One of the nice things about this job is that I’m meeting lots of interesting startups who are doing mobile apps. My fave so far is Bump.

Bump World Headquarters

Bump World Headquarters

The idea is simple: I bump your phone with mine, and the result is that I transfer something to you; say, a phone number, or a picture, or, of course, money.

A good place to start getting the picture would be their FAQ. This is the kind of technology I like; a simple effect, instantly understandable, that requires rocket science under the covers to pull off.

The Bump guys

Ah, that startup ambience. You’ll note that I erased the whiteboards, but I can reveal that one of them contained scraps of what appeared to be [gasp!] Haskell code.

Bump and Android · There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that they’re running on Android (very nicely) and shipping an Android API. You can bump an iPhone and an Android together and it Just Works, no problemo.

In fact, there are a couple of things they can do in Android that are harder on other platforms; for example, because of the Android Intent feature, you can register Bump to, for example, share pictures.

Sharing pictures with Bump

Of course, nothing’s perfect. The Bump guys had run across a couple of issues which were causing them extra work at release time, and really shouldn’t have. So I visited them to look at the source code so we can figure out how to set things up so that particular bug doesn’t bite anyone else.

Practical mobile-device compatibility

Practical compatibility testing at the Bump World HeadQuarters.

Any other startups reading this, I’d be happy to get pitches. But I probably won’t write you up here unless I’m actually going to use your app myself.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Bob DuCharme (Apr 21 2010, at 19:00)

OK, so it's starting to sink in a little more how cool your new job is.

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From: John Simon (Apr 21 2010, at 19:22)

Haskell?! let's wait till the next version is rejected from AppStore. ;-)

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From: Matthew Laird (Apr 21 2010, at 20:24)

Now, combine this with what Rickard Falkvinge (Leader of the European Pirate Party) said in his keynote at Openweb 2009 here in Vancouver; when data rates and storage capacity become sufficiently high enough - you've got the record and movie industry's worst nightmare.

Bump. There goes someone's entire mp3 collection to a random stranger. Bump. There goes the latest big budget flick.

The world is changing. These guys are some of the leaders of the new reality. The old world needs to catch up or die.

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From: Jonathan Cohen (Apr 21 2010, at 20:58)

How about Windows Mobile? No, seriously, there are still some of us around :)

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From: Hanan Cohen (Apr 21 2010, at 21:23)

From the photo it is clear they need Powermat wireless chargers.

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From: Tom Limoncelli (Apr 21 2010, at 21:48)

One thing I really miss from my Palm Treo (and other Palms before that) was the ability to "beam" a business card via IR or BlueTooth.

I found that the BlueTooth mode worked to send my business card to dozens of non-PDA phones that didn't advertise this feature. It was great!

It was a miracle of interoperability! I look forward to that day returning!

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From: Sivan (Apr 22 2010, at 00:16)

5 taps and 20 seconds to exchange contacts.

I agree with the Treo comment. Touch devices stripped away keyboards and infra red and now have to resort to this.

Cool tech though.

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From: A.B.Leal (Apr 22 2010, at 04:57)

> How about Windows Mobile? No, seriously, there are still some of us around :)

Between WinMo 6.5 and 7, I'm reminded of those small marine creatures left to fry in the sun between tides.

I acquired an HTC HD2 (nice hardware, WM 6.5) a few months ago; I knew it was risky, but had some hope.

Any recommendations/hints of an Android ROM welcome (haven't looked at XDAdevelopers lately).

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From: Tony Fisk (Apr 22 2010, at 06:00)

Nice!

It meshes with a silly notion I've had of a form of inverted RPG where you either design characters or an environment on your app and then let the characters loose to slash and hack their way from one RPG playing phone to another.

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From: Peter (Apr 22 2010, at 07:45)

Is that a Blackberry Storm 2 there? Could this come to the Blackberry App Store soon?

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From: Carl (Apr 22 2010, at 09:37)

So do the Mobile Devices actually connect directly, via Bluetooth or 802.11s? Is it Manet or Imanet Protocol?

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From: Scott Mace (Apr 23 2010, at 10:33)

Can the Android version bump events from calendar to calendar yet?

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author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

April 21, 2010
· Technology (85 fragments)
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I am an employee of Amazon.com, but the opinions expressed here are my own, and no other party necessarily agrees with them.

A full disclosure of my professional interests is on the author page.