Android Google Map V2 – Use Multiple Maps in Application

Hi All,

Since last few days I was facing serious problem with using multiple Google Maps in a Android application project I am currently working on. The application is a true copy of already existing app and used same source code to build with some changes as per client requirement.

Recently I came to know that Google has stopped user from generating Map API keys for Google Map V1  hence I forced to use the latest available version. The application I am working on needed to look same as its iPhone counterpart so I used Tab Host/Activity in it.

The application started throwing issues when I used the latest version of Google Maps for Android. The problem was I had two map in the application and when I switched to 2nd Map screen from first one, the 2nd map did not work and showed same screen (map location) as 1st map screen. It accepted no user input i.e. no location change, zoom or pan.

It took me a lot of time to figure out a solution for this issue (almost 7 days), in between I found many people said it was due to Tab Host/Activity (I am not sure of it), some also suggested to use TabFragments but that did not work for me.

Solution

Finally I cam across an article on Google documents that discussed adding Maps on Android from code instead of XML and that did the trick for me. I added maps on both screen from code behind, but with this I also had to remove the map on the “OnPause” event of the Activity and re-initialize it on the “OnResume” event

I have created a sample android application that uses the solution, download it here

Note: You will need to change the Map API Key in the manifest file

Feel free to contact me in case of any problem

Cheers,

Ankit

Create Advanced List View in your Android Application

Hi All,

I have been doing some interesting work on android for the past few days, I am creating a “Take Away” application that can be used by Restaurants / Eating Houses to receive order from customer by their android phones.

Though I now know how to use most of the controls available in the Android SDK it was a little difficult for me to do some advance work with ListView control. I wanted to show a list of available dishes to the application users in a list view and the user could click on a button to add item to their order list and when they have added the item in their order list I wanted to show the quantity they need for each item and also an option to remove items from ordered list.

Advanced List View for Android Application

I have used the List View control in my earlier android development projects but did not do anything like this so I was confused on how to achieve this. I started thinking this as a complex thing to achieve so as always did some R&D on Google but found no direct solution.

I have used List/Repeater controls in asp.net development as well, so I had it on my mind that I will need to do some kind of event binding to child controls of each list item in the List View in my list adapter class but to my amazement the solution for this was far more simple.

The solution was just to write the method name on the android:onClick attribute of my image button controls and define the method in the Activity class, that is it! 🙂

The method receives the control View as parameter and you can perform the business logic in the method

Hope sharing this experience of my will save some time for someone 🙂

Cheers,
Ankit

Creating Responsive Websites – The Easy Way

Hi All,

Hope you are doing good!

Needless to say HTML5, CSS3 & Javascript (JQuery) have opened so many doors for us, there was a time when HTML was facing tough competition from Flash, Silverlight etc but with the latest features in CSS3 & Javascript we can do almost everything that we earlier used to do using Flash

HTML5 & CSS3 (using Media Queries) have given us a whole new arena – creating Responsive website, that fits the screens of devices with different width & height and yet give best view of the website to a visitor. Responsive websites are now giving tough competition to native mobile applications.

With competition growing up in the market for smartphones, every company is launching something new with their latest gadgets and general sellers/service provider have to keep their native application updated to meet up requirement of these latest devices which in turn raises their cost – in most cases Responsive websites are the best solution for it.

The most important part for developing a responsive website is CSS3 (Media Queries) – don’t worry you need not have to take the pain of learning this from scratch as their are already so many frameworks available that you can use to create you responsive website.

Some on them are Amazium, Skeleton, Less but the one I like the most is Bootstrap fromTwitter, its so easy to use and give fast results. I have now developed few websites using the Bootstrap framework and I love it 🙂

Do take out some time to check it and share your view

Thanks for reading 🙂

Cheers,

Ankit

Create PDF using PHP – mPDF

Hi All,

I have worked on few projects in ASP.Net, PHP & Coldfusion that require generating PDF on the runtime for invoices, receipts or letters. Coldfusion has its own in-built library for generating PDF’s but for ASP.Net & PHP we need to use third party libraries. I have used ABCPdf with Asp.Net & FPdf with PHP websites, and they both are good.

Recently I was working on a project that required to generate receipt & invoices in PDF, the catch was that I had to use Images, Custom Fonts & Background Images in the PDF output. Many PDF generator allow you to use images or background image in the PDF output but embedding custom font is tricky.

mPDF is a great solution for this, it allows you to use your custom fonts in the PDF with ease. mPDF is simple & easy to use and generates fast output.

Checkout this sample pdf that i generated using mPDF

Cheers,

Ankit

Umbraco – Very Nice CMS Tool

Hi All,

These days I am learning to use a very nice CMS system based on Asp.Net, and no no it is not complex or rigid, rather its easy to use and flexible/customizable to meet our requirements.

The name of this tool is Umbraco , don’t be amazed if you have not heard of it before as its not very old and developers in countries like Australia & UK are widely using this tool to quickly create CMS websites.

The best thing about Umbraco is that you can create a website using any browser and it does not needs to have an IDE for development. So you can create and manage your website easily from anywhere.

Umbraco is fast, light & customizable  to meet up today’s various requirement and hence will give tough competition to similar tools like WordPress There are many ready to use packages are available and can be used to extend the it usability. Umbraco library has many built is features and improves and increases the speed of development.

I will keep sharing my knowledge about Umbraco as I learn further.

Cheers,

Ankit

Image Masking using JQuery

Hi all

Its been really long time since I wrote my last post, have been pretty busy, have learned lot of new things. hopefully will try to them with you all soon.

Recently I was asked to complete a very challenging task for one of my project – replicating a Bow Builder (already built in Flash) using HTML, JQuery & CSS.
The Bow Builder has three parts 1) a band, 2) a bow & 3) a flower, and user can select among the available color for each part.

Before starting the task I had a feeling that this is going to be a tough job and as usual I turned to “GOOGLE” for help & like most of the time I found what was needed.

The solutions I found was using different layers of div and Image masking feature and luckily I found a JQuery plugin for the same, that’s the reason I love JQuery 😉

You can see a demo of what i created here

Hope this helps someone with a same requirement, any queries please contact me and I will try to help 🙂

Cheers
Ankit

Parse – backend utility for mobile apps (Android, iOS & Web)

Hi Reader,

A month back someone told me about Parse – a very good tool to manage backend functionality for mobile apps. I am not very old with developing mobile app and did not want to get stuck with problems that arises when handling back-end activities in a native way for my android apps as this is just the beginning for me, so I thought to give #Parse a try and I liked it. Though I faced a few problems, sharing my thought below

Positives about Parse:
a) Available for both iOS & Android
b) Simple and Easy to use
c) Covers most of what you may need for back-end functionality in you app
d) Supports data handling in background threads, so better performance for your app
e) Has REST API so you can Sync/share data between web & mobile version of your app
f) Allows Facebook & Twitter integration

Negative about Parse
a) New product & Support not satisfactory
b) No proper libraries available for web integration
c) Limitations with Geopoint queries

But my overall experience was good and I like the product, so I would recommend it for new mobile app developers.

I have done some advance work using #Parse on my android and web apps so in case you face any issues feel free to contact me, I would surely try to help you

Cheers,
Ankit 🙂

Icecream Sandwich for Google Nexus S in India

Hurray! finally Icecream Sandwich, the latest version of Android is officially available in India for Google Nexus S.
I was hearing rumors about it for a week now and I was super excited, finally this morning an alert popped up on my phone screen saying “Icecream Sandwich 4.0.4 in now available for update” 🙂

Initially I was a bit scared as I heard Icecream Sandwich has issue on Nexus S and I was looking for review on Internet from people who have already updated their phone but did not find any latest reviews.

Finally this evening I decided to go for it and update my device and as a result I am in LOVE [much more then before] with my Nexus S.

Super looks, smooth, new features (Panaromic Camera is the best feature) etc etc

Go for it guys and tell me what you think about it.

Drag & Drop Pin on Map for Your Android Application

Hi all, I am very excited as I am very close to finish my first Android Application project.

From the past few days I have been working on it and truly this project has helped me learn a variety of stuffs including using various controls, external libraries, animations & my favorite Maps in android application. Personally I feel Map makes any application much smarter.

This application I have been developing uses Map to point users current location and it also allows to drag and drop the pin to any other location on the map and get address details for the position.

I love the way Drag & Drop Pin feature works on apple products (IPhone, IPod & IPad), specially the bouncy feeling it has and I wanted my application to have the same feel, but my bad, after searching for sometime on google I found that Google has not provided similar inbuilt feature for Android [I wonder why?], see the article here.

But as said in IT industry if client want it, it has to happen 😉 so after some more search I found another article that mentioned about a sample project which shows similar feature, see the article here. So I used the sample project and achieved the desired result. Though it does not have the same bouncy feel but it look good and satisfies the requirement.

I have created a sample Android project for everyone who may have similar requirement after now and also attached the source code for Android project here below.

Download Source : Drag & Drop Pin for Android App

Please feel free to contact me in case you face any problem, thanks for reading 😉

Custom Shopping Cart for existing WordPress website

Hi all, apologies for the long delay for the next article, I have been staying very busy these days 🙁

Today I am going to share my experience about creating/editing my first wordpress plugin. I have been working & customizing wordpress websites for like 2 years now but unfortunately never had a chance to develop a custom plugin for wordpress as everything thing you require is readily available, thanks to the huge wordpress user community 🙂

But recently a requirement came up for integrating shopping cart plugin to an existing WordPress 3.0 website and payment gateway to be used was EWay. As always I started looking for an existing plugin that meet my requirements, unfortunately this time found nothing.

There are some paid plugins available for WordPress that allows payment through EWay but most of them were compatible with WordPress 3.1 or above. So finally we thought to create our own plugin this time 🙂

As I was virgin in wordpress plugin development i decided to find a plugin that I can modify and use as per my requirement, after some search and with the help of Google Baba [I say Baba because Google knows it all :P] I found EShop, a very well planned/coded and useful plugin.

eShop is an accessible shopping cart plugin for WordPress, packed with various features. It utilises WordPress pages or posts as products , and is compatible with custom post types. Read more about it here

In case you have a requirement of a Custom Shopping cart for your existing WordPress website, I would 100% percent recommend eShop. You can easily customize as per your requirement, like selling multiple types of products, gift coupons, downloadable products etc

Check the Aquabumps website to see how my plugin looks like.

Feel free to ask me in case you have any queries after reading or if you want to know more about eShop and how to customize 🙂

Thanks for visiting & happy reading 😉