June 17, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
As you may already be aware, rumor has it that Google is planning to redefine the overall UI look and feel in Android. Not too long ago, we talked about Quantum Paper, the rumored unified UI that may define Google products across all platforms. These changes may be unveiled very soon, as Google is gearing up for its I/O event next week.
If you are eager to achieve a similar effect to this rumored UI paradigm in your application, there are ways to make your own apps more Quantum Paper-like. In order to show developers how to easily achieve this, XDA Senior Member krishneelg3 outlined the process. The tools that you need, in addition to basic coding knowledge, are an Android IDE like Eclipse or Android Studio and a good image editor to edit the graphics.
Krishneelg3 explains all this in detail, with regards to what needs to be changed to apply this new UI. The developer was also kind enough to provide a package with resources, which will help you out in smooth transition into a Quantum Paper-like UI. To complete the process, some changes in various XML files are needed, but everything is served on a metaphorical silver platter.
If you are an app developer and want to change the look of your projects to be up-to-date with the newest Android UI concepts, head over to the guide thread to learn more about Quantum Paper transformation.
June 13, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Android Studio was first unveiled at last year’s Google I/O conference. For the unaware, this IDE was created to streamline Android app development by bringing several key improvements over existing Eclipse-based solutions such as live code rendering across multiple layouts and much more. Ever since then, the app has received quite a few, rather significant updates. And now, it has received yet another significant addition.
Just under a week ago, we talked about two updates to Android Studio, which brought several highly requested features such as improved console messages during builds. Now, version 0.6.1 has been released, and it brings much more than you’d expect from an x.x.1 revisions.
The first thing you’ll likely notice with this new version is a revamped New Project Wizard, which can be seen in the screenshot to your right. In the New Project Wizard, you’ll also see a new minSdkVersion dialog, which helps you choose which API level you should target. This dialog displays API level, Android version number and name, cumulative distribution, and various key APIs present. In addition to the new features, this build also brings a few new lint checks, as well as many bugfixes.
You can learn more by heading over to the Android Studio 0.6.1 release notes. Then when you’re done, head over to ourapp development forums to share your development experiences with Android Studio and other development tools. Also, be sure to check out all of our past Android Studio coverage to learn more about its history and to find compatible tools and guides.
Many Android developers make their livings with in-app advertisements. We know that as users, ads can be annoying, but in many cases, these are what pay the bills. Naturally, though, many end users then turn to ad blockers to bypass these ads.
If you are an app developer, you know that fighting with Ad Blockers is often a losing battle. Luckily, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for such developers. XDA Forum Member Droidspirit released an open source library that allows devs to show banners for your own products, or the products of your partners. And when Internet connectivity is not available, this library still shows banners stored within the application.
Naturally, many end users may find this library to be totally unnecessary. However, you need to understand that many developers who create apps for free still need revenue as compensation for their coding time and education. But of course, it’s up to developers to use this judiciously (i.e. no full-screen banners).
Developers who wish to add more permanent ads into their applications can visit the original thread to learn more about the Android Alliance Ads project.
The world was first introduced to Android Studio back in May of last year at Google I/O 2013. Based on Jetbrains IntelliJ, the Android Studio IDE was created to streamline the process of developing Android applications by offering features such as live code rendering across multiple device types, as well as the ability to easily add any Android API into your code immediately.
Since its release, we’ve seen Android Studio mature into a genuinely useful tool for app developers. The last time we talked about it was back in August of last year with its update to version 0.2.4. This version ushered in various improvements such as the ability to jump between a layout and its associated code, as well as the ability to create missing onClick handlers. Android Studio has received quite a few updates since then, and as such, it is now at version 0.6.0.
Android Studio 0.6.0, which was just released yesterday evening, is primarily a bugfix release. However, version 0.5.9, which was released just under one week ago, brought with it many significant improvements. Chief among the improvements are ProGuard editor code syntax completion and highlighting, a tweaked project structure editor, improved console messages during builds, and a new Gradle lint check.
You can learn more about all of Android Studio’s recently incorporated features and bugfixes by viewing the release notes for 0.6.0 and 0.5.9. Don’t forget to head over to our app development forums to share your tips and tricks and ask for support with Android Studio and any other development tools. Also, be sure to check out all of our past Android Studio coverage to learn more about its history and to find compatible tools and guides.
June 7, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Mobile devices have become replacements for full sized PCs in a variety of circumstances. Small and easily accessible, our phones are perfect companions for our daily activities. However, mobile network connections aren’t always affordable, and often times, data transfer quotas prove problematic. Because of this, RSS is quite popular on mobile devices.
If you were to try to create a good RSS reader app from scratch, you’d likely find that this is a difficult task. However, XDA Forum Member shirwa decided to make things a bit easier by providing a small, but useful library to bring RSS into your app.
This RSS library lists all the feeds from your selected sources without any images to keep things nice and clean, as well as data plan friendly. Naturally, the Library is open source, so you can use bits and pieces or the whole thing in your app. There’s even a demo app to show you how the library works and give you an example of how to integrate it into your app.
May 31, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
We first featured XDA Senior Member Beatsleigher‘s JDroidLib back in December of last year, as a Java-based alternative to the C# library AndroidLib. At the time, the JDroidLib library allowed developers to install ADB and fastboot on supported platforms. Then in March of this year, JDroidLib was given a substantial overhaul as it entered its beta stage. This update brought new features such as a revamped installation procedure to fix errors, device detection, the ability to pull device information, reboot methods, and the ability to execute any type of command.
Now, JDroidLib is officially out of beta. And just like the previous two updates described above, it has gained some key new functionality to make it more useful than ever. The main features in this release version are a new package manager to allow for easier application management, as well as additional methods of executing ADB commands to make the process more flexible. The library can now also be used to manage a device’s file system. In addition to the new features, this version also brings a few fixes to bugs that previously caused crashing on some Windows systems.
If you’re a PC app developer looking for an easy way for your app to communicate with Android, head over to the development thread and give JDroidLib a shot. And to learn how to use all the new features, head over to the project’s documentation website.
Here at XDA-Developers, we are developers at heart—it says so in our name. Because of this, we love tweaking our phones and creating widgets, themes, kernels, hacks, exploits, and more for our mobile devices. We also love apps. The journey to app development is a long, but enjoyable trek. So if you’ve ever wanted to start app development, there are resources for you.
XDA Forum Member Rheti offers up an application that allows you to start developing an app of your own. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Rehti. TK shows off the application and gives his thoughts, so check out this app review.
April 27, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, we talked about Floating Calculator. And then just earlier today, we briefly covered Floating Mail. You may be wondering what ties these two apps together. Aside from the fact that both of these apps can be launched on top of your currently running app, they were both created using the Tooleap SDK by XDA Forum Member Tooleap.
The Tooleap SDK allows developers to easily create floating applications, and in doing so, make their app accessible everywhere on the device. This is done through the use of an ever present, chatheads-like floating bubble that can be repositioned. Clicking this bubble then launches a certain activity in your app from within a floating window. What makes Tooleap special is its easy integration with your current code, as you can use the SDK to incorporate any standard Android activity. And to make your application and its floating bubble more relevant, you can make it only show up contextually (e.g. when in a certain app or after receiving a notification).
If you’ve been looking to create a floating app or incorporate floating window functionality into your existing app, head over to the original thread and give the free Tooleap SDK a try. It’s currently in private beta, but the thread details the process of getting started yourself. Then when you create the next insanely useful floating app, be sure to let us know so we can highlight it right here on the XDA Portal!
April 16, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
One of the highlights of the HTC One M8 is its new dual lens camera system. Termed “Duo Camera,” this innovative system allows the device to capture depth data in addition to standard imaging data. The Duo Camera System then maps this captured distance information to each pixel taken by the main camera in order to achieve various types of effects such as depth-of-field blur ( i.e. bokeh), as well as Lytro-style refocusing effects.
Up until now, the full functionality of the Duo Camera System has only been accessible through HTC’s first party camera application. Today, however, HTC opened up the Duo Camera System API for use by third party developers.
The Dual Lens SDK currently consists of two APIs: Dual Lens and DimensionPlus. The Dual Lens API allows developers to obtain and manage a bokeh strength map mask that can be mapped to the main camera’s image data. The DimensionPlus, API on the other hand, allows developers to export to the DimensionPlus file format in order to keep both depth and image data in one file.
The Dual Lens SDK is currently available in the form of an initial preview, so it is possible that more functionality will be added in the future or that current implementations may not be compatible with future software revisions. That said, it’s exciting that HTC decided to open up the APIs behind its most notable camera feature.
Developers looking to play around with and develop for the HTC Duo Camera System should head over to the HTC Dual Lens SDK site to learn more.
March 22, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
A little over a week ago, we took a quick look at the innovative application Recent by XDA Forum Member uuOuu. As its name implies, Recent brings all of your recently accessed applications, photos, and downloads to your fingertips with a handy and user-friendly radial menu.
Given the application’s innovative concept and brilliant execution, Recent amassed quite a loyal following of users. But while Recent offers substantial added functionality, many users found themselves unable to use the application due to its power demands.
After investigating the matter, uuOuu quickly got to the root of the matter and was able to cut down his app’s power consumption dramatically. And for the benefit of other developers struggling to optimize power usage in their apps, uuOuu chronicled his sleuth work. The applications used were WakeLock Detector and DU Battery Saver.
If you’re an app developer and you find your app consuming a bit more battery usage than you’d like, head over to uuOuu’s power consumption thread to learn how he optimized his app’s power consumption.
March 3, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
You may recall that back in December, we briefly talked about XDA Senior Member Beatsleigher‘s JDroidLib. This library was conceptually based on the previously covered AndroidLib .NET library by Recognized Developer regaw_leinad, but built on Java in order to be compatible with more than .NET languages.
When we previously covered JDroidLib, the project allowed users to easily install ADB and Fastboot on any every supported platform. However, we also noted that more features were in the works. Now, JDroidLib has made it into the beta stage. And as expected, it packs quite a few new features including a revamped installation to fix some errors, device detection, the ability to pull device information, reboot methods, and the ability to execute any type of command.
Those looking to build applications utilizing device to PC communication should check out the latest version of the JDroidLib project. More information can be found in the project thread.
February 4, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Developing Android applications isn’t easy. There are a variety of tools that help greatly like Eclipse and Android Studio, but the majority of your code still needs to be written manually. Building an application is one thing, but optimizing it is a totally different story. There are some best practices that should be followed to ease the development and debugging process, and now is as good a time as ever to get to know them a bit better.
Some best practices, tips, and tricks are already described in Android Developer pages, which is a compendium of knowledge and a vast number of resources. However, there are also some tips and tricks acquired through personal experience of XDA community members. One of them, XDA Senior Member SimplicityApks, decided to share his knowledge with all of us by writing a thorough guide with various examples about how to improve your application’s performance and optimization when using Java and JavaFX code. The author also included many code samples directed towards beginner and intermediate developers. If your journey with Android programming has just begun, this guide should definitely go onto your todo list.
No matter if you are a new developer or have some coding experience, you should make your way to the original thread and read more about dos and don’ts in Android programming.
If you are creating a new application, you may have thought about adding in Gmail connectivity. After all, if the application is a social app, it’s nice to be able to share things with friends. Even if it’s not a social app, there are dozens of other reasons why you would perhaps want to allow for Emails to be sent directly from the app.
In Android, there are various ways of accomplishing this. Most would go about this using the Share intent and then having the selected content automatically populate in a new Gmail message. While this works and is the best solution in a variety of situations, there are other times in which you’d be better off keeping your users within the confines of your own app.
Thankfully, XDA Forum Member krvoZD created a simple library that allows you to easily incorporate background Gmail sending into your app with just a few easy steps. Using krvoZD’s library, your app will be able to send Emails without having to load a separate application. And once the message has been created, you can optionally add a toast message informing your app’s user of the progress.
If you have been looking for a way to add email connectivity to your app, without forcing users to leave your app in order to send a message, this library will undoubtedly help you get started. Head over to the library thread to learn more.