Posts Tagged Android

Major changes for Android Market client

Over the next two weeks Google will be rolling out a major update to the android market client. The changes will greatly improver the user experience as well as the browse-to-purchase experience. It will also be possible to develop richer games with the increase of the max size of .apk files to 50MB.

The Android Market engineering team has been hard at work on improving the Android Market experience for users and developers. Today, I’m pleased to announce a significant update to the Android Market client. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be rolling out a new Android Market client to all devices running Android 1.6 or higher.

This new Market client introduces important features that improve merchandising of applications, streamline the browse-to-purchase experience, and make it easier for developers to distribute their applications.

With a focus on improving discoverability and merchandising, we’ve introduced a new carousel on the home and category screens. Users can quickly flip through the carousel to view promoted applications and immediately go to the download page for the application they want. Developers have been very active in creating great Widgets and Live Wallpapers. To make it easier for users to find their favorites, we’re introducing two new categories for Widgets and Live Wallpapers. Applications that include Widgets and Wallpapers will be automatically added to those new categories. We’ll also be adding more categories for popular applications and games in the weeks ahead. In addition, the app details page now includes Related content, which makes it easier for users to quickly find apps of similar interest.

You can read more on this at Google’s Android Developer blog.

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Hey, Java Developers! Go develop Android apps

More and more companies are focusing their efforts on the mobile market and offering an ‘app’ for their product or brand.
However, many are falling into the trap of only focusing on developing iPhone apps. As Gartner has reported, Android is now outselling iPhone as the smartphone of choice.   In the future there is going to be a major effort from these companies with established apps to port them over to Android.

Android is an App market that companies can’t afford to ignore.

Gartner estimates Android phones accounted for 75 percent to 80 percent of Verizon Wireless’s smartphone trade in the third quarter of 2010. Manufacturers such as Samsung continued to launch high-end devices like the Galaxy S. But manufacturers also launched Android devices at lower prices to target different consumer segments. For example, ZTE launched a sub-£100 Android phone with Orange in the prepay U.K. market. For its part, Google is maintaining a fast pace of OS updates. Each version brings new features and polish to Android, and the level of innovation is a major differentiator.

So why is this good for Java Developers?

If you are a Java developer and thinking of making the transition to mobile app development, Android is a natural choice.    It allows you to continue to develop in Java and progress your career to the next level.

The API is very well documented and there are lot of great tutorials in the dev guide.     Google even have lots of sample apps and tutorials to get you started.   If all that wasn’t good enough, there is also an eclipse plugin so you can continue to develop in eclipse.

The presentation below should be you a quick overview of the architecture and how to get started.

Android For Java Developers

View more presentations from Mike Wolfson.


So, forget about learning Objective C and moving over to Mac, stick with the language you love and start developing Android apps in java.

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Android UI Testing

I have been a big fan of Selenium ever since I first used it a few years back. It takes so much of the pain out of testing web pages and with its Maven integration a very complex web app can be fully tested automatically every night.   So naturally, I am pretty excited about Robotium.    Robotium does for Android testing what Selenium has done for web based testing.   Here’s the official line:

Robotium is a test framework created to make it easy to write powerful and robust automatic black-box test cases for Android applications. With the support of Robotium, test case developers can write function, system and acceptance test scenarios, spanning multiple Android activities.

Robotium is integrated with Maven via Maven for Android so all of your tests can be automated.   Check out the video below for an example of how to get started or this example from Michal Szczepanik at Bitbar.

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Developing applications for Layar Augmented Reality browser – Android

I finally managed to get my HTC Hero via an upgrade to Meteor.   After using the phone for only a day I am extremely impressed with the applications I have used and the ability of the phone.

The one application that I was really excited to use was Layar.

Layar is a free application on your mobile phone which shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of reality through the camera of your mobile phone.

Developers can create Augmented Reality layers that can be viewed in the browser.   There are a few Irish examples out there like

Dublin Bikes

Dublin Bus Stops

I’m glad to see there are a few Irish developer doing a great job here.   This video will give you an idea of what layar can do.

Here is a presentation from Dirk Groten of Layar on how to develop Layers.  You can read more about the presentation on the layar blog.

I am really looking forward to developing applications for android and some layers for the layar browser.

If you are a java developer, download the eclipse plugin for android development and look at some of the sample applications out there.  You will be amazed how easy it is to move over to android development.  I can really see a lot of developers moving to android in the next few years.   With so many java developers out there at the moment, this could be the driving force that pushes android ahead of iPhone.

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