Geek Garage

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Tag: Mobile (Page 1 of 2)

Android, how to programmatically get a ressource

BIG T3 view

On BIG T3, the flags are resources loaded dynamically.

This was my problem: in the application Brothers In Games T3, I needed to display some images depending on a parameter. Those images are country flags and are the one of the country where the event is located. Those flags images are resources stored in the app. Their name is standardized with the country ISO code.

Now, how to load a resource when you have to compose its name ? I mean something more elegant than a brute if country then load resource elsif other country…

Fortunately, Android offers an elegant and easy way to do so, but maybe not that obvious, so lets see how it works.

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Referencing a local aar file in Android Studio

If you have created a library in Android Studio, you certainly want to use it in another project. The easiest way should be to create the aar file and then reference it from your new project. Prior to Android Studio 0.4.4, referencing local aar files was not supported as you can see from Xavier Ducrohet or in this issue report.

But there is an easy workaround for this. Lets see what we have to do, lets say, after you’ve created a stand alone library.

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IPhone 5 Crocs Edition

After each Apple’s keynote, it is the time to criticize the new products. Not innovating enough, not powerful enough, still the same… From several years, Apple is criticized for its apparent immobility which can give us some nice videos like this one.

But this year, Apple changed one design, and there is one inspiration which is obvious. This is about the iPhone 5C. If you think that the C stands for Color, you are all wrong. The C is for iPhone 5 Crocs Edition…

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Parsing RSS feed from an Android device

When it comes to RSS feed parsing, any Java developer will use the org.xml.sax library. But Android provides a nice wrapper that simplifies the code without sacrificing the performances. This wrapper is present since API level 1 and is the easiest way to write a simple parser for any XML.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to parse a RSS feed using the android.sax package. I’ll use Geek Garage’s feed. As any XML parsing, using the android.sax package, you can ignore the elements you don’t need, so, I’ll only collect some of the items.

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Create a standalone library with Android Studio

As a software developer, you know that reusable ressources should be in libraries. Android is a Java-based technology, so, your library can be a jar file. But if you want to store some Android specific resources, you need to create a Android Library Project.

Google released Android Studio as the main development platform for Android. Android Studio is a packages IntelliJ Idea environment and relies on Gradle for the build management. At the time being, it is a little unclear how to manage a library so this is a first tutorial.

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How to respectfully get your user contact details ?

My app KipinTooch is a kind of contact management app. I created it with the following intentions:

  • Have a better view among the common informations from different contacts.
  • Highlight the relations between contacts.
  • Allow a batch modification for those informations.
  • Help filling informations in a contact card based on similar contacts.

I also wanted the starting point to be the user. So, the app need to gather some informations about the user. But I also wanted the app to be self-sufficient. The app should process data from the phone and everything is done on the phone. No third party social network, no sending to a unknown distant server which would do its magic. This is what I call to be respectful: the user private data remains private and on its device.

This mean that if you want to provide the user some similar informations, you can only rely on what’s on the device. In this post, I will show you how you can gather those informations.

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Format your string resources on Android

There are many tutorials on the web about String formatting on Android. Unfortunately, most of them are about the usual String.format method. In this post, I’ll show you the different ways to display your message.

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The Iron Kingdoms on Kindle.

Skull Island Expeditions is an imprint of Privateer Press producing fantasy fiction. Their first 3 novels are now available on Kindle trough the Amazon.

The Devil's Pay cover.

The Devil’s Pay cover.

Privateer Press is certainly the first table top miniature games company to take advantage of modern devices. War Room, their card library app was published last summer. This April, trough Skull Island Expeditions, they are focusing on publishing books on digital format.

Their first 3 books are available on Kindle for a reasonable price, $5.14. Kindle is not limited to Amazon’s tablets. You can find the app for your Android or iOS device. You are allowed to get the book on multiple devices so you can start reading on one and continue on another. You are also allowed to lend the book.

You can still save $0.15 per book if you want to buy them trough Skull Island Expeditions site. The books are available in pdf, mobi or epub.

If you want to dive deeper in the universe of the Iron Kingdoms, those books are for you. Feel free to tell us how you enjoyed them.

Samsung Galaxy S 4 Unpack

Galaxy S4 black

The Galaxy S 4 in black.

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 Unpack event just finished. It will certainly remain in history as the worst show ever. But no matter, we watched it for the product, the new Galaxy S 4. First, this was a Samsung product presentation, if you expected something about Android, forget it. The first time we heard Android was after 47 minutes and we’ll only see the Play Store icon in a glimpse. This is expected as for every manufacturer, Android is disappearing. But still, the S 4 will come with Android 4.2.2 JellyBean, so up to date.

Of course, the S4 does have a better hardware. Samsung is a manufacturer, so the first thing we expect is the hardware. But for real details, we’ll have to wait for the benchmarks. All this event focused on the software layer. The new Galaxy S4 is not only a new phone, it is a full Samsung product with its own softwares.

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Google is dropping Snapseed…

…on Windows and OsX. Last year, Google acquired Nik Software which was publishing, among others, Snapseed, on of the most emblematic app on iOs, chosen as app of the year 2011 on the App Store. At the end of December, Google updated the iOs version of Snapseed and published the Play Store version. Yesterday, Google published the list of their last discontinued services and apps. Google Reader draw all the attention, but among the other services, we can see Snapseed on Windows and OsX.

The first consequence is that Snapseed was already removed from the Mac App Store. If you bought the app and you appreciate it, make a copy as you’ll be unable to reinstall it from the Mac App Store. This is certainly the most boring consequence of this decision.

But what can we expect about the iOs and Android version ? There is most certainly nothing to fear about it as Google made this app as an entry point for photo posting on Google Plus. Google is making all the efforts to promote Google Plus, and Sanpseed is one of their best assets among photographers.

Snapseed on desktop

Image manipulation on the desktop version of Snapseed (Nik Software).

Personally, I didn’t used Snapseed on a desktop. But the approach looked promising. I don’t say that it could have leveled up to be a competitor to Photoshop but, who knows ? Google is not a desktop software company, so it may have been expected that they would have not kept that software. But Nik Software is not only Snapseed… What about the acclaimed Dfine or the EFEX line ? Google is not an image manipulation software company, they bought Nik Software for their skills, not to improve the photo software market. The ported Snapseed to Android to provide the best iOs image manipulation app to Android and to open a gate for image publishing on Google Plus. All the web was considering Snapseed on Android as a competitor to Instagram. But today, we may have serious questions about the other desktop softwares. Google didn’t said anything about them, so, we’ll just have to wait and see…

… but not that long…

Would you miss Snapseed on Destop ?

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