November 19, 2017

Google Developer Group Philippines

Today is the tenth anniversary of GDG Philippines. Google Developer Group (GDG) Philippines is a group of enthusiastic Filipino developers interested to collaborate and learn more about new technologies. It is the second oldest GDG in the world. Happy 10th year GDGPH!



I was one of the community managers of GDG Philippines. It started as me being a regular attendee during the early days of GDG. Around 2009, I became one of its managers. We plan and organize events for students and developers in Metro Manila and nearby cities. To make these happen, we coordinate with sponsors, speakers, and suppliers for our community events. We also conduct talks and workshops about Google developer technologies on conferences and schools whose students invite us. I usually do talks and workshops about Android development. I have also facilitated Android Fundamentals and Android Basics Study Jams. I was also one of those who handled the blog and social media accounts of the group.

Some of my contributions to GDG Philippines include developing apps which I did while learning about Google developer technologies. The GDG Philippines Android App, which was one of the first GDG Android apps published on Google Play, was one of my first Android apps I have made. My first Google Chrome Extension, the GDG Philippines Chrome Extension, was the first GDG Chrome Extension IIRC. While learning about developing apps for Google Assistant, I have developed a Google Assistant App for GDGPH too. I also created applications for event registrations and check-in, as well as a raffle app based on the list of attendees.



I've been in GDG Philippines for quite a long time that it has been my second family. Our goal is to help developers become better developers. It have made me a better developer and a better person. There's also a sense of accomplishment when you were able to share your knowledge to the attendees and inspired them to learn more and use it to develop their own apps. In most schools that we've been too, Android is not yet a part of the curriculum so it's great we were able to let them know the what, why, how, and more. I also get to learn some more while teaching others.

Through GDG, I have been able to expand my network and meet other managers from tech groups in the Philippines and fellow GDG community managers from Southeast Asia and other regions. I also had the opportunity to meet and learn from Googlers and experts. We were able to travel to different cities in the Philippines (especially the ones where there aren't much tech events) to share about Google developer technologies through talks and workshops. I have been able to attend Google I/O where I learned a lot which we shared back to the community through the I/O Extended Roadshow.

It is truly a great experience to be a part of GDG Philippines. If you still haven't joined a GDG Philippines event, join us now! Learn more about the group and our events at https://gdgph.org and follow our social media accounts.


October 7, 2017

You and Me

Last year, I started working on an Android App for Celine. I was only able to finish it this year though. The app is named You and Me and it is the app for you and your special someone. You can use the app to check your photos (and soon more!) with your significant other.



I published it under Closed Alpha Testing on Google Play Store because there's still more to be done for it to be useful to other couples. I'll continue working on it and release it soon.


September 17, 2017

Tigcal Utilities

Earlier this year, my mother switched to a smartphone. The transition to getting used to a smartphone took a while. She was having issues opening the Quick Settings to access the Flashlight and checking Battery status. As an Android developer, I decided to create simple apps to solve these problems. I have also planned to develop an app for the electric bill-splitting which they normally do manually.

The result of this initiative is what I call Tigcal Utilities. Instead of making three apps, I made an app that has three functions. This includes the following utility apps: Battery, Bill Calculator, and Flashlight.



The Battery app opens the Battery Usage Settings while Flashlight app allows the user to turn on and off the flashlight. Flashlight uses Camera2.





Bill Calculator is an app that allows users to split the electric bill based on total kWH used.



I decided to publish it on Google Play Store so any future update will automatically be downloaded to the phone (if it has internet connection). As it is a special app, I published it on closed Alpha Testing. If you want to try Tigcal Utilities (and provide feedback), let me know so I can add you as a tester.


September 12, 2017

Developing Apps for Google Assistant

Google Assistant is your own personal Google. It's one Assistant that's ready to help you get things done, no matter where you are or what device you're using. With it, you can have a natural conversation and ask questions, take actions and do more.



Developers can create applications for Google Assistant by creating Actions on Google. Actions on Google is the platform that allows developers to build for the Google Assistant on Google Home, Android phones, iPhones, and wherever the Assistant will be available. Developing apps for the Assistant is free (no need to register for a developer account) and easy. The apps you will built will be available to every devices where there is Google Assistant. Users don't need to download anything to try your apps.

To develop for Actions on Google, you would need to create a project in the Actions on Google Developer Console. You can use Actions SDK or conversational platforms like api.ai, which wraps the Actions SDK into an easy-to-use user interface. Using api.ai is free; it also allows you to develop apps not just for Actions on Google. You can create apps without coding but you can also use webhooks to add more functionality.



I have started developing apps for Google Assistant: Budget Penny and GDG Philippines. Budget Penny is your budget assistant that's ready to help in managing your finances. Simply tell her your monthly budget and update her of your expenses as often as you like. Moreover, you can ask her how much is your remaining balance or whether you still have budget. Learn more about Budget Penny here.



I have also made a Google Assistant app for the Google Developer Group (GDG) Philippines community. You can ask it about the upcoming events and more information about GDG Philippines. I have used api.ai and webhooks using Firebase, Cloud Functions, and NodeJS for these apps. I'll continue working on these apps and build new ones soon.

If you want to create your own Google Assistant Apps and learn more about Actions on Google, you can check out the documentation at https://developers.google.com/actions/ and join the Actions on Google Developers Community at https://g.co/actionsdev.


August 22, 2017

Naga Trip

GDG Philippines went to Naga City for Google I/O 2017 Extended Naga on August 12.

Dy Viajero Transient Hotel
We stayed at Dy Viajero Transient Hotel which is at Bicol Central Station.



Bob Marlin
On our first day in Naga, we had lunch at Bob Marlin.



Red Platter
After our whole-day I/O Extended event at Ateneo de Naga, we had dinner at Red Platter, a semi-fine dining restaurant in Naga City.



Panicuason Hot Springs Resort
Before travelling back to Manila, we went first to Panicuason Hot Springs Resort.



Malabsay Falls




August 13, 2017

Google I/O 2017 Extended Roadshow

Google I/O is Google's annual developer conference, where they share the latest products and technologies. Google I/O 2017 was held in Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California on May 17-19. GDG Philippines brought the I/O experience to different cities with Google I/O 2017 Extended Roadshow, a series of talks and workshops to help professional and student developers deep dive in the new technologies announced. We visited Rizal, Manila, Laguna, Palawan, and Naga this year.



Rizal

The first leg, Google I/O 2017 Extended Rizal, was held in University of Rizal System - Morong Campus on June 24. I talked about the latest updates from Google I/O 2017 in the morning plenary and conducted a basic android workshop in the afternoon.



Manila

Google I/O 2017 Extended Manila was held on July 1 at University of Sto. Tomas. I had a talk/workshop about Android Instant Apps in the afternoon breakout session.

Laguna

We were back in UP Los Baños for Google I/O 2017 Extended Laguna (July 15). I conducted a basic android workshop in the afternoon.



Palawan

Google I/O 2017 Extended Palawan was held on July 28 at Palawan State University. I had another Android workshop in the afternoon breakout session.



Naga

The last leg, Google I/O 2017 Extended Naga, was held at Ateneo De Naga University on August 12. I talked about the latest updates about Android Development from Google I/O 2017 in the morning plenary and conducted a basic android workshop in the afternoon.


August 5, 2017

Palawan Trip

GDG Philippines went to Palawan for Google I/O 2017 Extended on July 28. We went there from July 26 to August 1 to explore before and after the event.

Puerto Princesa

After our meeting with volunteers for the event, we went on a city tour. We visited Kuyba Almoneca, Crocodile Farm and Nature Park, Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village, Mitra's Ranch, Baker's Hill, Plaza Cuartel, and Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral before going to Baywalk for dinner at K'na Boyet. After our event on July 28, we also went to Iwahig Firefly Watching.

Kuyba Almoneca Meditation Garden
Kuyba Almoneca Meditation Garden has a holy cave with the face of Jesus Christ. There are also other caves with different rock formations, a chapel, and fish spas.



Crocodile Farm and Nature Park


Photo from Adam

Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village



At the Butterfly Garden

At the Tribal Village

Mitra's Ranch




Baker's Hill




Plaza Cuartel




Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral




Iwahig Firefly Watching, Mangrove Eco-tourism & Wildlife Park


Photo from Adam

Coron

We travelled to Coron via 2Go. We didn't have much time to tour because of the delays in our ship. Our first trip was island hopping (Siete Pecados Marine Park, Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, Skeleton Wreck, Smith Beach)and then we had a quick city tour (Lualhati Park, St. Augustine Parish Church, Maquinit Hot Springs)

Lualhati Park



St. Augustine Parish Church




June 11, 2017

Google I/O 2017: What's New for Android Developers

Google I/O 2017 was held in Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California on May 17-19. There were a lot of announcements and new stuff from the event. Here are some of the new things relevant for Android developers:

Android Go

Android Go is Android (starting with the O release) optimized to run smoothly on entry-level devices. Google will also design their apps to use less memory, storage space, and mobile data (like YouTube Go).

Project Treble

Also starting with the O release, Project Treble is a new Android framework designed to help reduce the time and effort it takes device makers to upgrade a phone to a new version of Android.

Android O Developer Preview

The next version of Android, Android O, has beta-quality developer preview now. Android O includes changes like Notification channels and dots, Picture-in-picture, Smart text selection, Autofill, Adaptive icons, XML font resource, Downloadable fonts and emojis, Autosizing textviews, and more.



Developers can try the preview, the updated SDK, system images, and tools from developer.android.com/preview. They can also enroll their devices to Android Beta to get pre-release versions and automatically receive OTA updates.

Kotlin

Kotlin is now an officially supported language for developing Android apps. You can learn more about Android and Kotlin at https://developer.android.com/kotlin.



Android Architecture Components

Architecture Components is a set of Android libraries that help you structure your app in a way that is robust, testable, and maintainable. They also released a Guide to App Architecture, which you can use even if you won't be using Android Architecture Components .



Android Studio 3.0 Canary

Android Studio 3.0 is now available in the Canary Channel It includes Kotlin support, Java 8 language features, Layout editor, Adaptive icon wizard, XML fonts and downloadable fonts, Android Things Support, IntelliJ Platform Update, Instant Apps Support, Build Speeds Improvement, Google Maven Repository, Google Play System Image, Emulator openGL ES3.0 Support, Emulator App Bug Reporter, Emulator Proxy Support, Emulator Android Wear Rotary Controls, APK Debugging, Layout Inspector, Device File Explorer, Android Profiler, CPU Profiler, Memory Profiler, Network Profiler, and APK Analyzer Improvements.

Instant Apps

Instant Apps allow users to run Android apps without installations from search, social media, messaging or other deep links. Android Instant Apps is now open to all developers. You can learn more about Instant Apps at http://g.co/instantapps .

Google Play Console

Google announced several powerful, new features and reports in the Play Console to help developers improve their app's performance, manage releases with confidence, reach a global audience, and grow their business. These includes Statistics, Android Vitals, Release dashboard, Device catalog, App Signing, Pre-launch report, Retained installer data, Subscriptions dashboard, and Reviews analysis.



Videos and Codelabs

You can check this Playlist for the videos of Android-related sessions. There are also various codelabs for Android, Android Auto, Android TV, Android Wear, and more.




May 1, 2017

Palawan Android Study Jams

GDG Philippines, in cooperation with Palaweño ICT Association (PICTA) organized Android Study Jams on April 11-12. The event has been a part of the Puerto Princesa Technology Month and was held in partner school Western Philippines University-Puerto Princesa Campus.

Ralph and I went to Puerto Princesa for the two-day Study Jams. More than 24 participants attended the sessions. At the end of the second day, 5 groups presented the apps they have built.


Participants of the Palawan Android Study Jams

April 3, 2017

Budget Pinoy

Sweldong Pinoy is now five! We have been developing a new app called Budget Pinoy. I'm reposting below the announcement blog post which was originally published in the Sweldong Pinoy Blog.


Need help in budgetting your salary? Want to find out what your asking rate is depending on your projected expenses and budget? We have developed an app that can help you!

Budget Pinoy is a tool for Filipinos in computing gross and net pay based on user's budget.


Users can input their target savings and projected expenses in the Budget Tab. They can also use the expenses tab to check expenses.

The recommendation tab will show the asking rate that the user needs to be able to earn enough for the target budget. It will also show the net pay and deductions, computed using Sweldong Pinoy, based on the asking rate.

We're also working with different financial institutions to give you relevant tips to help you in your finances, based on your budget. This will be coming soon in a future update.

Try Budget Pinoy at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.sweldongpinoy.budget and let us know how we can improve the app to help you more in your budgetting needs.


March 31, 2017

March Android Talks

I was able to do two Android talks this month despite the busy schedule.

On March 2, I went to Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila to talk about Android Nougat to CS and IT fourth year students in their Mobile AcCSess Seminar.



Here is the slides I used in my talk:


I also went to STI Academic Center Novaliches on March 15 to talk about Android Apps Development in their STIers Congress on Information Technology.



Check out the list of my talks and workshops at http://www.tigcal.com/talks.html.


February 11, 2017

7-Eleven Run 2017

For the third straight year, I joined 7-Eleven's run for the year, the 7-Eleven Run 2017.

Photo from run711.com


I ran again in the 16k category. Runtastic says I ran 16.04 km in 2:14:44. The official results are 02:15:29 (Gun Time) and 02:14:09 (Chip Time).

While this year's run was better than last year, my comments from 2016 are still the same comments I have for this run.

January 1, 2017

2016 in Numbers

At the end of each year or at the start of the new year, I have traditionally published year-ender blog posts to look back on the past twelve months of my life. As I reflect on how 2016 has been for me, I was reminded that not much happened this year. There were some gains but there were more losses. It would be hard for me to enumerate the top things that happened or to summarize the highlights for the year so I would just list down some of the relevant numbers.

3 runs (two 16k runs and a 10k run)
1 Chrome Extension (Android Gradle Extension)

0 new Android Apps published (though I'm stil working on at least two apps)
2 Android Study Jams facilitated in 2 Schools
1 Android App Development Competition Judged (STI App and Running 2016)
8 Android Workshops
9 Android Talks

1 local event attended (PWA Roadshow Manila)
1 international event attended (Google I/O 2016)
4 new local places (Palawan, Bohol, Dipolog, Dapitan) visited for the first time
5: Fifth US State (Washington) when we visited Seattle

I am praying 2017 will be a lot better than 2016. I'll do my best to do more stuff and accomplish more.