October 25, 2014

Enabling the Ecosystem: Snaptic, Part Two

SnapticEnabling the Ecosystem is a series of interviews with those people and firms that are helping to build the overall Android ecosystem.

This week’s interview is with Andreas Schobel, CTO of Snaptic, makers of the 3banana note-taking application. 3banana, unlike an ordinary note-taker, offers integration hooks to allow third-party apps to add and manipulate notes.

AG: The API seems one-way. Is there any sort of reverse integration (e.g., a note has an Intent attached that allows the user to go back to the app that created the note)?

AS: Developers can get a list of their notes and filter on #tag. We are looking at ways to allow more hooks back into the source app.

AG: Similarly, is there any way for an app to delete its own notes, query its notes, update its notes, etc.? Or is it that once a note is in 3banana Notes’ (virtual) hands, it is up to 3banana Notes and the user to maintain the note?

AS: The great thing about Intents is that it blurs the line between where your app ends and the other app starts. For example, when a user gets a list of notes from Tip Calculator, they also get an in-app list of all their tips, which allows the user to edit, update, and delete their notes.

In general, the notes functionality is the same in an integrated app and 3banana. Intents allow full functionality of 3banana in an integrated app without having to leave the integrated app. The apps are speaking to each other. You don’t have to use 3banana to edit notes you saved in, let’s say, Tip Calculator. You can just use Tip Calculator to view and edit and Tip Calculator will tell 3banana about any changes. It also works if you make changes in 3banana to any Tip Calculator notes, 3banana will talk to Tip Calculator.

AG: Are there any fees for developers to integrate with 3banana Notes?

AS: There are no fees, and we have zero plans to have any. This is really a case where open is good for everyone. Developers win, apps are cooler, and customers benefit by having more use of their content.

AG: What sorts of cross-promotional opportunities are there for developers who integrate with 3banana Notes (e.g., you promote them, they promote you)?

We love to show off the neat ways people are integrating with our platform. We have a gallery of integrations and highlighted our partners at our South By Southwest panel we spoke at a few weeks ago. We are also doing some videos showing off the features, and are actually hosting a developer conference on May 27 in San Francisco.

We are really interested in seeing Android continue to thrive and to keep creating new and more interesting feature combos that users love. We are planning on hosting a couple of these a year to create live opportunities to share ideas and work together. We are loading up on a really cool contingent of speakers and a hackackton for this event. We even have Marten Mickos, the former CEO of My SQL on deck at the conference to talk about running a startup that really leveraged open development. If anyone wants to check it out they can sign up for more info at snaptic.com/events, it is going to be fantastic!