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Cover image for Chicago Roboto 2020: Let's Talk Dual Screens & Mobile App Development
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Chicago Roboto 2020: Let's Talk Dual Screens & Mobile App Development

nitya profile image Nitya Narasimhan ・4 min read

Found this interesting? Here are some useful resources:

  1. Subscribe: Surface Duo Dev Blog

  2. Read: Creating Apps for Dual Screen

  3. Follow: #SurfaceDuoDev tag on dev.to

  4. Bookmark: Azure For Mobile Developers


About Chicago Roboto

Chicago Roboto is a 2-day developer conference held in one of my favorite places - the Windy City aka "Sweet Home Chicago" β™₯️. The audience is primarily Android developers but topics can range from programming languages (Kotlin, Java) to cross-platform frameworks (Flutter, React Native) and general areas like accessibility, ethics, and open source.

This year is no different. We have a packed agenda and fantastic speakers and I can't wait to attend & learn!


2017: "Data Driven Development"

Chicago Roboto is community-driven and that makes a difference. Chicago is also one of the cities I've called home, so being back there to do my first talk in 2017 was doubly significant. This year's conference is virtual but I hope to be back in person in 2021.

In 2017, I was fascinated with Mobile Analytics and using data-driven development to understand, and respond to, user behaviors within our mobile apps.


Since then I've pivoted to other things. I worked on web development (React) and cross-platform development (Flutter). I also joined Microsoft Developer Relations and spent almost two years working on developer programs for the North America (US + Canada) region ecosystems. Android was not on my priority list.

Until 2020. When Microsoft launched the Surface Duo, I knew I wanted to get back to mobile development and explore the features and affordances of this unique device. So I switched roles and became a Cloud Developer Advocate focused on mobile and fusion teams. And I began to dig into the amazing changes and evolution of the Android platform and ecosystem that I missed out on.

Want to follow my Surface Duo Development adventures? Bookmark this article and track the series!


2020: "Dual Screen & Multi-Posture"

So this year, I will be doing my first Android talk in a while. I am nervous and excited all at once. I have three simple goals:

  1. Awareness: - I want to get more developers to be aware of trends and advances in the foldable devices and dual-screen apps space. We are in the early stages so having more developers explore capabilities and provide feedback will help us all move the chains faster.

  2. Action: - I want to have folks install the Surface Duo SDK and emulator and take the samples for a spin. Get a tangible sense of what the design considerations and best practices are. Migrate your app over (to run as is on single screen) as a simple first step - then incrementally play with different ideas to rethink user experiences.

  3. Amplification: - I want to get people excited to think beyond the current limitations and examples. Once you know the how, ask "what if"? What are the possibilities for new or enhanced user experiences - from multi-tasking productivity to context-aware companion apps or content experiences.

The talk will have links to various resources to help jumpstart your development journey. And I will be updating this post with more resources over the week.

Learn more about my session here


Call to Action

1. Post your questions & comments

I will put a link to this post in my talk and I encourage readers and attendees to use this forum to post their questions - so everyone can benefit from the discussion! Have a question? Post it here

2. Subscribe for slides & recording

Once my talk is over I'll post slides here, and update this with a link to the recording when available. Want to be notified when that happens? Click Subscribe

3. Bookmark these resources

The Surface Duo Dev team are an incredibly passionate and supportive group of engineers and developers who are looking to understand the pain points and development needs of the community.

I can't wait to share more with you all soon!

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