Flick Dat

The longtime actor and director has turned his production skills to Android apps

To be perfectly honest, I didn't know what he was doing there either. Why was Damon Wayans, the actor, writer, director, producer (and member of the legendary family) at the Samsung Developers Conference in December? Celebrity appearances (paid or otherwise) are nothing new at tech events — see Lopez, Jennifer; Kutcher, Ashton; Wilde, Olivia; and i.am, Will to name but a few. So you'll forgive me for not thinking all that much about the appearance that week.

Fast forward a few months. The Samsung Galaxy S5 launches with some $500 in free "Galaxy Gifts" apps. And tucked in there along with the likes of a WSJ subscription and Paypal voucher is Flick Dat, one of Wayans' apps. And it turns out it all started at, of course, a Hollywood tech conference.

"The very first one I went to was DigiHollywood," Wayans recently told me by phone. "And I get there, and everyone's giving out business cards. So it made me think … with all this technology, we still haven't conquered the business card." That's certainly true, I thought. For as high-tech as this job may be, you'll still catch any one of us taking notes with a pen and paper and handing out (and worse, receiving) scores of paper business cards.

Thus, Flick Dat was born.

The idea itself isn't overly new. Sharing contact information is a pain, and Flick Dat (again, free with the Galaxy S5 in the Galaxy Gifts section or $1.99 on Google Play) aims to make it easier. It bills itself as "a revolutionary and exciting new way to share cool business cards and stay connected with your team, business associates and friends from anywhere while on the go." And it's a pretty good app, actually. Load up your on contact information (it can import from a contact you already have), choose where you want to flick it to — another device via Bluetooth, or to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or by email. Then, just flick it to send it.

The road to releasing a quality app (of any kind) wasn't easy (or inexpensive), Wayans said, noting that his role isn't unlike that of a director or producer in film and TV. But it did require digging into software development kits and APIs.

"I went to (Apple conference) WWDC and learned about SDKs, and all that stuff is kind of foreign to me," Wayans said. "But there's so much you can do. I'm really starting to understand UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) and how those things apply."

Don't expect Wayans to transform into a neckbearded coder anytime soon, though he has gone deeper down the rabbit hole than perhaps he expected.

"You know, me," he continued, "coming from my TV producing background and film, I just want to produce it. I don't want to get my hands dirty. But I'm finding I have to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty. I've learned so much just in terms of creating an app and what the difference is between a good one and a bad one — and spending the money to make it good."

So what's next for Wayans? Flick Dat is just one of the apps he's got a hand in. There are a few others on Android, but the other big one right now is Diddeo on iOS.

"Think Vine, with Music," Wayans said. So you can record a music video on the fly."

And that begs the question: Which is his favorite? Android? Or iOS?

"You gotta remain neutral," Wayans said. "Samsung has been very helpful, but the people at Apple have been very gracious also. The wonderful thing about being a celebrity is that you can walk through doors."

And with that ...

A few other thoughts on the week that was, and the week ahead.

  • We've got a pretty major Mobile Nations announcement coming Monday. It won't involve anyone having to smash anything. Probably. Stay tuned.
  • We've been breaking down the ins and outs of the Galaxy S5 like we've never done with a smartphone before. (And we're trying to play catch-up with the HTC One M8 on that front as well.) I laid out the strategy a month ago. All the news and reviews you've come to expect and love, with more reference content to go along with it. (Hell, it's not all even ending up on the front page, we've got so much of it.) Grow, or die. And so far the response has been great.
  • And that's to say nothing of the larger plans we've got in the works for later this year.
  • You'd really be surprised at just how many folks search for help on features most of us here take for granted. As an editor, you've gotta love being able to help first-timers like that. And it shames me a little that we ignored that for so long.
  • Coming up Tuesday: Andrew Martonik at the OnePlus One event in San Francisco. I'm really looking forward to his thoughts on this one.
  • All the carrier bloatware on the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5 — again, this is the carriers, not the manufacturers — is a damned travesty.
  • Some pretty major departures last week, with Vic Gundotra leaving Google, and Scott Croyle and Ford Davidson leaving HTC. But you know what? Both companies will go on. Of that I have no doubt.
  • If you haven't seen our redesign of our "Through Glass" series, definitely check it out.

And with that, I'm taking the kids swimming. So much for spring.

 
There are 20 comments

yodatom10 says:

Enjoy your swim :)

tdizzel says:

"All the carrier bloatware on the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5 — again, this is the carriers, not the manufacturers — is a damned travesty."
Why?
I think all the "bloatware is evil and any phone with bloatware sucks and I hate it" arguments should have died 2 years ago, but why is manufacturer bloatware ok but carrier bloatware isn't?

Warrenisit says:

Argument? I didn't see an argument but your surprise that people (most people, at that) don't appreciate or like carrier forced bloatware surprises me. How is carrier bloatware different today than it was 2 years ago? Something must have drastically changed if you think we should have a different opinion on it 2 years later.

tdizzel says:

The part of my comment that is in quotes is an argument. If you don't see that then its probably not possible to have an intelligent discussion with you.
What's changed is that almost all of it can be disabled and you never have to see it again if you so choose, so it really doesn't matter.

alacrify says:

When you descend to insult while responding to a comment, how do you expect to be treated seriously? Re-reading your comment before posting and removing the nonsense would help you make a point. As it is, as soon as you take the conversation downhill, you lose.

sojibby says:

Manufacturer "bloat" is an opinion but can also be view as features or beneficial. Carrier bloat can be viewed both ways too I suppose, but directly impacts timely software updates, if they come at all, and causes 90% of the Android fragmentation everyone complains about.

mwara244 says:

Not to mention wastes precious space in 16 gb phones with no way to delete or get rid of them, unless a person wants to try and figure out how to unlock and root their phones and quite a few other things novices probably don't want to do. It would be fine and dandy if the preinstalled bloat came in the phone with the ability to uninstall all bloat, but they waste your space on your phone. It's my device and personal property and we should do with it as we please without having to take classes on figuring out how to break into the software.

"digging into software development kids"

I assume the actual kids were pestering you for that swimming trip!

vividrich says:

I used one carrier app on my Vivid. The one that enabled me to access my account details. I downloaded it from the Play Store for my N5. Otherwise, garbage.

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 via Android Central App

TommyQ94 says:

Have you got a Z2 unit or is Alex having some time off from reviews?

Posted via Android Central App

Warrenisit says:

Search "Z2 Reviews" in the forums and there are a couple thoughts on the phone.

TommyQ94 says:

Thanks pal

Posted via Android Central App

Phonication says:

Ah, I infer you're giving away a oneplus one. Woo hoo!

Posted via Android Central App

Petra01 says:

My Asus
tf700t is getting error messages dmclient stooped refresh failed and more what do i do

Posted via Android Central App

Hitting someone up on LinkedIn and having my phone pull that connect in to my People list is being easy. I've had to think ZERO for all the potential/current clients I have just because I send or receive connect requests. Not sure how I could benefit here with that app.

Ry says:

Looking forward to hearing Damon Wayans on the podcast one day!

Sara Shehaj says:

saraaa

Posted via Android Central App

A2theC says:

I received this app for free as a "perk" when I purchased my GS5, and honestly I don't think I'll ever (install or) use it. I can easily enough transfer my contact info to anyone using standard android contacts, and NFC even. I'm happy for Damon, glad he's growing as a business man, but this is not for me.

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