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Tagged : Android

28Oct

Android Runtime-ART vs Dalvik

While ART was experimentally launched with KitKat 4.4, Google has made it clear that ART will be replacing Dalvik as the Android Runtime for all apps. Currently, users do have the ability to switch back and forth between the two. Fortunately, ART has a faster runtime than Dalvik, as well as better performance.

runtime vs dalvik

Installation and Performance

Apps being installed on devices with ART runtime do initially take a bit longer to install. The reason being that the AOT compiler must first translate the information (DEX bytecode) into machine code during the installation, which causes the longer install time. However, since the DEX bytecode was translated during installation, it does not need to be translated again each time the app is run. This makes the app run faster overall on ART than it does on Dalvik. The performance time itself makes up for the longer installation time, as installation occurs only once.

Battery life and Storage space

Because the ART runtime uses AOT compilation (Ahead of Time), the CPU of the unit is free from translating DEX bytecode into machine code while the app is running, which leads to much less energy consumption and a longer battery life. The time between recharges can last substantially longer on ART than Dalvik, depending upon the apps used. When it comes to storage, however, apps on ART require a bigger footprint than on Dalvik. This is because the machine code that was translated by the AOT compiler is stored in the device’s storage.

 Benefits for Developers

ART runtime comes with many benefits for developers. By translating the DEX bytecode during installation, it allows for all apps to be run faster. ART also has improved bug fix issues for developers as well. ART has support for dedicated sampling profiles within the apps. These profiles give an accurate view of the execution of the app, without any of the slow down that those using Traceview have experienced. ART has also improved garbage collection, such as allowing for one pause instead of the normal two, and will allow for a collector with a lower pause time. That will be for special cases of cleaning up the short-lived objects within the app. While ART currently doesn’t use compacting garbage collecting, the feature is under development in the android open source project, and will be made available once it is complete, making GC even easier. On top of these benefits, ART is also providing the app native crash reports in both Java and native stack information form, which allows for improved context information.

While there are some drawbacks to Google’s ART runtime (such as the longer app install time and the higher storage space), overall this update is better for developers and users alike than its Dalvik counterpart. ART allows for apps to run faster, and since it has the AOT compilation, also allows for a longer battery life for the device. The benefits to developers in terms of garbage collection and debugging improvements, really outweigh the drawbacks mentioned earlier.

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20Oct

It’s Official! Android 5.0 Is Called Lollipop

We’ve been referring to it as Android L, the new version of the Google Operative system has officially been revealed. After months of speculation of which sweet-themed name it would chose, they opted for Lollipop. Sounds familiar? To us it does ;)

android lollipop

Google calls it “the largest, most ambitious” Android OS ever released yet. The most obvious change is its design language, ‘Material Design’ which is supposed to create seamless user experience across multiple devices that run Android, including wearables. The ‘Material Design’ has a flatter look with bolder colors and fonts and over. According to Google the new operative system runtime, ART, which is replacing DALVIK, will be much more responsive and intuitive.

What’s new on Android Lollipop?

The new sleek and colorful system will also bring new setting adjustments like notifications and security features. Users will be able to hide unwanted updates and prioritize their notifications allowing only their preferred notifications to get through.  Lollipop will support a kill switch that will keep thieves from stealing your device by turning on encryption by default.

According to Google if your device is on battery saver mode, the life of your battery will last up to 90 minutes more. For all those people that charge their phone multiple times a day this is a win. Additionally you’ll be able to see how much time you’ve left of your charge and how long it will take to charge it to 100%.

Multiple profiles will now be available on smartphones. So if you’re kid keeps playing with it and tweeting randomly to your friends and colleagues you no longer have to worry about that.

Google just released the new Nexus 6, which will obviously run Lollipop. The new OS system will be available to the Nexus owners starting from November. As usual with other Android devices, it’s up to your manufacturer to get the update ready.

16Oct

4 Steps To Learn Android Mobile Development

Are you thinking about buying some Android code but have never worked with Android before?

As with iOS, a lot of people buy code at Chupamobile and outsource everything – graphics, sounds, development, etc.  That’s great as it allows you to work ON your business instead of IN your business and will probably allow you to scale faster.

But Android is fairly easy to develop for, so that with a small investment of time you can master the basics and quickly take much greater control of your reskins.

android-2

 

When I first started investigating Android programming, I was flustered by so many books and websites telling me I should have a foundation of Java.  I just wanted to get things going.  I eventually learned just enough to cobble together my first app, then to reskin it several times.  That is sort of my goal with this series – teach you just enough Java, XML and other aspects of Android so that you feel comfortable making (or attempting to make) a few basic modifications as well as:

  • Import images from your graphic artists into the project
  • Integrate ad networks
  • Identify trouble areas in your code
  • Make your conversations with developers more efficient and effective
  • Package up your reskin for submission to the app stores
  • And much more.

If you screw up, it does not matter as long as you have your code saved somewhere.  And if you get in over your head, there are lots of developers that can unravel things for you quickly and cheaply.  So let’s go.

Here is our plan, starting with this article and continuing over the next several weeks:

  • Download the software for Android development – Eclipse and the Android Software Development Kit (Android SKD or sometimes ADK)
  • Configure Eclipse (update it to meet your needs and set up a virtual device)
  • Create a very basic app – getting exposure to Java, XML, Android file structure, and some of the key files
  • Import an app into your workspace and address some of the most common problems
  • Explore how to set up some of the most popular ad networks – AppLovin, RevMob and AdMob
  • Set up a Google Developer Account – for app submission and management

Lets’ get started.

Download Eclipse with the Android SDK

Most Android development work is performed in a program called Eclipse.  It is completely free and works with Windows, Linux and Macintosh.  Eclipse is used for a lot of different types of development.  You will also need something called the Android Software Development Kit.  It too is free.  Both are now bundled in one easy download.  To ensure you get the proper version go to the following website – http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html.

When I go to this site, there is a big blue button for Windows users.  If you have a Mac or Linux system, click “VIEW ALL DOWNLOADS AND SIZES”.  Perform the download, unzip the files and open the Eclipse application.  You should see a screen similar to the one pictured below.

how to develop android app

Orienting you to Eclipse

When you look at Eclipse, it looks pretty innocuous – with some standard-looking drop-down menus and icons across the top.  The majority of the view is taken up by 3 major panes:

  1. The tall pane on the left is where you will soon see your directory structure for your apps and the folders and files within them.
  2. The pane that takes up most of the window is where you will see the code from a file you have opened. You can even open multiple files (of varying types) and it will show them in a tabbed view similar to a browser.
  3. The lower pane on the right has a lot of functionality that you should hope you never need. When things are going well, you usually do not need this pane.  But when things are going badly, it is invaluable.

Updates – SDK & ADT

Software Development Kit

It seems there are always updates to the Android SDK files.  You should perform this update now before going any further.  Click the icon at the top that shows a little green robot on top of a download arrow to open the Android SDK Manager.

how to develop app android

The little window that opens will list several options with checkboxes so you can select the ones you want to download.  Don’t feel obligated to download everything.  Many items will already be checked – I would keep those.  Then, scan through the Tools (top of the list) and Extras (at the bottom of the list) and select any that seem applicable to what you want to accomplish.  You will see several sections with labels such as Android 4.2.2 (API 17).  Depending on what you need to accomplish, you probably do not need anything 3.x or lower.  You can always come back here and download other packages if it turns out you need something that you did not download at this point.

Once you have selected all the options you feel you need, press the Install x packages… button.  Depending on how many packages you selected and your Internet speed, this could take a long time to download.  You should be able to proceed with the steps below while the download process continues in the background.

Android Development Tools

The last step in preparing your environment is to install something called the Android Development Tools (ADT.)  I’ll spare you the lengthy explanation; just trust me – you need it.  Follow these simple instructions:

  • Click Help in the menu at the top then choose Install New Software…
  • Click Add in the window that opens, which in turn opens yet another, smaller window
  • Type “ADT Plugin” (without the quotes) for the Name
  • Copy and paste the following URL for the Locationhttps://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/
  • Press OK, which takes you back to the previous window
  • You should now see “Developer Tools” in the main pane, select the checkbox next to it and click Next
  • In the next window, just click Next
  • Click Finish after reading and accepting the license agreements
  • Just click Ok if you get a security warning. You should be able to proceed.
  • Restart Eclipse when prompted to do so.

Congratulations!  You now have the basic tools you need to edit your code.  In the next article, we will create a basic app to learn some of the key elements of Android.  Talk to you soon.

If you ran into problems feel free to leave a comment below.  I can’t promise that I can fix your problem, but I promise I’ll try.

 

 

26Sep

Android L To Release November 1st

After Apple’s big fail, smartphone users are focused on another release, the ‘Android L’. Though rumors have been circulating on the web for months and despite Google has not made any official announcement, we believe the time for an update is closer than ever, and November 1st could be ‘the date’.

android

All the Android lovers are currently waiting two different releases, the Nexus 9 by HTC will be revealed first possibly on October 16th and the Android L will follow on November 1st. This final version, is about to bring a bundle of new changes, with Sundar Pichai, Android dept. CEO, stating it to be one of the biggest upgrades to Android yet, we can’t wait to test it.

Lollipop? Lemon Meringue Pie? Laddu? We don’t know what the exact name of the next Android version will be, all we know is that currently is named “Android L”.

Android L features

But let’s take a look at its features. First of all we are expecting radically new design, 5000 new APIs. The update is already available for all the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 developers since June 26th and it seems to go beyond the usual mobile updates.

The new Material Design is pretty unique, yes, it’s flat, but it’s meant to make any animation look real. Basically a “flat 3D”. Roboto font has also been updated, so everything from watch to TV to mobile looks the exactly  the same. The animations on the screen will be connected to one another. Another variation we will see in the update is that notifications will flow over the screen from the top, so if you get a call while you’re playing, you’ll be notified with a pop up message on top of your screen and the same will be for your text messages or any other app notifications. The home button, back button and multi-tasking buttons on Android have been polished too. For android this is a big step ahead as it will finally have a cleaner, more intuitive-looking mobile platform.

HTC has already connected with its Android users giving the following statement about its upgrade to Android L: “HTC is excited about the new features in Android L and we can’t wait to share them with our customers. We are committed to updating our flagship HTC One family as fast as possible”.

So, what are your thoughts about it? Hopefully this time we’ll have something to really be excited about.

23Sep

Nokia Here: 1 App, 200 Countries

HERE me now,  let me introduce the groundbreaking GPS app that works without an Internet connection. You heard right. The app named playfully HERE was developed by Nokia and will only be available exclusively on Android. Nokia have recently announced that they are partnering up with Samsung to bring two versions of their HERE app on the Market, one for their Android devices and the other for Samsung’s Tizen-powered devices such as its new Gear S smart watch.

here-nokia-for-samsungCan’t find Google on the map

The beta version of the app is to be released in October alongside the arrival of the Gear S. The app allows you to plan and calculate your route for more than 750 urban areas across 40 countries and get maps for almost 200 countries. Currently dominated by Google’s ‘Google maps’, the arrival of HERE may spell trouble for Google. This is also particularly frustrating for them as they have been at the center of all Samsung devices, though recent rumors suggests that tensions are running high between Google and Samsung. With HERE being available on Android will only intensify these tensions as previous rivals Samsung and Nokia pair up.

A ‘glimpse’ into the features

The HERE division of Nokia that wasn’t sold to Microsoft is Nokia’s mapping and location intelligence business. Previously, HERE was only available on Windows phone, as part of a four-year licensing deal, now it seem as this area is expanding. Now with HERE on the market, Google Maps will be facing heavy competition. The app brings about many similar features as Google Maps, but also has a few tricks up its sleeve. One of these tricks that stand up tall against Google Maps is ‘glimpse’. This allows you to share your location to your friends from any location in the world; that is, if you want them to have that information. And, it also surpasses expectations in their offline mapping area, which allows you to plan your route quickly without risking loss of connection.

Sean Fernback, SVP of Nokia says “Nokia aims to deliver maps and location cloud experiences to as many people and businesses as possible, independent of their device and operating system, this collaboration is another huge step for us in that direction.”

The HERE app in terms of functionality is actually quite fascinating. Alongside offering the standard walking, drive and public transport options, the ability to view offline and keep them stored on your device means you can view them at any time and not have to worry about loading time or loss of signal. This function is the most appealing to me, and as I sit ‘here’ with my iPhone 5s, I can’t help but feel slightly envious. This is truly something amazing, and reflects the trajectory of exponential advancements in technology.

The online experience

You’ve only been told about how the app works when it is offline; wait till you hear what it can do when it’s connected to the Internet. With live traffic and real-time schedules, you can plan your route more strategically to make sure you don’t miss that hair appointment. Not only this, but you are also able to save and share places you’ve visited and liked and can add them to your ‘collection’. There is a bright future for Nokia in terms of growth, and since handing over their devices division to Microsoft; this transaction is one their most lucrative.

Excited about Nokis’s app? Than why don’t you create your own location based app. With just a few simple steps and many app templates to guide you, there is nothing you cannot do! Here are the templates: Route Director, Local guide app.

 

23Jul

2nd Monday Giveaway: Winner Announced!

After the great success of the 1st competition won by Fruit Slayer ,today we are ready to announce the winner of the 2nd Monday Giveaway,that closed on Sunday July 15th. 

The whole Chupamobile Team would like to thank again all developers who entered the contest for their creativity and enthusiasm, you are really the best!  Stay tuned for future contests!

And now, the $500 award goes to:
Andrei Catinean, with City App Template
Congratulations!

city_app

Overview

City Application Template is a native Android application that provides you an easy way to create a presentation application of a particular city. It doesn’t require programming knowledge, all you have to do is to edit a couple of configuration files.
01Jul

hmm… What do I sell?

The more difficult task is coming up with an item to sell!

When you are in the decisional process of “what to develop?”, you should start thinking about creating scripts that other mobile developers  would have a hard time implementing themselves.
Something that  cuts the development time and cost of other coders/designers.
You can also read some  forums about mobile development and take note of the developers need in posts like this “Pls help me. I don’t know how to code ….”.

Just trying to make your items suitable for someone with little programming knowledge will help in boost your sale.

24May

Chupa, the brand new Mobile Development Marketplace.

Dear mobile developers, we are proud to invite you to ChupaMobile  “quiet launch”– the online marketplace where mobile developers buy and sell, from each other,  cutting edge source-code packages and components for a variety of Mobile development languages and frameworks.

We invited a list of selected developers in start populating our MarketPlace, maybe you’re one of them, or maybe not, in any case you are warmly welcome to pitch in.

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