innovative thinkers. You’ll get hands-on experience with our latest hardware, software, and services with the help of Samsung engineers and tech partners from around the globe. For a limited-time only, register for #SDC19 with an exclusive presale discount that includes: SDC19 tickets at the lowest possible price – $120! Updates on the latest SDC news, technical session details, and speaker lineup A two-day pass that includes admission to all keynotes, sessions, code labs, as well as Devs + Drinks Entrance to our Samsung Exhibition area 1:1 training with Samsung experts And more! Space for this select group is limited, so sign up today! Register Now! We look forward to seeing you on October 29 – 30 at the San Jose Convention Center. In the meantime, check out the highlights from SDC18. View the full blog at its source
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