In the past few days, there have been several reports of Google opening retail stores. Every report says that they’ll sell Google TV’s in those stores. Is it a good time to start Google TV development? Yes, yes, I think so. Here are 3 quick reasons:
- Google TV is a software platform
- Google TV has a market for apps
- Google TV is a place to create 2nd Screen Apps – right now
In this article, I expand on these reasons and give a detailed example of creating a simple Flickr 2nd screen app using the Anymote protocol.
The example app shows recent Flickr Photo on your phone. When you select a photo, it is displayed on your Google TV.
To learn more, check out the book.
Aviary has made it pretty darn easy to add advanced photo editing features to Android apps. Their Embeddable Photo Editor for Mobile was released today with support for both iOS and Android. Check the developer site.
The Aviary library includes effects, rotating, cropping, ability to draw or write on photos, and … more.
At the end of this post is a series of images showing edits on a photo that include adding the IndiGlow effect and adding text.
The Aviary sample code and documentation is very good. The sample app has a single activity that lets the user pick and edit a photo. Since that will be the basic flow for many apps, it is a great head start for adding the photo editor to your app.
I recommend following the documentation, but at a high-level, you will need to:
- Add the Aviary library
- Add the Aviary external jar files
- Update your manifest file to include the Aviary Feather activity
- Incorporate the editor into your app
To make this easy for developers, Aviary has created the editor as an Activity. It is called by adding an intent with the FeatherActivity and invoking the activity using “startActivityForResult.”
startActivityForResult( newIntent, ACTION_REQUEST_FEATHER );
The ACTION_REQUEST_FEATHER is handled in your onActivityResult method. Using the result from the intent, you can access the edited photo.
BFFPhoto is an app that uploads photos to Facebook. I added photo editing as part of the upload flow. A user picks a photo and has the option to edit it before uploading. The app saves the edited photo before uploading. When to save photos is something to think about when adding an editor.
In BffPhoto, I used the default themes, but it is easy to customize the look and feel of the editor using standard Android themes.
Overall, this is a great ANDROID implementation of photo editing and should be familiar to Android developers.
Enjoy adding the Aviary Editor to your apps!
Recently, Fred Wilson blogged about the future of Android as a a platform.
LatticeApps is providing a service to create data driven mobile apps. The Android platform is the cornerstone of our efforts.
Our comment on the blog is provided below:
iPhone and iPad fit the Steve Jobs model of making a product that amazes and is presented in perfect form. We appreciate an elegant product that works incredibly well and is truly beautiful.
Android is messier. It had adoption by tech’s who were interested in what it could do. It has become a real choice for actual consumers. Froyo might be the equivalent of Windows 3.0 – the first Window’s system that actually worked.
Android – as open as it is – has a better future to play on a range of devices and price points. It is better poised for a post-PC world. Fragmentation is a short-term issue – and always has been. A developer can pick a target OS and know they have 75% of the Android market. That may not be OK for Angry Birds, but it is OK for many. The problem gets smaller everyday.
The curation of the iOS path will limit it from being a platform for a full range of devices – and will keep it from ever being considered as a platform for a specific industry or specialized use.
Developer support is currently a critical resource. But as everything we do becomes mobile and connected, services will develop to move our daily needs to a mobile/tablet platform. It makes sense for Android to be the target platform for those services.
Enjoyed meeting interesting people and hearing Mayor Bloomberg speak. Lots of great things happening in NYC.
NYC Parks (now known as Parks of NYC) was not a winner, but it impressed those who saw it. It demonstrates the power of cloud and mobile computing. All NYC park data is hosted in an Amazon SimpleDB instance. The Android app provides searching and an RSS feed for regular updates to park events. Core data and frequently updates data like RSS feeds are core building blocks used to create engaging data-driven mobile apps.