Rss feed of the tag

A developer tool : AndroidXRef

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 06 february 2013 - no comments

The Android source code is full of information, and I never spend a week without having to find a piece of code in there. The problem with it is that I had to download the git repo, and to use my OS's search to find the relevant piece of code.

Not anymore, thanks to AndroidXRef, a search engine for the Android Open Source Project. Although it's still in beta, it is very usefull to find information on how things are implemented in Android.

A developer tool : Quick REx , Eclipse Regexp Plugin

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 01 february 2013 - no comments

Now and then, a little Regexp is necessary. Recently, I had to create a couple of regexp for my Android XML Editor. When the Regexp is complex, designing it from memory is almost impossible, and one needs a tool to write and test the Regexp.

Here is a little Eclipse plugin I found recently. In short, it's a Regex editor, with a couple of useful features:

  • preview of matches (and groups) in a user defined input;
  • a button to escape the sequence to be parsed in a Java String;
  • Ctrl-Space completion to insert common patterns, quantifiers, ...;
  • flags and options to match Pattern options.

Quick REx Eclipse plugin

Checkout the official Quick REx website, or install it in Eclipse using the following update-site URL :

A developer tool : Intent Intercept

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 09 november 2012 - no comments

One of the greatest idea in the Android framework is the concept of Intents, which let potentially any application interact with any other application, without any of them knowing explicitly the other.

The best example is the "share" intent. When you click the Share button on an application, an Intent is created, with a Action named "ACTION_SEND", and maybe some data embedded in it. Then Android tries to find all application who declare themselves as able to handle an Intent with the "ACTION_SEND" action, and let you choose which one to use.

Share intent - Application chooser

Intent Intercept is a pretty usefull app to know what intent is used for a specific action in an application. When an implicit intent is launched on the device, you'll always have the option to handle it with Intent Intercept which will then analyse the intent's content for you.

Intent Intercept

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

Chrome extension : Android SDK reference search

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 31 october 2012 - no comments

I recently discovered and set up search macros in Google Chrome, and I really like how it can save time. "Android SDK reference search" Chrome extension goes a step further.

Android SDK reference search

Firstly, by typing "ad Act" in Chrome's address bar, you get as suggestions direct link to the Android SDK reference, for classes beggining with "Act" (Activity, ActionBar, ...).

Secondly, when browsing the Android SDK reference, you get a "View Source" link just next to the class name, which takes you directly to the source code of the given class.

You can install it from this link

A developer tool : Android UI Patterns

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 27 september 2012 - no comments

There are lots of apps out there that we, developers, make for people. But sometimes, there is an application made for us.

Today I'll present Android UI Patterns, created by Groidify. This app goes in a long list of tools and websites to help UI/UX designers to create wonderful applications.

This application presents many UI Pattern libraries, to add rich UI to Android apps. And the great thing is that you can preview a sample of each library effect. This is perfect to choose between two similar applications.

Android UI Pattern Android UI Pattern

I also tested a couple of similar apps : The Ultimate Android Library, but without the ability to preview the library in action, and Droid UX, which is more focused on look and feel than UI pattern.

If you don't find Views by id, Views will find you

Written by Xavier Gouchet - 11 july 2012 - no comments

One of the first thing an Android developer has to learn, it's to match Views declared in an XML layout to fields in the Activity class. Something that looks like this, repeated for all the views you need to manipulate from your activity.

class MyActivity extends Activity {

    private Button myButton; 

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        myButton = (Button) findViewById(;

Now this can be quite troublesome, and could be automatized. So here it is, a class to help you fill in your fields. You can download it or fork it directly from GitHub.

The use can be pretty simple, and is just two lines, whatever the number of views you may have :

class MyActivity extends Activity {

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        ViewFieldMatcher matcher = new ViewFieldMatcher(;
        matcher.matchViews(findViewById(, this);

This code will automatically match any view to the corresponding field, matching the id name to the field's name.