Ryan Harter

Building Dynamic Custom Views

Last week I released Fragment for Android. Fragment is made up of all sorts of custom Views, which I think sets it apart from many apps in the Play Store. Some of these views have a similar pattern to views I’ve had to create for other apps, in which a scroll view has padding such that every item within it can be scrolled to the center of the view. On it’s surface this doesn’t seem complex, but when you consider the massive difference in screen sizes available on Android, things get a little more complicated....

Bringing Fragment to Android

In November 2013, Ben Guerrette from Pixite reached out to me after reading my post about my experience being featured on the Google Play. He was interested in bringing one of their iOS photo apps to Android. At this point I wasn’t familiar with Pixite, so I promptly fired up the Google to do my research. I was quite impressed with what I found. The guys at Pixite had created some really cool photo apps for iOS, and when I searched Google Play for similar offerings on Android, I found next to nothing....

A Modern CI Server for Android

As a freelance Android developer, I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with many different client environments when it comes to building and releasing Android (and other) apps. One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is the importance of a good build server. Why CI? Continuous Integration servers, or CI servers, are designed to checkout your code after each push and build your project, including any tests you might have....

Using Custom Compound Views in Android

On a recent client app, I ran into a situation where I needed an arbitrary number of EditText fields based on a selected value, where the user could enter people’s information. My initial thought was to put this logic in my Fragment, just adding EditTexts to a LinearLayout container as the selected value changes, but that bloated my Fragment, and didn’t allow for much reuse. This was a perfect opportunity to encapsulate this interaction functionality in a custom view, which would be reusable throughout the app (required in two places so far), and would allow me to easily test the encapsulated functionality....

Customizing the ListView

In the last post we created a basic Android project using Android Studio templates. While it’s great that we have a fully functioning master/detail style app, it does look a bit bare. In this post, we’ll change this by styling our list view, incorporating (sort of) real data to feed our list. We’ll make a custom adapter to drive our list with custom layouts, and introduce testing into the mix to ensure that our app continues to perform as expected....

Two Months With the Moto X

Two months ago, after an unfortunate incident with my Nexus 5 and tile floor, I decided to hop off the Nexus train and get a Moto X. After years of using nothing but Nexus devices (starting with the Nexus S) this was a big switch that made me a little nervous. {% img /images/posts/moto-x-review/front-right-on.jpg “Moto X” %} Since I buy all of my phones off contract, it wasn’t until Motorola offered a Today Show special that I was ready to drop the money....

Creating an Android Project

This is the third post in my Start to Finish series. Last time I talked about source control with Git. We’ve talked about basic tools, and about source control, so now we’re ready to get into actually creating an Android app. In this part of the series, we’re going to create a new project using Android Studio. Android Studio is Google’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that we will use to create our Android app....

Getting Started with Git

This is the second post in my Start to Finish series. You can check out my first post introducing the series and my tools here. What is SCM? SCM, or source code management, is a system that helps developers manage the source code for their projects. They have been around forever, things like CVS, Subversion (SVN) and now Git are the popular ones. SCMs allow you to version your source code, which is why they are also called Version Control Systems....

Developing an Android App - Start to Finish

If you checkout the Android Development community on Google+, you’ll find a lot of people asking how to get started building an app for Android. Though quite a general question that can’t really be answered in a social post, I understand how frustrating it can be to figure out where to get started. There are plenty of tutorials on the web about how to accomplish specific tasks, but these generally don’t cover the higher level parts of app development like version control and layout analysis....

Android Emulation Done Right

For years iOS developers have touted the merits of the Simulator, saying that it makes their lives easier. As someone who’s developer for both iOS and Android, and been primarily an Android developer for several years, I’ve never cared. When I develop, I use a device. I’ve often made arguments about how it better to develop on a device because that is what users will run your app on....