Madrid Youth Entrepreneurship Award

Hello dear reader!

LogoTJMonday November 27th, was an extremely important day for me. I have received the Madrid Youth Entrepreneurship award (http://www.carnejovenmadrid.com/es/ventajas/otros-planes/iii-premios-talento-joven-carne-joven-comunidad-de-madrid,731). This award is aimed at people who have created projects that are pushing the boundaries of innovation and creating job posts. It is an immense pride to be the winner of this year’s edition and I will continue to work tirelessly to be worthy of this honour.

It is amazing to see how something that starts as an idea, turns into a full-fledged product that is used by millions of users. At the beginning, everyone thought we were crazy, that location sharing was never going anywhere. We have always argued the need of real time location sharing that expires after a certain time, always with an agreement from both parties, and with total security and privacy. Flashforward three years and we have been able to raise numerous investment rounds, acquire over 10 million users, expand all over the globe and see how other giants like WhatsApp, Google, Facebook and Telegram copy our model. Days like today prove that we are on the right track and we will continue to rocket Wave to the moon.

I would like to thank all the Youth Organization of Madrid, the council of Madrid and Wolters Kluwer for awarding me with this distinction.

You can read all the different press releases about the event below:

You can also read my latest interview while you are at it 😉

https://global-m.co.uk/journal/day-in-the-life-of-a-cto-pablo-clemente-wave

And you can also check out some cool pictures below.

 

 

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Thank you very much for reading!

Until next time!

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Is Serverless the way to go? – Part 2

serverlessIn my last post (https://pabloclementeperez.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/is-serverless-the-way-to-go-part-1/) we looked at many problems developers and enterprises encounter when trying to scale up their systems and handle heavy traffic at irregular intervals.

Serverless is a new and fresh perspective where your code is encapsulated and contained in a virtual environment, this environment is then moved on demand through different types of architecture so that you are always able to meet the demand you need. What really happens is that big companies like Amazon have huge infrastructure provision, so what they do is they take their servers and deploy your code in different instances according to demand, they then charge you by time execution (usually per 100ms of execution time). This means that you only pay for the actual time your code is run, and not for the number of instances you need.

Amazon is so proud of Lambda it decided to make one of their videos you can watch below:

 

You probably are thinking that this all sounds great and that why the hell would anyone go for a normal infrastructure like paradigm. Well, there are many drawbacks, the first one is that every time your virtual container is run on a new instance you need to set up your environment, load your libraries and dependencies, and start the system. This costs precious seconds, which means your users would have to wait over 5 seconds to receive their API call for instance. This time is lower if you use lightweight languages like Node.js or Python, but can be terrible if you use Java (since you need to load the Java Virtual Machine which is extremely resource hungry). There is a very interesting article about this here https://read.acloud.guru/does-coding-language-memory-or-package-size-affect-cold-starts-of-aws-lambda-a15e26d12c76

One more thing to consider is that if you run a website, Lambda is not the best way to so do, as your content could take a lot to be available, and you would need space on the instance to serve your content. So, it is extremely oriented towards event driven architectures, such as APIs. Another thing to bear in mind is that the less frameworks you use, the faster load times will be, if you decide to use a lightweight language with your own custom implementation (Python with as few frameworks as possible for instance) you’ll get amazing performance.

What do you think about serverless? Drop me a line in the comments!

Thank you for reading!

Is Serverless the way to go? – Part 1

If you are currently in the IT business and rely on Internet infrastructure to serve data you probably know what a pain it is to manage those IT systems. Constantly having to manage servers to increase throughput, lower costs, ensure autoscaling and keep latency at bay is a tremendous effort. It has even spun a new role in the industry, the Dev Ops.

servers

Amazon Web Services (I’ll be using them as the example since they are the leader, but other providers have similar resources) have made giant efforts to try to help developers with this aspect. One of the resources they offer is what they call Elastic Beanstalk. This effectively is a system that allows you to provision code to a number of instances that are behind a load balancer. The load balancer is the key, as it can deploy code into instances by taking them out of the group until they are ready and it handles auto scaling. Auto scaling is handled via triggers, for instance, if you use a CPU trigger, when the overall CPU usage goes over X% the load balancer will spun a new instance with your code and add it to your group, and when it goes below X% it will remove instances. Basically, it helps you manage instances while you maintain full control of everything. So, everything covered no? Amazon felt it was so great three years ago they made a strange video with a curious voice over (honestly, with the budget these guys handle you think they could do better) you can watch below.

However, the truth is this system has immense limitations, the first of which is what happens if you get a traffic spike. When you know you are expecting heavy traffic you can get ready for it by provisioning more instances, but what when that catches you by surprise? Imagine a blog post you don’t expect or some other type of uncontrolled media like an influencer. You are basically screwed, since the load balancer is not particularly agile at sensing something that doesn’t grow in a linear fashion (it typically uses health checks every 1 to 5 minutes), so your system would probably go down as your instances serverlesswould get saturated.
So how do you solve this? How do you prepare for situations like this without having to spend vast amounts of money of infrastructure provision? One of the possibilties is going serverless, and we will analyse what it is and how it works in the next blog post 😉

 

Hope to see you there!

SwiftQR – The fastest QR code reader

A few weeks ago I started looking into Metal (https://developer.apple.com/metal/) on iOS. This is basically a technology that allows you to access graphics chips on iOS devices on a much lower level than typical OpenGL drivers and thus translates in a huge speed boost.

One of the things that pains me most about iOS is that there is no perfect QR code scanner, and they are all painfully slow, so I wondered what could happen if I applied metal imaging technology to QR code recognition and the results blew me away. It is by far the fastest QR code scanner on the App Store. Just try it and see for youself.

As a treat for my readers, it will remain free for a limited period of time. So grab it before it is too late!

qrApp1024Oh, and the name of this beauty? SwiftQR, because it is fast and build in Swift 😉 (how geeky is that!). You can view the description below, the download link, and some screenshots.

Until next time!

 


How many QR codes do we see every day? They are everywhere, from leaflets and magazines to buildings and cars. Wish there could be a faster way to read them? Well wish no more! Leveraging powerful image recognition techniques this is the fastest QR code reader out there. Just give it a try and see for yourself!

Plus, all the QR codes will be saved to your history so that you can view them later and organise them. And if all that wasn’t enough, you can easily create your own QR codes and share them!

Upgrade your QR code scanning experience today!

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When did iOS App review become so intrusive?

Hi dear reader!

Today I wanted to talk about something that has been bothering me lately, and that is the iOS App review process. For those of you who don’t know, this is the process Apple uses to check that the Apps you submit to the App store are secure enough for their ecosystem.

app_store

This on paper sounds great, it feels like an excellent way to ensure that apps are secure and developers go the extra mile to make sure privacy is maintained at all costs. Despite many arguments coming from Android convicts, I actually think this, although sometimes excessive, helps keep iOS safe.

However, lately reviewers have decided to change a bit their path and focus, THey are not looking for security as much, and are more focused on the fact that Apps create what they believe are “Great experiences”. For instance, lately at Wave we were forced to make sure the App allowed you to continue without having access to your contacts (which is as cumbersome as a chat app where you have no one to talk with).

But it gets worse, I am bulding a pet project based around a QR code reader using Swift 3 and Metal that will be the fastest QR scanner out there. And they have rejected it because they say that if the user has no QR codes, then the App is useless. This seems so absurd I am providing hard evidence below.

Apple App rejectionJPG

Why someone would open a QR code scanner without a QR code is beyond me, but you have to play by their rules, so you get rejected and have to add extra functionalities.

What do you think about this? Do you find this appropiate? Or is Apple going too far? One thing is ensuring securirty and forcing updates in old apps, but questioning your App’s utiltiy is a bit of a stretch for me. Considering that this is just an opinion from a random reviewer. Furthermore, sometimes submitting the same app to get another reviewer, means you get accepted direclty.

What do you think? Drop me a line in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

A week in San Francisco and Silicon Valley

Hi dear reader!

This week we are going to be in beautiful San Francisco, it has been a great chance to immerse ourselves in the most advanced start-up ecosystem in the world, and we are learning and shaping the future of Wave. We have met with many people, companies and VCs. You can check out our super photo at Facebook’s Hacker Square ;). We still have a few days left, so if you would like to meet us please drop me a line to reserve you a space as soon as possible.

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We’ll continue our busy schedule and enjoying the beautiful San Francisco. You can check out some photos below to see how beautiful this place is.

In the next post, we’ll be sharing some insights we have learnt!

Until next time dear reader!

Building a new Wave

Location sharing is a daunting proposal. We live in a day and age where users are extremely concerned with their privacy, and they are right about it, with power and technology, comes a huge responsibility, and not everyone makes the right choices when it comes to that.

Icon_Itunes_1024x1024We have been overwhelmed by the response Wave has had. Users around the globe love it. With over 8 million users and a new Wave opened every second, it is clear that we have created a tool that fits into more and more lives every day. However, times change and we are committed to adapt to what you need and want. There is a famous quote by Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland that says: “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that”. That is the motto we must follow in the tech world to be on the bleeding edge and give you the best App, so that you can forget that the phrase “Where are you?” ever existed.

This commitment to you led us back to the drawing board to rethink everything we do and why we do it. We partnered with top design talents and listened very carefully to all the user feedback. What this meant is we started Wave from scratch. This was a perfect opportunity to start again, rethink everything, improve efficiency and introduce really robust and scalable real time systems.

With that in mind we build Wave 3.0. And I couldn’t be prouder to tell you that you can download it right now from the App Store and Google Play.

Wave front

So, why should you choose us? Wave’s core value is its technology, it is the mechanic heart that runs everything and that conveys our experience, this meant that if we wanted to be the go-to App to finding your family and friends, we had to make sure that we excelled in three main pillars:

The first one is security. Your location is an extremely valuable tool, it can be used to meet your friends, or to hurt you. That is why we decided to use military grade encryption and ensure that only the people you are waving with can see your location. We use SSL grade A encryption, dynamic tokens that change periodically and end to end encryption to make this the App even the military could use.

The second one is reliability and speed. What good is a location tool if it is not fast sending your location? Or if it cannot scale up as needed? We have worked endless hours on custom backend systems that combine state of the art technology, with trusted complex systems used in telephony to handle an unheard-of concurrency and achieve load times that make you believe in magic.

The third one is efficiency. Sharing your location can be a battery hog. We have all experienced extreme draining from using apps like Google Maps. This has led us to work on the most advanced location algorithms available, using triangulation via accelerometers, network positioning and the GPS sensor to be the most battery friendly app out there whilst pinpointing your location with extreme accuracy.

We know that just as a healthy heart is the key to a great athlete, our technology is from where we build everything. We have made it so effortless it fades away when you use it and it is what makes us the best location sharing App. Our laser like focus on the important will always be there to provide the definitive App you as user deserve.

You can read more about what how our technology works in a post on the AWS blog (https://aws.amazon.com/es/blogs/database/wave-a-private-location-app-running-on-amazon-rds/), and of course our new website is also a great place to find out more about us https://www.waveapplication.com/

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We pair all of this we an eye-popping design and cool new features such as:

  • The ability to transform individual Waves into group Waves
  • You can now send your location to anyone via a URL they can view in a web page (this is what we call Unidirectional Waves), so you can have an awesome experience even with people who don’t have the App installed.
  • We have a new people-centered UI.
  • Our chat is now blazing fast and be accessed everywhere.

mockup_unidireccionales

But this is just the tip of the iceberg, check out the new version for yourself and let us know what you think! You can download it by accessing https://download.waveapplication.com or by scanning the following QR code on your device:

static_qr_code_without_logo

Hope you enjoy it!

Feel free to drop a line on the comments or reach me at pablo@waveapplication.com with any questions 🙂