About two months ago, I unveiled a limited beta version of Voice++, my Google Voice companion app (http://www.droidweb.com/2013/03/announcing-voice/). After several iterations, a few rounds of bug smashing, and some incorporation of general feedback, we’re finally ready to release. Voice++ is now available in the Google Play Store, ready for you to download and use!
What is Voice++?
Voice++ is an application to add quick reply functionality to Google Voice texts. When you receive a text through Google Voice, Voice++ overlays your screen with a popup, allowing you to read and quickly reply without skipping a beat. If you wish to ignore the text (who doesn’t have that text that we’d rather… erm… deal with later), just tap the screen outside of the popup and *poof*, the text disappears.
- There have been some issues with using Voice++ with two-factor authentication. If you have trouble, go to https://security.google.com/settings/security and generate an app specific password. (Thanks to Josh Sabboth for these instructions).
- As Voice++ is a companion app to Google Voice, you need to have Google Voice installed before it will work. Additionally, you need to have text notifications ‘on’ in Google Voice.
Join the Community!
Have feedback / suggestions for Voice++? Join the Google+ Voice++ community! Here is where you’ll find the latest news regarding beta releases of the app and upcoming features. Additionally here is where you can leave feedback and suggest new features for the app.
Sometimes the Eclipse-based Android IDE setup feels like using a rebuilt muscle car; when it runs smoothly, things are great, but there are those moments where things come to a screeching halt, requiring a few minutes (or hours, depending on the issue) of troubleshooting to correct.
One of these troubleshooting moments happened this afternoon. Upon starting Eclipse, I was greeted by this friendly pop-up:
How to fix
Come to find out, the problem lay in the fact my SDK and ADT versions had gotten out of sync (funny how those buggers do that sometimes). To remedy this, I ran the Android SDK Manager as admin (be sure to launch it from the start menu via right clicking an selecting run as admin), and updated all of the out of date components. After closing out the SDK manager and restarting Eclipse, a new error appeared:
This error was easier to figure out as I’ve had it before; the solution to check your anti-virus / firewall and add adb.exe to your trusted files.
I hope someone finds this information useful! Until next time, keep on developin’!
Recently our fellow Android enthusiasts over at Android Guys have started a segment entitled “Get This Look“. This weekly feature showcases as beautiful Android home screen setup and details on how to get it for your very own device. I did a little investigating of their sources and found that a lot of the designs they were showing come from MyColorScreen.com. This site allows users to upload their home screen creations along with the resources used to create these works of art. If you’re itching to give your Android (or iOS, but why would you have an iOS device?) device a facelift, head on over to their site and find something that fits your fancy.
Below are some of my favorites from the site:
If you’ve noticed lately, there’s been quite a bit of swirl on Droidweb.com. The site was largely unusable about a month ago (thanks to some DNS mismanagement on my part), the layout has been in flux over the past week or so, and worst of all, there hasn’t been any new content in a while! Have no fear, these things are being fixed in an ongoing series of improvement to everyone’s favorite Android resource, Droidweb.com.
A New Look
Over the years, Droidweb has gone through quite a few redesigns (at the rate of about one or two a year). On each iteration, we’ve tried to improve the site usability in various ways. This update focusses on a few areas:
- Responsive: Droidweb.com is now fully responsive. Whether you’re on your phone, tablet, desktop, or laptop, it shouldn’t matter. And now at Droidweb, it doesn’t. All content should be accessible from any screen. There are a still a few rough edges being ironed out (mostly in the area of third party included on the site), but we’re making progress every day.
- Coming soon – Content Accessibility: There’s a lot of stuff that’s been shared on Droidweb.com over the years. App reviews, website and tool recommendations, tutorials, op-eds, and much more. In the coming weeks, all of this content will be combed through and organized under a few categories so as to make the content a lot more accessible.
Holo is Beautiful: It’s no secret: the Holo theme and design guidelines for Android applications is pretty awesome. It really makes app designs beautiful, usable, and more accessible for the less strictly design-minded among us. The new Droidweb redesign attempts to bring some of that awesome to this blog. As you can see, the page takes advantage of elements of the Holo design including color scheme and some page elements.
A New Mission
Generally Droidweb has focused on Android developments. It has transitioned from being more of a general Android news source to trying to be more of a developer’s resource. Many times there has been content that should be shared, but has been glossed over because it didn’t strictly apply to Android. However, the landscape of the increasingly mobile web has changed since Droidweb was first started. Android has grown considerably since the days of m5-rc14 and has established itself as a force to be reckoned with. Responsive web design has grown from being a industry underground buzzword to being a design imperative. And HTML5 is gaining adoption by the day (including being supported on IE).
While Android will remain a core topic of discussion here at Droidweb, the scope of topics will be broadened a little to include the web at large. In today’s state of technology, web development (whether it be a web app, a responsive page, or something else) is just as important as native development and the two are being inextricably intertwined. As such Droidweb is going to include more information about web tech at a higher level, including how it affects us inside the Android ecosystem.
As always I’d like to take a second and thank you, the reader. Whether a Droidweb regular, or a new visitor, you’re a vital portion of the site; without you there would be no Droidweb. Keep on being awesome, and don’t be afraid to engage with the content on Droidweb. Feel free to tweet, share, and comment what you see here. And if you’d like to see a particular topic covered, feel free to let us know that. Droidweb is interested in what you’re interested in!
I stumbled across this infographic while doing some research for an Android presentation. Nothing quite brings back nostalgia quite like reliving the history of Android. I remember the days of rocking the Android developer edition of the HTC Dream (G1). Good times.
What are some of your favorite Android memories?
Image courtesy of Android Guys via Kinvey.com
As promised, I’d like to share a project I’ve been working on recently with the Android community. As you might have seen from some of my past posts, I am a huge Google Voice user. One day while using the product it hit me; “Wouldn’t it be cool if my texts popped up on my screen and I could quickly reply without leaving whatever I happened to be doing at that point?” Thus Voice++ was born. Still in its early stages, V++ provides quick reply functionality to your existing Google Voice application.
To use Voice++, install from the .apk below (after reading the warnings and notes). Log into your Google Voice account (it needs to be the same as the account you’re using for the standard Google Voice application). Enjoy!
A typical message popup:
By downloading the link below and installing Voice Plus Plus on your device, you agree to the following:
Voice Plus Plus is provided with the understanding that the project is in its early (read: Pre-Alpha Stages). Things are broken. Voice Plus Plus comes with no warranty and is released on an AS-IS basis. I am not responsible if this application breaks, causes you to miss that really important sext, fires ze missiles, or otherwise inconveniences you. If something does go wrong, drop me a comment below, or a tweet @droidweb and I will assist you how I can. Remember: This app is not replacing Google Voice (yet); its extending Google Voice. Also by downloading you promise to leave some sort of CONSTRUCTIVE feedback. That means more than ‘this sucks’ and more ‘I couldn’t access my texts in situation X’ or ‘I would like to see Y’.
Ok now that we got that out of the way, here are some other notes:
- I haven’t fully gotten to text whether the text receiving works immediately after phone reboot. So if you happen to get a text right as you restart your phone, you will either miss the first text, or the notification will appear late. Not sure if this is an actual bug, or just a quirk in my tests so far.
- When you receive a text initially, you will get both a notification from Google Voice, and the popup. Disable Google Voice text notifications if this annoys you.
- The icon sucks bro!: I know. I am not an artist. I will work on improving the icon sometime in the future. If, in the meantime, someone wants to donate an icon for the project, I would be eternally grateful.
- Erm… what does this app do? Right now it looks like the app doesn’t do much, but after logging in with the same Google Voice account you’re using on your device, Voice Plus Plus will intercept incoming text messages and place a convenient popup on your screen, allowing you to quickly respond.
- Where’s the source? I’m getting on that. Expect a github link posting later this week.
Enough talk already! Here’s the download!
Android snippets are a new section of Droidweb which detail a simple process in Android Development. However, in spite of their size, don’t dismiss these mini-tutorials! The methods they describe are pretty handy for any serious Android developer. Got an Android tip / trick you’d like to see here? Leave us note in the comments below or tweet @droidweb!
Occasionally you’re going to need to reference other people’s code (OPC) in your Android projects. Usually this is done in one of two methods: either you import the other project as a library project (if you’ve ever used ActionBarSherlock, you’ve done this), or you include the project as a .jar file. In today’s Android snippet we’re going to focus on the later. The process is really simple (a drag n’ drop and a right click is all you need to do), but not doing this properly can lead to headaches at run time.
Things you’ll need:
- .jar file of the library you intend to import. Usually this is a downloadable from the site of whatever project you’re making use of
- Copy the jar to your Android project’s /libs folder
- Right click the jar and choose “Build Path > Add to Build Path’”
- You’re done. Happy Coding!
Thanks to Vinayak.B over at stackoverflow for this quick tip. See original post.
Developers rejoice! One of my favorite Android libraries to date has recently been upgraded to becoming evenmore awesome than before. Jake Wharton’s ActionBarSherlock library has been updated!
ActionBarSherlock is an extension of the compatibility library designed to facilitate the use of the action bar design pattern across all versions of Android with a single API. It allows the easy addition of the action bar Android UI paradigm to applications without having to worry about compatibility with older versions of Android. I am a strong supporter of this paradigm and try to use it whenever possible!
From his Google Plus:
Major updates in this version:
- Completely redone menu and action item support. This has been backported from the progress made on ABS 4.0 and provides a much more stable and logical layout of action items and management of the menu.
- The compatibility library base has been updated to r6. I have also re-added the *Compat classes that were duplicated by this library and marked them as deprecated.
Download the new version from http://abs.io/. The samples on GitHub and the Android Market will be rolling out this evening as well.
Updating your projects making use of the old library is ridiculously easy. Just download the new library and any desired .jar files, add the library as a project to your eclipse setup, and replace the references in your project to the old libraries with references to the new libraries.
Do you have any experiences using the ActionBarSherlock Library? Would you like to see a guide for how to get up and running on ActionBarSherlock? Drop us a comment below or tweet us @droidweb!
Making Android apps is easy. Making good Android apps is another story. Personally I’ve been trying to perfect the craft for almost four years now. Throughout the years I’ve made leaps and bounds towards making betters apps and I’ve tried to share what I’ve learned with you readers here at Droidweb, but, honestly, there are still things I want / have to learn in the finer points of app making.
Google knows this and is releasing a new repository of information for us developers: Android Training. Here they attempt to provide one of the things developers like me have been begging for for some time now: A place that lists ‘best practices’ for doing some very common things in Android, complete with source code and other annotations. Over the weekend I will be combing through this resource, picking up tips and tricks and reaffirming some of the things I already knew about Android development. If you’re a developer, I suggest you do the same.
Find any really helpful tips that you didn’t know before? Leave a reference to it in the comments below or tweet us @droidweb!
While monitoring the twitterverse, we stumbled across this limited time deal being advertised by the guys over at Talk Android and we just have to pass it along to you, our beloved readers. Staples is offering $50 off “any tablet, laptop or desktop computer.” Which means you should totally go check out their offering of Android tablets. Don’t wait too long, deal ends 7/16. You may find the coupon link [here].