Ryan Harter

Impress Your Users

App ratings are an extremely factor in any app. No matter what app store you are on, people value the opinions of other users. Google has always said that high Play Store ratings are an important factor in getting your app featured. I won’t pretend that I know a magic bullet to get endless 5 start reviews, but here are a few things I’ve learned along the way....

Hashnote Version Distribution

This morning, like many others, I decided to take a look at the Android version distribution of Hashnote and was pleasently surprized with what I found. A few months ago I decided to take Hashnote ICS+ only after realizing that only a small portion of my install base was on pre-ICS devices. I still think that was a good choice as it’s made development much easier and allowed me to do more in the limited free time I have to work on Hashnote....

Migrating Android Projects to Gradle

I’ve been using ant to build my Android projects for as long as I can remember. There are many reasons for this, like build consistency and workstation agnosticism, but you can read this article if you want to check that out. Ant is a good tool, but never offered the flexibility that I would have liked in a project. That’s where Gradle steps in. After seeing all of the power of the new Gradle build system, I knew I had to convert Hashnote to Gradle....

Going ICS Only

Back in April I had the pleasure of seeing a talk by Jay Ohms of TwentyFive Squares at GDG Schaumburg. It was a great discussion about their app, Press, an excellent RSS reader for Android. The discussion wasn’t a technical one, but one of the things that interested me was their decision to go Ice Cream Sandwich and up for Press. This was the first app that I had heard of, and the only major, popular app that I know of, that has made this decision....

Introducing Gradle

Who Needs IDEs? At Google I/O this year, Google introduced it’s new IDE, Android Studio. Android Studio is based on IntelliJ IDEA, a great IDE that many of my Android friends use. I wasn’t particularly excited by this announcement because, for the last several years, I’ve given up IDEs. My development environment of choice has been Sublime Text 2 and ant. Sure, IDEs can be extremely useful, especially in Java, where boiler plate code is the name of the game....

Absorbing Google I/O

Last week hosted the latest iteration of Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O. Google I/O is where developers and enthusiasts go to get all of the latest news about Google’s latest offerings, from Android to Chrome to their Cloud backend. For the last two years, I was one of those developers that got to spend a few days a year with many other extremely brilliant people and learn a ton about new technologies....

One Question: Why?

In January of 2013, I finally decided to make the leap and start my own consulting business. It’s only been 3 months since then, but I’ve already learned quite a lot from the experience. After reading a recent article on Inc.com I couldn’t help but feel a little offended and reflective on my own experience in the workforce. One thing that I’ve come to realize is how much more productive I feel now that I’m working for myself....

Credit Where Credits Due

There are a lot of great apps on mobile devices these days, made by a lot of great people. Many, if not most, of these apps use various open source libraries for features or backwards compatibility. This is excellent, but we have to make sure that we give credit where credit is due. Open Source is Great I have always been a big proponent of open source. Not just software, either....

! 'Android Tips: Making a Custom Button out of Anything'

The Android APIs are filled with things that don’t quite seem right. I’ve always been annoyed by the lack of relationship between interface elements. For instance, isn’t a ListView really just a special case of a GridView with only one column? Yet GridView and ListView aren’t directly related, so we get oddities where I can add header and footer views to a ListView, but not a GridView. One thing that seems to trip people up is the Button class....

Hashnote Featured on MakeUseOf.com

Hashnote was recently featured in an article at MakeUseOf.com about simple note taking apps. Check out the article at the link below....