Sunday, May 04, 2014

The academic approach on Android

Yesterday I stumbled upon my account on Coursera and I spent some time searching for an course on Android. I wanted to have a more academic approach to learning Android, rather then just learning trough code samples.

After a bit of search I decided to try the course Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems. It's an 8 week course consisting of 3-7 video lectures each week with quizzes, assignments and a forum to ask questions. The videos are around 15-20 minutes in length and during the course of a video there are several questions to verify the knowledge gained until then. The questions help me check if I understood what was presented during the course.

Below you can have a short overview on the course contents:

  • Week 1: Introduction into Android Platform
  • Week 2: Application fundamentals
  • Week 3: Intent Class, Permissions, Fragment Class
  • Week 4: User interface class
  • Week 5: Use Notifications, BroadcastReceivers, Threads, AsyncTask & Handles, Alarms, Networking
  • Week 6: Graphics & Animations, Multi-touch & Gesture, MultiMedia
  • Week 7: Sensor, Location & Maps
  • Week 8" DataManagement, ContentProvider Class, Service Class
The goal is to go trough the course materials in 2-3 weeks and do as many project assignments as possible. I'm already at the videos from Week 2 so it shouldn't be that hard, right? :)

Saturday, May 03, 2014

People Are Awesome 2013-2014

Here's a nice video I found, showing how amazing things people can achieve.

Enjoy watching it :)

Google Wallet Merchant available for Romania

If you want to sell products on Google Play — priced apps, in-app products, or subscriptions — you will also need to set up a Google Wallet Merchant Account. You can do that at any time, but make sure to first review the list of merchant countries.

This is how Get Started with Publishing section of the Android Developer page starts when reading Get Started with Publishing. This is all simple and nice but, up until a few days ago, if you were from one of the less fortunate countries, Google wouldn't allow you to create a Google Wallet Merchant Account.

Yesterday while looking trough my Google Play Developer Console account I noticed a message related to Google Wallet Account. Romania together with a few other countries are part of the supported locations for developer and merchant registration starting with 1 May 2014.

Seeing this great news, I quickly proceeded to set up my Google Wallet Merchant Account. All I need now is to make an app worth selling on Google Play. I'll make sure to keep you posted once I know more about app pricing, how long it takes to receive money and other things you won't find in the Help section :)

To get started with Google Wallet Merchant registration:
  1. Visit your profile page on the Google Play Developer Console
  2. Under the Merchant Account heading, click the ‘Set up a merchant account now’ link.
Once registered, visit the Google Play Android Developer Help Center to learn more about selling your apps, managing orders, and receiving payouts.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Time to dip my toes into Android sea!

Recently I found out about this old little project of mine and I thought to give it another try.

Two weeks ago I set up a new goal, to work on my Android programming skills. I've been gathering information for the first few days, then I set began to get an idea about what it means to develop apps on Android platform. I'll start keeping an blog of my journeys on the big Android sea, sharing the struggles and success I meet along the way.

I already had Eclipse, SDK and AVD installed since more then a year on my computer. Everything was set up on my hard drive in a folder called "Projects", which I must admit, due to a lot of work at my job lately, I haven't open it in a long time.

First thing I did was to start them up and update SDK and Eclipse to the latest versions. Once the easy part was done, I began gathering information from web. First link I found was Getting Started - Android Developers. I began the training session there but soon I realized I would have to find another source of information. The lessons there were aimed more towards someone who already has an idea about what Android development means. My only experience was a simple "Hello World" app that Eclipse creates by default when you make a new project.

After spending a few more hours searching for another tutorial, I came across Android Programming - The Big Nerd Ranch Guide and I decided to use it as my starting point. It proved to be a good tutorial and I am still using it right now.

So far I have made my first app, a simple Quizz game using activities. This lead me to learn about the structure of an Android project, manifest file, layout files, resource files, activity lifecycle, creating new activities from main activity, Model-View-Controller architecture and debugging.

Once the first app was done, I began working on my second app called CriminalIntent. I know the name sounds a bit strange, but the app is used to record a list with details about "Office Crimes" :)
The book says it's a good example to learn about Fragments and based of what I've seen so far it looks like it's an important part of my training. All applications from now on, no matter how simple, will be created using fragments.

I don't want to make this post any longer then it already is so I will stop here.

Stay tuned for further updates! ;)