Tag: Mobile phone

Programming Stuff

Android “Master Key” Security Patch Check Available

Odds are that you’ve heard about the security hole that was found to exist in virtually all Android devices that would allow someone to take control of the device.

The good news is that Google has created a patch for the issue and sent it to OEMs. The challenge always comes down to the OEMs getting the patch distributed to our phones and, as always, that is taking time.

It turns out that we can all check to see if we have the patch installed thanks to Bluebox (the folks who discovered the problem) releasing a free app that will check your phone to see if you have the patch.

Although the app is not able to apply the patch because that’s up to the OEM of your device you can at least know where you stand and if you are so inclined start complaining to your carrier that you’d like them to work with the OEM and hurry to get it distributed.

Programming Stuff

Android Studio 0.1.9 Brings the New Resource Directory Dialog Back

If you’ve been working with the last few builds of Android Studio you know that the ability to create new resource directories was broken. The only work-around was a hacky process of going into some of the settings dialogs and creating the folder from there.

Well the 0.1.9 patch just came out and the New Resource Directory dialog is back (actually it came back in the short-lived 0.1.7 release from a few days ago).

NewResourceFolderDlg

I love the way that this is implemented because it takes care of all of that subtle folder naming that goes into resource specialization.

Android’s support for resource specialization is one of the real powers of the platform in my opinion but manually building those names can be easy to mess up. With this dialog you simply select the resource type, the qualifiers and then enter or select (depending on the qualifier) the value to qualify by.

This is a great feature and goes a long way to making one’s life simpler.

For more information on working with Android Studio, check out Jim’s latest course:

Apps with Android Studio

Programming Stuff

Building Apps with Android Studio

My latest Pluralsight course is live today…

Apps with Android Studio

This is part 2 of my series focused on helping developers move from the more traditional development space of Web-based or desktop apps to the world of Mobile on Android.

The series is written from the perspective of a developer coming from a .NET background but is really for anyone with programming experience wanting to learn to program on Android.

Many years ago when I first started teaching and writing training materials, my work was focused on students who were new to programming but for the last decade or so, I’ve been much more focused on advanced and intermediate-to-advanced topics. I had forgotten the joy of breaking concepts down so that they are easily understood by someone new to the environment. Getting to do that again, makes this series is great fun to write.

I feel everything came together on this course and I’m really proud of it. I hope you enjoy it. Part 3 should be available in about a month.

BTW: If you missed the first course in the series, I encourage you to check it out as well. Android for .NET Developers: Getting Started.

Programming Stuff

Android Studio Bug Workaround V2 – Project breaks when copied or moved

As you’ll recall, I posted yesterday about working around the issue in Android Studio where copying a project to a new folder creates problems because the Android Studio project keeps references to the original folder. After my post yesterday, I figured out an easier way to work around the problem.

You still have to modify just as many files but the steps are easier to follow and perform than my suggestion from yesterday.

So the new workaround…

We’ll use the same assumptions as yesterday.

  • The project name is:
    AndroidExample
  • Original project folder:
    C:\Demo\before\AndroidExampleProject
  • Destination project folder:
    C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject

The cool thing about this workaround is that after copying the project to the folder, you always make the same (relatively simple) changes. There’s nothing specific about the destination folder in the changes we make.

Note: I’m including line numbers just as estimates. Your line numbers will almost definitely be different.

Be sure that Android Studio is completely closed.

In both of the following files, change the value for PROJECT_ABSOLUTE_PATH to be blank

  • C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject\AndroidExampleProject.iml (approx. line 7)
  • C:\Demo\After\AndroidExampleProject\AndroidExample\AndroidExample.iml (approx. line 15)

Change:

<option name="PROJECT_ABSOLUTE_PATH" value="C:\Demo\before\AndroidExampleProject" />

To:

<option name="PROJECT_ABSOLUTE_PATH" value="" />

In both of the following files remove the full path before build.gradle (including the slash ” \ “) and replace it with $PROJECT_DIR$/

  • C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject\.idea\gradle.xml (approx. line 6)

Change:

<option name="externalProjectPath" value="C:\Demo\before\AndroidExampleProject\build.gradle" />

To:

<option name="externalProjectPath" value="$PROJECT_DIR$/build.gradle" />
  • C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject\.idea\workspace.xml (approx. line 207)
    • The “option” element you’re changing will be a child of the “ExternalProjectPojo” element

Change:

<option name="path" value="C:\Demo\before\AndroidExampleProject\build.gradle" />

To:

<option name="path" value="$PROJECT_DIR$/build.gradle" />

And with that, you’re ready to open the destination project in Android Studio.

When you save the project, Android Studio will automatically save the new folder as the PROJECT_ABSOLUTE_PATH value.

I’m finding these changes much easier to manage than the ones I walked through yesterday. But as I mentioned yesterday, the best news of all is that I suspect that this will be a short lived bug and we won’t have to deal with this workaround for long.

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.

Android for .Net Developers Series - Getting Started

Programming Stuff

Android Studio Bug Workaround – Project breaks when copied or moved

Since I write training courses about Android development, I frequently have to copy projects from one folder to another. I commonly create a project in a “before” folder, copy the project to an “after” folder, and then do the work being discussed in the course in the project in the “after” folder. When students view the course they can download “before” and “after” copies of the project.

Well one of the pains I’ve been dealing with in the preview release of Android Studio is the fact that when a project is copied from one folder to another, the project keeps pointers to the original folder. One ends up with a mess where some things in the new project point to the new folder and somethings point to the old. Deleting the original folder makes things even worse.

I’ve reported the issue as an Android Studio bug. It appears to have been accepted as an issue but as of this writing the version of Android Studio currently available still has the problem.

The version available as of this writing…

AndroidStudioAbout_AI-130.700763

I’m certain this is an issue that will be addressed so if you’re reading this post substantially beyond the posting date, verify that the problem still exists before doing the steps I list here.

OK so the workaround…

UPDATE: The day after I made this post, I figured out a simpler work around. Please see this post for the new workaround.

The solution I’ve found is to modify the path information contained in 4 of the project files in the destination folder.

Before doing anything, be sure Android Studio is completely closed.

Let’s make the following Assumptions in copying our project to a new folder.

  • The project name is:
    AndroidExample
  • Original project folder:
    C:\Demo\before\AndroidExampleProject
  • Destination project folder:
    C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject

Note: I’m including line numbers just as estimates. Your line numbers will almost definitely be different.

1. File: C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject\AndroidExampleProject.iml (approx. line 7)

Change:

<option name="PROJECT_ABSOLUTE_PATH" value="C:\Demo\before\AndroidExampleProject" />

To:

<option name="PROJECT_ABSOLUTE_PATH" value="C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject" />

2. File: C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject\.idea\gradle.xml (approx. line 6)

Change:

<option name="externalProjectPath" value="C:\Demo\before\AndroidExampleProject\build.gradle" />

To:

<option name="externalProjectPath" value="C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject\build.gradle" />

3. File: C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject\.idea\workspace.xml(approx. line 207)

Note: The “option” element you’re changing will be a child of the “ExternalProjectPojo” element

Change:

<option name="path" value="C:\Demo\before\AndroidExampleProject\build.gradle" />

To:

<option name="path" value="C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject\build.gradle" />

4. File: C:\Demo\After\AndroidExampleProject\AndroidExample\AndroidExample.iml(approx. line 15)

Change:

<option name="PROJECT_ABSOLUTE_PATH" value="C:\Demo\before\AndroidExampleProject" />

To:

<option name="PROJECT_ABSOLUTE_PATH" value="C:\Demo\AFTER\AndroidExampleProject" />

5.
Now open the project in Android Studio

You may be prompted with a dialog indicating that it’s removing a non-existent project. Let it do that. It’s just cleaning up some internal data, it doesn’t appear to have any impact on the original project.

Voila! We now have a copy of our project.

The best news of all … I’m pretty sure that the bug that’s causing us to have to go through all of these steps (rather than simply copying the project folder) is a bug that will soon be fixed.

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.

Android for .Net Developers Series - Getting Started

Programming Stuff

Android Studio Power Save Mode

Have you noticed a shortening of your laptop’s battery life when working with Android Studio?

Android Studio is a great tool and some of the great things it does require fairly substantial processing to occur in the background. Much of this processing is constantly firing  performing what are called Inspections.

To get a sense of the kind of background work that’s going on, choose Project Settings from the Android Studio menu and then highlight Inspections in the Project Settings pane.

Android Studio Inspection Settings

To save power we could go through and turn off some of these inspections so that less background processing occurs. These inspections are good stuff, though. I prefer to have these checks available. Fortunately, Android Studio doesn’t require us to make this choice.

Android Studio gives us the option of stopping the automatic checks and instead running them on demand. You can prevent these inspections from automatically running by selecting Project Power Save Mode in the Android Studio menu.

You can then run the checks manually by choosing Analyze \ Inspect Code… from the Android Studio menu.

With this, we get the benefit of Android Studio code inspection while still maximizing our laptop battery life.

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.

Android for .Net Developers Series - Getting Started

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

AndroidDotNetSeries_GettingStarted_Logo

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.

PSAndroid_216x155