Sunday, March 27, 2011

Displaying a Static Web Page Inside of an Android Activity

In this tutorial, learn how to use the Android WebView to display a web page that is embedded into your app, without connecting to the internet. Learn how to properly include graphics as well.

Displaying a Static Web Page Inside of an Android Activity

Why Display Static Pages?

In a previous tutorial, we showed you how to display a web page from within an Android Activity.

This is very useful, but there may be some cases in which you want to take advantage of the html rendering capabilities without having to download a file from the internet.

Why would you want to do this?
  1. Your application won't have to require an internet permission
  2. Your requested web page will load faster
  3. You can use it to display important content (instructions, help files, high scores...) without relying upon an internet connection that could be spotty or non-existent

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Android Market Adds Statistics

The Android Market now offers statistics to developers.

Android Install Statistics

The Android Market has slowly but surely been improving, and is finally starting to feel like a real product. Don't get me wrong, the Android OS itself I have always been impressed with, but the market has always been lagging a little bit behind.

I always felt like google deserved to give it a little more love, since Apps are a huge selling point for the devices themselves. Having developed Android apps for a while now, there were many features I always wished the market would include, and I have finally begun to see a lot of them.

What other features do you think the Android Market needs to add or improve upon?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Displaying a Web Page from Within an Android Activity

Android WebViews let you display fully formatted HTML inside of an Android Activity.This tutorial will walk you through adding and using a webview.

Android WebViews

If you have followed through a couple of the tutorials already, or have already made a couple of applications on your own, then you have no doubt used several of the built in View types available from Android. One view you may not have known about is the Android WebView.

AndroidDom loaded in a webview

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's on my Android: Swype

Before I got my current phone I was looking for a slidekeyboard phone, unfortunately my provider didn't have any Android phones with that feature at the time. So I got my next option: a Samsung Captivate (from the Galaxy S series). My phone came with Swype and it has truly changed how I write my messages.

For those of you who don't know about it, Swype is an input method for touchscreens developed by Swype Inc. The application allows you to enter a word by sliding your finger from letter to letter and lifting to add a blank space and start a new word and includes an algorithm that autocompletes the word. It also includes dynamic learning, which means it learns which words you type the most and puts them at the top of the list. One of the best things is that because of its AI you don't have to be that accurate while sliding between letters.

Here is a LINK  to a video I found on YouTube. Thanks to mobileburn for uploading the video.

Swype doesn't come with all the phones, but there is a beta version that you can register for and download in your Android phone. Simply go to

But of course, there are other options for Swype [Disclaimer: I have not tested any of this it personally].

  • SlideIt Keyboard by Dasur Ltd. $6.18 dlls in the Android Market. 
  • UltraKeyboard by Binary Bulge. $2.79 dlls in the Android Market. [This one has many options and sliding is one of them]

I have also hear great things about SwiftKey [On sale for $1.99 at the Android Market] which is an AI program that predicts the next word based on what you have already written, just like Swype it has a dynamic learning mechanism which makes it better every time you use it.

There are many other apps that try to do word autocompletion and prediction, and there are also other apps that attempt to make typing easier for example bigger keys. Two of the most interesting ones out there are:

  • KeyPurr by KeyPurr technologies. $4.07 dlls in the Android Market. This keyboard reduces the keys to 17 bigger keys and also does text prediction and autocorrection (that is how it gets away with reducing the number of keys).
  • 8pen by Michael@3QUBITS. Free in the Android Market. This app deserves a mention in this article because it is really different to all the other apps. It lays down the keyboard in a circle divided in 4 sections and by rolling your finger around it you can choose letters, I have not tried and I also read that it has quite a steep learning curve but supposedly it is worth it.

If you have any questions, or any comments about this article feel free to chime in the comment section. We'll be back soon with more tutorials.