Archive for the ‘ Android ’ Category
I decided yesterday to go and join the ‘real’ world and upgrade my crappy motorolla pebl for something with a little more oomph. so I’ve gone and got a HTC Wildfire on T Mobile. I popped into Phones 4 U, and the pressure selling began. The sales assistant asked if I had 10-15 minutes to spare, and over an hour later I walked from the shop.
My initial quote from Orange was HTC Desire 800 mins, Unlimited text and Internet… £25
I’d been an orange customer for the best part of 8 years,and to be honest I’d never had a problem with the service they offered – it was just that T Mobile was cheaper and is effectively the same company anyway.
What dissapointed me the most was the fiasco of getting the phone in the first instance. Visiting the phone store was so complicated, and it surprises me that so many people put up with the crappy service they get there. It took them over an hour to try and get me on a tarrif that T Mobile offered, and after an hour, multiple phone calls to some mythical head office I left with a tarrif that was more expensive than the tarrif I was originally offered. They sweetened the deal by giving me £90 for my old pebl, but this sort of behaviour does raise alarm bells in my head…
- The tariff offered by T Mobile was not instantly available
- The tariff I eventually got, wasn’t the tariff that was offered initially
- The tariff initially offered did not take into account the part exchange on the pebl.
- I never got to choose the colour of my phone – it’s white… I wanted graphite or grey.
- It took over an hour – Would I have been better to just go to a T-Mobile store?
- For a phone company there was a lot of loud shouty people. I would have thought a company that is selling communication would have a better internal communication system in place than can be seen Saturday night down the boozer.
- Despite me saying that it was a major issue, I had to port my own number from Orange.
What I walked out with was a wildfire, 300 mins, 3000 texts and unlimited (500mb) internet.
Am I happy with the phone I got? I think so. It’s difficult coming from a PAYG custom basis to a contract basis. I have no benchmark to look at.
I’m not so happy with the colour, but it ticks my major boxes..
- Runs Android
- Cheap Monthly running cost
- internet access
This – to me – seems an ideal package coming from a PAYG environment. Perhaps Orange would have liked to offer me a similar deal? I would have probably taken it.
I’m rocking multiple machines here in the bunker.
There’s my trusty Desktop, an Acer Aspire Netbook and my Aspire1700 Laptop.
- The Desktop is (according to LSHW). an AMD Duron 1.2ghz with 1GB ram. I believe there is scope to over clock it to 2.2ghz, but for what I use it for, it isn’t an issue.
- The Netbook is based on an Atom, and really won’t be up to running an emulator.
- I share the ownership of the laptop, The Mrs likes to do her face book stuff on it.
So the desktop seemed an ideal candidate to set up a development tool chain. I kicked off the emulator one Sunday morning, and promptly forgot about it. I had read on other blogs that it can take a while for the emulator to ‘spin up’. Anyway I could see on the surveillance cameras that it was a lovely day outside, so I went to the Hanbury vintage transport show and got to see all the vintage cars, and the spectacular Victory, the worlds largest touring concert organ.
After a day of vintage cars and massive organs *snigger* I returned to the bunker and collapsed exhausted.
Monday morning I awoke to see that I had left the computer on. In my rush to sample the delights of Hanbury I had forgotten to power down. Worryingly it was still at the Android Animated screen.
I did manage to install the Emulator onto the Laptop, and that was much better – launching the emulator in minutes. I used a couple of blogs I stumbled upon while researching and quite some trial and error. The plan for the rest of this post is to highlight the blog posts and any ‘gotchas’ that I encountered along the way.
Here’s what I did.
- I installed ubuntu onto 100gb of spare partition.
- Installed Eclipse using Software Centre (apt-get install ecplipse should do it)
- I downloaded and exracted the Android SDK, and ran the android script. Running this script without parameters presents the user interface.
- I selected the upgrade / install option and installed the SDK, choosing the latest version.
- Created a blank Android emulator instance
- Ran the android script from the SDK location
- Select Virtual Devices
- Click New
- Gave it a name, and picked the Android 2.2 from the target options.
- I installed the Android tools for Eclipse
- Load Eclipse
- Click Help \ Install New Software
- Clicked the Add button, to create a new software source, creating a source called google with a web address of https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/
- Installed all the developer tools there.
- I created a new Android project
- Clicked File \ New \ Other – Select the Android Project option. Give the package a name and target. If there are any errors the project wizard will display a little red icon. On my machine the dialogue box was too short to display all of the information -
- Linked that to an emulator instance.
- Click Run \ Run Configurations. Select Android Application. Fill in the wizard, selecting the virtual machine created earlier. As far as I can see a run configuration applies to project. The configuration dialogue here also seems to hide information – for example the tick box which disables the boot animation. The dialogue can be resized accordingly.
- Run a test project – everything worked
If you were to look at designing a website, typically you’d plan out the layout using a technique called wireframing. The idea is to work out the basic layout of the page, looking at the usability challenges.
As part of the Android development challenges, I tried to locate a mechanism by which a wireframe mock up of the application can be created. This article discusses the technologies used.
Denim is a wireframe tool developed in Java which allows you to develop wireframes to mock out the navigational structure of the site. Using this tool I created a mock up of the screen layout and how they work together. Using this tool I mocked up the basic screen designs and highlighted the interaction between the screens. Using Denim I set the screen size to match that of the Android emulator – 480×800, and designed the interfaces to fit within this. The next problem is that the browser that operates in Android does not support full screen web browsing, but steel and Opera do. I did try Steel, but was unable to make it work – opera did work and I used that to create the screenshots shown here. Installing applications into the Android emulator is somewhat complicated, as there is no market support. It should be possible to use the HTC image of Android, and gain the market through that, but there is an alternative. It is possible to download and install APK (Android Package Files) through the PC hosting the emulator – in my case a Laptop running Ubuntu 10.04. Here’s how I did it.
- Download the Android APK file from here.
- Start your emulator session
- Start a terminal session – I changed directory to ~/Documents/Project/android-sdk-linux_86/tools
- Execute the Android Debug Bridge
./adb install ~/Downloads/operamini.apk
Opera should now be installed on your emulator.
I think you might be able to install directly through the emulator if you browse to the APK file and install it that way.
Next launch Opera and point it to http://android.titaniumbunker.com/evntr/wireframe/. This is a folder into which I copied the various files produced by Denim.
Here’s some screen shot of some of the screen designs.
I love Linux. There, I’ve said it. So imagine how stoked I am about the possibility of a Linux mobile phone. And what with Dave going off to Gallifrey next year I started thinking…..
“I wonder if it is possible to write an application for people visiting Gallifrey”.
Here’s what I’ve come up with :
I’ve come up with a new twist based on a rather old technology. RSS feeds. I plan to start looking at creating Syndication feeds that describe an event rather than news or rich content. This had the advantage that the event information would be visible in existing news readers, and would be an established standard. It also has the advantage of supplying a single file to describe an event or series of events, and potentially portable to other operating systems (for example Windows).
I envisage a system where you point your android phone at an event feed. You can then express an interest in any of the activities identified within. Sharing an event is as simple as sharing a URL, and if an activity changes then the feed changes. If you compare the current version with the previous version you can determine what changed and bring that the users attention.
You’ll probably notice that I’ve used 2 terms here – events and activities. I think it might be an idea to lay out a taxonomy or definition to prevent any confusion.
It’s probably going to take some work, but I’ll document my findings here.
- Content Packaging
- Dr who
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