Friday, March 11, 2011

Android : Create a Bouncing Ball on Screen

If you are new to Android try the first article related to Android development first from here. Once you are done with that now you are ready to play with "Canves" where you can draw different kind of items. Following is a screenshot while ball is bouncing. Don't worry it will not stay at same place as in picture. It will bounce around :).
Start with creating an Android project in Eclipse. I used "SimplePuzzle" for project name and application name. Then i put "" as my package name. Finally i used "LaunchApp" for activity. Then you click "Finish" to create the project.

Then the next step of our project is to edit the "main.xml". You can find this xml file inside the "res/layout" folder. It will contain a "LinearLayout" and a "TextView" element. But now our animation will run in a "View" which will be creating by our selfs. The final code will be look like as follows.  Later we will be creating a "View" named as "PuzzleAnimationView" inside the "" package. Here in the "main.xml" we are refereeing to it.
Now save the xml and close it. It will create necessary variables inside the "" class. This is a file which is automatically generated and you DONOT need to change it at all. Next its better to add the image you need to use for animation into the folder "res/drawable". In some cases it will have three folders to support on different Android environments. For now you can copy the image into any one of them. In this example i used a "ball.png" as my image (its better to use a very small image for this example).

Now at the moment you can find "" is already created inside the package. For now we'll keep it a side and we'll create a new class named "PuzzleAnimationView". This was the defined class previously in "main.xml". This class should be extending "ImageView" class. As the first step you need to create the constructor of the class and see to set the context. The constructor will be appear as following.
public PuzzleAnimationView(Context context, AttributeSet attrs)
     super(context, attrs);
     mContext = context;
Here you will need to create a private variable named as "mContext". Now we are ready to write the actual drawing part. The "ImageView" class has its own method "onDraw" which is created in order to draw what ever things in the screen. hence we will be overriding this method with our animation code. But remember this is not about Android Animation. This is some image moving around. Later I will present you some fun application with Android Animation. First give a look at the code. Then we'll discuss what it is doing.
protected void onDraw(Canvas c) {
     int res_id = mContext.getResources().getIdentifier("ball", "drawable", mContext.getPackageName());
     BitmapDrawable d = (BitmapDrawable) mContext.getResources().getDrawable(res_id);
    int draw_x = Math.round(System.currentTimeMillis() % (this.getWidth()*2)) ;
     int draw_y = Math.round(System.currentTimeMillis() % (this.getHeight()*2)) ;
     if (draw_x>this.getWidth())
      draw_x = (this.getWidth()*2)-draw_x;
     if (draw_y>this.getHeight())
      draw_y = (this.getHeight()*2)-draw_y;

        c.drawBitmap(d.getBitmap(), draw_x, draw_y, null);

        float time = System.currentTimeMillis();
        while ((time+5000)>System.currentTimeMillis());

In "onDraw" method it is called with the parameter "Canvas". The Android phone will call this method with passing this parameter. Our goal is to draw a bitmap in to the given canvas. in line 12 you can see the bitmap drawing takes place. The line 2 and 3 is basically used to load the "ball" image into a bitmap. From 5 to 10 the lines are used here to manipulate the x and y locations that image should be drawn. You can use different kinds of algorithms here. Its just need to stay inside the screen resolution. "this.getWidth()" like emthods will return the screen size. Finally the line 14 and 15 is used as a timer to wait before the next draw. And finally in line 17 we call "postInvalidate()" method to redraw or to call the "onDraw" method through the system. Now we are done with creating the animation.

The next step is really simple. Now you just need to create a "PuzzleAnimationView" object. Then it will start playing automatically. Here is the code for creation.
PuzzleAnimationView anim_view = (PuzzleAnimationView) this.findViewById(;
Now its ready to run the application. Enjoy. If you have any concerns leave a comment.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Android : Hello World Calculator !

Here i'm going to write about how to create a worlds most simplest calculator in a very short period of time to run on Android platform.

First things first:
1. Download the Android SDK ( I Installed it to windows and i used the exe to install it. It worked pretty well :).
2. Install ADT Plugin for eclipse (
3. Now try to follow and create the HelloWorld Application. ( If you manage to get the required result you have done all the installation correctly.

Now to the calculator:
Follow this superb tutorial about creating the calculator in Android.

So Why am i writing another post??. I'll tell you what can go wrong.

Either you need to add some value to the AVD SD memory allocation or you have done something wrong in AndroidManifest.xml , It will only happen if you do not follow the tutorial instructions. And again in the emulator the application will not start or it might crash as well.

And the worlds famous question... Is Android Emulator takes agers to load. YES. Don't blame your computer or code. It takes very long time to turn up the emulator. But wait till everything loads up. When everything is done you'll see some nice wallpaper and some icons. WAIT till it appear.

Thats it for now :).