• Mobel Comeback Session: ReactNative Best Practices, iOS Background Location APIs

    It’s a been a while, but Mobel is back! We’re returning with an evening filled with mobile dev goodness on ReactNative and iOS background APIs. Once again, Immoweb has been so kind as to host for us, at their headquarters in Brussels!

    Thanks to Gustavo Nascimento and Jo Somers for volunteering to share some truly interesting stuff with us on Wednesday 25 April. We hope to see you all there at our first event of 2018!

    > Jo is currently working as Mobile Lead Developer & Solution
    Architect at Rombit, working on awesome connected products and IOT projects.

    Carrying the React Native flag, he will guide us through the wonderful
    world of React Native, sharing experiences on large projects with common
    modules, best practices and writing native modules. After working over 6
    years as a native Android developer, he might convince you of a world of
    cross-platform development and why you never want to go back.

    > Gustavo started his career in Tokyo as a backend developer. After moving back to Brussels, he developed different iOS applications during his free time and joined a startup accelerator. He then joined Immoweb and worked remotely for various startups. Gustavo is now working for Sentiance, whose mission is to turn IoT sensor data into rich insights about people’s behavior and real-time context.

    Location and background execution: How Core Location should be used in the background and what are the impacts on the user and the application execution state. More specifically, what are the challenges in terms of battery usage, accuracy and allowed execution time.

  • Internet of Things Development


    Hi all,

    Mark your calendars! We're announcing our next meetup, about the trials and tribulations of Internet of Things development, on Wednesday June 14 at 19:00. The kind folks at Immoweb have stepped up and will be hosting our event at their Brussels offices, providing a nice space and some refreshments.

    We'll be welcoming 3 great speakers to the stage next month:

    Geert Michiels will show us what it takes to go from IoT idea to a functioning hardware prototype, schematics and soldering included.

    Jeroen Mols will shine some light on the lessons he's learned while building complex connected IoT products.

    Peter Leemans will explore the role of mobile apps in the era of Internet of Things, and by extension, the challenges and the future role of the mobile app developer.

    Our host: Immoweb (56 Avenue Général Dumonceau, 1190 Forest/Vorst, Brussels). Doors open at 19:00, talks start at approx. 19:30.


    Immoweb's parking garage will be open to visitors, with a maximum capacity of 15 spots. The others can make use of the free street parking; there should be enough space available for everyone within short walking distance.

    We hope to see you all there!

    -- The Mobel Team

  • Setting up a quick’n’dirty backend for your app

    Are you ready to learn how to quickly spin up a backend for your mobile app?

    You’re in luck, as our next meetup is happening on Thursday March 9, 2017! It’ll be dedicated to just this topic and will be hosted by our friends at VRT in Brussels. As usual, doors open at 19:00, and talks start half an hour later.

    Hans Cappelle will present an Android proof-of-concept with Firebase REST endpoints and Retrofit. Firebase is easily configured as a free service and can be replaced by any backend, if needed in the future. Focus will be on Firebase configuration and Android service implementation with Retrofit, with the JSON payloads mapped to model objects in Java.

    Hans studied Photography and IT in Ghent and started his career at Securex as a Java developer. In his spare time Hans was working on several Android apps building up experience, while at the same time KBC was looking for people to join the mobile team. So within the first year of deployment at KBC he switched from Java to Android, where he has been working for almost 5 years now.


    You can park your car on the VRT visitor parking (located to the right of the entrance): https://www.vrt.be/nl/contact/routebeschrijving/After reporting to reception/security, you go to the main VRT entrance (walk besides the VRT tower, the main building is located to the left).Once inside the building, you pass the glass doors, and go straight-ahead till the VRT shop. On your left you'll find elevators, where you go to the 9th floor, and see the session's room (Perszaal) in front of you.

  • CocoaHeadsBE and mobel present: Let's talk React (Native)

    Belfius Bank

    We are happy to announce our next mobel event in a joint venture with CocoaHeads on September 21, 2016 at Belfius in Brussels.

    As we started looking for people who could talk about React, we learned CocoaHeads would also organise an event around the subject. We decided to group up and organise this one together.

    Steven Vandeweghe and Anthony De Smet will guide us through the wonderful world of React and React Native, and share their experiences with these JavaScript frameworks.

    Steven Vandeweghe is a long time iOS developer for Blue Crowbar, recently turned web developer for timeframeapp.com. He's going to give an introduction on what React is, what he uses it for and what he likes about it. He'll also talk about the tools that he uses to make development with React very easy.

    Anthony De Smet is an all-around IT-expert, with a special affinity for combining functional and technical requirements into future-proof solutions. Telenet's IT systems architect by day, rogue developer by night. Foodie and gaming nerd. For the last few months, he's been working on a new product named Beer Me Up!. During his session, he will guide us through the app's code and explain some of the key decisions he had to make during development. He'll also touch on the subject of React-Native's breaking changes with new versions being released, and how this has affected the app's development.

    Thanks again to Belfius bank for hosting this event!

    Practical information: The nearest car park is Interparking Rogier (http://www.interparking.be/nl/find-parking/Rogier/). Be advised: spots are limited!

    Kind regards,
    The mobel steering

  • Moving the mobile user experience into high gear

    De Persgroep HQ

    Dear Mobel enthusiasts,

    Come join us again on June 8, starting at 19:00 at the offices of De Persgroep in Asse (just a stone’s throw away from Brussels)! We will be convening there to listen to two excellent speakers talk about two equally interesting, yet wildly different topics:

    • “Why mobile apps fail” by Tommy De Kimpe

    • “Animations on iOS” by Stijn Willems

    These sessions have more in common than may be apparent at first glance: the endeavour to craft engaging apps that will delight users with thoughtful animations, and hold their attention with a well-founded user experience.

    The lovely people of De Persgroep will be serving drinks at our next meeting, so don't forget bring your thirst for a tasty beverage or two -- in addition to your thirst for knowledge, of course!

    Punch in the following address into your GPS:

    De Persgroep

    Brusselsesteenweg 347

    1730 Kobbegem

    Hope to see you there!

    “Why mobile apps fail” by Tommy De Kimpe

    You've spent months and months building, coding and tweaking your company's latest mobile app. But the app isn't catching on, reviews are bad and people don't like the experience. What happened? Your responsibility? Maybe, but it can also be that your product managers and designers haven't done their work properly. They've probably jumped into early sketching and wireframing without answering a few fundamental questions about the experience the app needs to offer first. And then apps fail…

    As an experienced UX designer at Human Interface Group (higroup.com), Tommy De Kimpe noticed that many clients struggle with the same core problem: they start thinking in terms of screens too soon. So now his focus is more and more on helping clients make strategic choices on user experience first.

    “Animations on iOS” by Stijn Willems

    First I would like to talk about the usefulness of animations. I would like to start with the use of animations in cartoons and how this can help us in app development. To give this talk context I would like to reuse some material that I have seen in a presentation from Namahn. Then I would like to given an example of an app I made for a client. The app is DrumtunePRO. It uses animations to guide the user. At least that was/is the intention. But maybe we have overdone this a bit and can learn from it.

    In the technical part I would like to discuss basic UIView based animations that are easy to write and are useful to animate properties. I expand this by animating layout constraints with the example of a custom presentation controller. As an extra I could talk about how you could use PaintCode to use animations. I will give an example of a color picker I made for Philips Hue that explodes colours out of a picture.
    I would like to wrap up with a small debate about the usefulness of animations. They were/are very useful to give users visual indication of how an app is supposed to work. But are they worth the effort?

    Stijn is a passionate product developer. He began to develop apps to support the social sharing economy. He helped with the startup of two companies in the social sharing economy namely Carambla and Tapazz. He became an experienced iOS developer while making prototypes for different connected products. Changing the colours on many iPhone screens with ultrasound, tuning your drum with DrumtunePRO or connect your toothbrush to your iPad/iPhone. He also developed 2 large products that were thought of by Philips research. Stijn believes in applications that deliver relevant content to the users context. Apps can lose their users by not being snappy but also by including too many features. Every feature should be wrapped in a meaningful conversation to the user.

  • Blurring your app's boundaries with extensions and intents

    Karel de Grote Hogeschool

    Dear Mobel enthusiasts,

    Let's meet up again! We'd like to invite you for another Mobel event.

    Date: Tuesday, March 8


    This time the nice people at KDG hogeschool Antwerp will be hosting. We're looking forward to welcoming the KDG students to this and any future Mobel events.

    Karel de Grote Hogeschool
    Nationalestraat 5

    Topic of the evening:

    "Blurring your app’s boundaries with extensions and intents.Using iOS App Extensions, Android Intents and Windows Share Contracts"

    Siebe Sysmans - "Cross-app communication and plugin architecture in Android"

    Siebe Sysmans started playing with Android development four years ago and has been loving it ever since. Currently he is employed at AppFoundry and working as a consultant on the Vente-Exclusive.com Android app.

    Siebe will show you different ways of using Intents, Services, the PackageManager and more Android goods to do cross-app communication in Android and how those components can be used to make a plugin architecture.

    Jorge de Corte - "App Extensions in iOS"

    Jorge De Corte started out as an Android developer but decided he liked iOS development more. Besides working as an iOS consultant at Cozmos he likes to tinker with cool Internet of Things devices. Currently he is working on different iOS apps at VRT. Since may 2015 he has an iOS app in the store that uses a Today and Apple Watch Extension and loves to talk about his experiences.

    What are App Extensions and which App Extension can complement your new or existing app? What are the challenges and technical hurdles you have to cross to add an extension in your app and get it in the App Store? This talk will answer these questions and explain the pitfalls and best practices.

    Pieter Nijs - "Data sharing and Cross-App communication in UWP"

    Pieter Nijs lives in Belgium and works as a Senior .NET Software Engineer/Consultant and Leader of the Mobile Competence Center at Ordina Belgium. On a day to day basis he works with things like .NET, UWP, C#, XAML, Visual Studio, Azure, Team Foundation Server, Xamarin,… As you might conclude from these technologies, his main interest is Microsoft technologies and mobile development. But, he is also likes to play with things like BDD, TypeScript, Kinect 2, IoT-stuf,… At Ordina he gives a vast amount of trainings and sessions, both in-home and at customers. But he also speaks at public and community-driven events.

    In this session, Pieter will give you a short overview of the different possibilities to share data between Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. Things like Share contracts, Drag & Drop between apps, App services, … will be highlighted and discussed. After this session people should have a clear understanding about the different sharing possibilities in UWP.

    Hope to see you there!

    - The Mobel steering team

  • Testing on mobile


    Dear mobile enthusiast,

    We'll get together December 9th, 2015 for our last mobel event of the year.

    Testing of mobile applications has often been neglected, but the enthusiasm for testing and TDD is growing. Many people though struggle to apply it effectively. We'll show how to test, and how you can write clear, readable and maintainable tests. Besides unit testing and mocking, we'll also talk about writing test cases that exercise a UI and check for expected views and states in the application. To top this all of, we'd also like to demonstrate how this all fits into a continuous integration or maybe even a continuous delivery setup.


    Joris Dubois works as a iOS consultant at AppFoundry. After his graduation he started learning Objective-C and quickly became familiar with the do's and don'ts. During the development of several applications at VRT he felt the need of unit testing. Now, 2 years later, testing code has become a daily thing and he feels it's the right time to convince others to do so.

    Besides work he likes to hang out with friends on Teamspeak and play some good games.

    Filip Maelbrancke is an Android developer at AppFoundry. Likes clean code, tests, the occasional dash of TDD and finding out how to apply the best practices and principles of the Software Craftsmanship movement to Android. Filip will show how the Android team has improved the testing story for Android during the years, but also how the Android testing framework can be complemented with several other tools and libraries to help you build better quality applications.

    We would like to also thank VRT for yet again hosting this event.

    Hit that "RSVP" button, we hope to see you all there!

    The mobel steering team

  • Designing for Mobile

    Belfius Bank

    We’d like to invite you to our next session on September 16!

    As mobile developers we all know the importance of good design. We implement awesome animations and interactions to get the most out of our apps, but in the end the designer makes them beautiful and fun to use. Working with a UI designer who understands the intricacies (and limitations) of mobile interfaces can really make a difference! So how do they do it? What makes mobile design work? And how do they put up with us? ;) We wanted to hear from the designers themselves, so we invited the following speakers:

    Dennis Covent (iCapps) - Messing with Photoshop files is so 2014

    New tools appear all the time for both designers and developers. Shouldn’t those tools finally be able to work together? Dennis explains the process at iCapps, where the horror of hundreds of Photoshop files is replaced by automatically generated Style Guides with colors, fonts, assets, margins, … The whole process from customer workshops to prototyping will be discussed. From a designer’s perspective, aimed at developers.

    About Dennis:

    Dennis is Lead Designer at iCapps. Together with his team, he is responsible for each project’s Concept & Design. After a start in Web Design, his focus has been on Mobile & Web apps for the past 3 years. Freelance work and side projects take up the rest of his time. Dennis lives in Antwerp and is 24 years old.

    Wim Lommelen (Alligence) - Giving the user what they need without giving in to what they want

    Very much like listening to music can make you want to pick up a guitar; everything you experience can inspire you to refine that experience. If you're any good at it, it means you do not create for yourself but for a “user". Is there a practical strategy to give the user what they need without giving in to what they want?

    About Wim:

    • master in communications

    • 2 years teaching kids how to read and write

    • 2 years managing a print account

    • 4 years managing a communication account

    • 5 years directing creativity at a communications agency

    • 3 kids, 1 wife, no dog

    It's my job to make sure writers, designers and developers get the tools, the time and the information they need to do their best work.

    I'm a cheerleader with a curator’s eye.

    Practical information

    The nearest car park is Interparking Rogier (http://www.interparking.be/nl/find-parking/Rogier/).

  • WWDC, Google I/O and BUILD recap session


    Hello fellow mobile developers,

    We’d like to invite you to our next session on July 8th, 2015! It’s conference season again and we’re organizing a get-together to discuss the most important announcements from WWDC, Google I/O and the BUILD conference. To recap each event, we have invited the following speakers:

    • Litrik De Roy & Peter Kuterna (Google I/O)

    • Mike Seghers (Apple WWDC)

    • Nico Vermeir (Microsoft BUILD)

    VRT will be once more hosting our event in Brussels, which will start at 19:30 on Wednesday, July 8th. You’ll find us in the “Press room” on the 9th floor (follow the "mobel" signs). See you there!

    Litrik De Roy has been a freelance Android developer for more than 5 years. He has created apps for big brands and small businesses, for fun and profit. He has strong opinions about Android apps and how they should be built.

    Peter Kuterna is a consultant at XT-i NV and crafts software in Java with a focus on Android and mobile backends.

    Mike Seghers is a software architect @AppFoundryBE. He focusses on iOS development and software architecture in general. Mike has worked on apps for Devoxx, VRT and others.

    Nico Vermeir is a Microsoft MVP in the field of Windows Platform Development. He works as a .NET developer at RealDolmen Belgium since 2010. He spends a lot of time on keeping up with the rapid changing world of technology. He loves talking about and using the newest and experimental technologies, especially in the mobile world. In 2011 Nico founded MADN, a user group focusing on Windows 8 and Windows Phone development. Nico is also member of Microsoft’s Extended Expert Team, a team of community leaders and technology experts that focus on delivering community advice for everyone. He also wrote “Windows 8 app projects, XAML & C# edition” published by Apress.

  • Reactive Programming; A tale of Push and Pull


    We have the pleasure to announce our Next Mobel event on Wednesday May 6th.
    Our latest event (last week) came about after way too long of a hiatus, so this time we have another event coming up a bit faster.

    Next week we welcome Georgi Khomeriki. He will talk about the reactive movement.
    While Georgi will talk quite a bit about RxJava and RxAndroid, we would like to stress that the ideas behind Reactive Extensions (RX) are polyglot, and can be most useful for all mobile developers, whether on Android through RxJava, iOS with ReactiveCocoa, as well as .NET, Javascript and several other implementations.
    We invited Georgi since he can masterly explain and convey the general RX principles and concepts independent of programming languages and has intimate knowledge about several different implementations.

    Reactive Programming; A tale of Push and Pull

    RxJava is an open source, polyglot implementation of Reactive Extensions for the JVM. It is a library which allows the composition of asynchronous and event-based programs by using observable sequences. Using RxJava, developers represent asynchronous data streams with Observables, manipulate these streams by means of functional operators and use Schedulers to parametrize their concurrency. During this session we will talk about the general concepts of reactive programming, exploring the main advantages of integrating Rx to shape non-blocking asynchronous mobile applications. Even though this talk will focus on RxJava and RxAndroid, the concepts are applicable to any other programming language.

    Georgi Khomeriki bio
    Software developer at Applied Duality

    Georgi is working closely with Erik Meijer and the Applied Duality team to shape the future of reactive programming. Currently he teaches the reactive programming course at Delft University of Technology. He is also researching and developing reactive debugging paradigms using Rx. His main field of interests are functional and reactive programming. Previously Georgi has worked as a software developer at the dutch royal academy of science.

    Practical information

    Our host for the evening:
    Hospitaalplein[masked] Antwerpen
    (within walking distance of the Antwerpen-Berchem train station)

    Date & time: Wednesday May 6, 2015
    Session starts at 19:30