September 28, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Becoming a developer is the dream of many. Unfortunately, it remains the dream of most people because they don’t quite know how to begin. Over the last months, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce has given a lot of information about what developers do, how they became developers, and how to learn to become a developer. With all that information being presented, there are bound to be questions.
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce talks about the most asked questions about becoming a developer. Jayce digs deep into his email box and finds the top questions he gets repeatedly. Jayce talks about the questions and gives some answers and advice for those wondering. Check out this video to learn more.
If you’re a developer who writes mobile apps for a living, chances are that you’ve at least experimented with mobile ads in the past. Far more true than on other competing platforms, the Android app developer ecosystem is essentially driven by in-app advertisements rather than upfront payments.
This is a topic we broached some time ago, when we presented a thread with various developers’ experiences with different monetization strategies. Long story short: Ads and in-app purchases seem to be far more powerful tools in your monetization arsenal than upfront paid apps.
This should all come as no surprise for a variety of reasons. One of the main driving forces for this primarily ad-based monetization is that most Android users have come to expect free functionality thanks to Google’s extremely comprehensive ad-supported services. Starting with class leading search, the company has continued to offer some of the best solutions for maps, email, calendar hosting, translation, note keeping, and much more. Most of the company’s services are offered for free to end users, at the expense of mobile ads. So when your core operating system’s provider has built an empire based on “free,” why would you want to part ways with your hard earned cash for some cell phone fart app that you probably won’t use in a month?
While ads may seem like a sort of saving grace to developers in the face of a community that refuses to pay for apps and services, ad-based monetization isn’t always a perfect solution. We’ve talked about some of the problems when ad providers go too far, and the impact this has on the applications’ users. Aggressive advertising that breaks an end user’s trust is unethical. And aside from the questionable ethics, it’s simply not sustainable as a means of monetization. This is because users will simply lose trust for a developer that uses these types of ad networks.
However, the problem with certain implementations of ad-based monetization goes beyond simply shady ad networks. Certain applications, perhaps even ones that you’ve tried and promptly uninstalled, place annoying and intrusive advertisements in your notification bar or ad-based shortcuts on your home screen. This is simply unacceptable from an end-user perspective. Thankfully, Google is now putting an end to these practices.
According to VentureBeat, Google has made two very important changes to the Google Play Developer Program Policies. Thanks to the changes, applications can no longer place advertisements in the notification bar, and they can no longer create ad-based shortcuts on your launcher. Developers with offending applications now have 30 days to update their apps. Beyond that time, applications found to be in violation will likely be removed from the Play Store.
If you’re a developer who currently uses these types of advertisements, your initial reaction may be one of anger towards the new policy change. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for you—even if you have to rethink your monetization strategies. In fact, we think it’s more than likely a win-win scenario for both end users and developers. End users feel more confident in your applications, and application developers likely acquire more users.
Are you a developer who relies on ad-based monetization? Are you an end user who has experienced these aggressive advertisements in the past? Let us know what you think of these policy changes in the comments section below!
[Thanks to XDA News Writer Samantha for the tip!]
Anyone who has done any serious coding will tell you that it’s not easy. You spend many hours staring at a screen, sometimes typing something, then deleting it and then typing again. But sometimes, it goes very well, the developer becomes very happy, and things just stream from the fingers to the screen.
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce talks about a developer’s flow and how it can lead to happiness. Jayce interviews Miguel De Icaza, Co-Founder and CTO at Xamarin, about flow. Jayce talks about some suggestions on how to achieve that flow. Check out this video to learn more.
September 21, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
We’ve already talked about four great app development presentations, including Ubuntu Touch development from XDA:DevCon 2013. However, the presentations from Mark Murphy, Daniel Nazer, Ariel Shimoni and Michael Hall were not the only app development presentation at XDA:DevCon 2013, and this one is especially close to XDA’s heart.
The presentation was given by XDA Elite Recognized Developer Stericson. Being involved in the Android community since the pre-release of the T-Mobile G1, He started out learning how to create themes for Android. Stericson developed Android applications and the RootTools library to assist others with creating applications for root users. These were discussed in his presentation “Root Application Development with the RootTools Library.” As a developer, creating root applications for rooted users becomes extremely trivial with the RootTools open source library. Stericson focused on how to use the RootTools Library in order to create root applications that your users will love and appreciate.
If you want to see more or get a copy of the presentations slides, visit the XDA:DevCon Presentations page.
In addition to featuring a unified user interface with sleek and modern colors and excellent typography, having a Holo-compliant interface has also come to mean horizontally scrolling panes when applicable. These are also accompanied by a page indicator up top showing your current location, as well as which tabs are on either side. In fact, one need look only as far as the official Google Play store for an excellent example of this.
So what do you do if you wish to implement page indicators in your own app? There is an excellent open source library called ViewPagerIndicator by developer Jake Wharton. If that name sounds familiar, it should; Jack has also created the incredibly useful ActionBarSherlock and NineOldAndroids.
Thankfully, XDA Senior Member ivn888 has created a quick guide and sample application aimed at getting you up to speed quickly and easily. The guide begins by showing you how to add the library to your Eclipse + ADT installation. It then continues on to discussing how to load the library into your project, as well as creating the layouts and implementing the library using Fragments API. Finally, ivn888 also includes a sample application of what you can expect by following the guide.
We’ve seen much in the way of floating apps recently: Facebook’s Chat Heads, the revolutionary Halo interface by the Paranoid Android team, and all of the various floating mini apps that we’ve covered in the past. How would you like to incorporate similar functionality into your own app?
XDA Senior Member EatHeat presents a way to do so with an additional service that runs over all apps using WindowManager. He does so with a fully open source sample application. The example’s floating blob can be tweaked and its location can be changed to anywhere below the status bar. While the sample application targets API 10+ (Gingerbread MR1), EatHeat says that this should work just fine with older Android versions.
While you’re at it, make sure to check out EatHeat’s other guides on Robotium and auto-testing apps, as well as his Simple GridLayout library.. If you’re learning app development or would just like to hone your skills further, they’re more than worth a look.
It’s been over a month since XDA:DevCon 2013 took place. It’s been 2 weeks since we’ve uploaded some of the presentations to YouTube. There were many different presentations and some of the best presentations offered advice and good programming ideas to help app developers.
The first presentation was from Commonsware Founder, Mark Murphy. Mark is the author of “The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development,” and is active in supporting the Android developer community. In his presentation “Plugin Architectures for Android,” Mark talked about how the best way to expand the capabilities of your app without impacting core functionality is to build plugins and make your app plugin-capable. This allows the main app to be more secure, request less permissions, be smaller and other great advantages. To learn more, check out the video.
Sometimes, the most menial of tasks can bring a larger project to a screeching halt. And for some app developers, this means creating visually appealing grid layouts efficiently. Thankfully, XDA Senior Member EatHeat has created and shared a library that allows you to create a simple and customizable grid within your app.
In addition to sharing the library itself, EatHeat shares how to get started. This begins with adding this library to your package and using a few lines of simple syntax. EatHeat has also shared an example app that makes use of the library.
September 15, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
If you’ve watched any of XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce’s videos, you have learned how to make apps, how to get some income from apps, how to overcome obstacles, how to title your apps and much more. But there is one important things the trumps all of these:marketing your app. If no one knows about your app, it doesn’t matter how good or how great your app is.
In today’s video, Jayce talks about riding the hype wave with newsjacking. He talks about what newsjacking is. He gives a few examples of successful newsjacking, and gives some pointers on how to be successful at newsjacking. Check out this video to learn more.
September 14, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
People develop apps for many different reasons. Some do it for the love of coding. Some do it because they want their device to do something, but there isn’t anything available and they fill that void. Some do it for other less altruistic reasons like feeding their ego. Regardless of their reasons, its always nice when developers get rewarded for their work monetarily.
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce talks about a new way to to make some money with your apps by using in-app purchases of physical items. He talks about Amazon’s new Mobile Associates API. This API lets developers set up one-clicks that allow developers to earn some money from that purchase. Check out this video to learn more.
Not too long ago, we talked about a list maintained by XDA Senior Member Benkxda aimed at getting those who need app translation services in contact with willing volunteers in the forums. After all, as cool as Google Translate is, a context-aware human translation is always better than machine translation.
But let’s face it; as time goes, not every volunteer can continue devoting so much time to translation. Thankfully, Benkxda has been keeping the list updated, culling out inactive members , as well as adding a few new faces and languages to the mix. Additionally, a list of former translators is included. So if you need translation help from a user who used to offer his or her services and is now on vacation, you may want to try asking really, really nicely. Who knows what will happen?
Just as before, developers should create their own thread with intentions to translate their application and link to it from Benkxda’s translation services thread. This should only be done once the application is nearly complete in order to prevent having to ask for additional translations down the line when new features are added or existing features are modified.
Head over to the translation services thread to get started.
September 8, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Facebook app on Android has been much maligned. Developers using the Facebook API seemed like gluttons for punishment, but Facebook promised to make it better. Facebook has released new tools and Mark Zuckerberg wants that pain to go away. Of course some of us just want Facebook to go away.
In today’s video, Jayce talks about the improvements that Facebook has made for developers. He interviews Sanchin Monga, a member of the platform and strategy at Facebook, to find out what Facebook is doing to make developers’ lives better. What tools are they offering? Check out this video to see what he has to say.
September 7, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Here at XDA, we love open source software. That’s not just because of its cost, though that doesn’t hurt. There are many reasons open source software is great: security, quality, freedom, customizability, and being able to see what the code does for yourself. But let’s not be blind fanboys. There are, as the title says, problems with open source software in certain situations.
In today’s video, Jayce talks about the problems with open source software. He interviews Huw Collingbourne of RantsandRaves.co.uk to find out what he believes is the problem with open source software. Do you agree or disagee? Check out this video to see what he has to say.