December 31, 2015

BYE 2015

Only a few hours to go before 2016! I am using this time to look back at the things that happened for the past twelve months of 2015 through this blog's year-ender (BYE) post.

Travels

This year's travels include going to Legazpi City (STI National Youth Convention Legazpi Leg), Taal, Ozamiz City (6th ICT Youth Convention, General Santos City (STI App and Running judging, Zamboanga (UZ Android Training), and Laguna (Biñan for a talk at UPHSL and Sta. Rosa for a talk at SEIPI-ASITEP).

I was also able to go outside the country this year. I went to US to attend the GDG Global Organizer Summit in Mountain View, Google I/O 2015, and visit my aunt in Texas and Celine's aunts in LA. Celine and I went to Canada (with a quick layover in Japan) in October. I went back to US to attend the first Android Dev Summit afterwards.

Talks and Workshops

This year, I attended GDG Organizer Global Summit 2015 (May 26-27), Google I/O 2015 (May 28-29), Google Developers Summit Manila (August 14), and Android Dev Summit 2015.

I did a lot of talks this year on topics including Android (Basics and #io15 updates), Android Wear, Publishing on Google Play, and Google Developer Tools and Technologies. I have published most of the slides I used in my SpeakerDeck account.

I conducted Android workshops this year: 6 during Google I/O Extended Roadshow (Pampanga/Manila/Batangas/Albay/Camarines Sur/Cavite), 2 Android Marshmallow Workshops, one in University of Zamboanga, and one at the 6th ICT Youth Convention (Ozamiz City)

I also facilitated GDG Philippines' seven-week Android Fundamentals Study Jams during the months of February and March.

Apps and Projects

Aside from updates to my Android apps and other projects, I have also spent some time this year developing new apps. Celine and I joined Accenture Technology Talks & Hackathon 2015. Our Help Me app won second place in the competition. While studying about the Android Wear Watch Face API, I developed the GDG Watch Face. I also had the chance to demo it during the GDG Global Organizer Summit.

Right now, I am also working on the iOS app for Sweldong Pinoy, as well as another related project.

Runs

I was only able to run 3 times this year: 16k run at Takbo.ph 20-Miler Run 2015, 10k run at Condura Skyway Marathon 2015, and another 16k run at 7-Eleven Run 1500. In all three runs, I received finishers' medal. I used Runtastic and my Moto360 to track the runs.

Hopefully in 2016, I'll be able to have more runs. I have already registered for Condura Skyway Marathon and 7-11 Run next year.


December 14, 2015

Android Dev Summit Extended

The inaugural Android Dev Summit was held on November 23-24 in Mountain View, California. Android Dev Summit was an event for Android developers to learn from technical sessions and network with the Android team. GDG Philippines organized an Android Dev Summit Extended last Saturday (December 12).



We started the event with an introduction of GDG Philippines and promotion of GDG HackFair Philippines. I then did a short talk about news and updates from Android Dev Summit. Then, I did a demo of Instant Run and the new Android emulator.



Afterwards, participants did the Android Dev Summit Code Labs until the afternoon. I assisted the participants in doing the hands-on activities and answered their questions.

Android Dev Summit was a gathering for developers to learn and connect with the Google engineers behind Android. There were two days of deep technical sessions from and networking with the Android engineering team. If you weren't able to join it live, you can check the videos in the Android Developers YouTube channel.


December 6, 2015

GDG Philippines HackTime

GDG Philippines is organizing the first GDG HackFair in the Philippines on December 19-20. HackFair is an interactive two-day event where thirty App/Website/IoT that were created using Google Technologies are given the opportunity to be featured.

In preparation for HackFair, we had a GDG Philippines HackTime on December 5 at Globe Corporate Showroom. Morning talks include introduction to GDG Philippines and GDG HackFair (by me) followed by Design Talk & Workshop and Google Cardboard.



In the afternoon, we had talks and workshops Arduino & Gemma Kit, Android Wear, Firebase, and Polymer. I talked about Developing for Android Wear.




December 3, 2015

GDG HackFair Philippines

Do you have projects using Google technologies or do you want to develop something awesome? Do you want the chance to showcase them? GDG Philippines is organizing the first GDG HackFair Philippines on December 19-20, 2015.

Submit your mobile, web, or IOT projects on or before December 12. This is open to everyone: professionals and students (grade school to college students). We will be selecting projects in Health, Education, Productivity, Music, Arts and Culture, and Social Impact. Selected projects will be invited for the exhibit and mini-conference. Please check details about the HackFair at http://hackfair.gdgph.org or at the GDG Philippines Google+ page.



In preparation for the HackFair, we will also have GDG Philippines Hacktime on December 5. Hacktime is a whole day event where you can learn how to create a mobile app, web, IOT, robotics or a mix of the cool technologies and stuff. To register for the HackTime, fill up the form at http://hacktime.gdgph.org.




November 28, 2015

Android Dev Summit

The inaugural Android Dev Summit was held on November 23-24 in Mountain View, California. A gathering for developers to learn and connect with the Google engineers behind Android, Android Dev Summit was composed of two days of deep technical sessions from and networking with the Android engineering team. Day 1 focused on framework skills while Day 2 was about tooling and performance.



It has been a great experience to be a part of the Android Dev Summit. The topics were good. Googlers from the different Android teams were there to answer questions from attendees during the office hours and to assist those who are doing the codelabs.


At the Computer History Museum

If you weren't able to join it live, you can check the codelabs at https://www.code-labs.io/android-dev-summit. Videos from Day 1 and Day 2 of Android Dev Summit have also been uploaded in the Android Developers YouTube channel.


November 24, 2015

Canada Trip

Celine and I went to Canada last month. She will be joining her family in British Columbia.

Some of the places we visited include Canada Place, Steveston Fisherman's Wharf, Downtown Vancouver (Gastown Steam Clock, Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver Art Gallery), Queen Elizabeth Park, and Gulf of Georgia Cannery.

I left Canada on November 22. I went to California first to attend Android Dev Summit (November 23-24) before going back to the Philippines.


November 17, 2015

Google Play Developer Page

One of the things announced during Google I/O 2015 was Developer Pages for Android developers who have apps published on Google Play.


Google Play Developer Page announced during Google I/O 2015

A Developer Page helps promote your brand and apps on Google Play. Instead of the normal list of apps made by a developer, you can now create your branded page with your featured app and other apps. You should have at least one app to create a developer page.

Creating A Developer Page

To create your own Google Play Developer Page, follow the following steps:
  1. Go to the Google Play Developer Console
  2. Click the Gear Icon (Settings) on the left.
  3. Click Developer page.



  4. Click the Get Started button.


  5. Fill up the promotional text (brand description, required) and website (optional)
  6. Add a developer icon (512 x 512, 32-bit PNG) and a header image (4096 x 2304, JPG or 24-bit PNG [no alpha)
  7. You may also choose one of your apps to be featured on your page
  8. Click the Save button at the top of the page
It may take up to one hour for the Developer Page URL to be valid for preview and up to 24 hours for it to be displayed to Google Play users.

Updating A Developer Page

To update your developer page, simply follow the steps in creating one. It may take up to one hour for the changes to be published.

Deleting A Developer Page

If you wanted to delete the developer page that you have made, go to the Google Play Developer Console, click Settings gear icon, click Developer page and then click the Delete page button in the bottom of the site.

A lot of Android developers have already made their Developer Pages. You can check Google's developer page here. I have also made my own developer page. It's still a work in progress. If you have comments or suggestions, please let me know!


My Google Play Developer Page (desktop view)


My Google Play Developer Page (mobile view)


November 14, 2015

Developing for Android Wear

Android Wear extends the Android platform to wearables. With Android Wear, you can add wearable notifications, create wearable apps, and create watch faces.



To start developing for Android Wear, you would need to download and setup Android Studio. You also need to download the following packages using your SDK Manager:
  • Tools > Android SDK Tools 23.0.0 or higher
  • Tools > Android SDK Platform-tools 23.0.0 or higher
  • Tools > Android SDK Build-tools 23.0.0 or higher
  • Android 4.4W (API 20) or higher > SDK Platform
  • Android 4.4W (API 20) or higher > Android Wear ARM System Image
  • Android 4.4W2 (API 20) or higher > Android Wear Intel System Image
You will also need to install the Android Wear app in your handheld device.

Setting up Android Wear Device

Pair your handheld to your Android Wear Device using the Android Wear app. Enable USB debugging on the wearable by tapping the Build number seven times (in Settings > About). Go to Developer options and enable ADB Debugging. You can connect the wearable to your computer via USB or via Bluetooth.

Setting up Android Wear Emulator

If you do not have an Android Wear device, you can create an emulator. To create an Android Wear Virtual Device:
  1. Open the AVD Manager and click the Create Virtual Device...
  2. Select Wear in the Category and choose between Square, Round Chin, and Round. Click the Next button.
  3. Select the release name (e.g. Lollipop) then click the Next button.
  4. Rename the virtual device (if you like) and change any coniguration based on your preference.
  5. Click the Finish button to create the emulator.


Creating an Android Wear Emulator

You can now start this emulator and pair it to your handheld. Connect the handheld to your computer via USB and run adb -d forward tcp:5601 tcp:5601 (this forwards emulator's communication port to the handheld). Open the Android Wear app in the handheld and connect it to the emulator.

Creating An Android Wear Project

To create a new Android Wear Project on Android Studio and follow the following steps:
  1. Click New Project in the Welcome Screen (or File > New Project if you already have an open project).
  2. Fill up the project name and package name, then click the Next button.
  3. Check Phone and Tablet and select the Minimum SDK.
  4. Check Wear and select API 20: Android 4.4 (KitKat Wear) or higher as the minimum SDK
  5. Click the Next button.
  6. In the Add activity to Mobile window, select Blank Activity then click the Next button. You can change the activity name, layout name, and title.
  7. In the Add activity to Wear window, select Blank Wear Activity then click the Next button. You can change the activity name, and the layout names.
  8. Click the Finish button.



Creating an Android Wear Project

Run the mobile module to run it in your phone or tablet device (or emulator). To run and view the wearable app, run the wear module and choose your emulator. You will see something like the one below:



To learn more about developing for Android Wear, take Udacity's Android Wear Development course, built by Google. You can also join the Android Wear Developers Google+ Community

November 12, 2015

Getting Started with Android Emulators

To develop and test Android applications, you will need a physical device or an Android emulator. The Android SDK has an Android Virtual Device (AVD) emulator that runs on your computer. AVD Manager is a graphical user interface that you can use to create, modify, and manage Android emulators.

To open the AVD Manager:
  • In Android Studio, select Tools > Android > AVD Manager or click the AVD Manager icon () in the toolbar.
  • From the command line, navigate to <sdk-directory>/tools and execute android avd.

AVD Manager from the Command Line

If you open the AVD Manager from the command line, you will see the UI similar to the one below:

To create an Android Emulator, click the Create button. Fill up the name, and select the device, target, CPU/ABI, and skin. You can also add hardware functionalities, like keyboard, camera and SD card. Click the OK button to create the emulator.

AVD Manager from Android Studio

If you open the AVD Manager from Android Studio, you will see a different UI:

To create an Android Emulator, click the Create Virtual Device. Select a device configuration then click Next (If you want a new configuration, click the New Hardware Profile instead. Select the System Image OS name and API Level then click Next. Fill up the name and check the configuration then click Finish.

Starting the Android Emulator

You can start an emulator by selecting it in the AVD Manager and clicking the green run image (or the Start button if you run AVD Manager from the command line). When running an app from Android Studio, it will install and launch on the running emulator. If an emulator is not yet open, you can launch it in the Device Chooser dialog. From the command line, you can use the adb install <apk-path> to launch the APK in your emulator.

x86 Emulators and HAXM

When using an x86 system image for an Android Virtual Device (AVD), you should install HAXM (Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager). Check out this post on how to setup and install HAXM.

Using an Android emulator allows you to see how your app will look and behave in an actual device. There are some limitations though (like you can't call from emulators). Read more about the Android emulator here. Other than using a physical device or an AVD, you can also use other third-party emulators. I am using Genymotion most of the time for development.


October 26, 2015

Learning Android Development

Want to learn how to develop Android apps? Android is an open-source mobile operating system. It is now the most popular mobile platform. Android now has 1.4 billion 30-day active users globally. And aside from phones and tablets, Android is now in wearables like smartwatches (Android Wear), televisions (Android TV), cars (Android Auto), and IOT devices (Brillo and Weave). There is a lot of potential in the field of Android development.

The best place to learn is of course the official Android developer site, developer.android.com. They have guides, tools, articles, training materials, and other resources there. Read the basics; it will be helpful. The Android Developers YouTube Channel is the home of Android demos, tutorials, and other updates about Android development.

There are also online courses (most of which are free) that you can take to learn about Android app development. Google has partnered with Udacity to develop a Nanodegree Curriculum for Android. Udacity's Nanodegree is both a curriculum and a credential, developed in partnership with leading technology companies. This is $200/month (with 50% refund upon completion).

The best way to learn Android development though is by doing it hands-on. Try making apps while reading Android materials or taking Android courses. It doesn't have to be publish-ready at first. Experiment and learn from your mistakes.


October 15, 2015

SEIPI-ASITEP Talk

Ramon Pastor and I were invited to talk about Mobile Applications Development at the 3rd General Membership Meeting of SEIPI-ASITEP. ASITEP (Association of IT Executives and Professionals) is a networking committee of SEIPI(Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc.).

The event was held at Technopark Hotel, Greenfield Autopark, Sta. Rosa, Laguna on October 9. Ramon talked about iOS app development while I talked about Android app development. The time was not enough to do a hands-on workshop though.



More photos during the event is available in ASITEP's Facebook Page


September 8, 2015

GDG DevFest Philippines 2015

It's GDG DevFest season once again! GDG DevFest is a community-organized event that provides the opportunity for developers to learn about Google technologies and other developer products.



GDG Philippines is organizing GDG DevFest Philippines 2015 on September 28-29, 2015 (Update: This has been moved to October 16-17). This year's event will be composed of two days: Android and VR for Day 1 and Web for Day 2. There will be hands-on sessions especially on new technologies like Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Polymer, Material Design, and more.



This event is free but slots are limited. Visit the events website at http://devfest.gdgph.org to register and check other details. Add GDG Philippines in your Google+ circles for updates.


September 3, 2015

UPHSL Talk

I was invited by Oliver Junio, Dean of the College of Computer Studies of University of Perpetual Help System Laguna to conduct a talk in their Thesis/Capstone Commercialization Seminar on August 26, 2015. The seminar was attended by fourth year students doing their theses and third year students who will be doing theirs next year. Dean Oliver hoped students could publish their apps they will developing for their theses and monetize from them after.

I did a short talk about Android App Development to encourage the students to work on Android apps not only for their thesis, but for their future career. My main talk was about Publishing Android Apps on Google Play. I discussed how they can create Google Play developer accounts and demonstrated the Google Play Developer Console.



I also encouraged the participants to join Android Masters. After my talk, I answered some questions from the students. Hopefully, the participants will publish their Android apps soon (and join and win in Android Masters).




August 27, 2015

Genymotion Android Emulator

Have you tried using Android Virtual Devices (commonly known as Android Emulators) and experienced how it can be really slow most of the time? Using a real device to run your Android apps is usually faster and more efficient. However, not everyone has access to a lot of phones and tablets for testing their Android apps. Also, using an actual device and displaying the contents into your computer (like when presenting your apps to an audience) takes time and is error-prone. Another alternative to using the native Android emulator or a real- device is Genymotion.




Genymotion is a fast and easy-to-use Android emulator to run and test your Android apps. Already being used by more than 2,500,000 developers, Genymotion has 20 pre-configured devices (Nexus, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony). You can also create customized phone/tablet emulators. You can also integrate it to Android Studio by installing the Genymotion plugin.



One of the cool things I like about Genymotion is that you can drag and drop an APK file into an emulator and it will automatically install it. Genymotion runs fast (even if you run multiple devices at the same time) and has a user-friendly interface. You can control sensors like battery, GPS, and accelerometer, network quality and performance, microphone, and multi-touch. It also has Java API and command-line tool.

Installing Genymotion

Genymotion is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Your computer should have VirtualBox installed. You can download VirtualBox here.

Go to the Genymotion Downloads Page and download the one for your computer's operating system. You need to create an account to download Genymotion. There is a paid version of Genymotion but the free version is good enough for development and testing your apps.

On Windows, run the exe file you downloaded and follow the on-screen instructions. The default installation directory is C:\Program Files\Genymobile\Genymotion. If you created a Start menu folder, you can go to the Start Menu to open Genymotion. You can also click the desktop icon if you created one during the installation.

On Mac, open the dmg file you downloaded. Drag and drop Genymotion and Genymotion Shell to the Applications directory. On Linux, run the following commands:

chmod +x <Genymotion installer path>/genymotion-<version>_<arch>.bin
cd <Genymotion installer path>
./genymotion-<version>_<arch>.bin -d <Genymotion installer path>


You can run Genymotion by going to the installer path and running ./genymotion

Once you have installed Genymotion, you can now create new emulators, start them, and select them in the Device chooser window when running your application.

Genymotion Plugin for Android Studio

If you are using Android Studio, you can use Genymotion directly in the IDE. You can install the Genymotion Plugin so you won't need to open Genymotion and switch tabs while developing your app.

To download the Genymotion plugin, start Android Studio and go to File > Settings (Android Studio > Preferences on Mac). Select Plugins and click Browse repositories. Select Genymotion, click Download and install to download the plugin. Upon installation, you will see the Genymotion plugin icon in your toolbar.


Genymotion Plugin Toolbar Icon

To use the plugin, click on the icon. If you are running it for the for the first time, you will be asked to to select the path to the Genymotion directory. Browse to your installation directory (something like C:\Program Files\Genymobile\Genymotion for Windows, /Applications/Genymotion.app for Mac, and /home/jomartigcal/genymotion for Linux). Click OK.


Genymotion Android Studio Plugin

If you have already specified the location of Genymotion, clicking the toolbar icon opens the Genymotion Device Manager where you can create new emulators and start existing ones.


August 26, 2015

Google Developers Summit Manila

Google Developer Relations team organized Google Developers Summit Manila last August 14, 2015. Google Developers Summit is a premier developer event hosted by Google where they together speakers from across the globe to deliver technical talks on latest topics around Android Application Development, Material Design, The Google Cloud Platform, understanding Play policies & best practices and many more useful topics.

Amit Chopra, Google Developer Relations Program Manager was the host of the program. There was a brief welcome remarks from Kenneth Lingan, the country manager of Google Philippines before the two morning talks of Amrit Sanjiv, former Google Developer Expert for Android who is now a Google Developer Relations Program Manager. Amrit's first talk is about the top features and new APIs of Android M and Android Developer Tools and the other is about Material Design.

Sacha Carina van Ginhoven, an Xoogler who has founded a UX Design business in Singapore facilitated the Material Design Rapid Prototyping Workshop in the afternoon, along with Amit and Amrit. We were grouped into teams of 6 and we made material design prototypes for the unofficial Pinoy Henyo app, whose developer is in our team.


Our team in the Prototyping workshop (Photo taken by Reymart)

The last talk was Building a successful business with Google Play by Vineet Tanwar from the Business Development Team for Play Games and App. Amit closed the program after a few closing remarks.

This was the first Google Developers Summit in the Philippines. Hopefully, there could be more (and with more talks/speakers) in the future!


August 7, 2015

Android Masters Android App Development Challenge

During the Google I/O 2015 Extended Roadshow, GDG Philippines has launched Android Masters, a National Inter-School Android App Development Challenge.




Android Masters is a collegiate inter-school Android app development challenge. It is open to all universities and colleges across the Philippines. The main objective of the program is to encourage students to develop their creative app ideas and publish it to Google Play Store.

If you are interested to join Android Masters, check the details at the Android Masters website (http://androidmasters.gdgph.org/) and add GDG Philippines in your Google+ circles.


August 6, 2015

Publishing Android Apps on Google Play

So you've made a cool Android app or game. However, it is only available in your phones and emulators. You should publish it on Google Play, the official Android store, so it can be available for download to Android users in more than 190 countries.


Image Source: Wikipedia

Google Play Developer Account

To start publishing your apps on Google Play, you need to register for a Google Play developer account at https://play.google.com/apps/publish. You need to login with your Google account first. Read and accept the Developer Distribution Agreement.

A one-time fee of $25 using a Google payments account is required. If you do not have a Google payments account yet, you will be prompted to set up one. You would need a credit card or a debit card for this. In the Philippines, you can use GCash MasterCard or SMART Money MasterCard if you do not have a credit nor debit card. After payment, you need to update your account details. You can now start publishing your apps.

Google Payments Merchant Account

If you want to sell apps, in-app products or subscriptions, you need a Google Payments Merchant Account. This is not available in all countries. You can check the list of merchant countries here.

From the side navigation in the Google Play Developer Console, click the Reports icon . Click Financial Reports and then click Setup a Merchant Account now.

Google Play Developer Console

To publish your apps, you need to go to the Google Play Developer Console. This is where you will upload and manage your Android apps.

To publish a new application, click the Add New Application button. Provide the default language and the name of the application. You can then Upload APK or Prepare Store listing.

In Upload APK, you should upload your Android Package (APK) file signed with your release keystore. In Store Listing, you should provide the title, description, icon, screenshots, videos, category, and privacy policy of the application, along with your contact information and other details. In the Pricing and Distribution section, you can set if the app is free or paid (and the cost), the countries where it can be available, and other distribution options. A new section is Content Rating. You will need to answer a set of questions related to the app. It will then give your app a content rating.

After you have finished the above steps, you can click the Publish app button to publish your app. It will take a while before your app can be available on Google Play.

It is easy to publish your Android apps on Google Play. However, before publishing your apps, you should test your apps for crashes and bugs, make sure your app follows the Core App Quality guidelines. You can find pre-launch essential tasks here.


August 2, 2015

Google I/O 2015 Extended Roadshow

Google I/O is Google's annual developer conference, where they share the latest products and technologies. This year, GDG Philippines brought the Google I/O experience to Manila and different provinces. The Google I/O 2015 Extended Roadshow is a series of workshops and talks centered around the technologies announced during Google I/O 2015. It was held in Pampanga (July 4), Manila (July 11), Batangas (July 18), Albay (July 25), Camarines Sur (July 26), and Cavite (August 1).



In each Extended events, we had talks in the morning and hands-on workshops in the afternoon. Morning plenary talks include the keynote, Google Cardboard and Google Translate Community. Workshops include Design Thinking and Rapid Prototyping, Web, and Android. In all six legs, I talked about the basics of Android apps development and facilitated hands-on sessions.

Pampanga


Creating Android Virtual Devices (Emulators)


Participants in the Android workshop in I/O Extended Pampanga

Manila


Encouraging participants in the Manila leg Android workshop to join Android Masters

Batangas


Participants in the Android workshop in I/O Extended Batangas

Albay


Participants in the Android workshop in I/O Extended Albay

Camarines Sur


Participants in the Android workshop in I/O Extended Camarines Sur

Cavite


Using white board and marker in the discussion


Participants in the Android workshop in I/O Extended Cavite


July 8, 2015

Google I/O 2015 Extended Pampanga

GDG Philippines went to Pampanga last Saturday (July 4) for Google I/O 2015 Extended Pampanga, which is in partnership with GBG Angeles and Pampanga Dev Group.

In the morning, we had a keynote (Paul Pajo), and talks about Google Cardboard (Benj Tupas), Google Translate Community (Celine Barrozo), Android Masters (Wayne Manuel), and short talks from sponsors. We also had booths for Android One and Google Cardboard.

In the afternoon, there were three break-out workshops: Design Thinking Workshop with Toni-Jan Keith Monserrat, Polymer and Google Maps Javascript API with Wayne, and Android Workshop with me. I talked about the Basics of Android App Development before facilitating a hands-on workshop.


The participants in the Android workshop

After the workshops, Wayne and I raffled off some Cardboards and tote bags, and closed the program.


The participants of Google I/O 2015 Extended Pampanga

Google I/O 2015 Extended Pampanga is the first leg of our Google I/O 2015 Extended Roadshow, a series of workshops and talks centered around the technologies announced during Google I/O 2015. On July 11, we'll be in DLSU Manila for Google I/O 2015 Extended Manila. Other legs include Batangas (July 18), Albay (July 25), Camarines Sur (July 26), and Cavite (August 1). Check http://ioextended.gdgph.org for details about the events.


July 5, 2015

Trip to Zamboanga

I was at Zamboanga City from June 25 to June 28. It was my second time there. The last time was a day trip when I was a speaker in GDG DevFest Zamboanga back in 2013.

From June 25 to 27, I conducted Android app development training at Universidad de Zamboanga.

On the first training day, I talked about Java and Android Basics and how to install and setup Android Studio. For the next days, our topics included Android app development and install/setup of JDK. On Saturday night, I joined GDG Zamboanga volunteers in their planning for their series of I/O Extended roadshows, the first one of which will be the day after.

I participated in GDG Zamboanga's Google I/O 2015 Extended event on June 28. In the morning, I talked about Google I/O updates, Google Cardboard, Google Developer tools and technologies, and Basic Android App Development. After the talk (and lunch), I went back to Manila.


Me talking about Google Cardboard (Photo from the Google+ Events Page)

Below is the Google Photo Story of my trip to Zamboanga:




June 26, 2015

Baguio Weekend

Celine, Gerardo, Mama Chelle and family, and I spent last weekend (June 20-21) in Baguio City. We arrived in the early morning of June 20 and went straight to Azalea Hotel to rest first.

We woke up early and went to the Centennial Building of University of Baguio (UB) for the Google I/O 2015 Extended Baguio (link). I talked about the new Android updates from I/O.

The slides I used in my talk during Google I/O 2015 Extended Baguio

In the afternoon, we facilitated code labs in UB's computer laboratory. Gerardo was supposed to do the code lab about Google+ signin in Android and I was supposed to facilitate the App Indexing Code Lab but due to technical difficulties, I suggested he do a basic Android workshop and I will do an advanced code lab (Unit Testing). These didn't really work out because the Windows computers do not want to cooperate. We shared tips and answered some questions. I also shared about an upcoming inter-school Android app development competition.


The participants of Google I/O 2015 Extended Baguio

After the event, we had dinner with the organizers and volunteers of GDG Baguio at 50s Diner (in ). Celine, Reymart, Mama Chelle, Gerardo, and I went to the night market before going back to the hotel.

The next day, we woke up early to go to the strawberry farm. We were able to do some strawberry picking. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and rested. We then had lunch at Cafe by the Ruins before Celine and I went back to Manila.


June 24, 2015

Installing Android Studio

Android Studio is the official IDE for Android app development. It provides the core tools needed to start developing Android apps, including Android Studio IDE and the Android SDK tools.



You can download Android Studio at http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html. Your machine should have JDK (Java SE Development Kit) 6 or higher. If you are developing for Android 5.0+, you would need JDK 7+. JDK can be downloaded here.

Setup on Windows

To set up Android Studio on Windows, launch the .exe file and follow the setup wizard to install Android Studio and any necessary SDK tools. If you already have a copy of the SDK, choose Custom Install in the Install Type. In the SDK components uncheck SDK. You will be prompted to provide the directory where the SDK is. To access the Android SDK tools from the command line, navigate to the location where they are installed, e.g. \Users\\sdk\

Note: If the launcher script does not find where Java is installed, you need to set an environment variable indicating the correct location. To do this, select Start menu > Computer > System Properties > Advanced System Properties. Then open Advanced tab > Environment Variables and add a new system variable JAVA_HOME that points to your JDK folder e.g. C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_21.

Setup on Mac OS X

If you have a Mac OS X machine, launch the .dmg file and drag and drop Android Studio into the Applications folder. Open Android Studio and follow the setup wizard to install any necessary SDK tools. If you already have a copy of the SDK, choose Custom Install in the Install Type. In the SDK components uncheck SDK. You will be prompted to provide the directory where the SDK is. To access the Android SDK tools from the command line, navigate to /Users/Library/Android/sdk/

Note: If you see a warning when opening Android Studio that says the package is damaged and should be moved to the trash, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy and under Allow applications downloaded from, select Anywhere. Then open Android Studio again.

Setup on Linux

On Linux, unpack the downloaded Android Studio ZIP file into your preferred location. To launch Android Studio, navigate to the android-studio/bin/ directory in a terminal and execute studio.sh. Follow the setup wizard to install the SDK and any necessary SDK tools. If you already have a copy of the SDK, choose Custom Install in the Install Type. In the SDK components uncheck SDK. You will be prompted to provide the directory where the SDK is.

Note: You may add android-studio/bin/ to your PATH environment variable so that you can start Android Studio from any directory. Note: You may also need to install the ia32-libs, lib32ncurses5-dev, and lib32stdc++6 packages to support 32-bit apps on a 64-bit machine.

Adding SDK Packages

After setting up Android Studio, you need to add SDK packages using the SDK Manager. To open the SDK Manager from Android Studio, select Tools > Android > SDK Manager or click SDK Manager () in the toolbar. You may need to click the "Launch Standalone SDK Manager" link to display the SDK Manager. On Windows, you can double-click the SDK Manager.exe file at the root of the Android SDK directory. On Mac or Linux, open a terminal and navigate to /tools directory, then execute android sdk 

Download the following packages from the SDK manager:
  • Tools
    • Android SDK Tools
    • Android SDK Platform-tools
    • Android SDK Build-tools (latest version)
  • The latest Android (Android X.X) folder
    • SDK Platform
    • A System image for creating emulators: ARM EABI v7a System Image or Intel x86 Atom System Image
    • Samples for SDK (optional)
    • Documentation (optional)
  • Extras
    • Android Support Repository
    • Android Support Library
    • Google Repository (if you will be using Google Play Services APIs)
    • Google Play services (if you will be using Google Play Services APIs)

You have now successfully installed Android Studio. It is now time to build awesome Android apps. If you are new to using Android Studio, you can check this DevByte video.


June 17, 2015

Android at Google I/O 2015

Google I/O 2015 was held on May 28-29 at Moscone West in San Francisco, California. There were a lot of Android announcements and updates during I/O. Here are some of the updates related to Android.

Android M

Android M is the newest version of Android. It aims to improve the core user experience of Android and has big changes to the fundamentals of the platform.



What's New in Android M

New features include App Permisssions, Doze, App Links, Fingerprint support, and more. For development, new updates include Android Design Support Library, Google Play Services 7.5 (Smart Lock for Passwords, App Invites, and more), Android Studio 1.3 with NDK and C/C++ support, Data Binding, Google Cloud Messaging 3.0, among others. Also announced were Cloud Test Lab, Android Pay, and Brillo and Weave. Brillo extends the Android platform to connected devices while Weave is the IOT protocol for everything.

Android M Developer Preview

Google also released Developer Preview of Android M for Nexus 5, 6, 9, and Player. You can download the system image at https://developer.android.com/preview and flash it to your device. There will be OTA updates for the preview before they launch the official version in the third quarter of the year.

If you want to start playing around with the new APIs of Android M, you should download Android M (API 22, MNC Preview) packages using your SDK manager and use Android Studio 1.3 (available in the Canary channel). You can also check out the API Overview and samples

When creating new projects, you should use MNC: Android M (Preview) as the mimimum SDK. For existing projects, you can update your build.gradle file with the following values:
compileSdkVersion:'android-MNC'
minSdkVersion:'MNC'
targetSdkVersion:'MNC'


Android Training

They also announced http://medium.com/google-developers, a collection of Medium Articles written by Google Developers. One of the things you should check out is the Developing for Android Article Series.

I/O Videos

In the keynote, there were a lot of Android announcements. The keynote is available for watching here. You can also watch videos of Android-related I/O sessions and 100 Days of Google Dev videos here.


Android @ #io15 YouTube Playlist


June 13, 2015

US Trip: CA and TX

I went back to the United States from May 24 to June 6 to attend the GDG Organizer Summit and Google I/O 2015, and to visit my aunt in Dumas, Texas and Celine's aunts in West Covina, California.

I left Manila on May 24 via Eva Air and arrived in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for a short lay-over. It was my first time in Taiwan. I walked and looked around in the airport before our flight to San Francisco. After arriving to San Francisco Airport, I took the hotel shuttle to stay at Aloft San Francisco Airport. I walked to the nearby BART station to go to Downtown San Francisco. I met with a former officemate to have dinner and to buy a prepaid SIM card.

The next day, I went to SFO to meet up with the other GDG organizers and took the shuttle to DoubleTree Hilton San Jose. I went to the venue of our summit, Computer History Museum for a technical rehearsal of talks (I have a demo of the GDG Watch Face on the second day). In the evening, we had dinner with GDG organizers in APAC.

On May 26 and 27, we had the GDG Global Organizer Summit 2015. After the second day, we went straight to Moscone to register and get our I/O badges for Google I/O (May 28-29). I roamed around San Francisco on May 30 before my midnight flight to Texas. There is a short lay-over in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas before the flight to Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Amarillo, Texas. My aunt and her husband picked me up in the airport and we went to Dumas, Texas. Texas is the third US state I have been to.

I left Texas to go to LA on June 4. My lay-over was in Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado (Colorado is the fourth US state I have been to though I was just in the airport). Then, I went to Celine's aunts in LA before going back to Philippines.


June 12, 2015

Google I/O 2015

I was able to attend Google I/O 2015 which was held at Moscone West in San Francisco, California on May 28 and 29.

It's really a different experience to watch the I/O keynote live. If you haven't watched the keynote here, you can watch it here. You can also videos of the sessions and more at https://events.google.com/io2015/videos.



After the keynote, we were given the new Cardboard. Then, we went on to the different sessions and talks happening at the same time. Like last year, I went to most of the talks (instead of the sessions which are being livestreamed and recorded). Most of the talks though have a lot of interested participants and the space is not enough for everyone.

There were a lot of cool stuff announced at I/O: Android M Developer Preview, Android Pay, Chrome Custom Tabs, Brillo and Weave, Cardboard Expeditions, Google Photos, ATAP's projects (Jacquard, Soli, Vault, Abacus, Ara), and many more.

The video below shows the highlights of this year's Google I/O


Attending Google I/O is really a great learning experience. I'm looking forward to cool stuff I could build next.


June 11, 2015

GDG Organizer Summit 2015

Most GDG (Google Developer Group) organizers going to I/O 2015 attended the GDG Organizer Summit at Computer History Museum in Mountain View on May 26 and 27.

On the morning of the first day, we had the welcome and community keynote, and talks about Google Translate Community, Web, and GDG Wisdom Gitbook. In the afternoon, we had two workshops: CSI:Lab (Creative Skills for Innovation) and Non-violent Communications.

The second day sessions were divided into six tracks. I attended the Firebase, Kubernetes, Community Leadership, GDG Attendance Counter, and GDG Creations sessions. In the GDG Creations/App Demo Lightning talk, I did a short demo of the GDG Android Wear Watch Face that I just published a few days before.


Photo taken by Esther from GDG Surabaya

Afterwards, we met shortly for the Study Jams Debrief and closing before going to Moscone to register and get our I/O badges.


May 23, 2015

GDG Watch Face

One of the great feature of Android Wear smart watches is that you can change your watch face (and even customize them). As I have been studying more about developing Android Wear apps, I decided to also read about creating Android Wear Watch Faces. After reading about designing and developing Watch Faces, I am proud to publish my first Android Wear Watch Face, the GDG Watch Face, on Google Play Store.


The GDG Watch Face on a round watch

GDG Watch Face brings the GDG (Google Developer Group) spirit into your wrist. The watch face is primarily an analog clock with the GDG logo in the middle. It also displays the date and a small digital clock (24-hour time for now). Users can customize the watch face by showing/hiding the date and by changing the colors of the hands (hour, minute, second) and hour markers.


Customizing the GDG Watch Face as shown from a square watch

I will be continuing development of the watch face, like adding more customizations and adding a mobile configuration app so you can update the watch face from your phone or tablet. If you have comments and suggestions, please let me know.

You may download GDG Watch Face on Google Play Store.


May 11, 2015

I/O 2015 and I/O 2015 Extended

Google I/O 2015 will be on May 28-29 at Moscone West in San Francisco, California. Google I/O is Google's annual developer conference, where they share the latest products and technologies.

If you won't be able to go attend I/O in person, you can watch the sessions live from the event website or you can attend one of the I/O Extended events near you. GDG Philippines is organizing Google I/O 2015 Extended Manila on May 28-29 too at Globe Corporate Showroom, Valero Telepark, No. 111 Valero Street, Makati. For registration and other details, check out our blog post and add GDG Philippines in your Google+ circles.



The schedule for Google I/O 2015 is now available at https://events.google.com/io2015/schedule. The schedule for the live-streamed sessions can be found here (Day 1) and here (Day 2)


April 22, 2015

Help Me

Last weekend (April 18-19), Celine and I joined Accenture Technology Talks & Hackathon 2015. The theme for the hackathon is public safety.

After fifteen hours of hacking, we were able to finish our app, Help Me. It is an emergency button application that allows you to send an SMS to your specified contact person with a click of a button. The message contains your last known GPS coordinates, as well as the nearest known place. The app will also continuously send SMS until you tap the "I am Safe" button.


Help Me Android App

Help Me also has an Android Wear app. You can use the wearable panic button application to send emergency SMS from your Android Wear Device. We were able to test this on Moto 360 and LG G Watch.


Help Me Android Wear App

You can download Help Me on Google Play Store. Let us know if you have comments and suggestions to the app.