In one of my previous articles, I talked about embedding Google Maps in Android applications. Much has changed as Google went about revamping a lot of existing APIs in Android. In version 1 of Google Maps for Android, Google used the MapView to display map data. In version 2, the MapView is deprecated; instead, you have to use a MapFragment.
Unless you are writing a Hello World Android application, chances are your application would need to connect to the outside world to fetch some data, such as live currency exchange rates, weather information, records from databases, etc. One of the easiest ways for your application to connect to the outside world is to use web services.
For the past few years, XML web services have dominated the arena for web services, as XML was touted as the ubiquitous medium for data exchange. However, using XML as the medium for your data payload suffers from the following problems:
Often you need to store personalized information for each user of your application. For example, your application may require users to logon to a secure server for authentication. In this case, the user needs to supply his credentials, such as a login name and a password. The first time the user uses your application this information will be entered by the user, but subsequently it would be useful for your application to “remember” this information somewhere so that it can save the user the trouble of entering the same information every time he uses your application.
By now, you should already have heard of Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 mobile OS. And while many developers are busy developing for Android and iPhone, Microsoft is hard at work, developing its killer mobile OS that could give the competitors a run for the money. Before you dismiss Microsoft as a serious contender in the mobile space, think again. The new OS is now a total rewrite of the older Windows Mobile platform, and sports many features that you have come to expect of a modern mobile operating system.
This year’s I/O saw Google showcase a series of mobile-related initiatives focused on helping the Android community to grow and prosper.
As Android continues to dominate the smartphone market, expectations are high for new Android activations in 2013. Google are forecasting that in 2013, 900 million Android devices will be activated. The Google Play app now sees more than 2.5 billion installs every month with 48 billion apps downloaded since the launch of the Android Market in late 2008.
After the Overview of Facebook Home and how to install it on Android, it's time to have a look at Facebook Home from a business and developer perspective.
From a strategic point of view, Facebook Home certainly has the potential to capture Android users, divert them away from Google’s services and draw them closer to the Facebook platform. So it is certainly a threat to Google in that it reduces Android’s flexibility, and therefore the strength of Google’s position.
Facebook Home made a big splash late last month, but early indications show that users are far from considering this a "revolution" despite smartphone users around the world spending 18% of their time on Facebook.
Developers of Android are no doubt familiar with the Toast class, which displays a little pop-up containing whatever message you want to display to the user. However, the Toast pop-up will automatically dismiss itself after a while, making it useful as a tool to provide timely feedback to the user (such as informing the user that a file has been saved successfully), but not a really good tool to use for some asynchronous action (such as telling the user that an incoming SMS message has arrived).
With the announcement of the new GooglePhone, which promises to be the best Android device yet and by all early reports at least comparable with the iPhone 3GS, it seems appropriate to stop to take a look around to see where Android is at.
We start with the breakdown of Android Platform distribution, based on access to the Android Market.
Android versions (Source: http://developer.android.com)
In this final installation of the Android Views series of articles, we shall continue our exploration of another category of views - Menu views, and some additional cool views. The views discussed include: