Wednesday, May 20, 2015

PhoneGap: Mobile App Development Framework

PhoneGap: Mobile App Development Framework

What is PhoneGap :

PhoneGap is a mobile application development framework by adobe system to make one mobile application for all mobile operating system. So we can call PhoneGap as platform independent mobile app development. The app made using PhoneGap can run on all famous mobile operating systems like Android, ios, blackberry and windows. So Nowadays PhoneGap becomes very famous due to all these features.

Languages Used:  To develop mobile application using PhoneGap, developer does not required the knowledge about the mobile languages or mobile operating system languages but just required to knowledge about web development language HTML,CSS and JavaScript.

When to use PhoneGap : The developer who want to put his website into the mobile application either online or offline can use PhoneGap to develop mobile application fast using website technology languages.

So before starts working with PhoneGap, you must have knowledge about web technology languages like HTML,CSS and JavaScript.We can not use the native mobile operating system component i.e android,ios,blackberry and windows services and component while developing app using PhoneGap.

We will see how to setup environment to use PhoneGap and how to develop app using it in upcoming tutorial.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Android Intent

Android Intent: Android intent is a object which carrying an intent or message from one component to another component inside an application or outside the application. Android intent is a communication medium between any android core components- services,activities and broadcast receivers.

We can use android intent to send data from one activity to another activity with application. Android intent used while to call native android services from our application like calling camera, web browser, calender or any other native android service.

Intent Types:  There are two types of intent
  • Explicit Intent: Explicit intent specify the component to start by name directly because we already know the component name that we have to call. We mostly use this intent to start the component in our own application. For example to start a new activity on user request we directly specify the activity name in intent object.
    // Explicit Intent by specifying its class name i.e SecondActivity.class
    Intent i = new Intent(this, SecondActivity.class);
    // Below we are sending two parameter from one activity or screen to another activity or screen 
    i.putExtra("Param1", "ABC");
    i.putExtra("Param2", "123");
    // Starts Second Activity
    Then the second activity must invoke method getExtras() to receive the parameter data sent by first activity as shown below 
    // Get bundle object in your second activity code
    Bundle extras = getIntent().getExtras();
    // Extract data using passed keys as described by first activity i.e Param1 and Param2
    String value1 = extras.getString("Param1");
    String value2 = extras.getString("Param2")

  • Implicit Intent: Implicit intent does not specify the name of component directly instead it specifies the action name which we have to perform which allows a component from another app to handle it. For example if we have to take photo in our app so instead of making camera functionality in our app we can use native android camera to catch the photo using implicit intent. 
    // Below intent code opens web url in another application  
    Intent intent=new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW);  

So like this we can use intent in our android application to use android system native functions using implicit intent and to communicate between different android component (Activities,Services and broadcast receivers) using explicit intent.

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Android Components:

What is Android?

Android is a Software stack for mobile devices which includes an operating system,middle-ware and key applications.

Android operating system is Linux based Operating system.

Android SDK provides the tool and API to start developing android applications in Java programming language.

Android offers its own java virtual machine called Dalvik Virtual Machine. Dalvik VM is optimized JVM to run compiled java class files in order to counter the handled device limitations such as memory, processor speed and power.

Android Components are the main part of android application. Each components has a different point through which system can enter your app. Each components plays a specific role.

There are four main android components. Each plays different role and have different life cycle. The four main android components are as below.

1) Activities : The building block of user interface is the activity. While it is possible for the activities do not have user interface. Each activity is independent even they work together. Each activity is implemented as derived class of Activity Class. An application may have many activities but out of many activities one activity is marked as first one that should be presented when application starts. One activity invoke another activity.

2) Services : The services dose not have an user interface, but rather runs in background for an indefinite period of time. Each service extends the Service main class. For example services might play music in background as the user attends to other matter or fetch data from network and make them available to activities. Like the other components services runs  in the main thread of application process.

3) Broadcast Receivers : Broadcast receiver is a components that receives and react to broadcast announcement. Any application can also initiate broadcast- for example, to let the other application know that some data is downloaded to device and is available for them to use. All receivers extend the BroadcastReceiver base class. Broadcast receivers do not display user interface. However they may start an activity in response to information they receive.

4) Content Provider : The content provider makes a specific set of applications data available to other applications. The data can be stored in SQLite database file. The content provider shares data between applications. The content provider extends the ContentProvider base class to implement standard set of methods that enable the other application to retrieve and store data. Application call content provider methods by creating object of ContentResolver. A ContentResolver can talk to any content provider, it cooperate with the provider to manage any inter-process communication that involved.

So these are fundamental components of android. We will see how to activate these components using intent in next article..

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