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Android

Prior to the 'pre-order' date (Sept. 14th), it was understood that the iPhone 5 could be purchased unlocked in-store. A few days after that date, Apple decided to change this at the last minute.

This is the first thing they said:

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (0)

I'm going to be referring to iOS related Objective-C, as the blocks were just released in version 4, so it's an interesting topic.

Before the blocks functionality, the typical way to do a callback would be to pass the delegate of the object which would be called to the worker object. Once the worker object finished the task, it would then reference a specific method (defined by the protocol), which executes the callback code. This approach works fine, but gets very bloated when you need to do certain kinds of tasks - not going to be getting to the protocols vs blocks in this article though. They do both serve their own purposes, and I'm just going to be getting into the relations they have to the Java anonymous classes.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (2)

The big question here is which technology to use, JSON vs XML. They both do a very good job, so what are the benefits of using one or the other? Well, I'm going to list the pros and cons of each, coming from a mobile point of view.

If's you're not too familiar with JSON and XML, I'll do a quick brief. They are basically used for defining and storing data (using meta data). This data can then be passed around - so when it travels from point A to B, the receiving end will know what each piece of information means (just to maintain a certain level of standardization).

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (2)

The process of parsing JSON in Android is pretty simple, thankfully. We'll be using JSONObject for all the parsing goodness - there are also some other JSON classes, but we'll just go through the basic ones to give you a general idea of how it works.

The first thing we will do is setup our JSON string, which we'll end up parsing.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (65)

This article is going to walk you through some examples of how to use SAX to parse through XML documents, in an Android SDK environment.

There are actually 2 main ways of handling XML - SAX and DOM. The DOM parser loads the whole document into memory before it can work with it, which can be slow and uses up a lot more memory - the benefit is that you're not writing as much code. In this tutorial though, I'm going to be focusing on SAX, simply because it's the best for mobile devices, as they don't have a lot of memory. The beauty of SAX is that it goes through each element and attribute one at a time, and you can pick and choose which one you want added into memory, but you do need to write a lot more code (depending on what you want to do).

And before I forget, there is another called STaX, which is an XML pull parser, but I'm not going to get into that one.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (23)

I'm going to go through the process of serializing and deserializing an object.

What this means is that we're going to convert an object into an array of bytes, which can easily be moved around or stored (for later use). And for deserialization we just take those bytes and convert them back into an Object.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (5)

If you're experiencing problems with you .APK package and need a way to unsign and resign it again, then you're in the right spot. I'll go through the simple process of unsigning an already signed .APK file.

And if you're curious - the APK is just a variant of JAR, and is pretty much identical. It's just named differently for Android. :)

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (2)

I wrote an article a few months ago, which walked you through the process of zipping files programmatically with Java - in an Android environment. Due to popular demand, I've decided to write up another article on how to unzip files.

The process is pretty similar, and you could probably combine them both in a single class, but for this example, I made a class called Decompress.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (78)

With the release of the long awaited HTC Desire HD also came an annoying issue, which has been plaguing quite a few people - some having better luck than others.

From my own personal experience, and from what I've read from others, the main problem starts when trying to make outgoing calls. Depending on the lighting conditions, the screen will go black and stay that way.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (7)

This article goes through the process of combining 2 images (only works with PNG or JPG ). It will involve passing 2 Bitmaps, which will then get combined using the Canvas class - sounds simple huh?

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (4)

Due to popular demand I've finally released a major update for the Model Release Pal Android App - this was also due to the fact that Easy Release just released a version for Android (they have quite a popular one for the iPhone).

I also wanted to apologise to all the people that are currently using my app, for not having this update out earlier.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (1)

If you're struggling to decide which phone to get, then you're in a similar predicament that I was in not too long ago - the difference being, that I actually got to play around with each of these phones for a bit before actually deciding to stick with one.

Since the Samsung Galaxy S came out a few days before the iPhone 4, I decided to get it just to satisfy my gadget hunger. After playing around with the Galaxy S, I was quite impressed - the interface was real smooth, and transitioning through the different menues (desktops) was speedy - this is in comparison to my not so old old phone, the Nexus One.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (2)

One majorly annoying issue that I stumbled upon, was the fact that I couldn't send multiple attachments using Intents to the Google Mail app. The quickest way around that was of course to compress all of the files into one (ZIP).

After searching around online, I didn't really find much on zipping files on your Android device - most of the articles were for standard java applications, which assumed that all your files were in the current directory that you wanted to zip.

So, I used what I could and whipped up my own wrapper class that allows you to easily zip files in Android!

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (378)

After procrastinating for so long, I finally got off my arse and released the Model Release Pal for Android - beta.

As an amateur photographer myself, I believe that this will an invaluable tool.

I've also decided to release it for free, as it's still in the beta phase and still not 100% sure if I want to charge for it in the future.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (4)

I wanted to give a quick comparison of the specs on these phones, mainly because they interest me the most.

The thing that they all have in common, which obviously makes them great to begin with, is the fact that they all use the Android OS :)

Anyways, lets get down to the specs - I've placed them in a table format, for ease of reading and comparison.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (3)

Have you seen other applications with Buttons (or other views, but mainly Buttons) that stay in one spot, even if you're scrolling through a list? These are commonly known as floating Buttons or Views.

This is actually used a lot on websites as well, and they may seem hard to produce at first glance, but it's actual quite easy.

I'll run you through an easy application that uses one floating button within a ListActivity, which is aligned to the bottom right of the screen - on top of the ListView.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (6)

This is a subject that's seldom talked about, but can be quite important. The NDK basically allows you to port any native C/C++ code/libraries into your Android project, using JNI (Java Native Interface).

I'm going to go through a quick and simple example of how you can display "Hello World" in your Android application using some native C.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (382)

A very annoying issue that I've noticed with the NBAndroid Netbeans plugin, is that it doesn't know how to properly attach an external JAR file to an Android Project.

If you right-click on libraries (under your project folder), and click on 'Add JAR/Folder', it will add a reference to that library/JAR file, which it will recognize in the code (detect all the classes, etc). The problem lies when you try to compile the project - at that point, it doesn't actually add the JAR to the project, which in turn gives you errors when running.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (4)

I'm happy to announce that my Allergy Pal application has finally been released!

This should be very useful for people suffering with allergies, and need a way to convey this to others - especially in other languages!

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (5)

The Android SDK makes it very easy to send emails from an application, but unfortunately, that's only if you want to send them via the built-in mailing app. For most situations this works fine, but if you want to send something out and don't want any input/intervention from the user, it's not as easy.

In this article I'm going to show you how to send an email in the background without the user even knowing - the application will do everything behind the scenes.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (505)

The process for capturing, saving and displaying an image in Android can be quite annoying, especially if you want it to work across all devices.

With the release of the Sense UI (an HTC creation), it's made things 1 step more difficult. So, the reason I'm writing this article is because I've been stuck on this same issue for quite awhile, and there isn't enough information out there to let us know why it simply won't work.

Simply put, the Sense UI handles things differently when it comes to saving a new image after an intent was called (ie. new Intent(MediaStore.ACTION_IMAGE_CAPTURE)). In this article I'll show you how I overcame this problem and walk you through my code.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (153)

Have you been trying to find a quick and easy way to format dates from a String? It can be quite tricky with Java (if you're new to it). So, I'm going to go through a few very simple steps to accomplish just that.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (9)

The Android market has been lacking in SEO applications (in comparison to the iPhone), but in the recent months, it really caught up. It doesn't have the same caliber of SEO apps, but at least it has a decent selection.

In this article, I'm going to run through each of the current Android SEO apps, and give a quick summary (and yes, I have tried them all).

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (103)

This was the first and only app that I developed for the iPhone, in the hopes that I could get a better understanding of iPhone application development.

Why would I choose to do an app that retrieves the Google PageRank & Alexa Ranking? Well... why not? It's not like I was looking to make money out of it - I just wanted to develop something that allowed me to improve my iPhone SDK/Objective C/Cocoa skill base.

jon | April 22, 2010 | Comments (257)