Ryan Harter

Freelance Android Developer

Custom Drawables

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We’ve all seen posts about why you should use custom views when applicable and how it can help you properly encapsulate your application code. What we don’t see quite as much is how this type of thinking can be translated to other, non-View related, portions of our apps.

In my app, Fragment, there are a few places where I make use of custom Drawables to encapsulate my logic just like you would for a custom View.

Styling Chromecast Icons

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One of my favorite new devices from Google is the Chromecast. I have 3 throughout my house, and one for travel. It’s great to have a cheap device that anyone can stream to.

I’ve also had the pleasure of integrating Google Cast support on several apps in my freelancing business. These are usually pretty cut and dry, but I recently had a client who needed a custom Google Cast action item which was one of many colors, depending on where you are in the app.

What’s Your Intent?

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One of the most powerful, yet sometimes overlooked, features of Android is the Intent system. Android’s Intents allow apps to interact with each other, without intimate knowledge of each other.

Intents are one of the differentiating factors that allows Android apps to interact and send data beyond their walls, while still keeping the system relatively safe.

Using Gestures

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Modern Android apps often make use of gesture interaction to provide fluid, natural interaction with the app. There are a few ways to handle these interactions, and in this post I’m going to cover some of the basics for easily adding gesture support to your app.

Kindly Asking for Ratings and Reviews

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One of the most important factors in determining whether or not people will buy your app is the rating. Especially if your app isn’t free, people will generally check the ratings and reviews before downloading your app. And if your app is a paid app, ratings and reviews can mean success or failure for your app.

When launching Fragment for Android, our first though was making a kick ass app, but then we needed to think about how to ensure that users remembered to go back to the Play Store to share their experience by rating the app. It’s quite common for apps to display a generic dialog after a while prompting the user to rate the app, but we thought we could make this experience better.