Tag: Android software development

Programming Stuff

Android Studio 0.1.2 Is WAY more stable

The stability of the  initial preview release of Android Studio (version 0.1) was pretty impressive. Being built on a long-standing product like JetBrains Intellij IDEA gave it a great start.

That said, it did at times feel like a version 0 product … unexpected message boxes popping up, strange behavior in the feature that displays the string value where string resources are used (sometimes didn’t work .. sometimes showed the string value on a different line than where the resource appeared), those sort’a things.

About a week or so after the initial release Android Studio automatically updated to Android Studio 0.1.1 and there was some improvement but not a huge amount.

Well then yesterday, I received another update, Android Studio 0.1.2 (Build #AI-130.692269) … I’ve only been using it for less than 24 hours but so far this build feels MUCH MUCH better. It’s feeling much more stable.

AndroidStudioAbout_0.1.2

If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to download Android Studio and start checking it out. I’m sure there will still be some issues but it’s improving quickly and IMHO is already so much better than using Eclipse that any minor annoyances are a small price to pay to have such a superior dev tool.

For information on getting started developing Android applications or working with Android Studio, checkout Jim’s Android programming courses on Pluralsight including his latest course

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Programming Stuff

Android Studio Dark Theme (Darcula)

After seeing those cool demos of Android Studio showing the neat-looking dark theme, the default theme that Android Studio downloads with can be a little disappointing.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s Android Studio set to the Darcula theme.

Android Studio Darcula Theme

To get the Darcula theme, first open the Android Studio Settings dialog

  1. Select File on the Android Studio menu
  2. Then select Settings

Once on the Settings screen just…

  1. Highlight Appearence
  2. Click on the Theme dropdown and select Darcula
  3. Click OK

Setting Darcula Theme

You’ll be prompted to restart Android Studio. Allow the restart and there you have it. The great look of Android Studio in Darcula.

Adapted from Jim’s Pluralsight course Android for .NET Developers: Getting Started

AndroidDotNetSeries_GettingStarted_Logo

Programming Stuff

Android for .NET Developer Series: Getting Started

There’s no question that smartphones and tablets have become the computers of choice for most users. Android has been the leading smartphone for some time and now Android leads in tablets as well.

According to Google, nearly 900 million Android devices have been activated. This presents an incredible opportunity for both individual developers and organizations to create software with a reach and impact beyond anything previously possible.

Android development is, of course, very different from the web-based and/or desktop app development most of us have been doing for years. But this difference doesn’t mean we can’t take part in such a great opportunity.

People will often point to Android’s use of Java rather than .NET being the biggest challenge in becoming an Android developer. I disagree. If that were the case, environments like Mono that enable the use of C# and .NET libraries on Android would enable us all to immediately become Android developers. But in my experience, developers with a .NET background who use Mono don’t become effective Android developers any faster than those who take the plunge and use Java. Why is that?

The challenge in creating Android apps is not the programming language, class libraries, or runtime. The challenge in creating Android apps is that it’s an entirely different way of thinking and an entirely different approach to application development.

To be successful on such a different platform, developers need to adopt and ultimately embrace the way-of-thinking of the Android platform.

The new series from Pluralsight, Android for .NET Developers, strives to do exactly that. We focus on guiding developers to fully embrace the tools, language, libraries and, most importantly, mindset of Android development by building on your skills as a .NET developer. Although this series assumes a .NET background, the series is appropriate for anyone with existing programming experience who wants to start working with Android.

In the first course in the series, Android for .NET Developers: Getting Started, we walk through the process of setting up your environment, using the Android development tools, and deploying apps to both real devices and emulators. We talk briefly about the long-standing development environment, Eclipse, but focus throughout the series on the new development environment, Android Studio, announced by Google just a few days ago.

The first course in the series is now available with a new course from the series being released every few weeks. The series is made up of the following courses.

Android for .NET Developers: Getting Started

Android for .NET Developers: Building an Android App

Android for .NET Developers: Android data management

Android for .NET Developers: Adopting the Android mindset

Android for .NET Developers: Embracing the Android platform

I hope you’ll join me in this experience of leveraging your existing skills to empower you to take part in the opportunity offered by the success of Android. At the end of this series, I’m confident that you will have adopted the Android mindset and will be embracing the Android platform.

Android for ,NET Developer Series: Getting Started

Programming Stuff

Android Meetup May 2013 – Android Camera Integration

Thank you to everyone who attended the Central Florida Android Developers Group last night. Special thanks to Echo for hosting the event.

I had the opportunity to talk about how to easily integrate photo capture capability into one’s app by leveraging the built-in Android camera app and Intents.

Last night’s presentation was an excerpt from the first module of my Android Photo and Video Programming course.

You can download the code from last nights discussion. The download includes the Photo capabilities we discussed and also includes Video capability, which we didn’t have time to discuss. Please feel free to post any questions you might have.

For more information on this and other Android-related topics, checkout Jim’s Android courses at Pluralsight.

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Programming Stuff

Android tops 56% of the Tablet market

What was once thought impossible just happened: Android has displaced iPad as the dominant tablet platform.

As reported by IDC, Android took the tablet market by storm in Q1 with over 56% of the market. During that same period iPad dropped below 40% market share.

Given Androids already overwhelming lead over iOS on Smartphones, it appears that Android is now the undisputed leader in all-things-mobile.

Checkout Jim’s Android developer courses for Pluralsight.

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Programming Stuff

Can’t find Developer Options on Android 4.2

Ok so this has to be among the silliest UI “innovations” I’ve encountered.

After updating my phone, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, to Android 4.2.2, I could no longer find the Developer Options menu. And here’s why … Google seems to have decided to no longer make that menu visible by default.

We can argue over why they made such a change ( my guess is to make the developer options less accessible to non-devs ) … but whatever the reason, it’s a pain.

So how to get it back ? (you’re not gonna believe this) …

  1. Open your settings menu
  2. Scroll down and select “About phone”
  3. Locate the entry labeled “Build number’ (probably near the bottom)
  4. Tap repeatedly (I believe its 7 times) on the “Build number” entry  (I’m not making this up)
  5. As you do you’ll eventually see a message something like “You are now X steps from being a developer” … continue to tap until the “Developer Options” menu become visible.

And now you have your “Developer Options” menu back … it’ll appear on the Settings menu (screen just prior to reaching the screen with the “Build number” value)

Kind’a crazy … ain’t it

Checkout other Android Developer related information from Jim in his courses from Pluralsight.

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Programming Stuff

Android & iOS Native App Development with HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS

I spend most of my time creating Android apps using Java and the Android SDK. That’s a development style that fits my experience and interests.

There are lots of developers out there who have great skills in web-based technologies like HTML, JavaScript and CSS; many of those developers are looking to start creating mobile apps. The good news is that there’s a now a solution for just those developers.

Fellow Pluralsight author, Shawn Wildermuth just created a course for just those folks: Practical PhoneGap. It doesn’t completely replace traditional mobile app development but does work well in a number of situations. Here’s the description from the Pluralsight website…

App development is crucial to succeeding in most jobs these days. Even if you aren’t building apps directly, you’ll likely be involved in the app development process. In this course, we’ll show you how you can use existing HTML, JavaScript and CSS skills and assets to build mobile apps using their simple model. We’ll also show you when you wouldn’t want to use PhoneGap and where it fits into most developers bag of tricks

I encourage you to check out Practical PhoneGap.