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A developer's tool : Screenshot Cleaner

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 02 june 2014 - no comments

When deploying an app on a Store, be it Google's Play Store or Amazon's, or any other, a developer needs to create goodlooking screenshots. And often, the screenshot is not as clean as it can, mainly because of the status bar, showing a low battery, or numerous icons (unread mails, social network notifications, ...).

Screenshot Cleaner

Screenshot Cleaner takes your screenshot and cleans the status bar, making your screenshots look professional.

Source : @francoisblavoet

Taming the LogCat (part 3)

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 31 january 2014 - no comments

Those who have used the adb tool might have stumbled upon the following message :

$ adb logcat
     - waiting for device -
     error: more than one device and emulator

In such case, you need to find, then specify the device's serial like this :

$ adb devices -l
    List of devices attached 
    XXX900AKC2             device usb:3-1.3 product:falcon model:XT1032 device:falcon_umts
    XXXBDAD913017009       device usb:1-1   product:yakju  model:Nexus  device:maguro

$ adb logcat -s XXXBDAD913017009

Here I used the logcat command but it's the same thing when you want to install an apk or pull a file from a device.

I've just discovered that if you don't specify a serial, adb will look for an environment variable named ANDROID_SERIAL to know which device to use. If you're often using several devices in USB, you can just add the following aliases to your .bashrc file.

alias adb-use-galaxy-nexus='export ANDROID_SERIAL=XXXBDAD913017009'
alias adb-use-moto-g='export ANDROID_SERIAL=XXX900AKC2'
alias reset-android-serial='unset ANDROID_SERIAL'

When using the adb logcat command, you can also set in the ANDROID_LOG_TAGS environment variable a list of tag/severity filter, like in the following example.

# suppresses all log messages except those with the tag "ActivityManager", at priority "Info" or above, and all log messages with tag "MyApp", with priority "Debug" or above
export ANDROID_LOG_TAGS="ActivityManager:I MyApp:D *:S"

These tips are fully compatible with the PidCat tool I talked about earlier.

A developer's tool : Grid Wichterle

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 12 november 2013 - no comments

Many apps exists to enforce good UI design in Android Apps, some embedded in the developper settings screen. This app is a small simple app that you can add to your toolbox.

Grid Wichterle

As you can see on the screenshot above, the app draws a grid above your Android UI, to let you see if your views are aligned following the design guidelines.

The project is Open Sourced on Github and can be downloaded on the Google Play Store

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.

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

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.


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.


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.

A developer tool : Stanley (beta)

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 22 march 2013 - no comments

Recently I needed to know what intents were used by an app on my phone, simply out of curiosity and to learn how to have similar features in one of my app.

There aren't so many way to do this, and so I designed and developped an App to take a look at an App, from a developper point of view. So here it is, in public beta.

Stanley Preview

Stanley can list all package installed on any device, and for any given package, lets one see the Activities, Services, Broadcast Receivers, Content Providers, and more.

More over, it can export the package's original manifest into a readable XML, to see what lies in the intent filters for instance.

It is not yet available on the Play Store, but you can already try it by downloading the APK attached to this post. Any feedback on this app will be welcomed.

Stanley 1.0 (Beta) APK (562 Kb)

Stanley on Google Play