Developer Perspective: A Conversation with PGi’s David Guthrie

Developer Perspective: A Conversation with PGi’s David Guthrie

Nov 12, 2014

Developers are awesome.

In this business, picking the brains of developers is such a privilege. Finding out how, why and when can be really fascinating.

We had the opportunity to do a quick Q&A with David Guthrie, Chief Technology Officer for PGi, the development house behind calendar super-app Agenday Smart Calendar, which we had the pleasure of reviewing recently.

AR: Why Agenday? What inspired its development?

DG: PGi is focused on frictionless collaboration. We wanted a tool that could be a powerful stepping off point for busy professionals to take control of their day. Agenday was designed and developed by our Innovation Lab to help people collaborate on the go without the hassles of long dial-in numbers or passcodes, URLs or downloads and too many apps doing one thing – instead of one app that empowers users to do it all. On the enterprise business side, Agenday saves companies significant dollars by dialing the lowest cost route for any conference call—huge for companies with remote teams, regional offices and global customers.

AR: Making a “regular” calendar app is hard enough; how did the development team settle on Agenday’s extra features?

DG: The extra features, such as turn-by-turn directions and weather forecasts, were things that we at the PGi Innovation Lab team wanted in our own lives to add efficiencies to our hectic days. Everything you need to start your day, stay up-to-date on personal and work activities, and grow as a professional are all inside the app. Agenday’s product integrations are designed to ultimately help people in businesses of all sizes, industries and locations be more productive, work smarter and get more done with less hassle. For example, many of our collaboration software power users are executive leaders and salespeople, so the LinkedIn and integrations were tailored to help them learn more about who they were meeting, as well as log those sales activities in a frictionless way.

AR: How has Android development differed from iOS development? Pros? Cons?

DG: The biggest difference with Agenday for Android is our ability to empower Android users with the productivity widget they need – something that wasn’t available on Android devices before. Android’s greater flexibility and openness allows developers to create powerful apps and serve users right at the moment. A big pro for Android development is the way the app gets permissions versus iOS. Those permissions are critical to getting the productivity gains from the app. Some iOS users are wearing of this, and so don’t get all they can from Agenday. Also, the lock screen widget and ongoing notifications in Android add great usability to our App.

AR: How do you see the app developing down the line?

DG: We have unlimited ideas for our roadmap for Agenday. Our customers will be very happy with the additional productivity items we are already building to remove frictions in their day.

Agenday Smart Calendar is available on the Play Store.

10000000 Creator Announces You Must Build a Boat

10000000 Creator Announces You Must Build a Boat

Feb 3, 2014

Luca Redwood, creator of 10000000, has announced his latest game: You Must Build a Boat. This sequel will use some of the same mechanics: players will manipulate tiles on a board to help the progress of a running character above, but will feature deeper gameplay elements. Players will be able to upgrade their tiles, capture monsters, and recruit allies for their boat.


Interestingly, the game is a sequel, but Redwood is attempting to make it free for anyone who has purchased 10000000, because he promised a big update to the game that never came. People who own the Steam and Humble versions will get it automatically added to their accounts when released, but the Google Play version will be harder to handle, so there may be some alternate way of getting that free copy if this plan pans out. A feature is also planned for 10000000 owners to import their save data to get bonuses in this game.


There’s no release date for You Must Build a Boat yet as it’s still in development, but it should be playable for press around GDC time when we’ll try to get our grubby mitts on it.

Two Tribes is Dead. Long Live Two Tribes!

Two Tribes is Dead. Long Live Two Tribes!

Jan 9, 2014

Toki Tori creators Two Tribes are out of business now – sort of. The development side of the company has gone out of business thanks to the elongated development time of Toki Tori 2+, which also failed to hit sales projections. So the company hasessentially rebooted itself with its founders and is working on a new game using that game’s engine.

The good news for fans of Two Tribes games is that the games were published by a legally separate Two Tribes entity, so games like Toki Tori, and published titles like Edge aren’t going away, so it’s smooth sailing there.

In summation, Two Tribes is dead, Two Tribes lives, Two Tribes has been reborn.

KickStarter Spotlight: jimu

KickStarter Spotlight: jimu

Mar 13, 2013

Over the course of the last few years I have had a few bright ideas in the shower. I have started serious work on two separate Android apps using Google’s Eclipse programmer, and so far have just two skeleton programs to show for my efforts. I bring this up to show that I have experience in the difficulties of writing Android apps; I am an electrical engineering student, and by no means a programmer, but as someone who is regularly around different kinds of computer codes and such I am still very much in the dark when it comes to what is needed for Android. For those who are even less technologically proficient than me this learning curve has to be daunting, and is easily the number one road block to creating the next great app.

When working in Eclipse I often found myself yearning for a program that could just let me, in lay-man’s terms, build my project. No entering in confusing and precise jargon, just drag-and-drop images, and, in plain english, say what should happen when this button is tapped. Well, maybe my dream program has arrived; called jimu it is an ambitious effort to make a web app that does exactly what I have described above. Instead of coding by hand the user simply drags and drops different, customizable blocks to build their app. Created a new screen is as simple as dragging one into the editing field, and screens are connected by simply dragging an arrow from an action on one screen to its reaction on the other. The simple example is having a button that displays a photograph in its place when tapped. In jimu all the user has to do is place the button, drag another screen into the editing field, put the image into that new screen, and then connect the two with a line from the button. There are, of course, very detailed ways to edit each interaction and it is the goal of the developers behind jimu to allow anyone to have as much control with this graphical interface as they would hard-coding it by hand.

Unfortunately, jimu has gotten off to a slow start on KickStarter. Of all the projects I have reviewed on KickStarter this one has the potential to be the most influential because it could make app creation much more accessible than ever before. None of this will be possible without the donations of the internet community, so I urge everyone to check out jimu and help this great project gain some steam.