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Android Archives - Cobi Interactive

Google Developer Summit 2015

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Cobi attended the Google Developer Summit on Tuesday, 25th August 2015. The event was organised by the Google Developers Group for Sub-Saharan Africa and was divided into two tracks: Android and Web Development/Cloud. The team attended the Android track to gain more knowledge on this rapidly changing platform.

The first of the morning’s talks was called “Building for the next billion users” and was presented by Abodunrinwa Toki, a software engineer at Google focusing on Android UI Toolkit and Google Docs. The talk discussed the challenges that developers face when developing Android apps for users in emerging markets. These challenges include:

  1. Smart data usage
  2. Minimising APK size
  3. Smooth and responsive user interface
  4. Minimising memory usage
  5. Minimising battery usage
  6. Optimising app architecture

The following talk gave us deep insights into Material Design and was presented by Takuo Suzuki, Developer Relations Japan Lead at Google. Takuo explained that Material Design is a set of design principles that unifies apps across all platforms whether it be mobile, web etc. The talk explained the four tenets of Material Design: tangible surfaces, print like design, meaningful motion and adaptive design, followed by a discussion of the design support library.

The afternoon was devoted to a code lab that was coordinated by Alex Koller. This gave developers an opportunity to experiment with the new material design features available in the design support library. We implemented some of the most common features such as Toolbar, RecyclerView, CoordinatorLayout, SnackBars and the FloatingActionButton.

Google Drive

Android 2.2 (Froyo)

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Android 2.2 home screen

Android 2.2 (codenamed Froyo) is out. Froyo, while not much of an update cosmetically, is said to provide up to 2x – 5x performance gains for applications thanks to its Just In Time (JIT) compiler. Read more about it here.

Word on the street has it that Google handed out new HTC EVO 4G phones to the developers at this years Google IO conference (19 – 20 May in San Francisco). Last year Google handed out free HTC Magic phones…. a testament to how things have advanced.

Firefox on Android (Fennec)

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If you’re a Firefox supporter, you can now try Firefox on Android 2.0+ devices. We tried it on our custom 2.0+ rom, but it kills it. From the videos it looks like it has quite a nice interface, but currently looks horribly slow to use.

Android without Google Maps?

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Motorola has decided to use Skyhook location based services instead of Googles. What is an android phone without Google’s services? I wonder if that will affect any android apps that make use of Google’s location services. If so, developing Android apps might get a little more complicated.

via Engadget

What’s magic about an old, outdated Android OS? Beats me…

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HTC Legend ROM with Sense UI on the HTC Magic

I’ve owned an HTC Magic now for roughly 2 months. Whilst initial impressions have been great – no surprises here given my previous Motorola V3 device – I was left feeling a little shortchanged having to use Android 1.5 on a phone capable of much more. One avenue to achieving a newer OS on my phone would have been to simply wait for an official update; however, those who are unfortunate enough to rely on Leaf (the exclusive distributors of HTC devices in South Africa) for their updates, will know that any promise of an official update should not be taken seriously.

HTC Legend ROM on the HTC Magic

Wanting to squeeze more out of my device, I began looking into the process of loading custom Android ROMs onto the HTC Magic device. After spending much time exploring the different ROMs available for the Magic, I came across a 2 part guide over at andoidza.co.za on how to load an HTC Legend derived ROM onto a Magic device. The great thing about this ROM is that it comes bundled with Android 2.1, permitting the use of newer Android apps which previously would not have been compatible with Android 1.5. Even with this being said, the icing on the cake really comes in the form of the much praised HTC sense UI update that this ROM will bring to your Magic device.

It must be noted, however, that this custom ROM is still a “work-in-progress” ROM, and as a result, comes with several minor quirks, some of which may make in unsuitable for everyday use for certain users. For those interested in attempting to load this custom ROM, the 2 part guide can be found using the links below:

http://androidza.co.za/content/htc-legend-htc-sense-ui-your-htc-magic-part-12

http://androidza.co.za/content/htc-legend-htc-sense-ui-your-htc-magic-part-22

The above androidza guide describes the process of loading the SenseLegend v0.1 custom ROM and its subsequent SenseLegend v0.2.1 update. Since the above guides were published, however, a more recent version of the custom Legend ROM (now known as WLegend 0.3) has been released with various bug fixes (one of which actually allows the phone to be turned off properly using the conventional OS shutdown option!). For the latest details of this ROM and links on where to grab it from, take a look at the link below:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=647724

To apply the WLegend 0.3 ROM, one can simply follow the same steps in the androidza guide for loading the SenseLegend v0.1 ROM, but just using the single WLegend 0.3 ROM file instead. The WLegend ROM is a “full-wipe update”, meaning it is not dependent on any of the previous SenseLegend ROMS or updates, so one does not need to be concerned about loading these first.

HTC Magic Radio and SPL

Many of the Magic ROMs out there require an update of the Magic radio and SPL (Second Program Loader) versions. Please note that the WLegend 0.3 ROM does not require such an update but was made for the “old” Magic radio version. This is very handy as the process of updating the SPL and radio can be risky and may, in the worst case, result in a “bricked” device 😛 It should also be noted that this ROM is made for the Magic with the PVT32A board – the Magic comes with either a PVT32A or PVT32B board and it is crucial that you ensure you have the correct type for the ROM you are wishing to load. For instructions on how to determine the board type of your Magic – and for other general HTC Magic hacking tips – check out the following link:

http://wiki.xda-developers.com/index.php?pagename=HTC_Sapphire_Hacking

Just for reference, the SPL and radio versions of my magic are:

RADIO 3.22.20.17

SPL 1.33.0010

and this ROM loaded perfectly for me 🙂 That’s about it. Cheers and best of luck!