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Android

Ben Jakuben
STAFF
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

Would you like another Android basics course before a refresh of Blog Reader?

Hey Android students! I'm about to start the refresh cycle of the Blog Reader app. But as I'm getting started, I'm thinking about other simple elements of an Android app that I'd like to cover, too.

For those of you who have taken the track, how was the pace and transition? Is it good to go into the Blog Reader now, or should I add another short project on the basics that covers things like EditTexts, ImageViews, and layouts in a little more detail before getting into ListViews and networking?

Thanks for the feedback, and stay tuned for lots more this year!

P.S. Did you hear we hired a full-time Java teacher? :smile: His name is Craig Dennis and he's hard at work on Java Basics.

After running through the Crystal Ball lesson, then immediately having to (sort of) start from scratch for the Fun Facts lesson, I'd like to see the updated Android Studio version of Blog Reader as soon as possible. Because now that I know you're working on a new one, I feel like I should just wait for that one instead. Do you plan on redoing every lesson then?

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

Yes, I'll redo everything that is currently in Eclipse. I may work on another course between Blog Reader and Self-Destructing Message app, though. Haven't decided yet! Will need to see what topics demand the most attention at that point. I'm always interested to hear student feedback, too.

I'd recommend proceeding with Blog Reader now if you're ready. The concepts won't change much; really these refreshes are mostly about the tools. The refresh would be a nice review for you, too, if you to finish Blog Reader first.

Sir @ben Why not leave the course in two different IDE, some prefer Eclipse to Android Studio...

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

Sure, I have a special place in my heart for Eclipse! I have to craft the best experience possible for students, though, and that means consistency and cohesiveness. It may be a little rough around the edges right now with two different tools, but we'll be in good shape soon. And again, the concepts are the important things. The tools are simply that: tools to get the job done. :)

I'm switching to Android Studio because that is the definitive path of the future now. Eclipse support is already declining compared to Android Studio support, and the most popular libraries on GitHub are now all formatted for Android Studio rather than Eclipse. It's getting harder and harder to work on professional-grade projects using Eclipse (though certainly not impossible!).

Alright, Thanks

Sir, I have been trying to move Fragment Tabs from top to the Bottom of the Activity in Android, Is there any special way of getting this task done. Xml or Java code?

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

That's a totally different setup because the tabs we are using in this project are part of the Action Bar. It's generally recommended to keep tabs on the top for Android whereas iOS typically has them on the bottom. I don't have anything helpful to share, so you'll have to search for advice on that or post a new question in the Forum to discuss approaches.

17 Answers

My reasons may be selfish, but it's honestly weird trying to follow along the Blog Reader course after having successfully (and enthusiastically) completed the refreshed Fun Facts course in 48hours. It's probably because Android Studio is so much better than Eclipse, but also because you refer to line numbers that aren't the same in the code that Android Studio generates.

So my request would be that you dive right into a Blog Reader refresh and mention important concepts along the way coz ... I'm on fire!

Hi Ben, is it possible to do an map related android app?

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

It is on my list! We're going to start first with a workshop which should be available soon, then do a more in-depth course later on. :)

Murat Hasdemir
seal-mask
.a{fill-rule:evenodd;}techdegree seal-36
Murat Hasdemir
Front End Web Development Techdegree Graduate 20,968 Points

I can say map app with geolocation plays (like stores in this range or users in 100m) can be better. I know sound strange but we all know that more and more people use their smartphones to find places and meet people with same interests. Have to say this type of course will give newbies like me some extra tool in the belt to get in work race.

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

Geolocation is high on my list! Hoping to tackle that in early 2015. In the mean time, the official docs are actually pretty good about this: http://developer.android.com/training/location/retrieve-current.html

By the way Ben Jakuben, if no one's told you yet ... you're a great teacher.

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

Thanks so much! This is a wonderful job. :)

Yes Ben, content are well organised and easy to follow. Your explanation is clear.

Michael Grissom
Michael Grissom
7,255 Points

Ben Jakuben my vote is for Blog Reader refresh. I enjoyed taking the updated course using android studio. Good job!

Jun XIE
Jun XIE
10,363 Points

Dear Sir, I am so excited to hear from you. I like the pace of the FunFacts app and it gave me confidence. About the transition, I think it would give us more preparation to go into complex things, so I am hoping to learn some more basics through a short project. And I am kinda hoping that the short app can teach me some fancy effect, like how to use the gravity. Thanks . ^_^

Hello Sir, Ben Jakuben Android SQLite Database Course and Android Back-end Development will be Great,

Best Regards Thanks

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

You will be please to hear that a full SQLite course is in the works, and we also have a workshop on it. What exactly do you mean by "Android back-end development"?

Noam Elbaz
Noam Elbaz
5,672 Points

Ben Jakuben when can we expect the update to blog reader course ? Just finished random facts. I enjoyed and learned alot. I also like that it was super up to date with L Preview and all.

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

That's what I'm trying to determine. I'll get to it soon, but would also like to add another short course that covers more of the basics. I take it your vote is for a refresh before such a course? :)

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

Monetizing an app would be a great course. It's on my list to teach, which would include AdMob and in-app purchases. There's just so much to cover!

Susanna Remec
Susanna Remec
12,316 Points

Hello, I also would like to see Google maps and SQLite tutorials for Android Studio. FunFacts was very easy to follow and I look forward to learning more from you. Thank you very much!

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

SQLite is available as a workshop, and a full course from a guest is on the way! I'll probably add a workshop or short course for location and Google Maps after this cycle of refreshes.

Sir Ben Jakuben . Back-end Development, i meant teaching us some basic technology needed apart from Java programming to build a powerful android app, The destructive message app course, you used parse.com as the back-end. Giving us few other examples for different tasks would be nice, i also heard about Google app Engine. but right now, i do not know it,s usefulness.

Best Regards Thanks

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

Okay, that's what I figured you meant. The beautiful thing about the backend is that it's completely separate from app development. That means you could use Parse, Java, Rails, or whatever you want for the backend and connect to it from an app the same way.

If you're interested in learning about Java in the backend, you'll be glad to know that the Java track will go in that direction. But it will be separate from Android app development because it's really a different topic.

Any plan to use PhoneGap tool for Android Development?

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

Not as part of the Android track, but if there is enough demand from students, we might cover this in a workshop or even as a full course. It's an interesting tool and you can do good things with it, but sticking with native apps is still often the better choice. (Not always, though!)

Greg Hesp
Greg Hesp
1,808 Points

I've completed the FunFacts app and I have nearly finished the BlogReader app. I started Treehouse a while back when the Crystal Ball app was here, however I struggled a bit due to the pace of it.

I completed the FunFacts app "with ease" and felt I had learn't more than I did with the Crystal Ball app. After completing the BlogReader app, I can certainly notice a difference.

The newer video goes through at a slower pace, but I feel you learn more. There are also some visual examples too which really help!

My opinion would be to redo the BlogReader app to bring it up to date with Android Studio, and then possible look at doing another basics app.

Possible to teach an android app allowing user to navigate from 1 layout to another?

pdiaz
pdiaz
16,073 Points

I learned how to create multiple layouts from this youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB3AqKy8QME. If that's what you want.

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

That's currently in the Blog Reader course and will also be in the new course I am adding next. I'll add it to the roadmap as soon as I firm up the date. Hopefully late October, with the rest of the Blog Reader refresh to follow shortly after.

pdiaz
pdiaz
16,073 Points

Could you create a gaming course lesson for android?

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

I can't, as I know very little about game programming. I will try to find a knowledgeable guest teacher for this, though!

Hey Ben! I do think it would be a good idea to have a second Android Basics course before the Blog Reader project, especially since the Fun Facts project leaves out a bunch of things that were covered in the original Crystal Ball project (creating and setting an app icon, implementing animations and sounds, using the accelerometer to detect shakes).

Question, though: I'm planning to study iOS development in addition to Android, since I'm interested in doing mobile dev in general. Do you think it would be more effective to do the Android and iOS tracks side-by-side, or should I just finish the Android track entirely before picking up iOS stuff? I thought that spending time on the basic stage of the iOS track might be nice at this point because it would allow me to wait until the refreshed Android courses are up before progressing on that track, but I'm unsure about whether picking up iOS at this point will make things easier or more difficult for me overall.

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

Cool, thanks for replying! Regarding the missing pieces:

  1. I added a video last week about including an app icon. An oversight on my part!

  2. I will add some simple animations in the new "basics" course. I'll have to work sounds and accelerometer in at some point, but I agree they should be included and not just forgotten.

  3. I'm adding a short stand-alone course on publishing an app, which should be easier to maintain and hopefully more useful as a reference.

  4. I learned both platforms at the same time. I think it helps in some ways because the concepts are so similar. You'll easily relate ViewControllers to Activities and things like that. It's a bit of a context switch to go back and forth, but I think you'd be pleased with iOS development. I would strongly recommend waiting about a week to start, though. Apple is holding its event tomorrow and we expect the NDA to be lifted on Swift and iOS 8 within a week. ;)

Maximilian Zimmer
Maximilian Zimmer
3,259 Points

I'd definitely agree with a refresh of the blog reader tutorial. I just finished the Fun Facts app and I'm eager to continue, but was initially a bit taken aback when I realized the Blog Reader is coded with the Eclipse IDE. I'm planning on just working my way through it with Android Studio, as I'm figuring the concepts are all the same, but having it up to date with the other course would be great.

I do agree another basics course that talks about some other things that seem to have been covered in the original crystal ball app (such as accelerometer use, sound, etc) as well as a more detailed look at the different views (such as image, text, textedit) would be great, but I'd vote for the Blog Reader app first, just to keep things consistent as you progress through the Android track.

You can always take the other basics course later on and for newcomers I think having things be consistent trumps that extra knowledge in the meantime.

Finally I wanted to let you know that I've thoroughly enjoyed the Fun Facts tutorial. You're doing a great job and I can't wait to learn more!

Hey Ben

There was a huge learning curve between the fun facts app and the blog reader app; a lot of hustle working with Android Studio while referring to the tutorials using Eclipse. More so I'd like to see you refer to the api's from the android dev website with a brief introduction of what it does and how to use it. Lastly, I've come to the point where parse no longer meets my needs. I believe SQLite would be a great addition to the track.

Regards,

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

Thanks for the feedback! Android Data Persistence (heavily featuring SQLite) will be ready by next week at the latest.

I decided to split Blog Reader into a few smaller projects. The first will be totally new and will focus on a few basic Android concepts like ImageViews, using multiple Activities, and getting text input from the user via EditText. This will hopefully be ready by the end of the month. Then we'll cover networking, ListViews, and the other concepts from Blog Reader in a new app that will span two projects. Hope it results in an efficient and helpful track!