April 27, 2013 By: Samantha
If you have been to the new App Development forums, you may have come across a project called ‘Playview for CardsUI’. Started by XDA Recognized Developer GadgetCheck, it’s an open source project that aims to replicate the aesthetic philosophy and design of the new Google Play store, and in particular, the card-like lists.
“How do you think we can achieve a list view like the new Play store…Can anyone help me out?” GadgetCheck, 10th April, 2013
Within days, GadgetCheck, XDA Senior Member Androguide.fr, and other XDA community members managed to achieve strides of progress in this proposal. Presented with a simple question and an initial prototype the XDA community, with a bit of coding and open-source libraries, further refined the product into what is known today as PlayView for CardsUI. Every aspect of PlayView’s development is documented in the forum thread, with points of major progress uploaded to Github for the community to check out and contribute to. The libraries are open-sourced, allowing anyone to incorporate the UI into their works.
What’s so great about this project is that it epitomizes what XDA-Developers is about: social contribution from the community towards development, helping one another out, and sharing and enjoying the end result. It’s something we all can see in CyanogenMod, FreeXperia, AOKP, and the many other teams and developers who dedicate their time and effort to get Android development to where it is in the present day.
PlayView for CardsUI is still a work in progress, so if you would like to check it or or chip in, make sure to head over to the development thread for more details.
It’s pretty easy to build APKs using Eclipse, but The Apache Ant project brings a few things to the table which you might be interested in—especially if you’re creating closed source apps. The package is designed to handle Java application builds (although it can be used with other languages as well). One of its best traits is that it will help shrink the size of your code by parsing for unused variables, methods, and classes to then strip them out as cruft. But I did mention closed source, and that’s because Ant has the ability to help obfuscate your bytecode to help prevent reverse-engineering through the use of ProGuard.
One of the reasons more people don’t use it is that it can be a little daunting at first glance. But to help you get a foothold, check out this setup guide for Ant builds. It’s not exactly tailor made, but if you search additional resources like the Ant Project Page itself, you should be able to get things working. The final project will spit out two builds at the touch of a button. One will be a private build for your own use during debugging. This code hasn’t been obfuscated, unlike the other package, which is a public copy that can be sent off to the Play Store or any other distribution channel of your choosing.
April 24, 2013 By: Mike Szczys
Putting together a killer app is hard enough without having to do everything yourself. That’s where external libraries come in really handy. Whether you need to gain root access to run system commands, need help creating a PDF, or are looking at dealing with files; there’s a resource that can get you there fast. XDA Senior Member Bassie1995 is maintaining a thread of helpful library repositories.
So far there almost a dozen listed, but I image that word will get around and the list will grow over time. The RootTools repo handles the superuser access that I mentioned earlier. This could be used in conjunction with a couple of different file chooser libraries that would make it a snap to add file and folder selection to your app. On the UI side, there are many different packages in the list which take the guesswork out of making your program look and act like you want it to. StickyListHeaders caught my eye as a way to display which section a user is in as they scroll through long lists. StandOut will help you float windows, and ViewPageIndicator will take care of tab display features.
Head on over to the original thread to view the list. Don’t forget to post a reply if there’s a repo you think needs to be added.
The recently launched Application Development Forums are off to a great start, with people posting a wealth of information and tutorials covering everything from advanced topics such as developing apps in C# instead of Java to information for those who are perhaps just getting started. One such guide comes courtesy of XDA Senior Member Thatgrass. It shows you how to set up Ubuntu using VirtualBox.
VirtualBox, in case you aren’t already aware, is pretty much exactly what the name suggests. It is a virtual machine that effectively acts as a computer within a computer, allowing you to run another OS of your choice without leaving Windows, OSX, or the Linux-based OS that you use by default. This allows you to set up a development environment without dual booting or replacing your current operating system. The tutorial is still a work in progress, and it will eventually cover building Android from source and setting up an app development environment.
Everything you need to know to get a working installation of Ubuntu up and running via VirtualBox is outlined within the thread. The instructions are accompanied by easy-to-follow screenshots that will have you up and running in no time at all. It’s worth mentioning that if you’re planning to build from source using a VirtualBox, you’ll want to start with a reasonably well powered machine, as one of the downsides is that this new OS is will of course have to share both RAM and disk space with the existing OS. In the case of RAM, you can expect your current amount to be effectively halved and building from source will require a sizeable chunk of your hard drive.
Check out the tutorial thread for more information.
April 21, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Recently, XDA added a set of forums focusing solely on App Development. We knew that XDA was missing a central hub for app developers to converse about things like development tools, prototyping, analytics, monetization, testing, security, localization, education, and so on. In addition to the forums, we are providing assistance to app developers in any way we can.
To assist app developers, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce takes a break from talking about how to become a hacker and hacker schools and asks you what you want to hear about regarding app development. Jayce will then find experts and get their insights on the topics you want to hear about, so leave a comment and tell us what you want to know, and be sure to check out this video.
February 18, 2013 By: jerdog
Back in August we wrote about a large update to a pretty epic piece of work. With its latest release Virtuous Ten Studio, created by XDA Recognized Developer and Senior Moderator Diamondback and his team, has become a full-blown Android IDE (Integrated Development Environment) capable of handling all of your Android reverse engineering needs.
For those unfamiliar with VTS, this is an application that gives themers and ROM developers the ability to modify Smali code of an APK as well as decompiling, editing, and recompiling APKs and Jar files. You also are able to resize, modify, or theme m10 files from HTC’s Sense UI, as well as navigate and manipulate XML files. In recent releases, VTS even added the ability to manipulate boot images as well as batch deodex files.
The latest release brings VTS up to v2.2.11. If you already have it installed, you will receive an update notification. A few of the new features include a version-based ApkTool management, ability to add a complete folder as ApkTool frameworks, additional ADB commands, resolution of bug with HTC JPG decoder that allows you to decompile these proprietary files to proper PNG files, and the addition of line bookmarking to Java documents. And as always, the focus remains on a clean UI and proper integration of all features. Be sure to visit the thread to discuss the application, or visit their website to download the tool and get more instruction.
Here at XDA, we are first and foremost focused on development. Without the developers, there would be no reason to have a site. Because of this, it is great when we find those looking to give back to the community and help teach others. XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler has done a great job spearheading the numerous articles and XDA TV videos on Android Development, and others have been great contributors to that series.
XDA Senior Member SferaDev has taken a slightly different approach to helping teach Android Development by changing the medium. Instead of utilizing a walkthrough on a computer or video, he has decided to teach about Android in Android, with a project he is calling “Learn Android in Android” or LAIA.
LAIA is an Android app that teaches you the basics of Android development in the palm of your hand (or tablet). Now, you can be riding the subway or bus or in that annoying carpool to work, and use the time to be productive by reading through the simple tutorial SferaDev has put together. And to make it even more of a big deal, he has open-sourced the application, allowing anyone to contribute or fork it and make something different. The application is still in its infancy, but it is continually evolving as SferaDev adds more chapters to the application. Visit the original thread for more information and offer help where you can, because you never know where the next top developer might be.
October 5, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Often times when devices are moved to the “Legacy and Low Activity” section of the XDA forums, they are quickly abandoned. The accumulated information sits and gathers dust, like Atlas Shrugged at a rural public library. But sometimes, you may just find that there are diehard fans, working away in their secluded corner of XDA Developers.
XDA Forum Member czechop has found a way to boot a custom kernel on his Motorola Milestone 2, while bypassing the bootloader signature check. Motorola in their infinite wisdom has locked their bootloaders. So, in a word, this is Huge. This was accomplished with the use of 2ndboot. According to XDA Recognized Contributor nogoodusername this benefits not only the Milestone 2, but the Motorola Defy, Motorola Defy+, Motorola Bravo, and possibly the Motorola Milestone. To accomplish this, however, those devices would need their own kernel, ramdisk, devtree and rmdline. On a grander scale this has the potential to spawn great breakthroughs with OMAP3 powered devices.
September 12, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
After spending weeks tearing apart various devices, XDA Elite Recognized Developer and TV Producer AdamOutler returns to his video series on building an Android application. In How to Build an Android App Part 3, Adam talks about hardware development with Arduino.
Returning to Android hardware development, Adam shows you how to work with the “Bare Metal” of the Arduino ADK. He shows a practical use of Arduino in home automation situations and demonstrates debugging techniques. Take a moment to check out part five.
In today’s XDA Developer TV, Erica is back to talk about fast dormancy. When your phone is using a 3G network, it is consuming battery as well. We all know that 3G is a battery vampire. Watch as Erica explains in detail how fast dormancy can help save your battery.
Erica is asking for your help. So watch this video and learn about what fast dormancy it is. Then see what you can do to help out the community with implementation and understanding of fast dormancy. Remember knowledge is power!
June 16, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
You have one week. Put your idea in this thread, then get on your favorite social media service to get people to click that thanks button on your post.
So check out the video to see the prize and then head on over to the contest thread and enter.
June 13, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Many people have the desire to create an Android App, but they don’t know where to get started. Learning a programming language such as Java involves getting past a significant learning curve. If only there were a simple way to make a basic application to get a feel for Android development; and then view the code to understand the structure. Luckily, there is.
In this video, XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler talks about a newly open-sourced application called Illumination Software Creator, or ISC—not to be confused with Ice Cream Sandwich, Android’s latest version. This powerful software utility can generate code in a similar manner to Google and MIT’s App Inventor. An exciting feature is that Illumination Software Creator exports actual code, which allows you to continue developing outside of the Illumination Software Creator environment.
March 2, 2012 By: ElCondor
Perhaps you remember the days of the very first Android ports to Windows Mobile phones such as the HTC Touch Diamond and HTC HD2. Beside the fact that this groundbreaking development was one of the factors that ultimately led to the end of Windows Mobile development on XDA, it did bring some innovative features to the table. Dual boot for example. It was revolutionary to be able to choose between Android and Windows Mobile. After a few months, when people started to move to newer phones, and this innovation ultimately got buried under the huge
mess mass of development for Android phones.
It seems there is currently only limited active development for a dualboot system for native Android phones. There have been projects in the past, for example for the Samsung Galaxy S II, Droid Eris, Xperia Play and LG GT540, but it seems development is more focused on individual ROMs nowadays. Multi-device development – and yes, we use the word development a lot – is more and more subject to development on individual devices. In the past, developers collaborated to put together something great (Ervius Visual Kitchen, anyone?). The Android port to Windows Mobile, called XDANDROID, and the dual boot innovation are just few of the many examples of this.
Although it isn’t a bad thing that developers have a strong focus at individual ROM development, we probably all share the dreams of being able to boot into a clean, battery-saving and light-weight Ice Cream Sandwich ROM while also having the option to boot into another ROM, one that might be an experimental ROM or a ROM that is more focused on performance. Or any other combination. The open-source Android OS allows for many dramatic changes to be made to its structure, dualboot on Android has been proven to work on the Droid Eris, so why hasn’t development started yet? Why seems development of such innovative systems at a standstill? I say we fire up that innovation engine as soon as possible.