In order to make it easier for Android developers to get started with creating robust applications, the Android team today formalized and unified various coding tutorials into one clearly defined area of the Android dev site: Android Training. The tutorials, or classes, are very well put together, with splits into logical steps to make them flow well, along with sample code you can utilize to "do your homework." There is no fee for taking any of them - think of Android Training as a collection of well organized and curated tutorials.
You can now email developers with a question or a bug report right from the web Market - a feature previously available only in the device Market. For example:
The email url is a simple mailto: link, which should pop up your favorite email client (Gmail in my case). This change should most definitely increase helpful feedback to developers as well as provide users with an ability to ask pre-sales questions.
In a reassuring blog post, Cyanogen recently told readers that "things are slowly starting to come together," regarding progress on the hotly anticipated Cyanogenmod 9, which is based on Android 4.0.
The entry goes on to explain that the devices most likely to see CM9 first are those based on OMAP4, MSM8660/7X30, and Exynos chips, as well as a few Tegra 2 tablets (including the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and ASUS Transformer).
That's the good news. The bad news is that owners of the OG Droid will be left in the cold, come CM9. The team is also facing challenges due to framework changes in Android 4.0 that "break compatibility with older proprietary camera and graphics drivers." Despite such setbacks, however, Cyanogen writes "I am confident that the team will be able to overcome these issues like we have in the past."
The progress update also promises shorter "spin-up time" when compiling Cyanogenmod from source, and a few other enhancements, including an overhauled music app, a brand new file manager, and a new launcher based on Ice Cream Sandwich.
To help Android developers automate some things and catch certain errors early on, the Android Tools team is pushing ahead with a new dev tool called Android Lint. Android Lint will be available in the next release of ADT (16) and Tools (r16).
If you're not familiar with the "lint" paradigm, a lint tool generally helps you validate your code using a certain set of rules in order to avoid common pitfalls. For example, PHP has PHPLint, JSON has jsonlint and so on.
As for Android Lint, its features at launch will include the following:
- Missing translations (and unused translations)
- Layout performance problems (all the issues the old
layoutopttool used to find, and more)
- Unused resources
- Inconsistent array sizes (when arrays are defined in multiple configurations)
- Accessibility and internationalization problems (hardcoded strings, missing contentDescription, etc)
- Icon problems (like missing densities, duplicate icons, wrong sizes, etc)
- Usability problems (like not specifying an input type on a text field)
- Manifest errors
- and many more
You can find all the current checks Android Lint performs here.
Packt Publishing is back again with another new book, and to celebrate, we've teamed up for a giveaway. The book in question is Android 3.0 Animations: Beginners Guide, available now for $41 for a print copy or just $23 for the eBook (or $45 for both).
Written by Alex Shaw and spanning 304 pages, the book is devoted entirely to what is (sadly) an oft-neglected aspect of Android development: creating and utilizing animations. Though the emphasis is on Android 3.0+, many of the techniques can be used for previous versions of Android. You may be asking yourself why you would deal with animations in particular?
While most of you have heard of Open Source software at this point (I hope you have, anyway), you probably aren't aware that each year Packt Publishing puts on a contest to highlight the best and brightest Open Source projects across all platforms. The contest is currently in its voting stage, ends on October 31, 2011.
As such a big supporter of open source software, Packt Publishing has offered to let us give away three print books and three ebooks to six lucky Android Police readers, just for simply checking out the Open Source Awards.
So, you recently picked up the Samsung Stratosphere on Verizon and want to get the most out of your new toy. It's no secret that when it comes to getting the most out of any Android device, root access it the key. Fortunately, KnightCrusader over at RootzWiki just dropped the info on how to gain root on the Stratosphere.
The process seems to be pretty straightforward: a little ODIN action, some adb commands, and a kernel flash -- that's pretty much it. If you're feeling up to it, check out the instructions below. If you happen to hit any snags along the way, hit up the source thread over at RootzWiki for help.
It looks like the HP Touchpad isn't the only tablet to have a bounty placed on its head - Kindle Fire Forum is now offering a substantial reward to the first person who's able to provide a reliable, reversible root method, or either a Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich port for Amazon's Android tablet.
The forum is offering a prize of $200 for a root method, and a whopping $800 for a "Basic" Honeycomb or ICS port. The original post outlines the goals like so:
As an Android developer, I don't think I've been this excited for an ADT and Tools releases in a long time. The Android tools team (Tor and Xav) just dropped off the latest ADT and SDK Tools at the Android Tools download site, bringing both up to version 14.
Among a sizeable list of improvements I'm mostly excited about these (and by excited, I mean ecstatic):
It has only been a couple of days since Samsung released the source code for the Epic 4G Touch and it looks like the device has already been rooted. Developers Shabbypenguin and Tanimn of Android Creative Syndicate (ACS) have released a pre-rooted tar file and instructions (XDA link) on how to root the shiny new phone. Similarly, XDA member zedomax has also released his method of rooting the device. Both methods are broadly the same, but zedomax's build appears to be more complete (see below).