Category Archives: Android

All about Android – Apps,News,Tips and Reviews!

Getting started with Android Studio on Ubuntu/Linux (14.04 LTS)

Android Studio is the new development environment for Android (officially recommended). It’s based on IntelliJ IDEA (Integrated Development Environment from JetBRAINS).

android studio

You can still use Eclipse IDE though (however, it may not be supported once the Android Studio comes out of beta) but Android Studio brings lots of new features and improvements (Advanced Android code completion and refactoring, multiple APK generation, Maven based build dependencies etc), so lets set up Android Studio on Ubuntu/Linux. (tested on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (64 bit Intel Machine))

1. Install JDK 6 or later

First, install Oracle JDK 8 (although you could also choose OpenJDK but it has some UI/performance issues) using WebUpd8 PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-set-default

To make sure, it’s installed successfully, open a terminal and type (you should get the version number of the jdk you’ve installed e.g javac 1.8.0_11)

javac -version

2. Download and install Android Studio

Download the Android Studio package for Linux and extract it somewhere (e.g home directory).
Then type :

cd android-studio/bin
./studio.sh

3. Install SDK Platforms

You need to install some SDK before you jump into building android apps. Click on Configure -> SDK Manager to open Android SDK Manager. Select the latest API (to test against target build, e.g API 19 (Android 4.4.2)) and some packages in Extras (Android Support Library and Android Support Repository). Then install the selected packages.

That’s all. Now, the development environment is ready :-)
If you need some help then learn Android development at TreeHouse or checkout official docs.

cordova logo

Building Android Apps with Phonegap – Part I

Phonegap is a framework for building cross-platform mobile apps using web technologies such as HTML5, CSS and Javascript. It’s based on Apache Cordova, a free and open source framework. So, if you build your next mobile app using phonegap, you can easily deploy it to various mobile platforms. It supports a number of devices including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and so on.

cordova logo

So, building mobile apps using phonegap/cordova is more productive and most importantly, you won’t have to learn platform-specific languages such as Java or Objective C. It has some drawbacks too e.g not all native language features are available, performance issue for complex applications and so on.

Lets begin!

I assume you’re using a Linux based distribution such as Ubuntu and your target platform is Android. You could adjust few things to make it work in other cases.

1. Setting up Android ADT and Eclipse

Although Eclipse IDE is not strictly necessary but it’s the officially recommended IDE for Android, it also makes testing, debugging and deployment(exporting signed apk) much easier for a beginner.

Things you need to install

  • JDK/JRE
  • Eclipse
  • ADT (Android Development Tools)

I’ve already written an article on setting android development environment in Ubuntu, So go through that article and come back when you’re ready.

2. Installing Phonegap/Cordova

Now, you’ve Android and Java environment ready, install cordova/phonegap.

Install NodeJS
Open a terminal and type: (The nodejs package available in repository may be out of date, so use ppa)

sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:chris-lea/node.js
sudo apt-get -y update
sudo apt-get -y install nodejs

Install cordova

sudo npm install -g cardova

Open a terminal and type cordova , just to make sure it’s installed correctly.

3. Creating a simple Hello World Application

cordova create hello com.example.hello "HelloWorld"
cd hello
cordova platform add android
cordova build

Note : Don’t use spaces in name otherwise you may get some strange errors. If you’re getting any error like “command not found”, then you should check whether the android sdk path has been setup properly or not. If that’s the case you can try this command : export PATH=${PATH}:~/adt-bundle-linux/sdk/platform-tools:~/adt-bundle-linux/sdk/tools (assumption : adt-bundle is installed in home directory)

Launching the app in Eclipse

import-android-eclipse

Open eclipse and go to File -> New -> Project -> Android Project from Existing Code and locate the apps root directory (created using cordova command).  Now, you can create a virtual device (From Eclipse, Window -> Android Virtual Device Manager) for testing your app. When you run the default app, you will get a simple welcome page saying Device is Ready. The assets/www directory contains all the html, css and javascripts files for your app.

What’s next ?

In next series of this tutorial (part II), I  I will create a simple app using phonegap and deploy it to Google Play (step by step from getting an idea to launching in Google Play); And, about some cool libraries/tools you can use to make phonegap development much easier and fun :-)

icon_launcher-web

“Quote Of The Day” – a Free Android app you must try :)

“Quote Of The Day”, it’s a simple android app, full of inspiring and positive quotes (currently number of quotes is not very high – only hundred – but I’ll update that soon) and it’s Free too.

Few days ago, I suddenly got interested in ‘creating some apps for Android‘ and now it seams like I’ve started. :)  (From now on, I will also write about android apps and development frequently, stay tuned!)

quotes of the day

Quotes Of The Day – Inspiring Human Beings

You can easily browse – one quote at a time, in a random fashion. Yeah, there is no other way to search quotes like by author or topics/keywords. It’s a quote app that display one awesome quote, that’s all (and of course, you can get another quote on demand (but I think one quote a time will be more fun!)).

Quotes Of The Day - Icon

Most of the quotes will inspire you, related to human life, success, happiness etc. No internet connection is required (although it’s recommended :) for the sake of Admob) to browse quotes (as quotes are stored locally in the databases), it means you can inspire yourself even if you’re offline :)

Download/Install it from Google Play

Update! If you want to browse some inspiring quotes (by Abdul Kalam) online, then you can do that here without any installing any app : abdulkalamquotes.org 

Also check out http://sanskritslokas.com/ for collection of Sanskrit Shlokas/Quotes.

andless - FLAC Player for Android

FLAC/ALAC Player (Free) for your Android Phone

FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, it’s a free software, dedicated for lossless audio compression.

ALAC is a proprietary codec for lossless compression – called as Apple Lossless Audio Codec. So, if you’re looking for a FLAC or ALAC player for android devices such as your Samsung or Google Android phone (or tablet, whatever you’re using, it doesn’t matter) then you can stop searching now.

AndLess : Lossless Audio Player for Android

andless - FLAC Player for Android

AndLess is a free and open source audio player for android platform that can play all the popular lossless audio formats such as FLAC, APE, APC, and WV files. Now, it also supports ALAC in m4a container (music files with the extension .m4a). The applications has very simple and easy to use GUI but it does provide some cool useful features such as playlists. Since, it’s available there in Google Play (newer version of Android Market), so you can install it from there.

Download (and Install) AndLess from Google Play

Have Fun! :)

Recommended Link(s) : 

Android

How to Install Android SDK on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Ubuntu (latest version: 12.04 LTS) is now the most popular GNU/Linux distribution on this planet; Android, the most popular operating system for Mobile Devices, both are rocking!

If you are a Android Developer (or an absolute beginner) – who wants to use Ubuntu as the development platform OR an Ubuntu user interested in developing Android Applications – then this post might be helpful in setting up Android Development Environment on Ubuntu 12.04 (a.k.a Precise Pangolin). Although, the setup process is primarily explained for Ubuntu 12.04 but it may works seamlessly on other GNU/Linux systems such as Linux Mint, Debian, OpenSuse, Fedora etc (and of course you would have to replace apt-get by yum in RPM based distro).

Setting Up Android SDK on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Android

Since Android uses Java as the programming language so you must install Java Development Kit (JDK) such as OpenJDK (Open Source implementation), followed by the Eclipse IDE and ADT plugins required for Android Development.

Step 1. Install JDK and Eclipse IDE

Although, you could install JDK or IDE separately (specially if you want specific version of JDK and Eclipse, Since Android SDK requires JDK 1.6+ and Eclipse Helios 3.6.2+) but eclipse-jdt package meets the above conditions so it would be much easier. Open a terminal and install Eclipse IDE as well as JDK, in one command (Installs Eclipse 3.7 + OpenJDK 6 ) –

sudo apt-get install eclipse-jdt

step 2. Download Android SDK Starter Package

Download Android SDK Starter Package (From Official Site)

step 3. Install ADT Plugins for Eclipse

Installing Android SDK

Now, Open Eclipse IDE and go to Help -> Install New Software  then click on Add and enter the URL :

https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/

installing-adt-plugin

Now select the developer tools, then a couple of Next, followed by Finish would begin the Download/Installation process; Next, restart the Eclipse.

step 4. Install Android SDK

Then open Window -> Preferences and locate your Android SDK starter package.

locate-sdk-package

Then go to Window -> Android SDK Manager, Select the packages you want to install and click Install [x] Packages.

android-sdk-manager

Packages to select ?

Mandatory  packages are SDK Tools, SDK – Platform Tools and the SDK platform (2.1 (recommended if you want to target for 97%+ users) or 4.0.3 (the latest version at the time of writing this post)) for which you want to write the Application.

Select other packages depending on your need, although most recommended packages are – Documentation, Code Samples, USB Driver, Google API, Google Analytics SDK, Google Admob Ads SDK (If you want to show ads in your App) etc. Don’t select unnecessary packages – that you don’t need now – otherwise it may take much time to download/install all those stuffs.

Wait, until the download/install process complete (it may take a lot of time if your Internet connection is not very fast).

That’s All. Now it’s time start developing some cool Applications for Android. Have Fun!

Recommended Book(s) for Beginners