A developer tool : taming the logcat with pidcat

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 11 september 2013 - no comments

LogCat is a great logging feature which is part of the core Android Developper Experience™. Most of us using an IDE use the DDMS tool to view the LogCat outputs. Some might also use directly the console with adb logcat -v long, with maybe some grep or awk to enhance the result.

Well Jake Wharton (you know, the guy behind ActionBarSherlock) developped PidCat, a Python script to print the LogCat output in the console in a usefull way. Here's how it looks like.

PidCat Screenshot

After a couple of day, I find it better than DDMS LogCat view. And what's great is that it's Open Source, so I'll probably add some features in it myself. You can download it or fork it from PidCat Github Repository.

Secret Phone number

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 14 august 2013 - no comments

So maybe you already know that some secret phone numbers are hidden in Android. For instance, if you dial *#*#4636#*#* on your Android phone1, you'll access a secret settings panel.

But did you know that you can add this feature in your own android application ? Basically, you can setup a BroadcastReceiver to listen to a secret number and then launch a hidden Activity. This can be used to unlock some beta features or access developper options on your app. Or just add an easter egg to your phone.

To do that, you simply need to declare your BroadcastReceiver in your manifest, like this :

    <!-- Secret receiver -->
    <receiver android:name=".MySecretBroadcastReceiver" >
        <intent-filter>
            <action android:name="android.provider.Telephony.SECRET_CODE" />
            <data
                android:host="1337"
                android:scheme="android_secret_code" />
        </intent-filter>
    </receiver>

After that, you simply need to handle the corresponding Intent in your BroadcastReceiver :


public class MySecretBroadcastReceiver extends BroadcastReceiver {

	@Override
	public void onReceive(Context context, Intent intent) {
		if (intent.getAction().equals("android.provider.Telephony.SECRET_CODE")) {
			// Do something in here
		}
	}

}

A designer tool : UI Stencils

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 18 april 2013 - no comments

A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon pdf with an outline of Android phone / tablet (and other fruity devices too) used to design apps on paper before writing a line of code. For the curious, those files are still available online.

Today I found the ultimate tool for a designer : the Android Stencil Kit (and yes, they also have other OS covered too).

Android Stencil Kit

So yeah, it's my birthday soon, so I guess I'll make myself a gift...

Source: Spawn Rider

The Google Play Store™ is starting to remove Android™ apps

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 17 april 2013 - no comments

The Google Play Store contains more than 700'000 apps for Android, a number which slowly grew since 2008 when the first Android phone was released.

In february, the Play Store saw the removal of around 60'000 apps, most of them automatically removed by Google itself. Most of those apps were spam apps, so no one will mourn for them.

Today, I learnt that the Android UI Patterns which I presented on this blog was removed due to a Violation of the intellectual property.

Following the author's post on G+ and on the Android developpers community, I learnt that the reason for this removal is the name of the app.

"Android" by itself cannot be used in the name of an application name or accessory product. Instead use "for Android."

  • Incorrect: "Android MediaPlayer"
  • Correct: "MediaPlayer for Android"

If used with your logo, "for Android" needs to be smaller in size than your logo. First instance of this use should be followed by a TM symbol, "for Android™".

Needless to say that I immediatly reviewed all my apps descriptions to make sure that I followed the Branding Guidelines and Policies from the Android documentation.

Un nouveau design pour le Kamoulox

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 30 march 2013 - 1 comment

This article is written in French as the app is in French only

Kamoulox est une de mes applications les plus loufoques. Directement inspirée des vidéos absurdes de Kad et Olivier, l'application permet de générer des milliers de phrases permettant de jouer au Kamoulox selon les règles officielles du jeu, ainsi que les règles locales de Bourcefranc le Chapus (Charente-Maritime), d’Arnac-la-Poste (Haute-Vienne) et évidemment Bézaudun-sur-Bîne (Drome).

Kamoulox, version 2010

Cette application a été écrite en 2010, et malgré quelques mises à jour, a peu évolué en terme de design. Aujourd'hui, grâce à l'aide de JF Tolaguera, je vous propose une toute nouvelle version du Kamoulox entièrement redesigné.

Kamoulox, version 2013

Bien évidemment vous pouvez retrouver l'application depuis le Google Play Store en cliquant sur le lien ci dessous. Et si vous avez un souci, une remarque, ou une question sur les règles du Kamoulox à Chaumont sur Tharonne, n'hésitez pas à me contacter !

Kamoulox on Google Play

A developer tool : DevApps Direct

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 29 march 2013 - no comments

This is a somewhat similar app to Android UI Patterns (which I talked about earlier). The aim of DevApps Direct is to list available libraries for Android developpers, with again a live demo feature.

DevAppsDirect

What is really interesting is that it is built around an RSS feed, which you can still follow in any RSS Reader (well, not Google Reader obviously). The app itself will then be able to get new libraries without having to update the app itself.

DevAppsDirect

It will also download the libraries' demo on demand, meaning that it won't use much of your space for nothing. Although it's still in beta, this app is very usefull to test many libraris, and keep some in your favorites

As always, you can download it from the Google Play Store.