Launching an Android Activity of another APK

We have discussed Android and its Activity system today. It is quite hard to grasp for an iOS guy like me; it feels…special.

I certainly know how to start an activity within my own app and I understand the difference of an explicit Intent vs an implicit one. But there are a couple of questions I couldn’t find answers to, particularly not something that would show how things work with Xamarin.Android.

So I created a small test app to answer the following questions:

  1. How can another app be launched directly?
  2. How can an Activity of another APK be started via an explicit Intent?
  3. How to implicitly start an Activity of another APK?

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Migrating from Parallels Desktop 10 to VMware Fusion 7: Android SDK broken, WP Emulator not working

Recently I switched my Parallels Desktop 10 VM setup to VMware’s Fusion 7. I had various (random) problems with Parallels Desktop 10 and decided to give Fusion a try. The result: Fusion 7 does not support all the fancy DirectX 10 support, but for a virtual Windows 8.1 development machine on my Mac, it is the better choice.

Migrating over was easy: I simply imported the PD10 virtual hard disk. In 30 minutes it was converted over into Fusion’s format and started up just fine. Everything worked pretty well but then I found a view things I had to adjust.

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Android – handling screen rotation and different layouts using Fragments with Xamarin

When I was asked if I could demo how to handle different screen sizes and rotation in Android, I created a small project which I’d like to share here. You can find the complete repo at Github.

The demo uses Xamarin.Android and was built using the Compatibility Lib v4 to support Android’s navigation drawer layout. Fragments are used directly and not via the compatibility packages.

Navigation Drawer on a Nexus 7

Navigation Drawer on a Nexus 7

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Change language in Google’s Developer console

If you are (like me) located in Germany but prefer to use the Google Developer Console in English, I encourage you to navigate to https://play.google.com/apps/publish/ now and then try to change your language settings. I’m waiting here…

You’re back? What do you mean, it’s not possible? Turns out you’re almost right. I talked to Google support and indeed there is nothing in the UI that would allow you to switch the language. However there’s a workaround. Just append “&hl=en” to the URL and you’re set!

 https://play.google.com/apps/publish?hl=en

Xamarin, your first iOS application and the transition to Android: a Screencast for beginners

These days at school, chances are high that your first contact with programming was with C#, just like it was C, C++ or Java years before. Maybe you made some “Hello World!” application for the text console or used WPF to “design” your UI and then do something on a button’s click. That’s all fascinating but you don’t really see why you would put further effort into this. And so the basic C# knowledge sits there in the back of your head, waiting to be resurrected.

Hello_World_App

Hello, World! – I am a software developer

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Xamarin’s Visual Studio Plugin, missing Android devices, Genymotion and Parallels Desktop – don’t panic!

You are a Mac owner. You’re used to the fact that “things just work”. But you are also a programmer, eager to write software for Android platforms using Xamarin? You even managed to set up your development environment using your Mac, Parallels Desktop, Windows 8 and Xamarin. And now you are trying deploy your first Xamarin Android application to your physical device or an emulator? Alright, please try that now. Fail. Then come back to this article and read on.

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