At the end of last February, the Android developers youtube channel launched a new series called Pivotal where Reto Meier screencasts a way how to build a simple location-based app.

There is only one video out as for now, but the content looks promising in several ways. Not only because as Reto says “There’s a thousand ways in which this implementation is wrong, and the end of the video explains some of why everything should be done differently” but also, and mainly, because it shows that everyone makes mistakes. And by mistakes I mean silly mistakes.

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This week I published the talk I had given on how I evolved from a Monolithic architecture to a Clean Architecture based on Fernando Cejas proposal but with a few differences in the domain layer which I would like to explain. I am not saying these are better approaches but just some tweaks that made the data flow and the architecture clearer to me, so take them with a grain of salt.

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As our lives move on, it has been hard to keep up with updates on our side projects so we hope we can explain you what has been happening.

As you may recall, one of our projects we mentioned here was Checklist, a simple checklist for developers of any platform whose main goal was to develop a platform in our behalf, while we would learn new tools and try others.

As time passed, we found other platforms that did the same (or sometimes even more) and the fact that some of us weren’t able to respect the deadlines, it was decided to stop its development.

But as people say ”when one door closes, another opens” and so we started a project called TourGo.

It has been a while since my last blog post about Xamarin and I feel this is the time to write something more about it. Although I haven’t been working with Xamarin for some months, I will write here some questions people often asked me when I was full-time working with it:

Have you used any java library directly? How easy is it to use them?
First of all, let me say that Xamarin itself created a github account with many samples some of which have Android API wrappers for C# of popular java libraries (ex: ActionBarSherlock) which is worth checking out.

One of the requirements I had concerning the project was its feature of uploading files from the device to the server and I knew it wouldn’t be easy especially due to the Documents API introduced in Android 4.4.

Two months ago during one of my normal days at the office I was told that there was a private school looking for android developers that were available to teach. That school needed someone for 3 times a week (for a 66 hour course) and my boss asked me if I wanted to take the opportunity. The course consisted in a 24h Java introduction, 24h for Android and 18h for a project.

Now, first of all let me tell you that I have never done any online course before. I knew about Udemy, Code Academy and even Coursera (where I was planning to start one) but Udacity’s course caught my attention because the lecturers are employees from Google. Another reason that grabbed my attention was the fact that it was about User Experience with a focus on Android, a theme that I am passionate about but which I have never seen in any other website.

In this blog post I will write about my experience with Udacity’s UX For Mobile Developers online course, to be more precise I am going to talk about their lessons, quizzes, assignments, etc.


[Project] Checklist

As one of this blog’s main goals, “to promote development of custom projects to improve our skills as developers”, we are going to present you project “Checklist”.

What is it?

A platform that provides the users (developers), a to do’s list of best practices to be applied on the development of their projects.

Dialogs? What for?

Last tuesday, while coming back home by metro, I spotted someone using an app on an Android that caught my attention. She was getting frustrated because some dialogs were showing up from time to time warning her about internet connection problems and similar errors.

This is wrong and to understand why, let’s first read what the android developers website says about dialogs.

If you had started to learn Android development while pursuing a degree in a computer science (just like I did) as soon as you begun to build an app with an advanced UI, you realised that you didn’t have the knowledge to reproduce complex layouts in xml besides simple textviews, buttons and edittexts. The above can be justified by the fact that computer science degrees courses do not put enough emphasis on the UI side of development.

Therefore, this post is the first one from a series of tips I would like to give to everyone who is just starting to develop applications for Android. The tips will be based on my experience and on what I’ve learnt from more experienced developers over the time.