android


My Gradle Tips and Tricks

gradle_logoThe new Android build system is based in Gradle, an advanced build tool that simplifies build automation.

I used Maven for many years and Gradle project structure is very similar, but Gradle configuration files are Groovy-based and much (much!) more simple. Here is the official documentation

This week I migrated a lot of my Android and GWT projects to Gradle (some of them in my github), and here are some tips that I discovered (and I will add more as I find them):

Embrace the new Source Structure

Initially can be difficult, but putting the code under /src/main/java/, Android resources in /src/main/res/, etc. is a very popular form to organize the code. You can configure the build.gradle file to keep the old Android project structure, but I suggest migrating to the new structure.

Reference Another Project in your Workspace

You have two options:

  1. Use a Multi-Project Build
  2. Install the artifact (JAR if is a standard Java library, AAR if an Android Library) in your local Maven repo

Both options are explained below:

Use Multi-Project Builds

You can create a multi-project setup with projects on subfolders adding a settings.gradle file at the root with a include statement:

include 'library-project', 'your-project'

Then inside a your-project’s build.gradle you can easily add a dependency to another project (called “other_project”):

dependencies {
    compile project(':library-project')
}

Sample here.

Install a JAR to your Local Maven Repo (with the source code)

With standard java libraries and a build.gradle file like:

apply plugin: 'java'
apply plugin: 'maven'
group = 'com.company'
version = '0.8'

You can do “gradle install” to copy it yo your Maven repo.

Manually Install a JAR to your Local Maven Repo (without source code)

At the moment a lot of Google artifacts (=JARs, AARs) are not available at the Maven Central repo, but you can install them manually to your local Maven repo

mvn install:install-file -Dfile=android-support-v4.jar -DgroupId=com.google -DartifactId=android-support-v4 -Dversion=0.1 -Dpackaging=jar

You can also do it with gradle, but it is a bit more complex sample here.

Reference an Artifact from your Local Maven Repository

Be careful to add mavenLocal() to your repositories in the build.gradle:

repositories {
    mavenLocal()
}

Then use a normal reference, for the android-support-v4.jar sample above, it will be:

dependencies {
    compile 'com.google:android-support-v4:0.1'
}

Install an AAR to the Local Maven Repository

AAR is the new package format for Android Libraries. The “gradle install” task (that should install the AAR in the local Maven repository) does not works as expected in those projects, so I use a little hack:

apply plugin: 'maven'
uploadArchives {
  repositories {
    mavenDeployer {
      repository url: 'file://' + new File(System.getProperty('user.home'), '.m2/repository').absolutePath
    }
  }
}
task install(dependsOn: uploadArchives)

Usage sample here.

Android Library Projects need an Application Tag

This is an ADT bug, and the workaround is to add an empty application tag yo your library’s AndroidManifest.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" ...>
    <application />

Include all the JARs in the libs/ Directory

This was the default behaviour of Android Projects, to maintain it you can add to your build.gradle:

dependencies {
    compile fileTree(dir: 'libs', include: '*.jar')
}

I suggest referencing local JARs only in final Android projects, referencing them in libraries can cause problems, read below:

Avoid Referencing Local JARs in Android and Java Libraries

If you reference local JARs in Android libraries, those jars are going to be embedded in the AAR. If you reference again the JAR from a project that uses the AAR you will see this build error:

:project:dexDebug
UNEXPECTED TOP-LEVEL EXCEPTION:
java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: already added: Landroid/support/v4/app/ActivityCompatHoneycomb;
//..
1 error; aborting
:project:dexDebug FAILED

If an Android Library projects references a JAR library, and the JAR library references local JAR files, those local JAR files are not going to be embedded in the Android projects using the library.

The best solution is to install all the JARs to your local Maven repo as explained above.

Or Embed all the Dependency JARs Into your Library

In some situations you may embed all the JARs in your library, but ONLY if those dependency JARs are not going to be referenced again in a project that uses the library.

jar {
    from configurations.compile.collect { it.isDirectory() ? it : zipTree(it) }
}

Android Projects Need Libraries Compiled with Java 1.6

If in an Android Project you use a library JAR including classes compiled with source compatibility to Java 1.7, build gives this WARNING:

trouble processing:
bad class file magic (cafebabe) or version (0033.0000)
...while parsing Class

…and the class is not included in the APK, so the app force closes at running.

This may be solved adding in the build.gradle of the library:

apply plugin: 'java'
sourceCompatibility = 1.6
targetCompatibility = 1.6

Create a Source JAR for a Library

Source JARs are needed for libraries used in GWT projects. To generate them add this to your build.gradle:

apply plugin: 'maven'
//...
task sourcesJar(type: Jar, dependsOn:classes) {
    classifier = 'sources'
    from sourceSets.main.allSource
}
artifacts {
    archives sourcesJar
}

You can install them to your local repo with “gradle install”

Include a Source JAR from Another Project

For multi-project_builds:

dependencies {
    compile project(':other_project')
    compile project(path: ':other_project', configuration: 'archives')
}

Sample here.

Include a Source JAR from a Maven Repo

Simply append “:sources”:

dependencies {
    compile 'com.company:artifact-name:0.8'
    compile 'com.company:artifact-name:0.8:sources'
}

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Setting up the GoogleTV Emulator 2

Many people has problems with the Google TV Emulator because it hangs up booting at the Google TV logo. The problem is that it only works with specific device configurations and resolutions.

First you need to install the “GoogleTV Emulation Addon” using the Android SDK Manager. Then, create a new “Device Definition” (notice the new “Device Definition” tab at the top of the Android Virtual Device Manager in the lasts Android SDKs).

When prompted for the device definition parameters you must enter:

googletv1

This setup is for a 720p resolution, for a 1080p you must change the resolution to 1920×1080 and the density from tvdpi to xhdpi. Once the device definition is created, the next step is to create a new Android Virtual Device using it:

googletv2

Et voilà, our Google Tv emulator is up and running:

googletv3


DevFest-X BCN 2012

For those who don’t follow me in the social networks, I’m now a co-organizator of the GDG Vigo (Google Developers Group), founded by Reinaldo Aguilera. In this group we are organizating a lot of interesting (and free!) Android and HTML5 activities (speechs, codelabs…) near Vigo, Galicia. Join to our Google Group and stay tuned!

This year I also went to the Barcelona DevFest, but as GDG Vigo we tried to help with the organization.

We participated in a Three.js codelab with Ricardo Cabello (Mr.Doob) showing how to make a very simple WebGL game in some simple steps. Slides are available at:

http://www.alonsoruibal.com/slides/codelab_three.js/

and source code is hosted in github: https://github.com/albertoruibal/codelab_three.js/

In another session I also told my experience migrating some Mobialia apps from Android to HTML5 with GWT, those slides are at http://www.alonsoruibal.com/slides/android2gwt/

Thanks Google, GDG Barcelona and GDG Tarrragona for the organization of such great event!


Java vs C# vs Javascript 5

*** UPDATE: This article had a HUGE mistake in the Javascript part, read below ***

I’m a Java guy but I’m always opened to other programming languages. I heard great things about Mono and the .Net platform, among those things recently I saw a Xamarin article about Android being ported over Mono in a project called XobotOS (http://blog.xamarin.com/2012/05/01/android-in-c-sharp/) and they are getting a much better performance than with Dalvik.

They did it using Sharpen: an automated tool that can convert from Java source code to C#. I was hesitated and started to port my “Carballo” chess engine to C#. Sharpen runs as an eclipse plugin (but outside eclipse). The best tutorial that I found to install sharpen is here: http://www.pauldb.me/post/14916717048/a-guide-to-sharpen-a-great-tool-for-converting-java

The new Carballo Chess Engine with a C# version is now hosted at GitGub (https://github.com/albertoruibal/carballo). You can launch the conversion tool running “ant” on the “csharp/” folder. This C# version hasn’t a graphic interface yet, but is great to make some comparisons…

I use a lot the BT2630 chess test suite, with positions to find the best move, lets see how much time needs my chess engine in Java to find the solution for the first position:

r q . . r . k . 8
. . . . . p p . 7
p . . . . . . . 6
. . . . b N P . 5
. p . . P . . P 4
. . . . . Q . . 3
P P . . . . K . 2
. . . . . R . R 1
a b c d e f g h white move
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 1 score cp 170 nodes 176 time 42 nps 4093 pv f3b3
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 2 score cp 136 nodes 1044 time 123 nps 8419 pv f3b3 b8b7
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 3 score cp 131 nodes 4335 time 358 nps 12075 pv f1f2 b8b6 f3b3
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 4 score cp 111 nodes 14603 time 854 nps 17079 pv f1f2 b8b6 f3b3 e8e6
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 5 score cp 115 nodes 27593 time 1311 nps 21031 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 6 score cp 119 nodes 50536 time 1450 nps 34828 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2 d8d2
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 7 score cp 117 nodes 110415 time 1693 nps 65180 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8c8 f2d2 b7c6 b2b3
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 8 score cp 110 nodes 314754 time 2515 nps 125100 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2 d8d2 d1d2 b7c6 b2b3
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 9 score cp 112 nodes 564320 time 3580 nps 157587 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2 d8d2 d1d2 a6a5 b2b3 b7b6
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 10 score cp 129 nodes 1219488 time 6174 nps 197487 pv f1f2 b8c7 f3b3 c7b7 b3d5 b7d5 e4d5 a8d8 h1d1 e8e6 a2a4
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 11 score cp 241 nodes 2430413 time 11373 nps 213681 pv f5g7 e8f8 g7f5 a8a7 f5h6 g8g7 f1f2 b8b5 h6f5 g7g8 f3b3 a7d7 h1c1 d7d1

This is 11.373 seconds at 213.681 nodes per second, my java version is “Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_26-b03)”.

And with Mono? let’s see the result on the same machine:

DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 1 score mate 0 nodes 176 time 25 nps 6769 pv f3b3
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 2 score mate 0 nodes 1044 time 36 nps 28216 pv f3b3 b8b7
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 3 score mate 0 nodes 4335 time 58 nps 73474 pv f1f2 b8b6 f3b3
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 4 score mate 0 nodes 14603 time 136 nps 106591 pv f1f2 b8b6 f3b3 e8e6
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 5 score mate 0 nodes 27593 time 247 nps 111262 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 6 score mate 0 nodes 50536 time 450 nps 112053 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2 d8d2
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 7 score mate 0 nodes 110415 time 813 nps 135644 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8c8 f2d2 b7c6 b2b3
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 8 score mate 0 nodes 314754 time 2058 nps 152867 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2 d8d2 d1d2 b7c6 b2b3
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 9 score mate 0 nodes 564320 time 3693 nps 152766 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2 d8d2 d1d2 a6a5 b2b3 b7b6
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 10 score mate 0 nodes 1219488 time 7673 nps 158911 pv f1f2 b8c7 f3b3 c7b7 b3d5 b7d5 e4d5 a8d8 h1d1 e8e6 a2a4
DEBUG SearchEngine - depth 11 score mate 0 nodes 2430413 time 15490 nps 156891 pv f5g7 e8f8 g7f5 a8a7 f5h6 g8g7 f1f2 b8b5 h6f5 g7g8 f3b3 a7d7 h1c1 d7d1

That is 15.490 seconds at 156.891 nodes per second with the “Mono JIT compiler version 2.10.8.1 (Debian 2.10.8.1-3)”.

I didn’t found the Sharp and Mono magic, at least in my case Mono is about a 30% slower than Java. This may be as a result of the automated code conversion…

I tested the GWT part in the GWT Developer Mode. In this mode, the code is run in the server as Java (and not in JS). In recent tests I found that the Javascript version is much more slow, probably because of the GWT Javascript Long emulation (Js does not has 64bits integers).

Well and this chess engine also has a GWT version. GWT is another magical Google product that converts your java code to Javascript. Let’s see how fast runs this test on the browser:

[INFO] [org.vectomatic.libgwtsvgchess] - Main.info(depth 1 score cp 170 nodes 176 time 56 nps 3087 pv f3b3 )
[INFO] [org.vectomatic.libgwtsvgchess] - Main.info(depth 2 score cp 136 nodes 1044 time 186 nps 5582 pv f3b3 b8b7 )
[INFO] [org.vectomatic.libgwtsvgchess] - Main.info(depth 3 score cp 131 nodes 4335 time 483 nps 8956 pv f1f2 b8b6 f3b3 )
[INFO] [org.vectomatic.libgwtsvgchess] - Main.info(depth 4 score cp 111 nodes 14603 time 997 nps 14632 pv f1f2 b8b6 f3b3 e8e6 )
[INFO] [org.vectomatic.libgwtsvgchess] - Main.info(depth 5 score cp 115 nodes 27593 time 1123 nps 24548 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2 )
[INFO] [org.vectomatic.libgwtsvgchess] - Main.info(depth 6 score cp 119 nodes 50536 time 1251 nps 40364 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2 d8d2 )
[INFO] [org.vectomatic.libgwtsvgchess] - Main.info(depth 7 score cp 117 nodes 110415 time 1571 nps 70238 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8c8 f2d2 b7c6 b2b3 )
[INFO] [org.vectomatic.libgwtsvgchess] - Main.info(depth 8 score cp 110 nodes 314754 time 2648 nps 118819 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2 d8d2 d1d2 b7c6 b2b3 )
[INFO] [org.vectomatic.libgwtsvgchess] - Main.info(depth 9 score cp 112 nodes 564320 time 4063 nps 138858 pv f1f2 b8b7 h1d1 a8d8 f2d2 d8d2 d1d2 a6a5 b2b3 b7b6 )
[INFO] [org.vectomatic.libgwtsvgchess] - Main.info(depth 10 score cp 129 nodes 1219488 time 7474 nps 163142 pv f1f2 b8c7 f3b3 c7b7 b3d5 b7d5 e4d5 a8d8 h1d1 e8e6 a2a4 )
[INFO] [org.vectomatic.libgwtsvgchess] - Main.info(depth 11 score cp 241 nodes 2430413 time 14216 nps 170951 pv f5g7 e8f8 g7f5 a8a7 f5h6 g8g7 f1f2 b8b5 h6f5 g7g8 f3b3 a7d7 h1c1 d7d1 )

I can’t believe my eyes : 14.216 seconds at 170.951 nodes per second with Google Chome Version 19.0.1084.52… and this is also an automated conversion process…

Yes, in my tests Javascript is faster than Sharpened Mono…


MobileCONGalicia 2011

El viernes pasado, y gracias a la iniciativa de María Encinar (@encinar) y Martín Pérez (@mpermar), se llevó a cabo el primer evento para desarrolladores móviles en Galicia: MobileCONGalicia.

Las ponencias fueron de los más variado, tuvimos a:

  • Eugenio Estrada (@eugenioestrada) un crack de Windows Phone nos metió a todos el gusanillo de desarrollar en WP
  • Alberto Gimeno (@gimenete), desarrollador iOS nos habló de posibilidades de monetización de apps
  • Elena Pérez (@ilnuska) experta en interfaces de usuario en @SpartanBits, puso a caldo (con conocimiento de causa) al equipo de diseñadores de Android
  • Ricardo Varela (@phobeo), experimentado desarrollador curtido en 1000 batallas, habló de APIs móviles
  • Martín Pérez (@mpermar), nos habló de Tropo, Phono y otras APIs de telefonía dándonos grandes ideas de oportunidades de negocio
  • Hermes Piqué (@hpique) experimentado desarrollador Android e iOS que nos habló de Unit Testing
  • Jordi Bonet de Softonic explicó como han reinventado su negocio orientándolo hacia las descargas móviles
  • Finalmente, Nacho Sanchez nos contó su experiencia empresarial en @InqBarna desarrollando apps

Algunas de las presentaciones se pueden visualizar aquí

Yo participé con una ponencia sobre Android, y como la entrada al evento eran 25 euros (una ganga por cierto), hice una presentación con mis 25 consejos para los que comienzan a desarrollar; ya sabéis, a euro por consejo:

El evento terminó con un AppCircus del que fuí jurado junto con Miguel Sílva (@MSilvaConstenla de @Blusens, Elena (@Ilnuska) de @SpartanBits y Nacho de @INQBarna. Estas fueron las aplicaciones que se presentaron:

  • PictoDroid: Excelente aplicación Android para permitir a las aplicaciones con problemas de expresión comunicarse mediante pictogramas
  • Mussage: Aplicación IOS que permite enviar mensajes con canciones que están en la biblioteca del receptor
  • Chove: Completo radar de lluvia para españa en Android
  • Extremadura Rural: Guía offline de alojamientos rurales en Extremadura
  • ReallyLateBooking: Aplicación IOS y Android para buscar ofertas de hoteles en el mismo día
  • Binaurality: Método para aprender inglés basado en la escucha binaural para IOS y Android
  • Bits4Meetings: Iniciativa para proporcionar un sistema de creación de aplicaciones para eventos personalizadas (de los creadores de Ipoki!)
  • Berokyo: Aplicación iOS que permite organizar en estanterías documentos, contactos y medios digitales, sincronizándolos con DropBox
  • Obradoiros Abertos: Aplicación que ofrece información geolocalizada de talleres, tiendas y puntos de interés de artesanía gallega.
  • Absolute Defense: un shot’em up de gran calidad al más puro estilo R-Type

El nivel de las aplicaciones presentadas fué muy bueno. La app ganadora fue ReallyLateBooking, y la finalista Berokyo, esperamos haber sido justos. Mención especial me merece la presentación de Juan Porta de la aplicación Chove!, un tremendo showman más puro estilo gallego, que nos hizo pasar un momento estupendo, pena que no nos dejaran valorar la presentación.

Referencias en prensa/blogs:

Por si fuera poco y gracias a Blusens, tuvimos una fiesta del evento en una discoteca Santiaguesa, que se adentró en altas horas de la madrugada… Atención al detalle del gorro de Android de @IronSil, y curioso el efecto de “Ojos Blancos” de la cámara del Galaxy Nexus.


Google DevFest 2011 BCN 1

This week I assisted to the Google DevFest 2011 Barcelona. This year it was celebrated on a great “garage” located on an industrial area of Barcelona. I will tell the more interesting things that I found on the different sessions:

NEW IN HTML

As usual, this session presented by Paul Kinlan showed us the future of HTML5. I love the x-webkit-speech Chrome feature to make voice inputs that we already could see on the Madrid DevFest 2010. Paul made also some demos of WebIntents  a great idea to make something similar to Android intents on the web. Finally we could see that HTML5 is advancing very fast trying to implement many APIS that will make Flash obsolete, like window.navigator.getUserMedia() ot the Web Audio API.

GLSL

This session was presented by Mr. doob aka. Ricardo Cabello, a guy from the demoscene. He made a introduction of how 3D works in the browser and showed us how to use the GLSL language to make great effects on web pages. He has those GLSL demos on his blog.

GOOGLE+ SESSIONS

There were two Google+ sessions driven by Ade Oshineye, one presenting the new social network (also announcing the Google+ Pages) and other with more technical details for developers. One thing that you can do easily is adding the +1 button to your site. Other very interesting tools that we could see were the Google APIs Console and the Google APIs Explorer.

ANDROID SESSIONS

Bruno Oliveira is replacing Reto Meier as our “Android Developer Relations”.  On the first session he made a great review of the Android platform evolution since 2.1 to 4.0. On the second session he gave us great tips to improve UX experience on Android. This guy is a showman!

MAKING A BUSSINESS OUT OF APPS

This session was presented by Paul Kinlan and Bruno Oliveira, showing us that monetization tips are valid for both web and Android apps: Lazy registration, try before you buy, easy payment, in-app payments… Bruno also presented the new multilingual “Guide to the App Galaxy” http://www.guidetotheappgalaxy.com/.

GOOGLE SHOPPING API

Daniel Hermes showed us the Google Shopping API and many integration samples.

CHROME DEV TOOLS

Finally Sam Dutton made a review of the Google Chrome development tools. This tools replaced my FireBug many years ago! He also made his slides available.

APP COMPETITION

This year Google also organized and Appcircus-style app competition. Those were the apps and sites presented:

I won the app competition, but all were great apps. Our presentation and some photos of the app competition are available at our Mobialia Blog.


Developing with Android-X86 2.3 and VirtualBox

One of the most tedious thing developing for Android is the lack of an efficient emulator. The bundled Android emulator with the SDK is very, very slow due to that it is emulating an gaming ARM architecture over X86 processors.

So I will propose you a solution based on Android-X86. This is a project that ports Android to the X86 architecture and they recently released the 2.3 RC1 version. With VirtualBox you can create a X86 virtual machine and install Android-X86 on it.

First, install VirtualBox and create a lol virtual machine with the following specs:

  • Operating System: Other
  • 512 MB RAM and 5 GB HD (enough)
  • Bridged Network (easier for the adb connect step)
  • Emulating a Sound Blaster 16 sound card (trying it as recommendation from Android-X86, but at the moment it doesn’t work for me)
Then download the android-x86-2.3-RC1-eeepc.iso image (see links at the bottom).

When you start VirtualBox by first time it will ask you for a boot CD, select the downloaded image. On start it will let you choose between running Android from the CD or install it on hard disk. Select install to hard disk, create a partition on the virtual disk, and install Android on the partition selecting  the “System read write” option.  During the online gaming installation process, you can create a virtual SD card (of 2GB maximum), the SD card is necessary for many apps to word.

Then you can now start your Android-X86 system (don’t forget to remove the ISO image). By default it will have the ethernet networking configured, you can check it at Settings->Ethernet configuration.

To start developing with this virtual machine, you need to connect it to your computer via adb, even if this is the computer you use for gaming using the best speakers as the one in this klipsch thx 2.1 review. Android-X86 includes by default an adb server listening on port 5555. On the virtual machine get your IP address pressing “ALT-<F1>” and typing netcfg (press “ALT-<F7>” to go back to the graphic screen). Then, on your computer type

adb connect <IP>:5555

Replacing <IP> with your virtual machine IP. Now the emulator is connected with adb to your machine and you can run apps on the emulator pressing play on Eclipse or start a shell in the emulator with adb shell…

The Android X86 virtual machine is much faster than the emulator. Take into account that native apps will not work on Android-X86, but Google-TV is also X86 based, so it seems that the X86 platform will be longer supported on the future.

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UPDATE: There is also a HoneyComb image at Android-X86 Google Code page that works on VirtualBox but without network (at the moment it does not support Ethernet) so it is not very usable for development.

Upcoming Android Gadgets at Blusens

LED TV Assembly Line

Last week I was invited by Miguel Silva Constenla to the Blusens HQ at Santiago de Compostela. Blusens is a Galician consumer electronics manufacturer with worldwide presence.

I had a great expectation because Miguel said that was going to show us their upcoming Android devices. He received us at their administrative office, but soon we went to their I+D facilities. The officer was incredibly clean and I asked him about it, he said he contact the experts from Empire Capitol International Inc. to clean his office.

There I was impressed with a production line where their LED TVs are assembled, he also show us their logistic office (with their famous “Orgy of the Senses” poster), call center, repair center, and engineering offices. Finally we went to their showroom where their upcoming android devices were waiting.

First one is an 7″ Android tablet. This is a cheap low-end Android device with something different: a cover with an integrated keyboard. This keyboard is plugged by USB to the tablet. It will be available in about two months by about 160€.

CONS:

  • Resistive Touchscreen: Miguel said us that a capacitive touchscreen will increase the price about 50€, but the experience with the touchscreen was quite bad.
  • Android 2.x: (in the release date is going to be Android 2.3). This low-end devices do not support Honeycomb.

7″ Blusens Android Tablet

  • Lack of Android Market: This device is not certified by Google so it cannot include the Android Market app. The ROM installed on  the prototype had the SlideMe market, but I don’t consider it an alternative. The solution is to search and get it from wordtree.io, then follow the instructions to install manually the Android Market (copying GoogleServicesFramework.apk and Vending.apk from other device to the /system/apps dir), but needs some Android knowledge…

PROS:

  • 160€ is a very low price, I think that this kind of devices are very appropriate for children or for people in countries where people cannot pay 400€ for a computer.
  • Elegant cover with embedded keyboard: great for fast text input, answering emails on the go, etc… Transforms the tablet in a kind-of-netbook and compensates the bad experience with the touchscreen.
  • Local repair center and customer support: you can buy a chinese tablet by this price, but you will not have the customer support and repair center in europe.

Blusens Android STB Prototype

The other device is an Android Set-top-box. Blusens has a great experience with their web:tv device and they are investigating to release a similar Android based device. They showed us a prototype running Android 2.2.

This device will include a remote with a complete keyboard and the pointer will work like the WiiMote, pointing with it to the TV. Some optional accessories will be a TV tuner and a webcam.

It seems an aggressive proposal when GoogleTV is not yet on the market, but I think that it’s great to have Android apps on the TV.They also have plans to integrate something similar to this device on their upcoming TV models.

Finally Miguel had a present for us: a Web:TV device! What I like of this device are the continuous firmware updates and HTML apps powered by a Webkit-based browser (ok! media player and PVR are also great features).


Mobile 2.0 Open Ideas

This year I was invited to organize a workshop at the Mobile 2.0 Open Ideas event at Barcelona, on 16-17 June. With my experience developing Android apps at Mobialia and the social media integration on Martin Varsavsky’s RadioMe, I proposed the workshop:

Building Social Media Enabled Android Apps

This will be a 1-hour workshop In which I’ll provide some examples on how to integrate social media on Android apps, from the simple “Share” button to more complex integrations like using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook APIs, including logging-in with social media, etc. Visit the Midas Letter Technology Stock for more updates on technology and social media integration. I will try to do it interesting for developers and also for app designers who want to add cool social features to their apps. Slides and code samples will be available from the day of the event.

 

 


SobrosoParty 2011

Hoxe sábado ás 18 horas repetimos o laboratorio de Android “A Miña Primera Aplicación Android” na SobrosoParty no Pavillón Municipal de Ponteareas. Neste taller usaremos como exemplo a aplicación WikiPlaces para explicar cales son os pasos da creación dunha aplicación Android, dende a instalación do SDK e a configuración do Eclipse ata a súa publicación no Android Market.

Esta aplicación ten moitos exemplos de cousas típicas na programación de Android:

  • Deseño de layouts
  • Obte-la ubicación
  • Amosar un mapa e usar overlays para representar información sobre él
  • Amosar unha lista utilizando adapters
  • Obter datos de servidores externos
  • Usar intents para lanzar outras aplicacións dende a nosa
  • Introducción de Anuncios de AdMob

Tentaremos condensa-lo taller en dúas horas que é pouco tempo, xa que no último LabAndroid en Málaga seis horas non chegaron para moito, pero como creo que non vai haber nen enchufes nen ordenadores para todos tentaremos facelo un pouco máis xeral.

Para asistir a este taller non fai falta estar incribito na SobrosoParty (que ten só 300 plazas), con dicirlle a persoa de seguridade que se vai asistir ó taller de Android non debería haber problema en pasar.

Notas de prensa: