Category: Android

Android Digiweb App

For the first time in 5 years i banged out an android app, and here it is Digiweb broadband usage indicator.
It fetches your broadband usage and displays it as a widget on home screen. Fairly basic, but does the job nicely.


Android AppWidget TableLayout

As most developers have found out, appwidgets break the normal rules when it comes to widget development.
Due to the abstract class ( appwidgetProvider ) and the updating through RemoteViews

You’re quite limited in the use of the different layout controls that are available.
namely :

  • FrameLayout
  • LinearLayout
  • RelativeLayout

So how do we get a table layout, that automatically expands or fills the available space?

The answer is clever use of of the weight attributes of linearLayout and the children components.
Here is an example of a timetable.

9 – 6 / Mon – friday.

Note* i have an image up the top right, you may wont to replace this with something else!

Scroll to the end for an example on how to loop through the cells

And just in case your wondering how you can easily loop through them

Android Custom Toast View from Service

Android documentation is something to be desired ;).

Given the following tutorial on creating Custom Toast Notifications.
Toast Notifications

They neglect to say how to do it from a service!

Android API & Java

So I’m kinda pissed

I bought a new Android HTC Desire HD which I’m fairly happy with.

I bought it with the intent of developing an application over the next year as part of my FYP for college.
During my dabbling in the first few hours, I began to realize why I hate Java and its every growing obscure complexity.

Lets look at 3 separate blunders from a fundamental level, in learning this new technology.


First of all, lets leave Java aside a moment and focus on the Android.
intent, view, remoteview, activity, context, ApplicationContext, ActionBar, Fragment, IntentService, ListActivity …

If your a programmer and never looked at the Android API your probably wondering what these mean exactly?
EXACTLY – epic fail number one, this is the type of stuff you would expect from the Java community,
bizarre names to describe b****y windows and controls!

Coming from the Linux world i have no problem with odd programs with odd names, you get quiet used to it.
But to be fair in a programming world, the concepts, techniques etc are all the same regardless of the language.

That said, why change the name of Window / Frame / whatever to Activity, an activity could mean 200 bloody things!

From the Android API
” An activity is a single, focused thing that the user can do. Almost all activities interact with the user,
so the Activity class takes care of creating a window for you in which you can place your UI with setContentView(View). “

It’s a f******g window, why oh why did you have to go with these bizarre names,
as you get further into the API the names just get weired and weirder, its like learning French, who cares about French!

This reminds me of SOAP in Java, JAX-WS, POJO, SEI, WSDL, GlassFish
and the list goes on with every increasing obscurity to define very simple web concepts.


One more thing on Android API that i really wish they would get rid of
@‘ what about @?

As you start too look through the Java XML files, you start seeing all these @’s’
Soon enough, after some files, you realize that the @ symbol is some whatever overloaded depending on the context.

One moment its referencing a string element and in another an actual XML file.
As your code is ever growing, you start to see @‘s all over the place.
Your following @‘s along and by the time to find what exactly you’ve been trying to figure out,
You can’t remember were you were @.


Modifiability, extensibility and dependency management.
Many of the controls which i have describe are implemented from almost concrete implementations.
Which means its very difficult to overload anything or change the behavior of a widget to do what you want.

Not only this, but when the API changes it breaks all previous code, and suddenly your left with code samples
on the android site, that simply don’t work, and you spend half your time figuring out what has changed in order to fix it!



These guys could actually learn something from Microsoft.
Yes these guys took Java and made something usable out of it C#.

Take a look at Windows Presentation Foundation Applications. The XAML makes sense
and the attributes of the elements make sense..



Rooting && Flashing the HTC Desire HD

One of the perks of flashing, is better battery life and more responsiveness

This is were i learned ( for HTC DESIRE HD ) REVOLUTION ROM


In general you want USB debugging on
you find it in the settings somewhere on your phone ( google it )



  1. Market Place Download – VISIONary
  2. open VISIONary , hit TEMPROOT
  3. if successful hit PERMROOT



  1. If fail then stop
  2. go to the HD revolution page and read, If you need to downgrade, then follow the instructions on that page to do it



  1. Market Place Download – Rom manager
  2. Rom manager will replace your recovery boot loader with clockwork
  3. if you want to see the boot loader, turn off the phone, holding the ( VOL +- ) and POWER ( comes on about 10 seconds later )
  4. the HTC boot manager will load, using the VOL +- to navigate up / down, POWER button to select RECOVERY
  5. the RECOVERY menu has a few options






  1. Choose BACKUP from the recovery menu – it will backup your current ROM SDCARD
  2. When the backup is complete, choose reboot
  3. Market Place Download – APN BACKUP AND RESORE
  4. Open APN and slect BACKUP to BACKUP your Mobile Providers Settings – it will save them to your SDCARD



  1. You should have the following
  2. ROOT ?
  3. Clockwork bootloader
  4. A BACKUP of your current rom



  1. Given that your new ROM (REVOLUTION) is on your SDCARD
  2. reboot and go to recovery
  3. Choose WIPE DATA
  5. Choose restore from zip file
  6. choose REVOLUTION
  7. pop a champagne cork
  8. reboot and your done



  1. Restore APN Settings, you can go onto your Cell Provider and put in these settings manually ( but we already backed them up )
  2. Download Andriod SDK
  4. go to SDK folder / bin
  5. open up your browser and download APN BACKUP and restore to your pc
  6. put the APK installer file into the SDK folder
  7. CMD > sdb install ./APN installer.apk
  8. its now on your phone, you can use it to restore your APN settings