Thursday, January 29, 2009

We have a winner!

Totally unexpected “Meter Maid” won the Dutch T-Mobile Android developer contest!

winner

Some minor things need to be improved, so hopefully the application will be released in the Android market within the next two weeks.

Press coverage:

Telegraaf
Dutch Cowboys
Computer Idee
Tweakers
Nu.nl
Parool
Radio 1 interview
WebWereld
Connexie
TelecomWereld (1)
TelecomWereld (2)
Bijgespijkerd
TechZine
PCMWeb
Marketing Tribune
Telecom Magazine
Hardware Info

Other links:

Some photos by Anne Jan

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My first application in Android market

Ten hours ago I released my first application into Android Market. And what do you know.. over 1000 downloads already!

It is a simple ‘pregnancy ticker’ which gives you basic information about how far you’re along. There is a lot of positive feedback and suggestions that will be taken into account when releasing an update.

pregnancy_ticker

Some of the new features will include: adjustable color themes, baby pictures and background information.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Meter Maid has been nominated for a prize in the Amsterdam Android dev camp 2009!

Today I received a call from the organizers of the Amsterdam Android dev camp 2009 in which they told me that Meter Maid has been nominated for a prize!

During the Dutch T-Mobile launch of G1 /Android all 5 winners will be announced and the applications will be presented.

image 

The launch is next Thursday and will be held in Pakhuis de Zwijger.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

MeterMaid, Android makes parking easier

Today I finished my first Android application, it's called "Meter Maid" and basically takes away the hassle of texting zone codes and license plate numbers when using SMS (text) parking in a paid parking zone. It saves time, effort and prevents human errors (read: parking tickets!).

The application has been submitted to the Amsterdam Android Devcamp Challenge 2009.

Watch the video for a demo (Dutch language warning).

video

When you arrive at your destination, fill in the zone code and press the 'start parking button'. If you've already parked at this destination before then you can select the zone code from the bookmark menu. When you are leaving all you need to do is press the 'stop parking' button.

A user of this application needs to have a subscription with one of the supported text parking companies (currently 'SMSParking', 'ParkMobile' and 'Park-Line' - all Dutch companies). These companies will bill you weekly or monthly.

There's room for improvements and more innovations. I plan on releasing an English locale and support for English text parking companies, as text parking is also widely used in the UK.

Meter Maid, some screenshots

Because the video does not show the screens very clearly, this post contains some screenshots.

On the left side you see the main screen when the status is ‘not parked’, on the right side you see a shot of the screen just after the ‘start parking’ button has been hit. The status is changed, a progress bar keeps running as an indication that you are currently paying for parking. Also the system notifies you that a text (SMS) has been sent and shows the exact contents of it.

metermaid1MeterMaid5

The following screens show some details relating to bookmarking zone codes. Left side shows a bookmark in progress, right side shows the bookmark picker.

 MeterMaid4  MeterMaid2

The following shot shows a preferences dialogue which allows you to set the SMS parking provider you are subscribed to.

MeterMaid3

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Installing a home made Android application on the G1

After playing around with the emulator for a while it was time for my experimental application to run on a real phone.

Using Eclipse, these are the steps to take:

Step 1.

Connect your phone with your development machine using its USB cable. Make sure that the device is visible from within the DDMS perspective (you can open the perspective via Window –> Open perspective). If it is not visible then you might need to install the USB driver, follow instructions from Anddev to fix it.

Step 2.

Right click the Android project that you want to install on your phone and select “Run As” - “Android Application”

 installeasy1

Step 3.

Now choose the device you want to use. If you have the emulator running then you’ll see the emulator as well. Click on OK.

installeasy2

That’s it! I did not even have to change the configuration of the G1 to accept applications from ‘unknown sources’ (can be found under settings –> applications). This might be because it is a development phone, so it could be that this should be switched on when using a regular G1.

Alternatively it is possible to use the command line, the adb (Android Debug Bridge) command allows you to install applications and much more.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Android G1 Development phone (Dev phone 1)

Monday night I finally ordered the G1. The development phone turned out to be cooler and cheaper than the T-Mobile introduction deal, so I got it from Google directly and not from T-Mobile. It arrived Wednesday morning. Processing and shipping from the USA to Europe within 36 hours - that’s fast!

A big box contained the small box:

   DSC_0001DSC_0003

There is a small note included that contains the set-up instructions. It is mandatory to create a Google account and log into that account to complete the set-up. A mobile data plan is necessary to do this, you cannot use a wi fi network. There are ways to work around this, though.

DSC_0013

Hidden in the top of the box there is a compartment that contains additional set-up instructions.

DSC_0004

It looks like these instructions are the regular instructions for the non development phones.

DSC_0016DSC_0015

The phone itself has a print on the back.

DSC_0008DSC_0007

If you fold out the phone it looks like this.

DSC_0009

Included in the box is an AC Adapter, it has rectangular shaped plugs but works on any voltage between 100 and 240. This means I only need a cheap 1 euro converter to be able to plug it into a European socket. The phone can also be charged using the included USB cable.

DSC_0010DSC_0011  

The rest of the box contains the battery, a headset and a USB cable.

DSC_0005     DSC_0006

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Android

After having some ideas for mobile applications I installed the Android SDK today. It only takes a few minutes and comes with a full swing emulator and Eclipse plugin.

Just great!