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:

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 11, 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 10, 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.