Monday, October 27, 2014

Tutorial on Building Web Apps in WebView

Posted by Suhel Sayyad
The internet is a huge repository of webpages and there are chances that a client application might need one or more web pages to display information to their targeted audience. Whatever, may be the requirement, there is an astonishing, simple way to achieve the desired results.
WebView class, an extension of Android’s View class, lets developers create a web page using the Android SDK. Today, we will build Web Apps in WebView.

Tutorial on Building Web Apps in WebView

Prerequisites: Basic Android knowledge, eclipse, Android SDK. If you do not have Android SKD, download the latest version from here.
Let’s get our web page built using the Android SDK.
  1. Before starting make sure that Android SDK is installed and working. Next, you have to open up the Eclipse IDE and start your new application by going to New -> Android Application Project and finish with a blank application by simply following the instructions.
  2. Manifest file stores vital information about your application. Thus, you need to modify the manifest file (stored in XML format) by following the below instructions:
    • Change the package, version name and version code accordingly.
    • Modify the SDK version of the API according to what you are using.
    • Permit your application to use the internet; without proper internet access the application will not function properly.
    • Change the fields within the application tag exactly shown below: 
    • Source Code – 1 -- http://pastebin.com/kGBiYGp6
  3. Next, you need to modify the layout manifest to let the application know that it is dealing with a web-view layout and not the app layout. In addition, we add a progress bar so that the users can see the progress of the application being loaded. The file is found within “/res/layout”.
  4. Now navigate to the folder “/src/com/APPNAME” and look for a file named “main activity”. Copy the code below and paste it into the file. Let’s explain the code (even though it is self-explanatory). Generally, we need to take care of three things, one to tell the application that to load Web View Layout. This is done by “onCreate” method when the application is opened for the first time. Another point of action to take care about is to tell the application to remove the progress bar once the loading is done. This is achieved by calling another important method called “onPageFinished”.
    Last, but not the least, the “onKeyDown” method takes care of the behavior of the back button on all Android devices. 
  5. Create new file “WebViewtechtutorials.java” and copy-paste the code below. The function overrides the web-view client class present within the Android SDK. The main purpose of the “shouldOverrideUrlLoading” is to check whether the request has come from your website and opens the app in web view form, if it actually does. Otherwise, it calls the method called “launchExternalBrowser”. 
  6. Our last step includes compiling the application as an “apk” file. The apk file can be loaded into your android device for testing purposes. To do so, go to Android Tools->Export Signed Android Package,
  7. This ends our tutorial on building “Web Apps in WebView”. Do comment below if you, the application is giving an error or you have something to improve on.

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Oracle VM VirtualBox

Posted by Suhel Sayyad
Oracle Virtual Box is an open-source, cross-platform virtualization solution provided by Oracle. Oracle VirtualBox is built to support virtualization on x86 and SPARC architecture with different payloads like Windows, Linux, Mac etc.

Virtualization term reaches far into the history of Computer Science. It was first envisioned and implemented in 1960s mainframe computers to logically divide different floating operating system on the same hardware.
It’s an act of creating a virtual machine (guest OS) on host OS without any limit on hardware platform, storage device, or any computer network resources.
Virtualization come into play, when we want to install two or more applications on the same server without interfering with each other. Logically separating them seemed a good idea and now Cloud Computing has taken over the Computing arena with surprise.  Cloud Computing is booming area of Computer Science and will probably release its true potential by 2020. Without Virtualization nothing would have been possible including cloud and powerful server.
Oracle VirtualBox provides a perfect solution for end-users to install OS on host operating system and this leads to multiple OS experience without any issues.
In this tutorial, we are going to use Oracle VirtualBox 4.3.14. You can download it from here.We are going to install Ubuntu latest stable release 14.04.1 desktop 32 bit. Download Ubuntu from here .The other operating system installation follows the same rules when using Oracle VirtualBox.
Let’s back to the actual work.

Step 1: Starting the engine

Oracle VM VirtualBox
Open Oracle VirtualBox and select New on top left corner of the software. You will be surprised by the clean interface provided by the Oracle VirtualBox.

Step 2:  Choosing name and Operating System to be installed.

Oracle VM VirtualBox
After choosing new, you will be prompted by another small window. The small window will ask the user for the name and operating system the user intends to install. The name is crucial as it will help you identify the guest OS. Choosing a well-defined and medium length name won’t hurt until and unless it clearly convey the details of guest OS. 

Step 3: Allocate the memory for the Virtual Machine.

Oracle VM VirtualBox

Memory is very important and should be chosen wisely according to your needs. The metric used is MB and the recommended memory size is 512mb. For a machine of 4 GB RAM, my recommendation would be to allocate 1.5 GB to Guest OS. As my current system memory is 3GB, I went with 1 GB ram.

Step 4: Adding space to your Oracle Virtual Machine and customizing it.

Now, it’s the time to allocate hard disk space to Guest OS. This step provides you with three options:
  • Do not add a virtual hard drive
  • Create a virtual hard drive now
  • Use an existing virtual hard drive file.
In most of the situations, it is suggested to go with the option “Create a virtual hard drive now” or “Use an existing virtual hard drive file” if you have a virtual hard drive present on your Hard Disk.
The recommended size of hard drive is 8.00GB. You can always change the hard drive space later, so take this step easy.
Next, it will ask you to hard drive file types. Choose VDI(VirtualBox Disk Image) for now.

Oracle VM VirtualBox


Click next, and choose dynamically allocated hard drive file as it will make sure that the hard disk space allocated for the Virtual Machine grows when needed. Fixed size is rarely used and should be avoided for most of the practical purposes.

Oracle VM Workstation

The wizard will next point to choose the location to store the VDI and the size to allocate to it. As discussed above, we will go for 8.00 GB size with dynamic allocation.

Step 5: File Location and Size

The wizard allows you to choose the File location and size.

Oracle VM VirtualBox

Step 6: Powering On the Virtual Machine.

Oracle VM VirtualBox

The last step includes powering on the Virtual Machine, in our case Ubuntu. The wizard this time, will ask you to provide the image to install from. After this, normal installation will be executed.

 Oracle VM VirtualBox
                              
This ends our tutorial on Oracle VirtualBox. I hope you guys liked it. Stay tuned for more awesome and details tutorial only on tutorials4tech.com

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Rooting your Android One device

Posted by Suhel Sayyad
Rooting your device can be an adventure and disaster, depending on if you do it right or not. There is always two side of the coin, one letting you use super power and other will give you the gift of a brick.
Today, we are going to root Android One devices, but before we proceed, let’s dig deep down into the terminology. Without knowing what “rooting” exactly means, rooting your phone will be risky.

What is rooting?

Rooting is the process of jail breaking the phone (in this case Android One) and getting access to the phone sub-system. This clearly means that you will get access to the entire operating system with super-user access and can modify any module according to your choice.
This means that you can over-ride any restrictions of any kind put by manufacturer or carrier may have applied. Multiple apps can be run without any restriction and the cool thing is that you can tweak your hardware like under clocking or overclocking your processor or even replace your firmware.
But, it is advised to back up your data and software before flashing it with a new custom ROM.

Android One Rooting

Advantages of Rooting

Rooting your device can be very tempting when you know what you can get when successfully done. You can remove bloat ware, which is impossible to remove on non-rooted phone. You can also choose to set up wireless tethering, disabled by default settings.
Furthermore, you can easily benefit by installing special apps and custom ROM’s, completely changing the way your phone looks and behaves.
Once rooted, your phone can be further enriched by few apps like some apps which allow you to automatically backup all your apps and their data, create secure tunnels in Internet, and make your device hotspot and many more.

Disadvantages of Rooting

Android rooting can also lead to bad experience like voiding your warranty and bricking your phone. It can also lead to security risks like Google rejecting Google wallet services for rooted devices.
For people, who are nearing their warranty, could finally lunge into the rooting process. Others need to think twice as Warranty is void once the phone is rooted.
Another great drawback is bricking the phone. Looks good, isn’t? Yup, the phone can act on the as paperweight on desk.

Now let’s get down to the real thing.
Disclaimer: Do it at your own risk.

Things that you need to following to get started to root Android One:
  1. An Unblocked Boot loader.
  2. A rooted device.
  3. Download Super SU: here.
After getting the pre-requisite, do the follow steps to root Android One:
  1. Copy the Super Su into the Fastboot folder.
  2. Enter Recovery mode and connect your device with PC.
  3. Type “adb reboot recovery” in command prompt.
  4. Once in recovery mode, navigate to Install Zip > Adb Sideload.
  5. Type “adb sideload”.
These five steps will root your Android One and you will be a super-user with immense power at your hands. If you root your Android One phone wrongly, then you are left over with a bricked version.
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Best Tips for Creating Infographics

Posted by Suhel Sayyad
Infographics, is the best way to describe any concept to a user. There are usually three senses with the help of which a user prefers to receive any kind of information. You can either listen to it, read it or see it (visual). Infographics are something, which is a mix of reading and seeing. It falls right between creating a video on a topic and writing a detailed article about it. Somehow, the pictures and a limited amount of text are so logically chosen and placed that simply watching them, narrates the whole story by themselves. In this article, we will help you with the tips to create the best Infographics on any subject.

Best Tips for Creating Infographics

Take Care of the Size

The main reason of using this kind of media, is to increase the interest of the readers and making them understand everything in the most concise manner. Hence, you should always take care of the size of your Infographics. Make sure that you always use a High Quality image along with most concise form of text.

Choosing the Right Title

A reader will only go through your Infographics, once he likes the title and gets curious to read the information written under it. If your title has not been chosen wisely, then there are good chances that no one will be interested in reading that Infographics. Hence it is recommended that please take a good amount of time, in thinking about the best generic title for your Infographics.

Create a Pause, Break them down into Pieces

It is good if the whole Infographics is flowing in a direct flow, but try to keep a watch over the length and the amount of information being imparted from it. If you feel that there is a section in your Infographics where a good amount of content has been written, then it is recommended to you break that part into a different section.

Insights

It is quite obvious that facts can be easily retrieved from any other sources, apart from your Infographics. However, your insights are something which tends to be unique. A reader might be reading that Infographics made by you solely to know an insight about that topic.

References

This is something which represents the authenticity of the work done by you. Include as many sources as you can, if shows the amount of hard work which has been done by you in order to collate all the information available on your website.
More number of famous and reliable sources you have, better will be the confidence on the information being delivered by your Infographics.

Now these were all the most important and generic tips, which will really help you to make your Infographics much better for the readers. Though you might find them really common but abiding by all of the, at the same time is really tough. Do let us know, if you have anything to add to these list of tips, we would be happy to include it.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Alternative to Google Toolbar Page Rank

Posted by Suhel Sayyad

Now, when Google has already talked about not updating Google PageRank anymore, then a simple question comes up to the mind that what will be the alternative parameter to judge any website. Well, most of the experts were never in support of Google PageRank as a fair parameter to judge traffic or reliability of a website. This parameter by Google was not updated since Dec, 2013 and now when everybody was expecting this to be updated, John Mueller announced in a Google Hangout conversation that this will not be updated ever.

Alternative to Google Toolbar Page Rank

Let us take a look at few of the other parameters which can serve as an alternative to Google Toolbar PageRank.

Domain Authority

This is something, which comes in as the top replacement. This parameter was being used along with Google Page Rank for a long time now and it reflects the degree of reliability on your website. Usually the websites, which have published lots of content and has been sourced by many websites attain a good Domain Authority figure. Hence, number of backlinks for your website is still a highly reliable parameter to increase your search rank and domain authority.

Social Media Popularity

Another great way to rank a website is to know about its social following. This kind of parameter does not have any direct relation with SEO, however, there are many ways with the help of which you can increase the number of likes, followers or ‘+1’s on your social network.

Other SEO Metrics

There are many extensions and online web service available to give a detailed insight about the amount of traffic, webpage load time, backlinks directing to your website, popular search queries on Google etc. for a website. One of the most popular service is known by the name of Alexa, which is quite reliable in terms of details related to Traffic.
It states the amount of traffic coming in from every country and the most popular search query fetching a good amount of traffic for you. Some of the stats are free in public, however to get in detail, one has to become premium member of such service providers.

Google Authorship

Though Google has removed the feature  of adding the photos from the Google Profile in front of the article but the rank or reach of the authors is still a big factor for a website. The readers who have added an author in their circles on Google Plus profile, will always see their article at a higher rank in Google Search results as compared to the search results displayed for a different user.
These are few of the parameters which can very well serve the purpose of comparing or ranking the websites. If one of them is not enough for your purpose then you can use 2 or more to get the genuine results. Please do let us know about your opinion about the article and do provide us with any valuable info, which you believe is better than what has been mentioned above.

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Monday, October 06, 2014

5 Best Android Music Player Apps

Posted by Suhel Sayyad
Android is the only mobile platform that has captured half of the market share and when it comes to Android apps there are hundreds and hundreds of them to choose from. Today, we list the 5 best Android music player apps that will make audiophile and music lovers to take a look at the music players they are currently using.
Let’s list our Best Android music players one by one.

Poweramp

Poweramp is one of the best apps in the music business that offers an array of features aimed at power users. The music player is simply the best out there providing features that are currently not available in other music players.
The app clearly makes it to the top by providing features like tweaking music as per your needs and handling file type you throw at it. 

5 Best Android Music Player Apps

Formats like FLAC are mainly used as it provides the highest quality for storing music on a mobile device. And it’s always a hard proposition to make them work in any of the devices. But, Poweramp plays it on a different note and catapults every essence of FLAC quality with its inner workings. Other formats like OGG, WMA, ALAC, etc. are also handled extra-ordinarily.
Besides supporting the music formats, it also supports ton of music enhancements that make your music sound that much better.  The app supports 10 different band equilizer that work out of the box that makes the deal amazing to other music player apps currently available on android. The app also supports separate bass and treble tweaks, crossfading, supports for gapless playback, replay gain correction, and mono mixing. These features could be overwhelming for causal users but nonetheless a gold mine for music junkies or audiophiles.
Poweramp is available for $3.99 and can be tried for 2 weeks for free. You can download it from here.

DoubleTwist   

The name is cheesy and stands for the charisma it brings to the collection of our 5 Best Android Music Player. It offers more features compared to other music players and the team behind the app has not stopped working on it.
DoubleTwist also supports syncing the iTunes library to your Android device. 

5 Best Android Music Player Apps

The UI is improved in the current Kitkat version and Android’s newer design standards are been implemented by them. UI is user-friendly and provides easy navigation around the music and playlists. Another amazing feature slide-out drawer gives quick access to library, including podcast and lots of different settings.
The app provides airplay mode, which allows it to steam content to any AirPlay receiver.
The premium version of the application provides a customizable equalizer, automatic podcast downloading and auto-fetching album art. Magic radio, relatively new feature acts as a competitor to services like Pandora.
Magic radio, lets you create custom radio stations based on the usual artist/song selections and also of words and phrases too. But, this unique feature comes with 7-day trial. The complete magic radio feature will cost around $24.99 per year.
When compared to Poweramp, it falls marginally short of what Poweramp has to offer but it gives you excellent listening experience with improved and user-friendly UI.
Download here.

Google’s Play Music

Google’s Play Music comes 3rd in our 5 best Android music player list and holds the frontend face of listening to music on Android devices and is the first choice for users who purchase music from Play Store and stream from Google All Access.  Even if you don’t need these features, the app still offers a great choice for music lovers. 

5 Best Android Music Player Apps

A music player is best known by the User Interface it offers and who could be better than Google in this regard. The UI is undoubtedly the best out there. The Google card-aesthetic coupled with fluid swiping and pull-out action bars makes it the best UI combination ever. You can easily choose songs, genres, artists as the app can easily sort them out for you according to the tags. You can also mix local music with cloud stored music.
Play Music is a good music player but it fails to deliver lot of features that one should crave from a feature-rich music player.
Download here

N7 player

Another best Android music player, which features great interface and usability options to the users, is n7 player.
When fired up for the first time, it builds the playing list by scanning for songs from your SD card and internal storage. It also attaches the album art for you. As usual, the player offers great UI and amazing navigation through the app. Hand navigation is also supported by the app which is very useful after a steep learning curve. 

5 Best Android Music Player Apps

The app also offers 10-band equalizer, gapless playback, and support for many different audio files. It also supports a fully featured tag editor accessible after long-pressing a song.
The free-trail of the app is available in the Play Store but the full version only costs $3.49.
Download here.

Fusion

Fusion music player has a simple philosophy of making the music discovery a major component of listening to music. Slick interface, few customization options are just few options in a highly rich music player.
Two extra tabs are present in the top, Charts and Radio both having their own reason for presence. Charts tab lists the current top songs which everyone is listening to, when tapped searches for different sources from where you can listen the song.

5 Best Android Music Player Apps

The radio tab corresponds to a front-end for shoutcast radio. The app includes an equalizer and lock screen widgets. It also offers custom ringtone trimming, visualizer, shake and wave gesture support and more.
Download here.

Conclusion

This ends our 5 best android music player list. There are many out there that can fit in and we would encourage the readers to list the apps that they think should have been in the here!

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