Optimizing graphical content for Android devices

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One commonly overlooked problem that can arise in Android app development is optimizing the graphics to look great across all ranges of devices. There are many different Android devices and since there are no particular rules on what size the screen should be, what the resolution should be, or the aspect ratio of screens, creating a good looking app can quickly become a daunting task. Throw tablets into the mix and one could quickly foresee a headache in their future. To help grasp the seriousness of the situation, imagine that you have assigned a background image to fit perfectly to a certain device. On another device with a different aspect ratio and resolution, the image will fit much differently, can could look skewed, distorted, stretched, or cause memory issues because…
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Android Multi-Language support

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Recently I've been adding the ability to code an app so it can be understood in different languages.. Let's say for instance that we want to do a Hello World! app and be able to say hello in different languages. First, you need to decide what languages you need to support (these may vary depending on the devices). Then you create "values" folders for each of those languages within the res folder in your project. To get an idea for what the folder suffix should be, check the Custom Locale app on your device.. for English, there are several options to choose from, and you can support each one with a different folder naming convention - en-GB for Great Britain English for instance, or en-US for United States English.  Be…
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Smart Phone Apps for Medical Tests

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I have recently had the opportunity to work for Joel Ehrenkranz and the i-calQ team, developing and engineering the proto-type software of their android apps that diagnose and measure hemoglobin and TSH content. It was a thrilling experience. This kind of cutting edge technology, software, and ideas, could help lead a revolution of easy access to cheap and effective means of medical help. People may be wary of it at first, but this is certainly the way of the future. The app works effectively and accurately, taking images of your blood, and measuring certain aspects to give you the results immediately. The ways this kind of technology could be useful is uncountable, and immeasurable. From children in Africa, to families in China and India, to the American on their morning…
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Android – Simple Tips – Bitmap Memory Leaks

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The Problem Java uses garbage collection to manage memory. This does not mean that memory leaks never happen. They do. Bitmaps are one area where memory leaks can occur when creating and Android application. What Android Developers Has To Say "On Android Android 2.2 (API level 8) and lower, when garbage collection occurs, your app's threads get stopped. This causes a lag that can degrade performance. Android 2.3 adds concurrent garbage collection, which means that the memory is reclaimed soon after a bitmap is no longer referenced On Android 2.3.3 (API level 10) and lower, the backing pixel data for a bitmap is stored in native memory. It is separate from the bitmap itself, which is stored in the Dalvik heap. The pixel data in native memory is not released in…
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iPhone 5s and iOS 7 Review

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Not only one iPhone but two were released this past month and along with those phones came the iOS 7 update, the first major overhaul since the iPhone's birth. I have heard many mixed reviews about the new iPhone as well and the update and I am here to write a few pros and cons to both. I did end up updating my iPhone 5 to the iOS 7 operating system and had a few mixed reviews myself. First of all, the design was a basic flat parallax design and looked very nice. However, the 'Messaging' area just lacked that modern look. In my opinion it looked very basic and "old school". Another con that I happened to notice with the new operating system was an issue with sending/receiving iMessages.…
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Easy Android XML changes for many controls

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Something that I found recently is the option to change any property of several controls in XML for an Android app (at the same time) using Eclipse. To do this, simply command click (or control click for windows users) the various objects (fields, widgets, layouts, images, etc) you would like to edit from the Graphical Layout mode.  Then go to the context menu by control clicking (or right clicking) - you may see Layout Width and Layout Height, but under Other Properties->All By Name you get a list of all the possible attributes to be able to edit them at once.  (shown in the image below) This is a neat feature that helps to speed things up for developing apps with multiple widgets and controls.  Say for instance that you…
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The Mobile Explosion

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The mobile industry continues to grow exponentially.  Android, iOS, even Windows Phone, you name it, is experiencing rapid penetration worldwide.  With increased penetration comes ever-growing revenue for firms to capture.  Since 2010, global mobile app revenue has grown at a rate of over 107%.  This year's revenues alone are expected to reach an unprecedented 25 billion.  By 2016 revenue is projected to reach the huge sum of 74 billion, effectively tripling in size over the next three years (Gartner).  The explosion of mobile is only beginning and will become completely pervasive by the end of the decade. Given the amazing potential mobile offers to increase revenues and reach new customers, firms are investing in mobile application development in increasing numbers.  Many companies are supplementing their existing services with mobile applications…
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Building a Mobile App

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Making an appealing and successful mobile application is often times much more difficult than people might expect. Making the application on a good budget (and sticking to it) is usually harder still. Many times people want their apps made, but don’t have a full understanding of the process, or where common snags will cut into your time and wallet. My goal is going to be to write a series of posts to help address issues, and to give tips on how to best be prepared and what to expect from having a mobile application developed. One of the things I would like to cover is: Mobile Design: It is extremely critical to have a great looking, and intuitive design for your mobile application. A great design encompasses not only the…
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