Saturday, January 30, 2010

Developing Android Applications with Java - Free Online Course

Once in a while, O'Reilly publishes online training for free.

There is an upcoming Android course spread between 6 Weekly Sessions, every Tuesday, 2/9 – 3/16.

Register for the event here:

Who should attend?
  • Java developers who want to create Android apps
  • Developers with extensive experience with Object-Oriented Programming (such as C#) who can pick up Java basics quickly

If you are interested to start learning Android development, or just started, this program might be helpful to you.

If you are already developing apps with Android SDK, using most of the features, it would seem that this online course might have passed your needs.

No matter what, it would be good to see what has been missing with your Android knowledge as well.
Details of the course outline can be found here.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Code Android Malaysia meetup postponed to Feb 6 2010

Earlier we mentioned that our first meetup in 2010 will be 30th January 2010.
We spoke too soon and would like apologize for that.

With respect to Thaipusam celebration on 30th January 2010, the Code Android Malaysia meetup which by default go together with GTUG KL meetup will be postponed to Saturday, February 6, 2010.

Date: Saturday, February 6, 2010
Time: 2:30pm - 5:30pm
Location: iTrain, Kuala Lumpur
Street: Jalan Tun Razak
City/Town: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

View Larger Map

For the details and agenda of the event, please visit this Event page on Facebook.

See you all there!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project KL Traffic Cam

Got Android? Live in Malaysia? Need to view traffic conditions in Kuala Lumpur? You're in luck, because CodeAndroid Malaysia has just the thing. KL Traffic Cam is an application that provides easy access to video feeds provided by ITIS Malaysia. The streams are available at their WAP site and accessible via your standard browser. I will add though that the application is much more convenient and allows you to save a list of favourite cams as a typical user is often concerned with traffic conditions on one or two major highways. It also provides an easy way to access ITIS WAP site, all from within the application.

Tech talk
The application utilizes Android's built-in video streaming capabilities. Broadcast an Intent and it fires up a video streaming component without needing a single-line of code. This is part of the reason the entire application was up and running in a record 8 hours or so (albeit with some bugs)!

It also utilizes the sqlite3 database on Android to store a user's favourite list of cams. The API is easy to use and I foresee many developers will feel right at home with accessing the database on Android. There is file access for storage as well, but I decided to utilize the database for its ACID properties. I don't really trust myself for handling file flushes should my application crashes.

I experimented a bit with the UI - using backgrounds, images and icons to see how themes and styles are handled in Android. Maybe it's just me but I find that it's not as easy as it looks. I really have profound respect for devs that have good looking apps, seriously. The API Demo sample app helped tremendously. The free DroidDraw works great for simple layouts too. But in the end, there's no escaping the dreaded API available at Android's Developer site as well as blog post by Romain Guy.

A last minute feature was the easy access to ITIS existing WAP site which provides additional information such as traffic announcements as well as images of the highways (important if you're not using an unlimited data plan or wifi). To do this, I utilized Android's WebView which is really handy to display URLs or any HTML content. Had to hack around with key-press event handling because unlike the default behaviour of the Android's web browser, hitting BACK does NOT navigate to the previous page. Instead, pressing BACK will actually bring up the previous Activity, not something I want.

Well, no point in talking too much I guess - sources are available at Google code should anyone be interested. The code is quite new-bish but hey, this is my first completed Android project.

I'm thinking of using Google Maps to display cam locations. And maybe provide an option of just displaying images instead of video stream to cater for bandwidth limited users. Finally, perhaps scrapping and displaying traffic notifications from ITIS WAP site. And of course, closing all the bugs.

Google Code


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Android Developer Labs World Tour

Many geeks might have dreamed of working as an engineer in Google at Silicon Valley. Well, we may not be able to work in Google yet, but there is a chance for us to meet them. Android engineers are coming to Asia (Singapore, Taipei, and Hong Kong) in their Android Developer Labs World Tour. The first stop in Asia is Singapore on the 28th Feb 2010.

You can check the FAQ to learn more about Android Developer Labs. This is a chance for you to get to know more about Nexus One and SDK 2.1. Hurry up, register now!

BTW, the event is completely free of charge.

Android sessions and phone offers in 2010 GDC San Francisco

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the world’s largest professionals-only game industry event. Google Android Developers team will be presenting a number of Android technial sessions at the Game Developers Conference on March 9th and 10th 2010 in San Francisco. The motivations for the team to hold those sessions and for the developers to participate is based on the fact that 7 out of the 10 most popular paid applications on Android Market are games.

Some of the top paid Android Apps are listed in Android Market and it is clear that most of them are games. These games include Abduction! World Attack (casual), Baseball Superstars 2009 (arcade & action), Jewellust (brain & puzzle), Tangram Pro (brain & puzzle), Aevum Obscurum (brain & puzzle), Retro Defense (arcade & action), WordWrench Full (brain & puzzle), Air Hockey (brain & puzzle), Spira Defence Pro (brain & puzzle), Plox: Tower Defense (arcade & action), AlphaMixr (brain & puzzle), Kidd GBC (cards & casino), BreakTheBlocks Full (arcade & action), Nesoid (arcade & action), Mahjongg Solitaire Pro (brain & puzzle), Buka (casual), Archipelago (arcade & action), Bejeweled (brain & puzzle) etc.

During the event, complimentary Android phones including Motorola Droid and Google Nexus One will be offered to qualifying mobile game developers. The details of the offer can be found in GDC 2010. It is so thoughtful for Google to let the participants quickly apply what they have learned from the various Android sessions, it is almost impossible to test a game on Android Emulator if it is based on accelerometers input.

The interesting fact about the technical sessions is that the team not only focus on the development with the normal Android SDK using Java, they will also talk about development with the Android Native Development Tools (NDK) using C++. The Android technical sessions available are:

* Bootstrapping Games on Android by Chris Pruett (Google Japan)

* Bring Your Games to Android by Jack Palevich (Google)

* Get the Most Out of Android Media APIs by Dave Sparks (Google) and Jason Sams (Google)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Unboxing Nexus One

I have bought a Nexus One, and I would like to share my excitement with a video. Just a simple recording with an old digital camera. You might want to take a look at the Ninja version too :-).

The order takes 3 business days to process, and shipping takes 3 days. The Nexus One is shipped to Singapore as I am working there. This is a breakdown of the cost for ordering Nexus One in Singapore:
  • Nexus One Phone - USD529.00
  • Country Specific AC Adapter - USD19.99
  • Shipping - USD28.32
  • Tax - SGD64.51
Tip: The country specific AC adapter is optional. The package will always come with a 110/220V US 2 pins AC adapter. You can buy a cheap travel adapter locally to save the USD19.99.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Possibly coolest unboxing vid of any phone

Before that - thanks to Marvin and the CodeAndroid.MY team for having me.

Now back to the regularly scheduled programme...

Here's a sponsored video of Google's 'super phone', the Nexus One. Granted, it's not real, but that does not make it any less cool. Enjoy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Android Power Up in 2010

Hi, Android fans from Malaysia.

It's a bright new year and we from Code Android Malaysia can feel the Android is powering up towards 2010.

With more Android phones and apps, the only way for Android to go is "popular".

The excitement lately is of course the official Google Phone - or Nexus One, which is available directly through Google at

Yes, unfortunately not directly available for Malaysians. :-(

However, fret not, with Code Android Malaysia, we promise the Android fun will be always available, and that includes the Nexus One too. Malaysia Boleh!

We actually have gotten the Nexus One in order (actually in hand as well), and if you would like to get one, just contact us, and we'll try to get one into your hand too. Actual retail price applies. :-)

If you have been with us in our CodeAndroid MY first meetup , we hope you enjoyed it as much as we do, and our first meetup in 2010 is on 30th January! Mark your calendars.

Code Android MY are lining up programs and activities for Android fans this 2010, that includes more meetups, hackathons, Android courses, phone reviews and much more.

We are unable to reveal much detail yet, but please do not miss out the action and do follow us in every way you can.

Get your friends, colleagues, Facebook friends, Twitter followers to jump on the Android bandwagon with us. We would like to have more people to help out in Code Android MY, talk to us and let's bring Android to the next level in Malaysia.

Leave us a comment on what you would like to see and will enjoy from your participation in Code Android MY and we will make it happen.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Project Antollroid

Hi, Antollroid is a little simple application created in December 2009. It is a toll fare calculator. I was traveling to Melaka for vocation last year. Since I am driving on the North-South Expressway, I would like to know how much it would cost so that I can top up my Touch'n Go card in advance. This need motivates me to create a toll fare calculator for Android platform.

This is a very simple application, the user specifies a start point (e.g. Ayer Keroh), and an end point (Johor Bahru Causeway). The application will displays the price for various classes of vehicle, and discounts. In order to do this, I need to html-scrap Plus' website. In 2009, the website design was a disaster filled with malformed HTML. Anyway I managed to accomplish it with a Python script.

Eventually I structured the collected data into a SQLite database. This database file will be distributed with the application. I assume the fare will not be adjusted frequently, therefore it is not necessary for the application to retrieve the data from the internet. Skipping internet access and text processing makes the application less resource intensive. I have created a working prototype, and published the source code at

The application is usable but not completed yet. These are the features that I would like to add:
  • Display fare for each open system toll
  • Display location of Rest and Services Areas

A thread has been created to facilitate discussion on this project. Everyone is welcomed to join the discussion.

FYI: Plus has revamped its website. It is much cleaner now.