Friday, September 28, 2012

Getting Started with Android Development

Recently I had project to build Android App. So, here's some notes on starting out with Android Development.


Development Environment

First things first, the development environment setup. I look up for a good IDE to work with Android and it seems Eclipse is de-facto standard so it's not a hard choice. However, choosing which package of Eclipse to download is overwhelming and there does not seem to be a good convention for it around the net. I decided to got with "Eclipse for Mobile Developers" since it has "Mobile" word in it and from the package description it seems light enough. So far, I think it's a good choice and I don't have any serious problem with it.

The next step is installing Android Development Tool from Eclipse's built-in marketplace. It's a breeze though since the installation process from the marketplace took care of almost anything needed. It setting up the brand new Eclipse install into an environment ready for Android App development including including Emulator, Debugger, etc. The only thing I need to do is checking up some license agreement and clicking next.

Not all is rosy though. As I start testing making the first app...

First App and Emulator Issue

My first test code does not run and it turns out I had to install system image first. I installed through Android SDK Manager and after it the "Hello World" app finally ran.

The default emulator setup is quite slow though so you need to tweak it in AVD Manager, adding GPU, storage and stuff to to the virtual device accomodate the testing better. It ran very well afterwards.


The Development Resources

For development resources, Android Developers page is quite indispensable. That and some googling (which many times point me to Stack Overflow discussion) is pretty much what I need to get things done so far.

Also, along the way I find a nice little xml-serialization/object-mapping library called Simple (a pretty simple name :) ). It's java-based but the binary already compatible for the use in Android development. I haves used it since and it rocks!, no need to deal with xml parser if I don't really really have to. 

It's been a pretty nice experience of developing on Android. I probably starting out when many parts of the development has quite mature so it flows quite nicely. Also, Eclipse is a great IDE and very helpful. It's a little on the "heavy" side but still very usable and has tons of useful features which make it's heaviness issue negligible.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

iOS Getting Started notes

Below are some Apple references materials that I follow when starting out iphone dev sometime ago. It's more or less in order of reading from the introductory/basic to specific  :

Later on, I find the book "Programming iOS 5 Second Edition" by Matt Neuburg pretty much cover all of the above in one nicely structured book made me wish I had it when starting out. It's the most balanced book on the subject and very suitable for early learning since it give the basics a very good treatment. The book gives a solid foundation for more advanced subject. Still, reading the official documentation from Apple would give the most up-to-date and detailed coverage (with the down side that it is  not being too convenient for casual reading). So, it's a good complement for the formal references.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Exploring guitar sounds : AmpKit and Korg AX1500G

My AmpKit Link arrived yesterday, so this good lazy sunday morning was a good time to test-drive it and I had a good time exploring it. For those who never heard of it yet, it's basically a connector to interface the guitar to iPhone/iPad that enable them to function as sound processor. It's pretty neat and enable a lot of possibilities for effects and processing/recording.

My current effect is Korg AX1500G. It's an old but dependable multi effects and you can do tons of combination of sounds within ranging from the practical one to weird, alien sounding noise. So, naturally,  I did some comparison with it, while testing Ampkit Link (with AmpKit App). There is already a lot of review about these products though, so you'll be well-served by googling about them and I don't think I can add any new things.

I didn't have a concrete picture initiallny on what to use the AmpKit for. It's more of a curiosity and sounds like an interesting to play with. After all, the AX1500G, with my already scarce spare time, still waited to be explored and used more (it's been gathering quite a lot of dust recently).

It turns out that the sound that comes from AmpKit is quite nice. There is also a lot of tools and settings to play with. I played around with recording, background track, SoundCloud integration. Below is the result of doodling around with it. Be warned though, it's pretty monotone, amateurish stuff :)  :

 All around I am happy with it and hope to explore more of it. There's also additional purchasable effects which seems interesting to play around with. I figure it would be useful as a mobile, instant effects to replace bringing a big and heavy one. What I need is just the Ampkit Link and the iPhone, which I usually bring anyway.