Saturday, April 23, 2011

Scripting on android

With growing popularity if android amongst the developers, google launched the project Scripting Layer for Android(SL4A) which enables the developers to write scripts in multiple languages such as PHP,Perl,python,Lua,JRuby etc. All you need to do is to install SL4A from the android market and add the interpreters. The API for all the languages is almost similar and easy to understand. A quick helloworld example in all the supported languages can be seen  here . Also there is a complete list of tutorials which will help explain the usage. The neat API reference is also present to make the work easy for the developers.For each installed interpreter, there will also be a set of examples to keep you motivated. for example, a simple python program to open the camera, click a picture and save to the sdcard would cost you just 3 lines of code as:
import android
droid = android.Android()
droid.cameraCapturePicture('/sdcard/python_picture.jpg')


I would try to post some tutorials on SL4A scripting soon.For now check out the SL4A screencasts for a kickstart! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Upgraded to FROYO on galaxy 3 i5801. Bugs and solutions

Samsung recently rolled out the much awaited froyo(android 2.2) upgrade for my Galaxy 3 i5801 (a.k.a Applo) handset.After a lot of trouble with downtime on samsung's servers and getting the same error "Operation timed out" for tens of times, I successfully upgraded my phone to a newer if not the latest version.
   It shows a significant boost in the performance and battery life. The phone now feels more smooth and has got rid of the very sluggish galley,messages and contacts applications.Also now it has got a cool new music player interface, a fresh menu and a good task manager. Moving some of the applications to the SD card has made it perform even better.
   The only 2 issues that i found were that swype was no longer working and the volume buttons could no longer be used to make a call silent.For swype, I installed "keyborad from android 2.3 " which is also pretty cool but not as cool as swype and for making a call silent, the power button can be used.I really hope to find a solution to the swype thing because of all its functionality.
  For now I need to create another AVD for android 2.2 in order to continue developing and testing my applications on the phone.

Update 04 May 2011:
Yet another major bug with the upgrade is that the camera application is crashing all the time. This kept me from capturing some really great memories yesterday and I really hate samsung for this one. For now, i have installed FxCamera from the market which almost solves the purpose and also has some other cool features such as decent autofocus which was missing in the original cam application.
Although Samsung is the one who has made the most out of Android and Open handset Alliance but they still need to work on the upgrades to retain their customers and continue to have a good image in the market.