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AnDevCon 2013 Tutorials
Choose from 9 full-day and half-day Android tutorials to kick-start your Android app development training experience at AnDevCon. Whether you need the introductory Android developer boot camp or a deep dive into 2D physics, there’s an Android development tutorial waiting for you at AnDevCon.
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Tuesday, May 28
Full-Day Tutorial
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Android Development Boot Camp Has code image

New to Android development? This tutorial provides a hands-on introduction to Android application development and the tools essential to the process. Beyond an introduction to the basics, this tutorial also covers some of the common hurdles met with development, and how to overcome them. You will be equipped with the fundamentals needed to get the most out of AnDevCon, so you will be ready to tackle real-world Android development tasks.

We will progress through the key concepts of Android application development with many code examples and hands-on modules. Topics will be covered in a lecture, demo and hands-on approach. You will also build an Android app of your own where you can apply what you learn in the tutorial. Main points we will cover:
  • Tools overview and Eclipse kick-start
  • Platform fundamentals
  • Language overview (Activities, Intents, Fragments)
  • Accessing Web services
  • Debugging fundamentals
Note: Bring your laptop with the Android SDK pre-installed. Time will not be spent doing this during the tutorial. You can find installation instructions at

Level: Overview
Topic Area: Developer Essentials
Embedded Android Tutorial Has code image image

While Android has been created for mobile devices—phones first and now tablets—it can nonetheless be used as the basis for any touch-screen system, whether it be mobile or not. Essentially, Android is a custom-built embedded Linux distribution with a very elaborate and rich set of user-space abstractions, APIs, services and virtual machines.

This one-day tutorial is aimed at embedded developers wanting to build touch-based embedded systems using Android. It will cover Android from the ground up, enabling developers to get a firm hold on the components that make up Android and how they need to be adapted to an embedded system.

Specifically, we will start by introducing Android's overall architecture, and then proceed to peel Android's layer one-by-one.

First, we will cover the Android Open Source Project, the open-source project under which Android's source code is released. We will then dig into the native Android user space and Android's power tools, and cover how hardware support is implemented in Android. Given that Android is built on top of Linux, we will also go over some embedded Linux tricks and see how the kernel is modified to support the Android user space.

In addition, we will look at the System Server, the Android Framework and core Android applications, and how to customize them.

Level: Intermediate
Topic Area: Embedded Android
Half-Day Tutorial
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

2D Physics Game Half-Day Hackathonstarburst image Has code image

Always wanted to build the next Angry Birds, but not sure how to get started? Then attend this half-day tutorial that will start with an overview of the popular Box2D physics engine and will end with you demoing your new game prototype! Using the BatteryTech Engine, the hackathon will focus on using the popular scripting language Lua to build and control a 2D physics world.

You will receive the resources required to build and run an Android version of your new game, as well as first-hand technical assistance throughout the tutorial. Intermediate programming experience is required, and you must bring either a Windows or OS X laptop capable of running OpenGL 2.0.

Level: Intermediate
Topic Area: Developer Essentials
Easy Mobile: Making Your Application Easier to Use

This hands-on tutorial will consist of critiques and walkthroughs of your applications with an eye to making them easier to use. We will do some user testing and bounce ideas off each other. We will hack up screens and look for ways to better meet your goals. Our goal is to make sure that everyone leaves this tutorial with at least one to three usability improvements made to their application, and a list of two or three other things that can be done.

Level: Intermediate
Topic Area: Developer Essentials
Talk to Your Toaster: Exploring Embedded with Arduino, Part Istarburst image Has code image

In this half-day tutorial, we will explore the Arduino embedded development platform and how developers can leverage it to quickly build accessory devices that monitor input from the outside world and use that information to control other devices or communicate with a host, such as an Android device. You will learn about the different Arduino hardware configurations that are available, and how they differ. We will explore basic concepts of microcontroller application development, such as interrupts, timers, analog and digital I/O. We will also discuss the features of the Arduino programming language and how to write applications using the Arduino IDE and development tools.

Although this tutorial is not directly hands-on, sample code for the Arduino examples will be provided. No specific knowledge of Arduino is required; however, a basic understanding of programming in C will be helpful.
To build on information learned in this tutorial, attend Part II later in the day.

To build on information learned in this workshop, attend "Talk to Your Toaster: Developing Android Accessories, Part II."

Level: Intermediate
Topic Area: Embedded Android
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Building Game Effects Like the Prosstarburst image Has code image

Come learn how to use vibration events in your Android games and apps. This half-day tutorial shows you the basic Android vibrate method, and then reveals how the pros really do it. We'll describe and explain the methods used by Sega, Rockstar Games and most of the Android hardware OEMs like Samsung, LG and Toshiba.
You will learn how to simulate the feel of a machine gun, explosion or simple UI vibration events using predefined effects from a library. We will show how to create dynamic vibration events that modify effect magnitude or frequency, based on in-game events. Think "Doppler effect" realism.

We will round out the tutorial by explaining how to create your own custom vibration events and timelines for using a free “Haptic Studio” tool from Immersion. We will show how these vibration effects can be integrated with standard Android animations of drawable resources.

The tutorial will combine PowerPoint slides with Android code examples. We will work through some hands-on code exercises, so bring your laptop. All the source code and exercises will be downloadable to help you have a rich, successful and enjoyable learning experience.

Note: Please bring your laptops with the Android SDK already installed. If you have a game under development, please bring that source code too. We will walk everyone through the process of choosing haptic effects, and we will write the small amount of code to add haptic effects to your app.
Level: Intermediate
Topic Area: Developer Essentials
Optimizing Your App for a Wide Range of Devices and Multiple Screensstarburst image Has code image

During this half-day tutorial, we will take an example application that has been built for one device in portrait mode and extend it to support multiple screens and orientations. The example will be a list view containing a list of tweets with avatar images. This will be a hands-on tutorial with sample code. Bring your Android-ready laptop.
We will cover strategies to support multiple screens, everything from 4-inch phones through 10-inch tablets. Topics include:
  • Using the simulator to quickly test layouts on different screen sizes
  • Strategies to reduce code duplication in your layouts using relative layouts and weighted layouts
  • Optimizing bitmaps that are in your app or from the network
We will cover how to support multiple orientations and some of the problems we see in practice, including:
  • Android’s life cycle with respect to orientation changes
  • Creating layouts for both orientations while minimizing code duplication
  • Issues that will appear once users start rotating your app 
  • Testing your app for rotations
  • Memory leaks when rotating and how to uncover them
Throughout the tutorial, we will also cover some common pitfalls and best practices for supporting a wide range of devices, along with other lessons learned from the trenches.

Level: Intermediate
Topic Area: Developer Essentials
Pretty Mobile: Making Your Application Look Sexy

If you ever find yourself making graphical decisions on your application, this session is for you. This hands-on tutorial will consist of critiques and walkthroughs of your applications with an eye to making them look amazing. We will open up Photoshop and hack up screens and try new things. We will look at best-practice applications and give some tips on how to get there. Our goal is to make sure that everyone leaves this tutorial with a list of design improvements that you can make to your own applications—and a list of other things to be done as well. We can't make you a designer in one tutorial, but we can help you with that next step up.

Level: Intermediate
Topic Area: Developer Essentials
Talk to Your Toaster: Developing Android Accessories, Part IIstarburst image Has code image

In this half-day tutorial, we will look in-depth at the APIs available in the Android framework to connect with external hardware, as well as the basics developers need to get up and running. You will learn how to work with the Android USB framework, including host mode and the Open Accessory protocol. We will also look at the embedded side of Open Accessory to gain an understanding of how to implement it on an embedded device.

Although this tutorial is not directly hands-on, sample code for both the Android and firmware side will be provided. Experience and familiarity with embedded development platforms such as Arduino, or attending the previous tutorial ("Talk to Your Toaster: Exploring Embedded with Arduino, Part I") will be helpful, as we will be exploring some accessory firmware. An understanding of the basics of USB technology is also a plus.

Level: Intermediate
Topic Area: Developer Essentials