Tag: Mobile

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.

Programming Stuff

Android Photo & Video Programming

I am super-psyched about my latest Pluralsight course now being live and available: Android Photo and Video Programming

I’m so excited about this course going live and to make it even better, the Pluralsight blog even quotes me on my excitement about this course.

With Smartphones, access to the camera is so pervasive. Don’t miss out on providing the richest possible user experience by not including camera behavior in your apps.

More posts about Android camera behavior and this latest course to come

Programming Stuff

Android Photo & Video Programming Course Almost Ready

For the past month I’ve been working on my next Pluralsight course: Android Photo & Video Programming. … I just finished recording the video for the last module.

Still have some more work to do editing the videos, preparing the course assessments, etc. but the hard work is done.

I have to say, this has been one of the most fun courses to write I’ve done. There’s something cool about taking control of the camera, rendering the live preview directly within one’s app View hierarchy and snapping a picture or recording a video.

Something I had thought was going to be a minor point that I ultimately found really interesting was controlling zoom.

The basic zoom-in/zoom-out stuff was just the beginning. Controlling the out-of-band smooth zoom and managing the callbacks that occur during the zoom process were really fun.

The course also ended having much more information than I had originally expected. I had originally spec’d the course out for 5 modules but ended up with 7 jam-packed modules – here they are…

  • Getting Started
  • Directly Accessing the Camera
  • Viewing the Camera Preview Display
  • Taking a Picture
  • Camera Control
  • Recording Video
  • Media Store

If all goes as expected, I’ll have everything turned in to Pluralsight early next week and the course will be live a short time later. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when it goes live.

Here’s a list of Jim’s other Pluralsight Courses…

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