Saturday, 13 May 2017

Android Studio - How to change app icon (ic_launcher)

Changing your applications icon (ic_launcher) is a common occurrence when developing your android application. Here's quick steps on how to do this quickly in Android Studio.


  1. In the Android view right click on the "app" folder.
  2. Select New -> Image Asset
  3. In the window shown, choose Asset Type as image and select the icon you want.
  4. Press next and then Finish.

It's as easy as that! Hopefully saves you a little time rather than manually updating all the ic_launcher files manually for the various resolutions.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Android: Programmatically get list of installed apps on an Android device

Getting details of all the installed apps on an Android device is incredibly simple – here’s a utility method which I hope will prove useful.
private List<ApplicationInfo> getListOfApps() {
        // http://developer.android.com/reference/android/content/pm/PackageManager.html
        // Class for retrieving various kinds of information related to the application
        // packages that are currently installed on the device.
        PackageManager packageManager = getPackageManager();
       
        // Get a list of the installed applications
        List<ApplicationInfo> listOfApps = packageManager.getInstalledApplications(PackageManager.GET_META_DATA);
       
        return listOfApps;   
    }

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

iTunes Connect - taking the pain out of app store submission with launchkit screenshot builder

You've put a lot of hard work into building your app for iPhone or iPad and then you get the frustration of having to create your store listing. Creating a good store listing can make a huge difference to how your app performs so it's vital you add as much information as you can and screenshots are probably the number one thing users will want to see. Then it hits you, you need to create screenshots for 4.7, 5.5, 4 and 3.5 inch screens! ARGH!

However, it's not as bad as you think thanks to launchkit screenshot builder. This great on-line tool allows you to upload a set of screenshots (in one size), and choose text to accompany them and will then generate and email you the images you need to upload directly to iTunes Connect.

Example from launchkit's site.
It's as easy as that - a huge time saver!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

App Support

For any support queries please contact rdmacken@gmail.com with as much detail as possible to help resolve the issue.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

IOS Development: Keyboard shortcut to switch project windows in XCode

Being new to IOS development you may get frustrated with this one as well - how do I quickly change project windows in XCode?

The shortcut is the Command and tilde key:

CMD + ~ 

This is saving me a ton of time - I was previously having to go to Window -> [selected project].

Any other handy keyboard shortcuts for beginners?

Saturday, 11 April 2015

App Development: Overcoming Writers Block

Writers block - the curse of no longer being able to produce creative content. It's affected writers for years, but is also a very common problem for app developers. When it comes to app development, what can we do about it?

The causes for app writers block are mostly similar to traditional writers block, for example:

Since these are already known problems traditional strategies for overcoming them can also be applied.

  • Cut off the Internet! Is procrastination your problem - too many notifications or fun things to look at elsewhere? It's amazing how productive you can be if you turn off the internet for 30 minutes - a kick start is all you need. 
  • Exercise. You may not be doing any app development because you feel lethargic - exercise can help this and make you feel more alert. 
  • Brainstorm ideas. Get a bit of paper, and write down mind maps or random ideas you have. 
  • Change your location. A change of scenery can do you good - get out the house and head to a coffee shop or park and see if that can help inspire you. 
Picture by  photosteve101


The above techniques all transfer well to app development. However, the best technique I have found is to plagiarise! Ok - maybe not really plagiarise, but look elsewhere for inspiration. It's easy to think that you need to always do something unique, but taking another idea and making it better or with a different twist is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Check out the top apps in various categories on as many app stores as you can. If you do only Android - check the iTunes store as well and vice versa. 

Monday, 6 April 2015

How to: Install Gradle on Windows

Step 1: Download the latest version of Gradle from the official site.

Step 2: Extract the contents into a folder e.g. "C:\gradle-2.3".

Step 3: Open up the environment variables window. To do this:


  1. Right click on your computer and click "Manage"
  2. Click "Advanced System Settings"
  3. Click "Environment Variables"
Step 4: Add new System Variable (or user variable if you only want it on your user account).



Step 5: Click New and enter Environment Variable as "GRADLE_HOME" and value as the bin directory of your Gradle installation path from step 2 e.g. "C:\gradle-2.3\bin". Press OK. 

Step 6: Find the "Path" variable and press Edit. Scroll to the end of the text and add the text "%GRADLE_HOME%". Remember to separate from previous entry with a semi-colon ";". 

Step 6: Press OK to exit the environment variable window and advanced system settings. 

Step 7: Open up a command prompt window. (press windows button and enter "cmd" as a shortcut). 

Step 8: Check Gradle version by entering text "gradle -v". If installation has been successful you should see something like the following: 

C:\Users\username>gradle -v

------------------------------------------------------------
Gradle 2.3
------------------------------------------------------------

Build time:   2015-02-16 05:09:33 UTC
Build number: none
Revision:     586be72bf6e3df1ee7676d1f2a3afd9157341274

Groovy:       2.3.9
Ant:          Apache Ant(TM) version 1.9.3 compiled on December 23 2013
JVM:          1.7.0_25 (Oracle Corporation 23.25-b01)
OS:           Windows 8 6.2 amd64

You should now be set up for using Gradle. 

Android Studio - How to change app icon (ic_launcher)

Changing your applications icon (ic_launcher) is a common occurrence when developing your android application. Here's quick steps on how...