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Sun, 09 Oct 2011

Another Android application

I released another Android application - Love Poems. It took off initially - by the fourth day there were 442 downloads, with 280 of them active installs. But then that slope of adoption leveled off, it fell in the Market rankings etc. Not sure what hurt it - I did an update allowing users to increase or decrease the text size, while someone gave the app a two rating. It then sunk in the Market rankings and downloads leveled off. A few days later I released an update with a few more poems, and also adjusted the text sizes a little. I will do updates in the future, in terms of both poems and display tweaking.

Android is continuing to gain market share. Here is the browser usage seen from various mobile operating systems, according to the web logs of the Internet's 7th most trafficked site, Wikipedia:

As the chart shows, the iPhone and iPad are doing well, as are Android smartphones. Windows Phone 7 is moribund - it only is 0.04% of traffic. There is more Android Honeycomb traffic on Wikipedia (0.05%) then Windows Phone. I guess we'll see how they do with Windows 8 and Mango which is supposed to launch in 2012, but they are way behind Apple and Google. The modern tablet market is newer than the smartphone market, so maybe they'll have a shot at competing there. I downloaded Windows 8 preview and developer kit and had a look at it. Their Store is free for developers, although applications are approved first.

I'm currently developing a fourth app. Won't reveal all details until it's released, but it uses Fragments and the ActionBar. Android's compatibility package does backward compatibility for Fragments but not ActionBar, so I am using Jake Wharton's ActionBar Sherlock for backward compatibility in ActionBar usage. I have that all implemented already actually. I haven't done all the happy stuff you can do with tablets and Fragments yet, we'll see about that, it's not an essential element to the project, but with all the usage of ActionBar and Fragments, redesigning it to do that will be easier. This new app may use SQLlite as well, so I may be looking into SQLlite.

I was invited to the Android Developer Lab in New York on August 24th. It was good - I met some interesting people, and they pointed us in the direction of where Android is going, which helps me point my development in that direction.

I've been doing a bit of work on Panacea Database's layout. I moved a lot of stuff into XML. I'm using scale-independent pixels and density-independent pixels as much as possible, as well as adjusting the size of buttons by layout weight and that sort of thing.

One thing I've been doing - I change how many rows I display when fetching rows from the database, and the scale-indepedent pixel text size of the display, depending on what screen size I have, what orientation I am in, and to some extent, how many dpi are on the display. The way I've been doing this is putting a "gone" TextView in the XML, and from my code, reading the number of rows to display from that. Not sure if its best practices, but it works - if I find a better way I'll do that.

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