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Meet the Devs – Alongways

Posted by wicked December - 16 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Peter and Leslie developer interview
Welcome back to our Meet the Devs segment! In this piece we take a little time to get to know the people who really make Android what it is today and that is the app developers. In this week’s developer interview, we are talking to Peter Mojeiko of Alongways.

Name: Peter Mojeiko

Developer Name: Alongways

Country: United States

Website: Official website

Social Media Profile/Page: N/A

How many people on your team? 2

alongways developer interview

Apps

Silence Shout

About your company?

I’m a geographer, and my wife is an advisor at a college. The company is just us, and we work on nights and weekends after our 2-year-old daughter goes to sleep.

I picked up some programming books about a year ago to stay current with the world of geospatial science. Once I realized what could be done, and what’s already being done, between the marriage of technology and maps, I wanted to get involved. So I learned everything I could about making apps, and I asked my wife, who is really good in Photoshop, to help with some graphics, and together we put together Alongways because it’s a practical tool that doesn’t exist yet, and it really should.

Alongways screenshot developer interview

What level of experience do you have with coding and development?

It’s not my day job. Well, not entirely. I kind of started learning to code on a whim, and I discovered that I had a sort of passion for doing it. It made me rethink some career choices, which was good because I was laid off from my geography job last summer, and now I’m more in the IT field.

I had a lot of fun learning about the whole development process while making Alongways. Parts that I thought would be difficult, like figuring out some algorithm to do a place search, were actually really enjoyable. I mean, still difficult, but I liked the challenge. And then parts that I thought would be easier, like going through testing, turned out to be huge burdens. Worth it, but still burdens.

What languages do you know? How and where did you learn them?

I started with Python. I think it’s a great introduction to functional programming. Once I started, I couldn’t stop, I’d stay up late just programming anything I could think of. I felt comfortable with it in a couple of months. I read two books, did some online tutorials, but the biggest thing was just using it, constantly. I moved into JavaScript and HTML when I started making Alongways, and I’ve picked up the basics of a few other languages since then.

What level of experience do you have with design?

That’s mostly my wife’s area. She has an eye for it. I’ll take her two or three different mock-ups of a layout or graphic, and she’ll say, “Umm. I’ll do it.” I’m not the designer, but I’m getting better (I think).

Alongways screenshot developer interview

What apps have you made?

Alongways, but I’ve got a lot more in the pipe. It’s crazy that I’ve got friends now, who will come to me with their app ideas, and it’s actually kind of sad that I can’t help them more, but I have so many more ideas that I want to get out there, I just don’t know where I’d come up with the time.

How do you monetize your apps?

Alongways is .99 cents. It took a long time, and a lot of discussion, with my wife and other people, to decide to go the paid app route. It looks like it’s just slapped on there, but there’s actually a lot of thought behind it. You have to consider your own sunk costs, web hosting, API license fees, developer fees, all this stuff. I researched ads in apps, and I don’t think Alongways would benefit from them, and I thought about integrating some referral programs for places like hotels, because you can search for hotels, but I didn’t want it to be just, you know, like a hotel search engine. Those are a dime a dozen! So, to keep the real intent of it, it’s .99 cents. I’m not sure how I’ll monetize my next one, I think it’s totally a case-by-case basis.

Do you consider yourself successful?

Yes! I have an awesome wife who helps me build apps, a two-year-old daughter, and an app in the Play Store! That’s complete success.

How difficult is it to make money as a developer?

So far, it hasn’t started pouring in, but I’m starting to recoup my losses, which would be really nice. I’ll let you know in a month ;)

What can Android do to improve?

Not much, honestly. I think the Developer Console is awesome, and it’s so easy to upload an app. You have to think about all the different phones that run Android, there’s thousands of them, and they’re all different sizes, with different resolutions and capabilities, and if someone with my background says it’s easy to build for Android, then you have to believe it.

Why did you choose Android? Do you develop for other platforms? What are the differences between them?

I chose Android because I’m an Android user. It’s also cheaper to develop for, and way it’s easier. I’m working on an iOS app, and so far it’s been very difficult just to sign up for a developer account and upload test versions. It’s like night and day.

What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?

I haven’t developed for Windows 8, but my limited exposure to iOS so far has made me want to stay away from it. I was surprised when I learned that you need a Mac to upload the binary for an iOS app. It’s like, do you even want new developers to build things for your device?

What do you think of the Android design guidelines?

I’m glad they’re not called rules.

What are your favorite apps?

Of course, Google Maps. I’m a map nerd, and Google Maps has always been like the Holy Grail of merging technology and maps, for me. I’m really into travel apps, anything informational. I’m excited to watch the growth of HERE maps, as well. They’re doing some really cool stuff.

What has been your experience been like working with Google?

All good so far. :)

What does the future of development look like?

Hopefully I’m in there somewhere. I think more small apps, less big ones that try to do it all, are a thing of the future. I think little apps that do one thing really well are cool, and I would like to see the companies that have the resources to do big things focus more on creating infrastructure, like APIs, so us little guys can do things with them that they might not have thought to do.

What tips do you have for aspiring developers?

Make stuff, constantly. And even though it sounds corny, most things aren’t impossible. Technology can do crazy things, if you learn how to use it.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Sure. I didn’t get to say enough about how great my wife has been in this process. She gave me the time I needed to develop, and she contributed hugely with her awesome graphic design skills. I love you, Leslie!


Developer interview wrap up

We want to thank Peter for chatting with us in this week’s developer interview! If you’re a developer and this looks like something you’d like to do, check out our Meet the Devs form! We look forward to hearing from you!

Google Play Services 6.5 rolling out with new APIs

Posted by wicked December - 10 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

The new version of Google Play Services will help you build better apps, or at least that’s what Google’s plan is as they release an addendum to version 6 of Google Play Services. Included in the new batch of APIs will be new entry points from apps for Google Drive, Google Maps, a new button for Google Wallet, and an invitation for app builders to use Google Fit.

App developers can now tell their apps very specific commands when uploading data to Google Drive – ideally, that would be when battery levels are optimum and when connected to a WiFi network. Apps can now be told not to upload data when these circumstances are not met to save on power and data.

Apps can now also use a “lite mode” of Google Maps, where the map will be confined to a smaller area – like a town or a specific area of a town where you want your app to focus on – but still have all the features and functionalities of the real Google Maps app.

We’ve discussed before that the Google Wallet API will be getting a new “Donate with Google” button, and that Google is also putting a bit of pressure to app developers out there to make apps utilizing the Google Fit API which was launched in October.

SOURCE: YouTube

Meet the Devs – Hafiz Waleed Hussain

Posted by wicked December - 9 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

developer interview
Welcome back to our Meet the Devs segment! In this piece we take a little time to get to know the people who really make Android what it is today and that is the app developers. In this week’s developer interview, we are talking to Hafiz Waleed Hussain.

Name: Hafiz Waleed Hussain

Developer Name: Hafiz Waleed Hussain

Country: Pakistan

Website: Official website

Social Media Profile/Page: LinkedIn

How many people on your team? 2

developer interview

Apps

Silence Shout
Lahore Guide
Who’s Calling

About your company?

I am working independent developer in my personal time.

developer interview

What level of experience do you have with coding and development?

C++ : I learn some part from University but mostly from online tutorials
Java: Online tutorials of different universities or libraries
Python: Online tutorials. I learn to increase my motivation.
C#: Online tutorials. I learn to increase my motivation.
Swift: Online tutorials. I learn to increasing my motivation.

What level of experience do you have with design?

Intermediate.

What apps have you made?

I mead many apps but for clients or different companies. You can check on LinkedIn where I mention all apps.

How do you monetize your apps?

Nothing special.

developer interview

Do you consider yourself successful?

Yes.

How difficult is it to make money as a developer?

In my country from products very difficult.

What can Android do to improve?

Now I think we achieve smart phone from Android OS. Now I feel we need to move to next level and make intelligent phones. For which we can do many things in Android.

Why did you choose Android? Do you develop for other platforms? What are the differences between them?

In start Android is affordable for me. So I start Android development. But now Android is my best friend. And yes I make some small apps for other platforms and I feel Android is more good for development like in Android we need many things to consider like in IPhone we know hardware is powerfull, Screes sizes are fixed but in Android we face challenges on daily basis.

What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?

I feel every technology and OS is just like a Universe.

What do you think of the Android design guidelines?

They are ok.

developer interview

What are your favorite apps?

All my apps. :)

What does the future of development look like?

At this time I feel very complex if we do not handle it properly.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Always try to make friendship with your technology. In start it may be possible technology show you some ego but do not take tension. And try to make friendship with that. And one day when technology feel yes you are serious in friendship. That day is your greatest day in your life. After that you enjoy technology.


Developer interview wrap up

We want to thank Hafiz Waleed Hussain for chatting with us in this week’s developer interview! If you’re a developer and this looks like something you’d like to do, check out our Meet the Devs form! We look forward to hearing from you!

Android Studio IDE reaches the big version 1.0 milestone

Posted by wicked December - 9 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Google’s new preferred and official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) has finally reached its first stable release. With Android Studio 1.0, beginning Android developers have less hurdles to overcome when starting out, while existing developers will still have all the tools they need in one convenient package. Of course, there will be some re-learning and re-training involved, but Google is trying to make that transition as painless as possible.

To some, it might be surprising to learn that Android grew up this long without an official IDE, but it does have one, though not exactly the official IDE. Eclipse, a popular Java IDE, has been the de facto Android development environment from the beginning, but it’s not exactly a breeze to set up, especially for first timers. The old way involved getting pieces here and there and making sure they work together, a daunting task for some beginners. Android Studio emphasizes on the “integrated” part of the IDE name and lumps everything you need inside a single product.

android-studio-1.0-2

Android Studio is based on the open source community edition of Intellij IDEA, another popular Java IDE, but of course goes beyond simple Java. Version 1.0 introduces new features that help both beginners and power users alike. For example, there is a Setup Wizard that gets the ball rolling as well as a bunch of templates that takes the drudgery out of setting up a project. Power users will probably love the powerful editor and performance analysis features, like memory usage monitor. A convenient user interface preview lets you see your apps across multiple screen sizes, languages, and Android versions. And adding support for Google Cloud services in your app is as easy as a few clicks of a button.

android-studio-1.0-3

Those coming from Eclipse and older versions of Android Studio will be able to easily migrate to the stable version by using the IDE’s Import Project option. Android Studio releases will take after Chrome and offer four release channels, namely, Stable, Beta, Dev, and Canary, with Canary being the most bleeding edge of them all.

SOURCE: Android Developers

Google will start automatically deducting VAT from apps sold to European countries

Posted by wicked December - 2 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Google_Play_Store_Logo_456There’s a change that will start affecting many developers that publish their apps on Google Play in the near future, especially those that frequently sell apps to European countries. Starting January 1st, Google will begin automatically deducting VAT (Value-Added Tax) from the sale price of applications due to a change in European law as to how the tax must be collected. Currently, developers can handle paying VAT separately and not have Google skim anything (besides the 30% fee) off the top.

Depending on the country, this means that Google could end up taking up to 25% off an app’s revenue to pay for VAT. This doesn’t mean developers will be making less money, but it does mean they’ll be losing that tax up front instead of having to pay it on the back end. Depending on who you ask, that’s either a good or bad thing.

Either way, the change takes effect at the start of the new year, so if you need to adjust your pricing for this change be sure to take a trip to the Android Developer Console.

source: Google

via: Phandroid

Come comment on this article: Google will start automatically deducting VAT from apps sold to European countries

How to enable Developer Options on your Android device

Posted by wicked November - 26 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

You are now a Developer Options

If you desire to take a bit more control of your Android device, but aren’t sure where to start, might we suggest looking at Android’s built-in Developer Options?

Let’s quickly look at how to enable Developer Options, then we’ll backtrack and discuss why exactly you would want to enable these features and what you can do with this new found power.

The following steps are for a vanilla Android experience, based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat. If you have another version of Android installed, we cannot guarantee that Developer Options will be available, but chances are they are in there somewhere. Let’s do this.

Settings About Phone tap Developer Options

First, open up your main system Settings.

Scroll down, all the way to the bottom to find About Phone (or About Tablet.)

Scroll down again and find the entry with Build number.

Start tapping on the Build number entry, Android will now pop up a message informing you that in x amount of clicks, you will become a Developer. Keep tapping away until the process is complete. Well, we can forget about an education and work experience if tapping a button a few times is all it takes to become an Android developer! I’m kidding of course.

With that out of the way, head on back to the main system Settings and you will now see Developer options listed. For me it was the second to last entry.

What are Developer Options good for?

Allow me to begin with a warning. Developer Options contains a number of items that truly are for trained professionals. Please do not change anything if you do not understand what it is or does. At the very least, take note of the default setting and be prepared to come change things back if anything goes wrong.

Settings Developer Options

Now, as the name implies, Developer Options are a set of tools and settings designed to assist an app developer in optimizing their products and tracking down errors. For example, the option called Pointer location provides a precise reading of user input. While this is great for a developer that needs to understand touch location and movement, the overlay is fairly unusable for your everyday computing.

Instead, perhaps Show touches would work for you. You’ve seen the result of Show touches before, it is that little white dot that is present in many of our Android customization articles.

Apps like Helium backup require that you turn on USB debugging, which is also found in this list.

We won’t spend any more time digging through this list, there are many options, most of which will not do you any favors for your day to day. Of course, with a few careful tweaks, one could dramatically improve, or destroy, their Android experience.

Are there any Developer Options that you always turn on for your devices?

Meet the Devs – Ruhax

Posted by wicked November - 25 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

developer interview - Ruhax
Welcome back to our Meet the Devs segment! In this piece we take a little time to get to know the people who really make Android what it is today and that is the app developers. In this week’s developer interview, we are talking to Jude Tony of Ruhax.

Name: Jude Tony

Developer Name: Ruhax

Country: India

Website: Official Website

Google+ Profile/Page: Official G+

How many people on your team? 1

ruhax - developer interview

Apps

Equations: The Puzzle

About your company?

I’m an indie developer from India. My app Clean Droid got 1st place in App-E-Feat contest conducted by IEEE. My new game Equations: The Puzzle is released on October 23rd 2014. I think its a great puzzle with huge potential. But I don’t have fund to promote it. I’m welcoming all kind of supports for promoting Equations: The Puzzle.

What level of experience do you have with coding and development?

I have 3 years of coding experience.

What languages do you know? How and where did you learn them?

C++, C, Java. I know Android platform and Cocos2dX. I learned all by myself from books.

What level of experience do you have with design?

I worked for Philips, for 2.5 years and I learned software design from there.

What apps have you made?

Clean Droid: Deep Cleaner – got acquired by SimilarWeb
Equations: The Puzzle

How do you monetize your apps?

In Clean Droid I used Admob. In Equations I haven’t added any monetization method.

Do you consider yourself successful?

Yes, My apps are generating enough income to live.

developer interview - ruhax

How difficult is it to make money as a developer?

Its difficult to be an indie developer. I’m all I got, So its challenging and a huge risk. But I’m happy and I love my job as it thrills me.

What can Android do to improve?

I’m closely observing changes in Android I’m really convinced that Android is improving and have improved quite well in performance, UI UX, security, etc. I still see some improvements in UI compared with iOS.

Why did you choose Android? Do you develop for other platforms? What are the differences between them?

As Android is open source and had lot of study materials online, It was my first option. Also the procedure in app publishing in Google Play is quite simple compared to other platforms. I’m planning to develop on iOS too.

What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?

I see huge potential for Equations: The Puzzle in iOS and Windows platform. Seeing this I have implemented the complete game in Cocos2DX. So that the game’s core logic is in C++ and need to be written just once. In iOS and Windows i just need to write platform specific presentation classes and the game can be easily launched. My future apps and games will be also following same coding strategy.

What do you think of the Android design guidelines?

Very straight forward. Its easy to follow and helps quite a bit to improve apps quality several times.

ruhax - developer interview

What are your favorite apps?

What has been your experience been like working with Google?

Google’s policies are cut straight and right. The procedures in publishing the app and updating it are quite simple and it lures more new developers into Android platform. Google always keep the promises.

What does the future of development look like?

Its huge, I think the better days of development are yet to come!

What tips do you have for aspiring developers?

A developer should always think like a user. User is our king, treat them like one.


Developer interview wrap up

We want to thank Jude Tony for chatting with us in this week’s developer interview! If you’re a developer and this looks like something you’d like to do, check out our Meet the Devs form! We look forward to hearing from you.

Chinese developers can now sell paid apps in the Google Play Store

Posted by wicked November - 20 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Chinese Google Play Store Android

Fresh on the heals of the rumor that Android users in China could soon begin downloading apps from the Google Play Store, Google has announced that Chinese developers can now offer paid apps in the Google Play Store.

This is huge news for the global Android market. Do keep in mind that Chinese developers may now be able to sell paid apps to most of the globe, but until that other bit comes to pass, they cannot purchase apps through the Play Store made in their homeland. We expect that will get sorted out pretty quick, but until then, developers may not be keen on jumping on board just yet.

Allowing Chinese developers into the Google Play Store means that developers from now sixty countries can sell you your favorite games and productivity apps.

Chinese Google Play Store icons Android

Chinese developers will need to jump through the standard set of hoops, including establishing a developer account through the Google Play Store and setting up a merchant account in Google Wallet. When the purchases start rolling in, you will be paid via USD wire transfer.

While we certainly look forward to an influx of new and quality apps in the Google Play Store, we also worry that some of our favorite apps, that have previously been free of charge, will now ask us to pony up a few bucks for continued use or access to new ‘premium’ content.

For more information, including the full announcement in Chinese, head on over to Google’s post here.

What do you say, will the introduction of paid apps from Chinese developers be a good thing for Android users around the globe?

 

Google Play Services 6.5 for Developers, Brings Helpful Maps, Wallet, and Fit APIs for Incorporation

Posted by Tim-o-tato November - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Google’s Android development team is now rolling out Google Play Services 6.5 to developers, bringing a ton of new APIs to incorporate into existing applications.

For starters, developers are getting more flexibility from Google Maps, with the API now offering a map toolbar to allow users to open Maps and immediately get directions, as well as turn-by-turn navigation to a selected marker. For business owners, who also run an application, this could help potential customers find their place much more quickly. 

Also in Play Services 6.5 are updated APIs for Google Wallet, Google Drive, and Google Fit. The info is not all that exciting for the end consumer, but if you are a developer, or just a very curious Android user, feel free to follow the via link below for more information.

Via: Android Developers

Google Play Services 6.5 for Developers, Brings Helpful Maps, Wallet, and Fit APIs for Incorporation is a post from: Droid Life

Is Google Glass’ allure fading away?

Posted by wicked November - 15 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Google_Glass_with_frame

Just months ago, Google opened up the purchase of Glass to the public, but for the insane price of $1,500. Of course, the units are meant for developers only, but one might question when the prototype will hit its final stage and get released to the mass market for an affordable price.

According to a recent report by Reuters, the allure of Glass is starting to wear off — a miserable, miserable sign for Google, especially since the public hasn’t even gotten its hands on a finished product.

Reuters contacted 16 Glass app makers — nine of the 16 said they had stopped or completely abandoned their project, because of the lack of customers or limitations on the device. It seems like a pretty obvious business decision — if there are no customers, why build something?

Little Guy Games Chief Executive Tom Frencel told Reuters, “If there was 200 million Google Glasses sold, it would be a different perspective. There’s no market at this point.”

Although Google continues to say it’s 100% committed to Glass and the development of the product, the market may not be.

For more, check out the Reuters article in the source link.

Source: Reuters

Come comment on this article: Is Google Glass’ allure fading away?