Season 1, Episode 6

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This is a transcript of one episode of the Samsung Developers Podcast, hosted by and produced by Tony Morelan. A listing of all podcast transcripts can be found here.


Tony Morelan
Senior Developer Evangelist, Samsung Developers

Instagram - twitter - LinkedIn


Ash Nazir
IoT Gadgets

In this episode of POW, I interview Ash Nazir, Editor in Chief for the website IoT Gadgets. Ash was an early advocate for Tizen OS, building a huge following, Tizen Experts. With that success, Ash and his team launched the website blog IoT Gadgets as a way to expand their coverage of hardware, software and all things internet.

In addition to IoT Gadgets, Ash also runs the largest Facebook Group dedicated to Samsung Galaxy Watch with over 75 thousand members.


Download this episode

Topics Covered

  • Tizen OS
  • Maemo
  • MeeGo
  • Linux Foundation
  • Tizen Experts
  • Writing for IoT Gadgets
  • Facebook Group, Samsung Galaxy Watch

More about IoT Gadgets

Based in Manchester, England, IoT Gadgets is dedicated to bringing you the best Internet of Things (IoT) news directly to you. We are living in exciting times and are proud to be part of this new technology.


NOTE: Transcripts are provided by an automated service and reviewed by the Samsung Developers web team. Inaccuracies from the transcription process do occur, so please refer to the audio if you are in doubt about the transcript.


Tony Morelan 00:02

Hey, I'm Tony Morelan. And this is Pow! Podcasts of Wisdom from the Samsung Developer Program, where we talk about the latest tech new trends and give insight into all the opportunities available for developers looking to create for Samsung. On today's show, I interview Ash Nazir, editor in chief for the website IoT Gadgets. What started out as a small blog related to the Tizen operating system. Ash and his team have built a super successful news and information focused website featuring articles on the latest software hardware and all things internet including a Facebook group dedicated to Samsung smartwatches that has over 75,000 members enjoy. So tell me who is Ash Nazir?

Ashiq Nazir 00:46

so that that's quite a deep question, but I'm going to keep it quite light and you know, you know, not too philosophical as fashion is as I'm basically a network engineer. That's my background, and I'm from Manchester in England. As you can probably tell from the

Tony Morelan 01:01

accent. Okay, now have you lived in Manchester your whole life?

Ashiq Nazir 01:05

Yeah, yeah. Born and bred.

Tony Morelan 01:06

So when you were in school did you study network engineering?

Ashiq Nazir 01:10

So I studied, wait for it. The mathematics statistics and computing. ventures in you'd probably spit them out by then. But it was really my work life. The jobs that I went to into after that, so I do love it support. I did networking, implementation, network design, network infrastructure, and lots of other networking related jobs. That was me fully immersed in that field.

Tony Morelan 01:42

So you learned after school, when you really dove into the workforce, that's where you got off your experience. So when you're not network engineering, what do you like to do for fun?

Ashiq Nazir 01:51

So this is one thing that not a lot of people will kind of understand, but I like fitness. I like training. And I don't work on the guns or the pythons as much as people think. But I have got a modest you know. And so for anybody who doesn't know, pythons guns, that sort obviously refers to your arms, which is what most guys, they love building the humps. You know, they'll neglect the rest of the body.


Tony Morelan 02:26

Yeah. Which is I'm kind of thinking that's not actually a typical engineer the physique of the typical engineer. I think you stand out a little bit at some of these conferences.

Ashiq Nazir 02:35

Um, once upon a time when I started doing a lot of this thing, and IT support it sport was once the Forte of the nerd. Yes, the computer geek in the in the closet. You won't let him out when your computer's dying or near death, and then you lock him away. After you use fixed your computer and I broke that mold. I can tell you that So even a lot of the conferences that I attended over the years. Yeah, I did stand out a little bit.

Tony Morelan 03:08

Yeah, definitely, definitely. So I want to talk about IoT Gadgets. So IoT Gadgets is a blog that you run that I know came out of your excitement for Tyson OS. So can you tell me how you first discovered Tyson and why you became so passionate about it?

Ashiq Nazir 03:24

Okay, now, so this is a little bit of a big question. Forgive me, I'm going to have to expand on this slightly. Once upon a time, there was an operating system called Miko, and there was this mobile phone that they brought out, which was the Nakia and 900. Now, this was one of the first Linux based true phones. And there were lots of things that you could do. You had a built in Terminal, he had a real web browser that supported flash. Now, most people don't really know what that entails. But once upon a time, you couldn't play flash. animations in a mobile web browser. It was just unheard of. In the likes of apple and other things, you could not do those things. So I started following this operating system. And I started promoting it on Twitter. And, you know, unbeknownst to me, I became sort of a bit of an evangelist. And before I knew it, I had sort of 6000 people that were following my Twitter account. Wow. And a year or so. And then, you know, I was invited over to a conference in Dublin now, and that was the point where meemo was becoming meego. And this was when Intel partnered with Nakia. And then it was a natural fit to me to follow on to meego and, and there's lots of wonderful things that operating system could do. Unfortunately, there's a change of direction and Amiga was discontinued, but then Intel continued with it and Samsung came on board. What we found was Tyson which was favored by the Linux Foundation. Now for myself, I'm one of the few people that have traveled the world to almost every single ties and conference and summit all over the world being involved in ties in and helping promote it. Now at that time, I started a website called to Ty's an expert's Yes, that was to obviously promote Tyson.

Tony Morelan 05:25

About what year was that? Did you were started Tyson experts. That was back in 2011. So Tyson experts at the site, they started How did you go from Tyson experts to specifically IoT Gadgets?

Ashiq Nazir 05:40

Well, at the time were Tyson experts. We covered a lot of blog articles about Tyson SDKs IDs. So anybody who doesn't understand so SDKs software development kit, IDs, integrated development environment, and then what we wanted to do is broaden a bit of the coverage of Seidman things that we were involved in. And then in 2018, we started IoT Gadgets and started more dooms some blockchain cryptocurrency stuff, and more stuff related around IoT or the Internet of Things.

Tony Morelan 06:16

Got it. Okay. So obviously, you've got a lot of writers that are writing for IoT Gadgets. I'm assuming you've got some staff writers. I actually did understand, though, that you do welcome guest writers. So can you give me a little bit of background about your writers? And if someone wants to submit an article, how did they become a Guest writer for IoT Gadgets?

Ashiq Nazir 06:33

So basically, we've had lots of writers come and go over the years now. And what we found is a lot of writers tend to be found on IoT Gadgets. So even Samsung themselves, they have hired a few of our writers over the years as well,

Tony Morelan 06:53

really. So they're being discovered on IoT Gadgets. That's it. That's it. So

Ashiq Nazir 06:58

yeah, we welcome people join in And, you know, if people have got the passion, love for writing and computing, by all means they can contact us. And an easy way to join in is if you go onto the website, which is and just click on write to us, or write for us, shall I say, okay, you're straight through to us.

Tony Morelan 07:21

That's excellent. So tell me personally, what are some of your favorite topics to cover?

Ashiq Nazir 07:26

And so for myself, we've been very much involved in a lot of smartwatch stuff. So that that's a lot of our focus is still smartwatch, based around smartwatches, the apps, the watch faces software updates, now, that kind of thing. Okay.

Tony Morelan 07:45

So another thing that I then when I was doing a little bit of background research on IoT Gadgets was that you run a pretty big Facebook group that is focused on the Samsung Galaxy watch that I think you've got like almost 75,000 members So talk a little bit about that Facebook group and tell me what it has to offer.

Ashiq Nazir 08:05

So, with the figure of 75,000, that you mentioned, we're up to actually, let me just have a quick look. We're actually over 77,000.

Tony Morelan 08:17

Now Really?

Ashiq Nazir 08:19

Wait not for nobody and neither does our Facebook group. It's a great place for people to meet each other, who are obviously smartwatch enthusiasts, and developers to showcase their apps, showcase their watch faces, and get relevant feedback. You know, we all need to know what works, what doesn't work. And it's an excellent place for people to promote themselves.

Tony Morelan 08:44

That's wonderful. I mean, because I know that's one of the challenges, you know, when I was developing some apps, was you know, you've created this great app, but then how do you get people to, to discover it? And so always trying to find different ways to make yourself known out there. is a huge challenge. So, you know, knowing that you've got this Facebook group with such a huge active community, that's going to be a huge benefit for developers just starting out. So that's absolutely amazing to hear. So tell me what's in the future for IoT Gadgets?

Ashiq Nazir 09:16

Well down the road, we're actually hoping to start doing a lot more wearable reviews. And obviously, at the moment, people are staying at home a fair bit, for some reason, not sure why aren't doing lots more home fitness apps, and Okay, for myself, I've got the background. I've got the thing to sell that because hey, I love fitness. So, just for me,

Tony Morelan 09:43

that's great. That's great. So tell me what are some of the benefits for developers looking to create apps using Tyson?

Ashiq Nazir 09:49

So Tyson, one of the propositions right from the outset, was this was going to be an operating system that you can use on a variety of devices, but on smartwatches on the mobile side, it has excellent battery life. Now, for a lot of people, you they might not comprehend what a brilliant battery life means until they actually try using a device when they're trying to use some fancy app. And you know, they can only get half the day to assault. So that was something that was brilliant right from the start. And you've got solid performance, where like, say, for my smartwatch You know, I've never really known it to crash or have any issues. It just performs and that's what you want from a smartwatch. You want it to perform. You don't want it to be another bane of your existence. Sure. You don't want to be on the phone to tech support. Hey, what's wrong? You never want to talk to tech support. You want to break that relationship. And that's what I love about it.

Tony Morelan 10:53

That's great. That's great. So you've been doing this you know IoT Gadgets for a while I know that you've been experiencing A lot of different Tyson app. So you got to tell me what is your favorite type of Tyson app. You know what surprised and impressed you

Ashiq Nazir 11:08

saw myself, I'm going to call back to a bit of that health and fitness stuff. So obviously with Samsung, they you've got the Samsung Health app that integrates very nicely with your Titan, smartwatch. And a lot of your apps that count your calories that count your steps, that they're all that information, then get stored into some health. So for myself, I love that thing of, of being able to see things on my watch. And then it's all collated and it's available at my fingertips to see how fast I was and what was my heart rate and, and from that data, you can then obviously, analyze your performance and figure out Hey, what do you do next? Exactly.

Tony Morelan 11:53

That's great. So can you tell me do you have any ideas of a type an app that you would love to see a developer Create.

Ashiq Nazir 12:02

You're going to call me boring. I'm just going to say, perhaps but so I think it'd be great for having fitness apps where to watch us could actually chat to each other. So, you know, for yourself, if you're doing a particular workout somebody else who's doing a particular workout, you can actually it'd be great to see two apps showing you performing against somebody in real time. Mm hmm. I'm not sure obviously, that the use of the screen is really small on a smartwatch, but, you know, just look at some small metrics that can show you who's beating him. I'm sure that'd be quite exciting.

Tony Morelan 12:39

That would be that would be so you know, I was doing a little bit of a research on this topic recently and saw that it was interesting a lot of the community when it comes to using a smartwatch as it relates to fitness, they don't want to be told that hey, great job. You've walked, you know, so many steps today are a great job. You've got it. Chair, you're doing exercise. So the information they want to receive is that, hey, it's time to get moving that you haven't reached your goal. So it's more of that motivation. So it's not the encouragement that, you know, awesome, you did good today, it's more like, get out of the seat and let's get rolling. So what's your thought on that sort of approach with an app.

Ashiq Nazir 13:23

Um, so with that sort of functionality, we've actually got that in the Titan smartwatches. So every periodically if you haven't moved for a while, it'll actually tell you, hey, head up, do something and they'll give you a little, there'll be little suggestions that will show that, you know, you might want you to swing your torso around, or stand up or flap your arms around. And the whole idea is that it can, you know, motivate you to start moving, because they say, you know, a, a journey of 1000 steps starts with one. So even if you get up and you start doing something That is obviously a step in the right direction. So that's built into the OS. So something that builds further onto that, another app, that state takes it another step further. So then it can collate the number of steps you've possibly done that day and compared it to other days and just giving you a similar sort of, or slightly more encouragement to get you moving.

Tony Morelan 14:27

Exactly. think that'd be really good. Yeah, no, I completely agree. So I know that IoT Gadgets is put out a lot of different articles, a lot of different blogs. Can you tell me which article or blog that you're most proud of?

Ashiq Nazir 14:42

So I love the excitement in the ties and community of lights been on devices. So we get a huge amount of interest in upcoming devices. We're really proud of the fact that we are one of the blogs that come first with all the latest information have, you know what's happening out there? And what are the new devices that are coming out? So, no, soon, there might be some more galaxy watch devices coming out. So you just have to go to, and you'll find out more. That's a shameless plug. So

Tony Morelan 15:19

Love it, love it. So, you know, doing these for all these years, I know that you've had to face some challenges. So talk a little bit about some of the challenges that IoT Gadgets has had to face.

Ashiq Nazir 15:30

Wow. So I think one of the biggest ones that and that we were fortunate enough to face and there's not a lot of websites that have this sort of issue is the amount of traffic we get. So initially, like any other blog, you know, you set up, set yourself up with somebody servers out there and is able to handle your traffic and then we'd put some news out there, bang. The website's dead is just way too much. You know? traffic coming in to too many visitors. So then, you know, you upgrade the server and then next time you have some big news, bang, that one's dead. And you think, wow, this is Deja vu. So we've had that situation, unfortunately or fortunately. So always good in the blogging world to get lots of traffic. That, you know, there's so many times we had to upgrade ourselves to get to the point where we can click something and we're confident the surfers not going to die. I'm going to say something. I mean, we're going to publish a particular post, and the server is going to be able to handle the traffic. So that's been the one Unfortunately, that's been one of the biggest hurdles we've had to overcome.

Tony Morelan 16:41

And it's obviously a good challenge to have to face I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ashiq Nazir 16:48

Yeah, you know, it's one of them things you might you've definitely doing something right. If you've got that problem. Yeah.

Tony Morelan 16:55

So tell me what is the best way for people to contact IoT Gadgets? No, you'd mentioned the website. Are there any other ways that people can contact IoT Gadgets?

Ashiq Nazir 17:05

Yes, certainly. So we've we're obviously on the web emails that are very good one. So if you fire off an email to is a mailbox that's always monitored. We're obviously on social media, which Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and they're all monitored as well. So tell me what those your social media handles are. So it's IoT Gadgets across all of them. And yeah, they're, they're all monitored. And you can see you'll hopefully get a reply within 24 hours, possibly instantly. I'm awake at three o'clock in the morning. Wonderful, which hasn't happened in the past. Now.

Tony Morelan 17:48

Yes, when you when you put out a big blog in the in your, your monitoring your servers, I'm sure you're up at all hours.

Ashiq Nazir 17:54

Well, the world the world doesn't sleep unfortunately. So even I've gone to some conferences. I've got introduced to people and they've turned around and say, do you ever sleep? Because they realize what time zone I'm in, what time zone they're in. And the two things don't match.

Tony Morelan 18:13

I think what you're saying is that you want a developer to create an app for you for your smartwatch that says, hey, Ash, it's time to go to sleep now couldn't sleep just

Ashiq Nazir 18:21

yeah. And it just automatically switches everything off. There we go.

Tony Morelan 18:25

So excellent ash, it was wonderful, chatting with you and getting to know a little bit more about not only you but also IoT Gadgets, super excited about what you guys are doing and looking forward to reading some more blogs about upcoming information. So again, thank you very much for being on the podcast today.

Ashiq Nazir 18:39

Hey, Tony it's been really great being here. And thanks for having us on. And thanks for taking the time. Once you appreciate it.

Outro 18:48

Looking to start creating for Samsung, download the latest tools to code your next app, or get software for designing apps without coding at all. Sell your apps to the world on the Samsung Galaxy store. Check out develop today and start your journey with Samsung. The Pow! Podcast is brought to you by the Samsung Developer Program and produced by Tony Morelan.