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.
September 5, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Recently, we featured a guide by XDA Senior Member Dr.Alexander_Breen aimed at bringing lockscreen-like music controls to your app. However, the method was overly complicated for many users. So in order to make the process easier, Dr.Alexander_Breen has created the open source library Remote Metadata Provider. And since it’s licensed with Apache 2.0, you can use in your projects (commercial or not).
Remote Metadata Provider allows you to create your own remote media controls, which behave similarly to the lock screen music controls described in the developer’s previous guide. However, usage of the Remote Metadata Provider library is much simpler than the last. You first add the library to your development project as an external JAR. Then, you follow a clear guide with example code listed within the thread’s main post.
Currently, there is a bug on HTC Sense devices, where you lose lock screen controls after calling RemoteMetadataProvider#acquireRemoteControls(). There is also (temporarily) a bug when using Android 4.3. However, this will be fixed in a future version.
Head over to the library and tutorial thread to get started.
September 1, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
While it may not be true in all circles; at least at XDA, being a developer is looked upon highly. Developers are respected and many people strive to become them. But what is it really like? The life of a software developer can be challenging—full of up and downs, successes and failures.
In today’s video, Jayce talks about what a day in the life of a software developer is made of, and it might not be what you expect. He interviews Developer Jose Zelaya, Associate Professor David Janzen, and Instructor Mark Lassoff to find out what the day in the life of a software developer consists of. Check out this video to see what they have to say.
August 31, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
One week ago, we featured a guide by XDA Senior Member marty331 posted in our App Development forums aimed at helping application developers create in-app usage tutorials using transparent demo overlays atop application activities. However, not everybody is a designer able to create aesthetically appealing overlays. Luckily, XDA Senior Member nikwen discovered the open source ShowcaseView library by Alex Curran, which makes it easy to generate Holo-themed demo overlays with ease.
In addition to describing the Apache 2-licensed library, nikwen also put together a quick guide that teaches developers how to showcase views, views in fragments, and parts of the action bar. He also describes how to add listeners to the library to trigger the event, as well as add animations such as a virtual finger that performs a gesture.
As we stated before, one of the keys to getting users comfortable and happy with your application is to show them how to use it. Head over to the guide thread to get started.
Recently, we’ve been talking quite a bit about the Android Studio IDE. Launched originally at Google I/O 2013, Android Studio aims at replacing Eclipse + Android Developer Tools, and bringing a few niceties such as live code rendering for different layouts.
As with any big change, some developers have experienced a few growing pains ranging from differences in handling external libraries to pains during initial setup. Aside from problems, just learning a new way of doing things can also be a hassle. Luckily, XDA Forum Member JoshieGeek has a guide in our App Development Forums geared at helping developers make the move to Android Studio.
The guide begins by giving a brief overview of the IDE, as well as pros and cons when making the switch. Then, JoshieGeek covers installation across three platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows), as well as creating your first project. Next, he covers the differences in exploring your project when compared to Eclipse, as well as how to view your app in different layouts. Finally, the guide covers how to generate a signed APK.
In our continuing coverage of the App Development forums here at XDA, we’ve featured various open source libraries that enable you to quickly add in functionality into your app-in-progress without having to reinvent the wheel. These libraries have streamlined app development in topics ranging from UI design and data visualization to application updates and everything in between.
Now, thanks to XDA Senior Member klinkdawg, there is an open source library for SMS and MMS messaging. After gaining knowledge while creating his own messaging app, klinkdawg released his library with the intention of helping other developers create their own SMS and MMS apps.
In addition to simply sharing the code, the developer has also written a brief guide in the thread that should cover basic usage. Currently, Google Voice is not supported, but that is on the way in a future revision. Additionally, this library is in beta, and uses non-final APIs.
August 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
We’ve written about Android Studio a few times in the past. Google’s would-be replacement for Android Developer Tools first made its appearance at Google I/O 2013. Based on Jetbrains IntelliJ, Android Studio offers many benefits over the older ADT such as live code rendering to see how your app will look across a variety of devices and layouts, as well as the ability to easily add any Android API into your app’s code. However, the transition hasn’t been without its share of growing pains.
One such issue that has popped up isn’t an issue per se, but rather a difference in how things are done. Since Android Studio is based on Gradle-build, the way it references external libraries (such as Google Play Services) is a bit different. Luckily, XDA Forum Member JoshieGeek has already gone through the process of learning how this is done, and has shared it in our App Development forums.
If you’re a developer looking to make the switch to Android Studio but you’ve either held back due differences in external library support or have just been waiting for the growing pains to subside, JoshieGeek’s guide will likely be of use. Make your way over to the tutorial thread to get started.
August 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Are you a developer using Mono for Android to develop pseudo-cross platform code using C# or .Net? If so, you may wish to save a few keystrokes for commonly executed commands.
XDA Senior Member ScatteredHell has created a DLL that works with Mono for Android to execute various commands. Originally, it supported obtaining system uptime, as well as some commonly used root-level commands such as mounting and unmounting the system as Read/Write and Read-Only, Rebooting, Setting Permissions, and Playing a Boot Animation. Now in its second version, it adds Get Date, Get Time, and Get Folders in a Specified Path to the list of supported commands. Example code is also given in the thread, demonstrating its usage.
While these shortcuts won’t save you massive amounts of time, the shortcuts will add up over time. Head over to the original thread to get started and streamline your Mono usage.