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Create mobile apps with the Android Design & Dev Bundle [DEALS]

Posted by wicked April - 17 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Android is the world’s most popular mobile platform, partly due to the fact that it is open source and easily accessible. You can use it with dozens of devices, it’s easy to customize, and you can reconfigure the source code to design your own operating system. Develop your own apps for the Android mobile operating system with the skills you’ll learn when you purchase the Android Design & Dev Bundle, marked down by a massive 89% at Android Community Deals.

The Android Design & Dev Bundle packs three courses and more than 44 hours of content into one low cost package. This bundle is full of information and training that’ll teach you how to develop for the Android platform, so you can design your own custom apps and more.

You’ll learn how to design a mobile app from scratch, including key user experience and design principles, so that your apps are not only functional but also a joy to use. You’ll develop apps using the Java coding language, as well as the best practices to ensure your workflow is as efficient as possible.

Best of all, you don’t need to be programming genius to excel in these courses. In fact, even if you have absolutely no coding experience, you can succeed as an Android app developer with the Android Design & Dev Bundle.

Embark on an exciting career as a developer for the leading mobile platform on the planet, Android. Save big and pay only $39.99 for the Android Design & Dev Bundle at Android Community Deals for a limited time only.

Android Community Deals is brought to you in cooperation with StackSocial. Generated revenue helps fund this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial and are not representative of the opinions of the Android Community staff.

Samsung announces new tool to help developers with VR

Posted by wicked April - 3 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

samsung_gear_vr_framework

Samsung has announced a new tool intended to help developers get on board the virtual headset train. The Gear VR framework, or GearVRf, is an open source framework that developers can utilize to prepare videos and apps for use on Android-powered virtual reality devices.

Samsung indicates one benefit to the GearVRf for developers is the use of familiar programming languages like C++ and Java. The framework handles all the heavy lifting related to OpenGL and the Oculus renderer. The new GearVRf also handles much of the 3D graphics issues one might encounter during development. This should make it easier for developers to drop in existing images, videos and 3D models. With the platform being open source, Samsung hopes developers will modify and add to the code to meet their own unique needs.

source: Samsung

Come comment on this article: Samsung announces new tool to help developers with VR

Interview With Developers of SaberMod & Hyper Toolchains

Posted by wicked March - 23 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Screenshot 2015-03-23 at 9.53.10 AM

To compile any Android project like a kernel or ROM, developers need to use a toolchain. As per elinux.org, a toolchain is a set of distinct software development tools that are linked (or chained) together by specific stages such as GCC, binutils and glibc (a portion of the GNU Toolchain). Toolchains may contain a debugger or a compiler for a specific programming language as C++ or other. Quite often, the toolchain used for embedded development is a cross toolchain, or more commonly known as a cross compiler. All the programs (like GCC) run on a host system of a specific architecture (such as x86) but produce binary code (executables) to run on a different architecture (e.g. ARM).

The most commonly used toolchain is GCC, initially released almost 20 years ago. A lightly modified GCC is used by Google during the AOSP build process. While Google’s GCC is considered to be the most stable toolchain around, it has some pretty decent competitors like Linaro and SaberMod. These projects are known to boost the overall system performance significantly on many devices. Let’s take a quick look to see the background of these projects.

The Linaro organization was founded in mid 2010 and almost instantly its developers started to work on many projects, including GCC-based toolchains for ARM. Android builds compiled with Linaro started to pop up a few months later. Ever since the Linaro group was founded, users praised it for decent performance improvements and overall snapiness. Linaro uses its own solutions and is constantly updated. You can download the newest version of the toolchain directly from the web page.

A few years later, in 2013, a developer named Paul Beeler created the SaberMod project.  Initially the project was used on SaberMod ROM for the Nexus 7 WiFi model (2013).  This continued onto the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 through help of user donations.  The toolchains are based on GNU GCC 4.8, 4.9, and 5.0 with AOSP patches forward ported into GNU GCC.  SaberMod also provides extra optimization features unlike Google’s toolchain, which gives options for a few amendments in the ROM itself to add more performance gains, such as graphite loop transformation optimizations. SaberMod tracks other utilities from GNU in the toolchain source components that are generally more up to date than AOSP or Linaro toolchains, and almost always tracks the development branches of GNU GCC for the latest patches and bug fixes.  The toolchain ecosystem of SaberMod is very different from AOSP, using complex scripts to provide quick, up to date toolchains.  Other toolchain sources like the AOSP based toolchain build repository have been heavily modified to work in favor of the way SaberMod toolchains are produced. I have approached some toolchain developers to ask a few questions.

If you could describe SaberMod in one word, what would that be and why?

Joe (frap129): Optimization. I say this because it is our (the SaberMod team’s)  main goal, not necessarily speed. While optimization can provide a great deal of performance and speed boosts, it can also do things such as shrink code or add specific tweaks that allow for better use of a device’s hardware.

A toolchain is not particularly easy to develop. Could you tell me what languages and tools are required to compile a project like SaberMod?

Joe: A lot of programs are required before one even builds a toolchain, just like Android. Things like bison, libpython-dev, the programs you only see in a guide on setting up a build machine to compile a ROM and then forget about. Also like Android, many repos and projects are needed, the main GCC code, BinUtils, GDB, MPFR, and MPC are the bare minimum, but for extra features and performance we add other projects and libraries like GMP, CLooG, ISL, OSL, and Python. This probably all sounds like nonsense, but think of these like the external folder in Android build source, the things in the background that make it work.

Adin (YoshiShaPow): As for languages, development does not require complete fluency of any coding language (though it surely does help a lot). Just knowledge of code structure and basic syntax can help someone produce great work!

Could you tell us why you chose toolchains? And what has been the most difficult situation you have encountered so far?

Paul: Initially I was interested in Linaro toolchain, but found there were quite a few bugs that were not present in AOSP’s toolchains.  So the decision was made to create a new toolchain based strictly on GNU GCC, and AOSP toolchain sources, with Linaro ROM patches for optimizations for jellybean. Thus, SaberMod was born.  More modifications in the toolchains and android system source came in the following years. The most difficult thing was making the toolchains compile similar to how AOSP does, and figuring out what versions of GNU utilities (binutils, gdb etc.) were needed to make the toolchains compile correctly.

SaberMod is not the only project you are working on. Can you tell us something about Hyper Toolchains?

Joe: Hyper Toolchains was originally just a page that I created on GitHub to help organize my own toolchains, so they aren’t just cluttered and thrown in with the rest of my repos, but after I started messing with toolchains more and more, I ended up making things that were quite a bit different from your standard SaberMod, Linaro, or AOSP GCC toolchains. Mixing aspects of Linaro and SaberMod broadened the range of things developers could do solely with toolchains. That’s when I decided to make a thread on XDA, so that devs could have more control over the speed and smoothness of their projects, not just have the speed and responsiveness of SaberMod or the smoothness of Linaro.

SaberMod and Hyper Toolchains are developed by a team of developers. Can you all tell us a little about yourselves?

Paul:  My interest in android started with the G1 nearly 4 years ago.  I had no experience in coding.  I was interested in open source but had no idea where to start on making a ROM or kernel or anything for that matter.  I started with experimenting with android bash scripting for native apps2sdext based on a developers work from firerat.  This allowed more storage for apps which was very limited at the time (500mb for system and apps).  Afterwards I continued this for the Evo shift 4g up until the Nexus 7 when the mod was no longer needed from storage restrictions.  I also started some kernel development with the Evo Shift 4G by including other disk schedulers like BFS which no one else had done for the device at the time.  I continued kernel development to the Nexus 7.  But my kernel development is still considered low other than modifying things here and there to make the kernels compile with SaberMod toolchains, and optimizations.  I currently own a Nexus 5.

Joe: Well, I started working on development stuff a little over 2 years ago with zero experience in coding, Linux, or Android. As a teen who had just upgraded from an old jailbroken iPod to a fancy new first generation Nexus 7, I decided to mess around with Android as much as I could, eventually compiling my own nightly builds with apps, scripts, and mods added. After a while I stopped when my Nexus 7 tragically shattered (RIP in pieces). Once I saved up enough to get a used GS3, I downloaded the latest source, actually got into working with ROM source, and started building a lot of the software on my PC too. I recently got a OnePlus One, which made developing a lot easier and gave me more motivation.

Adin: My first android project was created during the time I had a concussion and was out of school back in April 2014. When I finally got the OK to be on electronics, I decided to try out an android project and ended up making a custom kernel for the Moto G. I also had no knowledge of coding and Linux at the time. Some people say it’s crazy for a 15 year old to be able to do these things, but I see that as motivation to strive for better. With that, Joe and I have created a series of TGM-Hybrid Kernels. I can also solve a 3×3 Rubik’s Cube in 15 seconds on average. My current daily driver is the OnePlus One.

Thank you for your time and good luck with your projects!

SaberMod and Hyper Toolchains can be found on XDA and Github. Be sure to take a peek at them if you are planning to release your own custom ROM. What is your favorite toolchain and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The post Interview With Developers of SaberMod & Hyper Toolchains appeared first on xda-developers.

Google_Places_API_Screenshot

Doesn’t it make sense that when sharing your location with someone, you actually share the name of the place that you’re at rather than the latitude and longitude? In other words, if I am at Joe’s Bar and Grill, it’s easier to understand that I am Joe’s Bar and Grill vs 26.78545419, -75.15212959.

Google’s Places API will solve this issue by bringing Google’s global database of 100 million places into your app. The Places API is not only released on Android, but Google also released a beta version for iOS.

Key Features of the API include…

  • Add a place picker: a drop-in UI widget that allows your users to specify a place
  • Get the place where the user is right now
  • Show detailed place information, including the place’s name, address, phone number, and website
  • Use autocomplete to save your users time and frustration typing out place names, by automatically completing them as they type
  • Make your app stand out by adding new places that are relevant to your users and seeing the places appear in Google’s Places database
  • Improve the map around you by reporting the presence of a device at a particular place.

Check out this DevByte video and links below to learn how you can implement the Places API in your app.

Click here to view the embedded video.

source: Google

More info:

developer documentatio / demos /  iOS beta program

 

Come comment on this article: Google launches Places API so we can finally share locations by name instead of coordinates

Video games are serious business with Unity3D [DEALS]

Posted by wicked February - 20 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

With several billion dollars worth of sales every year, the video game industry is expected to continue its monumental growth over the next few years at least. Much of that growth is due to the increasing number of platforms that games can be played on. While computers and consoles used to reign supreme, mobile devices now are a dominant force on the video game landscape. The mobile device video game industry is strong and will only get stronger. Android Community Deals readers can, for a limited time only, save hundreds of dollars and claim a piece of the industry for themselves and solidify their professional futures by purchasing the Unity3D Game Developer Course Bundle.

The Unity3D Game Developer Course Bundle offers students the opportunity to learn valuable video game development skills through 7 courses that offer more than 40 hours of educational content.

With this course bundle you’ll explore mobile game design using the Unity3D development platform. Don’t have any experience with Unity3D? That’s no problem. You’ll get up to speed fast and start designing your first game right away, making this bundle great for game development beginners.

The courses in the Unity3D Game Developer Course Bundle will teach you game development processes and techniques as well as practical knowledge for game design. You will learn about terrain, textures, gameplay spaces, lighting, and debugging techniques. You will even design complete games as part of your learning process.

Industries come and go. To safeguard your future, put yourself in a position to reap rewards for years to come and place no limitations on your own success. Success is yours for the taking with the Unity3D Game Developer Course Bundle, just $39 at Android Community Deals for a limited time only.

Android Community Deals is brought to you in cooperation with StackSocial. Generated revenue helps fund this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial and are not representative of the opinions of the Android Community staff.

Get your Android Programming chops with Infinite Skills [DEALS]

Posted by wicked February - 2 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Ever wondered if you have what it takes to master the arcane art of Android app development? Well, wonder no more because now you have the chance to find out for yourself and for only a fraction of what you would normally pay elsewhere. Thanks to Infinite Skills, you now have the chance to develop and train your Android programming muscles when you buy this Android Developer Course with your usual Android Community Deals discount.

For just $19, which, by the way, is just 20 percent of the original $99 price tag, you get access to over 105 lectures, spread over 9.5 hours worth of content. And you don’t even need to already know programming to get started. Just dive right in and you will be introduced to both core and advanced Android development concepts, including media playback, camera access, sensors, and a lot more. And for all your effort, you will receive a certificate once you finish the course.

All you need to get started, aside form the course, of course, is a computer or mobile device. The deal includes lifetime access to all content, including working files and exercises. And, if you’re not satisfied, you even get a 30-day money back guarantee. But at only $19, it’s already a steal. So get Infinite Skills’ Android Developer Course now.

Android Community Deals is brought to you in cooperation with StackSocial. Generated revenue helps fund this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial and are not representative of the opinions of the Android Community staff.

Learn to make Lollipop apps with Bitfountain Android Course [DEALS]

Posted by wicked January - 15 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Almost everyone nowadays has an idea for the next great mobile app, but not everyone follows through with them, mostly because of lack of knowledge if not the lack of time. Fortunately for Android lovers, Google is making things easier with the Android Studio suite of tools. And to help you get familiar with the new tool, Bitfountain has a rather extensive course that will take you from beginner to expert when it comes to Android app development. And best of all, it’s now offered with a rather hefty discount!

Programming and app development is becoming en vogue and some schools are integrating such courses into their regular curricula. But let’s face it, it’s not exactly a walk in the park and not everyone has the luxury of going to school for it. The next best thing, then, would be for someone to personally guide you by proxy, and that is where instructional videos and lectures come in. Bitfountain’s Android course takes you through from beginning to end, starting with Java all the way to more advanced topics like Google’s API and SQLite, all using the shiny new Android Studio 1.0 integrated development environment (IDE).

And don’t think that this is some outdated material. The course also covers the latest Android 5.0 version, including instructions in that fancy Material Design language. As a bonus, it even teaches some good programming practice by introducing you to Git source code version management. All these, delivered in over 30 hours of video lectures and more than 10 app building exercises, can be yours for only $89, a fraction of its original $499. Get the Bitfountain Android Lollipop course now at Android Community Deals.

Android Community Deals is brought to you in cooperation with StackSocial. Generated revenue helps fund this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial and are not representative of the opinions of the Android Community staff.

2015 AT&T Developer Summit and Hackathon [Sponsored]

Posted by wicked January - 12 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

ns_att_dev_summit_2015

The AT&T Developer Summit has become the top annual pre-CES event for the mobile community. Held at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, it combines a standard informational expo with a prize-filled Hackathon. This year the dev program team at AT&T was nice enough to invite XDA, including Jordan and I, so we packed our toothbrushes and boarded a plane.

When we arrived at The Palms on Saturday morning, there was a long line of eager developers waiting to register. More than 700 competed to win a share of over $500,000 in cash and prizes, with top prize of $25,000 to the most creative, most useful, most interesting, and most well-constructed app. After check-in and registration, developers found a table in the Rain nightclub, dubbed Hackathon North, or they made camp in Hackathon South. Once everyone was seated, the presentations began. All the sponsors had three minutes to pitch their available APIs and development kits.


At the conclusion of the presentations, development began. Teams were formed, concocted an idea, and spoke to API providers. Many coded through the night. During the Saturday afternoon session, Jordan took the opportunity to interview two of the teams–Team Red Alert and Team GamifiedHome–in a live stream.

Representatives from the AT&T Drive Studio were in attendance to help Hackathon teams use their development kit to integrate with the Connected Car. The term “Connected Car” means a number of different things: car cellular connectivity, infotainment services, and vehicle telematics. Being able to get telemetry and diagnostic data and perform remote operations are just some of the features AT&T Drive offers developers. Jordan sat down with Ransom Murphy from AT&T Drive team to learn more:

Back to the Hackathon: Each team found a problem that they felt needed a solution. There was a great diversity of teams covering a wide gamut of projects. Here’s a recap of the action:

After 24 hours of hard work, the teams were wrapping up their marathon development sessions and by ten in the morning, judging began. Official judges went around and evaluated all the teams’ projects,  selecting a top 20.  Then there was a lightning pitch, where each team lobbied for victory. The winners of the top prizes were announced the next day during the AT&T Developer Summit Keynote Address.  

The next day a bunch of exhibitors got together to talk to the attendees in the expo center. With great information sessions you could learn a lot more about Connected Cars, wearables and more. Finally, after the Developer Summit was over, they ended the event with a concert. Everyone got together to listen to the music of Neon Trees.

Overall, the event was an amazing experience. While we did not participate in the Hackathon ourselves, in interviewing the teams and observing the event we got caught up in the electric atmosphere. Like the developers, we felt an odd mix of optimism and exhaustion. If you ever have to opportunity to participate in this, or any of AT&T’s Hackathons, we highly recommend it.

The post 2015 AT&T Developer Summit and Hackathon [Sponsored] appeared first on xda-developers.

Android TV wave spells the end for Google TV

Posted by wicked January - 7 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

android_tv_screen

The Google TV and Android TV teams took to Google+ today to announce the end of the road for the development on the Google TV platform. As the team indicates in their open “letter” to Google TV developers, the focus going forward will be working on the Android TV platform and helping OEMs get them to market. Much of this new focus is driven by the launch of Android 5.0 Lollipop and the ability to bring Android to the television form factor. In addition to Android TV, Google’s own development team will be working on the Google Cast ecosystem.

Google’s developers say existing Google TV devices will continue to work, along with all of the apps that have been developed for the platform. However, Google TV libraries will no longer be available. Without being specific, they do indicate that a “small subset of Google TV devices will be updated to Android TV.” Other than those devices, Google is looking forward to new devices coming to market from Sony, Sharp, Philips and other manufacturers.

Google’s teams say they have made new Leanback support libraries available to help developers transition their existing apps over to the Android TV platform.

What do you think of the “death” of Google TV?

source: +Google TV Developers

Come comment on this article: Android TV wave spells the end for Google TV

VR unit Google Cardboard is still alive in Google’s eyes

Posted by Tom December - 11 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

What seemed like a daft gimmick, the makeshift VR unit Google Cardboard is still being taken seriously by Google itself, meaning us consumers can still get some cheap VR antics on the go for the foreseeable future.

Google continues “working to improve” Cardboard and has launched a dedicated collection page on Google Play for Cardboard apps.

App highlights include a Paul McCartney concert and a trip to Middle Earth.

Developers are also encouraged to get involved, with a new Cardboard software development kit (SDK) released for Android and Unity.

2015 will also see a viewer calibration tool for developers and no doubt a fresh batch of apps.

Via techradar