May 18, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released a video a month ago talking about finding Android development jobs. He spoke to people who said Resumes Don’t Work. However, there are times where you don’t have the luxury of being creative and you must submit a resume to be considered for the job. Today, a recruiter reveals how resumes are chosen.
In today’s episode, Jayce interviews Cecilia Kong, the director of recruiting at a national search firm, about resumes. Cecilia talks about what makes a resume stand out. Suggestions include tailoring your resume to each job and being clear in your chronology. Check out this video.
When it comes to designing your app or graphics, there are most definitely more than a few pitfalls to avoid, and these should be considered when you don your designer cap. Especially when just starting out, these potential issues may be hard to see on your path to development success. Sometimes even the smallest things may be the most important aspect of your app, such as the icon, the name, or even the colors. So instead of allowing you to discover each one with every mistake you may make through your development journey, XDA Senior Member TechMasta has compiled some tips, tricks, and warnings that may be of help.
TechMasta has touched upon some of the most important and essential tips and tricks as well as pitfalls to avoid in app design and graphics. This is packaged into a guide divided conveniently into three sections. The guide covers including the layout of the user interface, color combinations and schemes, helpful resources and tools to aid in animation and aesthetics, and literary aspects present in your app.
The guide does a great job at presenting helpful tips, tricks, and warnings that every app developer and/or designer should keep in mind when going about his or her work. If you would like to check it out, visit the guide thread in our new App Development forums.
May 12, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Recently, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce has been talking a lot about App Development. He has interviewed people, and has spoken about different frameworks such as the Xposed Framework and Mono for Android. He also covered Code Katas to practice your coding. And just yesterday, he talked about App Testing. But now that you know all these skills, is it right for you?
In today’s episode, Jayce interviews Founder of Epicodus Michael Kaiser-Nyman, Developer at SalesForce Mark Rossetti, Co-Founder of Hack Reactor Douglas Calhoun, and Founder of Code Avengers Michael Walmsley. He asks these men about what attracted them to developer life.
May 11, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Today, we go further down the path of App Development. So far, we’ve talked about Xposed Framework and Mono for Android. Then, we talked about practicing your coding with Code Katas. Now, you are ready to create an app, but what next? It’s time to test your app.
In today’s episode, XDA Developer TV Jayce interviews Pete Oliveira, Founder of ElusiveStars.com, about getting people to test your new app. Pete talks about everything testing, from the icon of the app to actually using the app. Check out this video.
Every so often, an OEM will do things right. Well, nearly right anyway—right enough at least for their stock ROMS to only need some minor tweaks before they are almost perfect. More often than not though, these tweaks are things that can be tricky to implement for the average user—a user who will often find himself looking to install a custom ROM that is pretty close to stock with these desired tweaks added in. Usually that means downloading a pretty large file and then following the obligatory backup/flash/restore process that many of us now have down to a fine art. It shouldn’t have to be this way though, and luckily it isn’t. You just might not know it yet.
You may or may not have heard of the Xposed Framework, the brainchild of XDA Recognized Developer rovo89. If you’re already familiar with this particular mod, there’s really no need for me to tell you how awesome it is. You’re excused and can go play outside. If you aren’t already familiar with the framework, take a seat and listen up. While the Xposed Framework certainly isn’t a new thing, it doesn’t get nearly as much recognition as it deserves, and it’s time to do something about that.
According to the developer, Xposed works as follows:
“Some technical details:
I extended the /system/bin/app_process executable to load a JAR file on startup. The classes of this file will sit in every process (including the one for system services) and can act with their powers. And even more: I have implemented something that allows developers to replace any method in any class (may it be in the framework, systemui or a custom app). This makes Xposed very powerful. You can change parameters for the method call, modify the return value or skip the call to the method completely – it’s all up to you! Also replacing or adding resources is easy.”
What that means is that modifications (known as Xposed modules) can be made to any app or element of the OS itself by simply coding the desired change, packing it into its own APK, and installing to the device. The Xposed Framework takes care making sure it gets to where it needs to go and stays there. This eliminates the need to decompile the specific item you’re modifying or creating different versions for different ROMs and devices. There may be a need to alter an Xposed module after a major change in Android itself, for example 4.1 to 4.2, but let’s face it: That’s a fairly infrequent occurrence. No files on the device itself are modified, and this means that in the event something does go wrong, returning the device to a stable state is no more complicated than flashing a zip to disable the framework. That’s right, no more lengthy and storage consuming nandroid backup process every time something goes wrong.
Installation is incredibly quick and painless, considering the scope of this utility. Simply grab the Xposed Installer from the forum thread and sideload to your device, open up the app once it’s installed and click on “Install/Update,” reboot the device, and you’re good to go. No seriously, it’s that simple.
Installing each individual module is as easy as sideloading the APK, installing, activating it via the Xposed application and rebooting. Some mods will offer a user interface depending on how much functionality they are capable of, others just have one specific purpose and need no attention at all.
So what kind of modifications are we talking about here? Well, if you can think of tweak then chances are it can be packed into an Xposed module. Think of the added little extras that make your favourite custom ROM so appealing. Those are the sort of things that Xposed was created for.
A perfect example is Smart Alarm Icon, created by XDA Forum Member Mantelinho. This mod will configure the alarm icon in your status bar to only be displayed at a predetermined period before the alarm is due to sound. Let’s say you have your alarm set Monday through Friday. You can leave the alarm set all week but won’t have to see that little clock shaped reminder of Monday morning hanging around in your status bar over the weekend.
There a multitude of mods out there for various purposes, and you can bet that we’ll be highlighting as many as we can in the future. In the meantime, you can check out a repository for various modifications that was put together by Developer Admin pulser_g2. There is also a development tutorial aimed at getting people to create their own modules and making this the single most powerful tool for customisation there is.
Just when you thought this whole thing couldn’t possibly get any more awesome, it’s all open source. Be sure to check out the original forum thread on the Xposed Framework for more information.
Working with a team of developers can be great because you have someone to talk to when you hit the coding wall. If you don’t have that luxury, you can still learn how other programmers do things in order to sharpen your skills. That’s what XDA Recognized Contributor coolsandie had in mind when he started his list of all open source Android apps.
The list is huge, spanning several posts in the original thread, so there are many examples to learn from. All of the apps listed are available in the Play Store, which should equate to them being less buggy than random code snippets found in the wild. You can install them to see what features they include, then follow the list’s links to the source code to see how the original developers did everything.
Just reading through the source code is a great way to improve your own work and decrease the time you spend developing, but this is also a great resource to turn to when faced with a very specific problem. Want to know how to detect movement? Check out Pedometer which keeps tracks of how many steps you take each day. Need an example of how to add Widgets as part of your App? You’ll have no problem finding one in this list.
Yesterday, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce talked about finding resources to learn to code. Today, he delves into it a bit more and talks about some of the resources he’s found. From online YouTube tutorials to Java coding games, Jayce gives an overview of some of the options out there.
In today’s episode, XDA Developer TV Jayce interviews Chris Haseman, an Android Developer at Tumblr, about Good Code. Chris talks about how the journey to write good code is to write a lot of bad code since it helps give you the experience you need.
May 4, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
You asked for it, so now you are going to get it. Since the last couple of videos, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce has read your comments and you have asked for more information for people starting out as Android developers or developers in general. Well, he’s found some answers.
In today’s episode, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce interviews Miguel De Icaza, Co-Founder and CTO at Xamarin, about Code Katas. Miguel talks about development and learning new code by repetition using so called “Code Katas.” Check out this video.
April 30, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
Paranoid Android, the popular AOSP based ROM for multiple devices, and multi-window functionality are two things that we have mentioned here on the XDA Portal several times before. It now seems as though the two are about to become quite closely acquainted following news that the Paranoid Android team are in the process of developing their own implementation of this much sought after feature.
Of course this kind of functionality is nothing new, Cornerstone allowed users to do three things at once before Paranoid Android had even seen the light of day and Samsung were still being harassed about updates for the original Galaxy S. It has, however, received a fair amount of recent publicity due to its inclusion as a standard feature on devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. We’ve also seen a surge in the popularity of apps such as Floating Stickies and Overlays, which allow users to achieve a kind of “windowed” multitasking experience. Given the amount of user demand for such a feature I guess it was inevitable that some of the most popular custom ROMs out there would begin trying to implement this right out of the box. Well, Cyanogenmod did previously try to integrate Cornerstone into CM9 but that didn’t go so well.
The difference with the news from Paranoid Android is that they will be attempting to create this modification from scratch and presumably avoid the same kind of problems faced by the CM team. In a Google+ post from the PA team, they state that their implementation will outshine the competition. For the moment, though, this is still in a very early stage and a lot more testing and development is still required. The video that accompanies the post shows apps running as standalone windows, almost like with floating widgets, which are triggered from the notification tray and retain the hybrid settings applied by the user. However, this is not how the feature will act in its final form. This is purely for testing, but does already look incredibly promising and only begs us to wonder just what shape will this take in its final and finished form.
Check out the G+ post above or the video below for more information and let us know your opinions in the comments.
April 28, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
In an effort to help support XDA‘s recently added forums focusing solely on App Development, we have been providing information to support developers in their quest. Yesterday, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce interviewed XDA Recognized Developer rovo89 about his Xposed Framework..
In today’s episode XDA Developer TV, Jayce interviews Miguel De Icaza, Co-Founder and CTO at Xamarin, about Mono for Android. Miguel talks about open source development and the value of open sourcing software and his compiler. Check out this video.
When you get done coding and testing your shiny new app, you’ll still have a couple of steps left to make it ready for prime time. There are plenty of ways to learn about signing APK files, but I found XDA Senior Member Nikwen‘s guide to give just enough of an overview without getting bogged down in the details.
You can drill down to the gritty details of the process by reading the manual. There are two big developer references put out by Google, one on signing your application and the other on using the zip align tool. Signing an app is a requirement for release. Zip aligning is not, but it does help to optimize the APK file, so it’s highly recommended. Just make sure that you do the aligning after the file is compiled and signed.
Those not wanting to spend an hour reading can watch Nikwen walk through the process in ten easy and illustrated steps in the original forum thread. He uses Eclipse for the task. The guide gets down to business with steps six and seven, which create the new key. This is also where you put your makers mark on the product by assigning your name, company, address, and how long the signed package will be able to be installed (in years) to the finalized file.
I used machine translation to make the image for this post, but anything more complicated that ‘hello world’ would probably have come out with an awkward syntax and lost meaning for many languages. That’s why when it comes time to localize your app for many different languages, there’s no substitute for having a real person do the translations. Luckily, there are many forum members willing to help out, and XDA Senior Member Benkxda will introduce you to them.
You may remember Benkxda as the person maintaining the list of app testers. This time around, he’s working in much the same way to join translators with developers. If you’re fluent in multiple languages, I hope you’ll consider throwing your hat into the ring. It’s one way to ensure new apps will support your language. All you need to do is private message Benkxda to let him know you’re interested, and then subscribe to the original thread.
Developers can start their own public thread about the translation project, sharing the link to it in the translator’s thread. Please read the rules in the first post. You’ll find that you should only submit if your app is nearly complete. This prevents confusion caused by having to request subsequent translations if features are added or changed.
April 27, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Recently, XDA has added a set of forums focusing solely on App Development. Last week, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce asked you want topics you wanted to hear regarding App Development. Well, Jayce listened and has cooked up an interesting video for you.
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Jayce interviews XDA Recognized Developer rovo89 about his Xposed Framework. Rob’s open source development tool gives you great power over your device. Check out this video.