The Android scene is India has been hotting up for some time now. With an increasing number of manufacturers offering phones on the Android platform, developers and hackers are getting into the Android game.

The substantial turnout at Droidcon India, the first-ever international Android conference, held on November 18 and 19 in Bangalore, bears testament to this growing interest. Organised by tech event management start-up HasGeek, the two-day conference had over 550 participants from Bangalore and different parts of the country attending lectures, hackathons and workshops on all things Android.

With less than 10 per cent of the audience comprising students, unlike many tech conferences, the event was all about technology. Lectures covered a wide range of topics, ranging from presentations by experts who took the audience through building a distribution from scratch to making robots with Android and Arduino and design mobile apps. The theme for the conference covered a range of topics that included building well-designed apps, dealing with device diversity, performance optimisation, NFC, Arduino, and usage in the Enterprise.

Not restricting itself to hardcore tech alone, the conference featured a lecture on the Intellectual Property Rights dimension of this innovation game. A three-hour hacking session on the Android platform had application developers and programmers hacking away on their systems on the first day of the conference.

Varun V., a software professional from Bangalore who attended the event, said that attending the technical sessions gave him many ideas. Working in an MNC, he said he had always wanted his own start-up and felt that Android was the right platform to choose. “I've met a lot of interesting people, and have got a lot of ideas. The good thing is that I also get to meet people like me working in other companies and who share my enthusiasm for Android.”

Interestingly, it wasn't just about the coding. A senior executive said that he worked on the management side but was genuinely interested in Android. “I wanted to know more about the community, and understand how this developer ecosystem works better. Perhaps we could use this platform to work for us in different ways,” he said.

Tier-II cities

Indeed, the conference exceeded the expectations of the organisers, both in terms of numbers and the enthusiasm shown by the community. Says Kiran Jonalagadda, founder of HasGeek, “What is most interesting is that a lot of people who have travelled to Bangalore for this conference are from cities like Jaipur, Chandigarh and so on.” Contrary to what one may imagine, it appears there is a lot of interest in technology in these tier II cities, he adds. He also believes that though the Android app scene is yet to catch up in India, enterprise adoption of Android is the “next big thing” for the open source mobile operating system. This conference was part of the world's largest series of Android conferences with other editions in the past having been held in London, Bucharest, Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin.