Chris (@chrisjenx) and I spoke at the BCS Bristol xmas event at @bristol last night along side Rob Mullins from Raspberry Pi. We talked about how awesome it is to work in technology as a programmer and develop apps at Mubaloo. So forgot those crappy spreadsheets they teach you at school and get cracking with the real fun stuff.

Check out App Inventor for a place to create your first Android app. http://beta.appinventor.mit.edu/
Getting started with Android development check out the official dev site here https://developer.android.com/index.html

Presentation slides after the break
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My first android app is almost ready for the market place, drop me a tweet if you want to test the beta.

Description:

Findr allows the user to search the popular photo sharing website Flickr for images that have been tagged with location data. For example: architecture in New york. The retrieved items are displayed as either a list of thumbnail images or as locations on a google map. Selecting an item allows you to see more details and a long press on an item in the list enables the user to set the image as their device wallpaper.

Technical Notes:

I have used Yahoo Pipes Flickr module for this app as it’s a quick and easy way of the required images with geo data.  I’ll look to use the Flickr API directly for the next version.  I’ve developed Findr for Android version 2.1 allowing it to be compatible with the majority of Android devices.
I have used this opportunity as a chance to experiment with a two 3rd party libraries showing my willingness to build on the efforts of the Android community and satisfy my programming desire to code efficiently:
  1. Spring Android- I’m currently studying towards becoming a SpringSource Certified  Professional and I have discovered a version of their useful RestTemplate for Android I’ve used this to retrieve the RSS feed.
  2. ThumbnailAdapter  by Mark Murphy aka Commons ware – Mark mentioned this at Droidcon 2010. This has been specifically created to download thumbnails in the background without blocking the UI thread. This was ideal for the list items page.
Also based on Google’s UI guidelines I’ve added the Action bar element, using example resources from the Google IO Schedule application.