Posts Tagged ‘User interface’

Android 2.1 OS on Google Nexus One
Image via Wikipedia

Are we ready to really do quality UI Application design yet? You do realize that most Android Training houses/firms do not cover it right? I should know I went through some interviewing for Andriod Training positions recently. Not that Android Training houses/firms are bad..its just that if the goal is designing Mobile Applications for Consumer and Business users than lets bring to bear all the skills and knowledge areas required rather than just code.

Here is the deal. You want to cover Android OS versions from the newest one that was released to the old ones. But, the  APIs are in flux. What that means is we do an anti-pattern because we still have stable not changing much control of view animation, transitions, etc rather than guess what activity transitions we may or may not have control of on a given android OS version.

Thus, we put a whole bunch of activities in activity class and use the view visibility setting and some other code to make views visible and invisible as the user is using the different areas of the application. You will end up, for example, coupling the application dashboard you might design with the PreferenceActivity  and SplashActivity as one big activity class as user case wise they are related tasks in that they can share the same data, etc.

It eliminates worrying about which OS version has activity transitions right as far as developer apis to control allows you to focus on the behavior of the application UI being as close to as possible the same on all Android versions. At the most you will end up with just two activities in your application code but a very cool application user interface that behaves the same way on all android versions and allows you to innovate with within that application user interface to brand that UI as your firm’s own UI.

Okay back to code, samples coming this weekend.

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UI/UX Patterns

Posted: September 17, 2010 in Android
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This does not look like very much right now.  Something is being developed that will be shown over at my github account in or around Sept 22nd.

For lack of a better name I came up with the project name of AndDeepDish.

And the complex Activity/ViewGroup transitions are Android 1.5 compatible!

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UI Patterns in Android

Posted: September 13, 2010 in Android
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I have started to upload my code samples detailing UI patterns in Android at github. As this progresses during the next 12 days I should have up some more notes posted in addition to the javadocs from the code sources.

Want to get rid of the title bar flash that is somewhat freaking frustrating? Look at the AndCustomTitle project as there is a solution.

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There has been some talk about being two Android releases upcoming as in Android 2.3 and Android 3.0. What follows is speculation and best guess.

OpenGL ES 2.0 implementation was slightly goofed up namely the java bindings. The Android 2.3 release cold be a fix for those OpenGL ES 2.0 java bindings. Mario’s OpenGL 2.0 wrapper is here. You can see how the fix was too late for Froyo, in this message.What other fixes could be included is the revamp of the UI.

I think Android 3.0 is different in that it could include the usblib work that has been occurring to develop a  public USB API for the application level. That would probably mean no longer only one module usb ports but true AB USB ports from OEMs for android devices and true USB data synching-out-of-box with no hacking to enable. Other possible items that might be included OpenGL ES 3.0(I meant to say that one could see with heavy use of GPUs and dual core cpus in android devices a need to include the OpenGL 3.0 core since its openGL 2.0 compatible.).

At this point its pure speculation until we get other information, however Google/OHA could do what they did earlier this year in that there would be soft release for 2.2 to fix the openGL ES 2.0 java bindings and than a Android 3.0 release before the end of he year with most of the change sin the Android 3.0 release.

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Elon Lander

Posted: July 2, 2010 in Android, Java
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This is what the Lunar Lander sample looks like with some code and UI cleanedup. Notice that I took off the game start, stop, pause, resume functions from the options menu.

But it could be better as there s no input pipeline example and touch events are not even integrated within the game.

I will probably end up coding a input pipeline and touch integration and contributing that back to the Android Project.

Than re-do the code as Rokon2d game engine 2.0 game as Rokon2d Game engine version has a physics engine as native code and some other new features.

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That is a fully working custom set-up with text color changes, etc.  Basically, I used the concept that since its a view group(TabWidget) I can manipulate the child elements. If it was just a plain view than you still can grab the object and manipulate.

Why is this important? With iPhone you are limited to the application UI guidelines that Mr Steve jobs wants you to follow. On Android you are not and thus use the look and feel of the application to establish your brand.

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The problem happens to be that every UI implementation on the OS side has a different color color sets for focused and selected. HTC Sense is green, Android SDK is orange, and both Moto Blur and SonyEricsson Rachel are different colors.

On top of that not only are the image button colors changed but the hight light colors as well. Seems to me that if you could detect the build OS string to detect different UI implementations than set a theme:

 // ...

Bu t than you still have to change all your button and tabs etc.  You still could use selectors but you would have an image set for each UI OS implementation and use an if then wrap code to select based on the build string.

Since most android training course do not cover these types of issues and solutions maybe you should bookmark those Android Knol collections links at the right side of this blog.

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So why am I trashing my own app UI design? Well, with the ad space of 100px I get this:

As you can see the ad space size does not play well as far as taking up too much space. But there are some other concerns.

If you view the iPhone demo: see applications with bulky top and bottom menus. nOw look at the Nexus One gallery application(no its not in the emulator yet):

..notice that you have some floating menus. That seems the standard-in-quotes that visually Google and OHA seem to be pushing towards as far as visual lok of the application.

Thus I change the top most container from relative layout to frame layout to enable me to float a small menu. I eliminate the status bar and the ad space as I can have the free version just organize by file name tags and the premium version organize by file names and picture object detection.

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UI like the iPhone

Posted: March 5, 2010 in Android
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With the new look, now the fins begins. Part of the difference between desktop and mobile as far as touch devices is that you really do not want to repeat the UI pattern of forcing the user to organize items by folders, directories, etc. That is why Android does nto have file manager application.

A better way is to have the user organize sdcard items by tagging and once tagged than make that information accessible via an Intent so other applications can use it. Thus, the photoTAG organizer code I come up with is getting reused as an Android Organizer Application.

It opens up so much better UI handling in that you can have suggested tag by filename, content, etc. I mean Android is a smart phone, right? So lets have it act like one, right?

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UI like iPhone

Posted: March 3, 2010 in Android
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Back buttons now working like an iPhone UI:

Now the fun part of threading to have galleries update based on images found on SDCard in user supplied categories updating itself in background.