Android Fortnightly by GDG Lagos

Android Fortnightly by GDG Lagos

It’s 2016, the year of smart phones. The number of Android OS users in Africa keeps rising exponentially. Here is data, if you need convincing.

mobios_af_timeseries_601x461

Source: http://stats.areppim.com/stats/stats_mobiosxtime_afr.htm

It’s also the year Android developers need to do more than build apps that just work. We need to start considering that our users have low-end devices with limited hardware resources and poor internet connectivity. A lot of them also have pre-L devices. Here’s more data to back that up.

statista-2016-android

Whether or not your users still enjoy using your apps is totally up to you then. They deserve the best experience possible irrespective of their kind of device. They deserve beautiful apps with interesting transitions that are not heavy and doesn’t consume a lot of their data. It’s entirely up to you, the Android developer, to deliver that to them.

Instead of just talking about it, the GDG Lagos team is working on greatly increasing the level of skill and knowledge of Android developers in our ecosystem and for the next two months we would like to run a weekend series on Android development (and soon after Web) using best practices, introducing new tools and much more. This series will hold every two weeks. We plan to measure the impact of the programme in the months following it and make the program better based on feedback from the participants.

 

At each of the series, we plan to have between 30 and 50 developers. We will also carefully and rigorously select the attendees based on their current skill level, interests and previous interactions to ensure we have the maximum possible impact as far as this sort of events go. Each event will be 3 hours long. Each event will have one speaker. Each event will go in-depth into any of the topics covered.

 

All our speakers are going to come from within the community as we hope to increase the visibility of good Android developers we have. Based on the projected impact on the community, after the two months is up we hope to have a Call for papers and open up the speaker slots to any interested developers in the region. We want speakers we might have missed out on and has built or is working on something awesome and wants to share the process with the community.

 

Our vision is to make more Android developers in the region care about the apps they build and make them proud enough to want to talk about it. We want to read more stories about how the strategies they took to optimize app performance for their users while following best practices and latest Android technologies.

We can only have our fingers crossed as we hope that the impact of this program will increase the quality of apps coming out of Lagos.

The first session holds on July 23. Register here

Publish Paid Apps on the Play Store from Nigeria


Finally, Android Developers in Nigeria can now publish paid apps on the Play Store from Nigeria and get paid in Nigeria. The only requirement is that you open a domiciliary account which from my experience takes just about a day with GTBank if you already have an account.

Once you have that in place, simply go to the Google Play Developer Console  to sign up and set up a Merchant account for $25 USD.

See the entire list of supported countries

Links to SDKs, APIs, IDEs & Videos, Prototyping Tools and Tutorials

The GTUG is a community with a primary focus on how to leverage on Google technology, platforms and APIs and beyond, as developers, graphics designers and tech enthusiasts.

Below is a collection of links which over the past few months have floated around the community and might prove helpful during development.

HTML5 Programming
–  http://html5ocks.com/
 – http://www.w3schools.com/html5/html5_intro.asp

Android Programming
–  http://developer.android.com/index.html
 – Over 200 Videos http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL34F010EEF9D45FB8
 – Class by Class Tutorials – https://developer.android.com/training/index.html

Blackberry Development
 – http://developer.blackberry.com/

Mobile QT Development
 – http://www.callingallinnovators.com/10M/events_and_training.aspx

Rapid Prototyping of Mobile Web Apps
 – http://www.codiqa.com
 – http://www.mobjectify.com

JQuery Mobile
 – http://jquerymobile.com/

Smartest Friends
 – Stack Overflow
  http://www.stackoverflow.com

Youtube API
 – https://developers.google.com/youtube/getting_started

Google+ API
 – https://developers.google.com/+/

Google Drive API
 – https://developers.google.com/drive/

Facebook API
  – http://developers.facebook.com/docs/

Twitter API
   – https://dev.twitter.com/docs/api

Google Maps
 – https://developers.google.com/maps/

Google Apps API
 – https://developers.google.com/google-apps/Google App Engine:
 – https://developers.google.com/appengine/

Google Web Toolkit
 – https://developers.google.com/web-toolkit/

Building Chrome Extensions
 – http://lifehacker.com/5857721/how-to-build-a-chrome-extension

Free Online Courses
 – http://www.udacity.com
 – http://www.udemy.com/

Premium Online Courses
 https://learnable.com/sitepoint

20 Things Every Mobile App/ Mobile Web Developer Should Know
 – http://bit.ly/zcPfu8

Links to SDKS & IDEs (Android, Java, PHP, HTML5, Google App Engine)

 – Eclipse: http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/
 – Netbeans: http://netbeans.org/downloads/
 – Aptana Studio: http://www.aptana.com/products/studio3/download
 – Wakanda: http://www.wakanda.org/downloads
 – Android SDK: http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html
 – Facebook SDK: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/sdks/
 – Nokia SDK: http://www.developer.nokia.com/Resources/Tools_and_downloads/
 – Blackberry SDK : https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/devzone/
 – Titanium Appcelerator: http://www.appcelerator.com/platform/titanium-sdk

Other Important Links
 – 5000+ APIs  – http://www.programmableweb.com/apis/directory

Structured Web Apps
 – NodeJs: http://nodejs.org/about/
 – Dart.js: http://www.dartlang.org/

Incubation Hubs: [ perfect for startups ]
 http://www.cchubnigeria.com
 http://www.wennovationhub.com/

If you have a link you feel should be included in this ‘bundle’ feel free to shoot a comment about them.

Special thanks goes to the following people for providing content:
Busayo Oyebisi
– Silas Olatayo

Hackathon Kicks Off

And we are off! http://www.cchubnigeria.com/tech-in-education-top-6-ideas-announced

A room full of smart programmers + domain experts + strategists + business analysts + tech-enthusiasts = explosive & innovative solutions. And we have got six projects to churn out by Sunday – one by each team. So we’ve got web, mobile, mobile+web solutions.

If you couldn’t make it to the hub today, don’t miss the real work which starts tomorrow at 9am! You can still join any of the teams.
The ideas are viewable here : http://www.cchubnigeria.com/tech-in-education-top-6-ideas-announced

Global Android Hackathon meets Tech-In Education Hackathon

Global Android Hackathon meets Tech-In Education Hackathon

From the 17th of February to the 19th of February, GTUGs all over the world will be participating in a hackathon to build applications on the Android platform. At the same time, the Tech-In Education Hackathon to be hosted by CCHUB will also be taking place. This Tech-in Education event will be about creating novel web & mobile solutions to improve learning amongst primary and secondary school students in Nigeria.

This creates an awesome opportunity to build Education-related applications which make sense right there, right now.

If you also have ideas for the event, do submit them here : http://www.tech-in.org/submit.php

If you want to participate in the Hackathon, register your interest here: http://www.tech-in.org/participate.php

See you there!

– Update:
The Top 6 Ideas:
http://www.cchubnigeria.com/tech-in-education-top-6-ideas-announced

Deadline Extended for Android Developer Challenge

You now have more time to develop that nifty app or create that course content and submit it for the Android Developer Challenge because the deadline for submissions has been shifted from February 15 to March 15.

It’s going to be pretty competitive this year because of the successes (and rewards $$$ ) from the developer challenge last year.

Find out more about the Android Developer Challenge here

Looking forward to really creative stuff!

The First GTUG-Lagos Hangout

We had such a good time on Saturday that it’s been decided this should happen more often.
The event took place at CcHub and kicked off a little late – at 11:25am with Googlers – Luizella Mazza, Richard Ngamita and our very own Emeka Afigbo all joining us via Hangout.
We also had a couple of other people like Chinedu and Abayomi Ayoola join us over the net as well. And we went through a session led by the Googlers which talked about the current features and limitations, new additions and future roadmap of the Google+ api.
Two photos from the event:

Next in line was the “Android App in 15 minutes”. Well it took a little longer than 15minutes (about 25) as we debated the actual implementation of certain parts of the application. The app is named – My501Quotes – it displays a new famous quote, wise saying, facts e.t.c. every time the app is launched or the user clicks on refresh. Furthermore, the user is also able to share any of those quotes with friends via Facebook, Twitter, Email and SMS. The sourcecode code is attached to this post.The GTUG-Hackathon:
To help inspire active developer participation, it was unanimously decided on Saturday that we should have a hackathon before the end of the year. While many of us have participated in different events like WaterHackathon, Tech-in-Governance, Startup Weekend, Garage48 e.t.c., this will (as far as I know) be the first one being driven by a clearly defined and growing community of developers – the GTUG. More information of what the focus areas are, when the event will take place, modalities, e.t.c. will be available soon.
We then moved to talk about the current initiatives, competitions and drives by companies – namely MTN, Nokia and Samsung (arranged in alphabetical order). They each have different plans but one goal in mind – growing and tapping into local content app developers.
MTN is currently running a monthly competition the best apps in each month are rewarded with Samsung Galaxy devices ( 1st and 2nd positions) and they have plans to launch their own app store by January, with some of these apps in the forefront.
Samsung has also indicated interest in helping developers push their apps and are particularly interested in local content apps and apps directed towards corporate organisations.
Nokia is constantly also running competitions – the Nokia Create for Millions (and the Regional one for West Africa) which has been running for some time and a few members have already submitted their applications for it.
All in all, they believe that growing the local developer base is a sure way to tap into the the rapidly emerging market for mobile applications in Nigeria.
Lastly, we had Bosun Tijani, Co-founder of CcHub talk about CcHub as a pre-incubation space to help connect, incubate and accelerate tech ideas. They have also made the hub available for future GTUG events.
If you participated in the event via hangout or were physically present during the event, please fill the short questionnaire sent to your mail help improve future events.
Next GTUG Event:
Another GTUG event is being planned for the 26th of this month. More details shortly.Hope to see you at that next event!

Source code for My501Quote [Click on Download Original for Entire Source Code]

Other Links:

  1. Google+ API
  2. Controlling a Laser Turet from a Google+ Hangout
  3. MTN App Competition
  4. Samsung Developer Interest
  5. Nokia Create for Millions
  6. Abiodun Thorpe’s blog post on event

Upcoming Samsung Android Event

Samsung here in Nigeria is hosting an Android-event at the end of this month for top corporate organisations from the financial, insurance, healthcare entertainment and news publishing industries. The aim of the event is to show that companies can now confidently and securely adopt Android devices for handling a number of their corporate processes.

To this effect, Samsung is interested in showcasing some of the android apps built locally with the intention of helping you increase visibility, giving you a chance to engage with top executives and decision makers in those industries and possibly putting your app on the market. Samsung has also expressed interest in making such applications to be installed by default for tablets and phones being shipped to Nigeria & West Africa in the near future.

If you have built or are developing an android app you would like to showcase at the event, please send a quick description of the application to gtuglagos [at] gmail.com and include mobile number for further discussions.

Things to have in mind as the deadlines for the Google Android Challenge Approaches

As the deadlines for the Android Challenge approach we should bear the following in mind:

July 1st is the first deadline, this means that latest by this weekend, you should have settled on your ideas as you will have less than a month to put it all together for the first submission (which is less than a day in developer land)

If you feel that your project idea is small enough for just you or a small team (that you should have already selected) to work on then you are good to go and should have already gone far in hashing out your app.

If on the other hand you think that your idea is something that is bigger than you given the timeframe, you may want to consider looking for team mates that would help you acheieve your goals faster. Several of us have put up links that can help us put our ideas out there and source for team mates (remember, time is short, you should have finished this step by now, in case you have not, you can look here and here),

If your team has three or more members, you may want to look at ways in which you can work together remotely. A good idea would be to set up a repository online (you can use git or any one of your choosing depending on your needs)

Again if you are in a team and like many people are tied up in school work or work-work and can hardly find time to collaborate, you may want to consider organizing a mini-hackathon preferably on weekends to get things rolling. This will come in particularly handy in the initial stages of the project as you struggle to overcome inertia.

Depending on what the response is, the Lagos GTUG could organize a hackathon for interested parties to polish up their code sometime after G-Nigeria where we could try and get our resident Android gurus to assist those who may have questions as they code.

Again, if you are in a team or trying to form one, remember that you may need more than just android skills in your project, particularly if your project has a cloud component. Skills like PHP, python, J2EE, html and even technical writing (yes, documentation is key) could come in handy.

Also take out time to learn the best practices in Android application development, many of them are spelt out in the videos on the Anroid developer challenge CD. Like we said before, a limited number of these CDs are available for collection/copying. For information on how to get/copy it send an email to gtuglagos@gmail.com. Note that the contents of the CD are also available online, so if you have a fast internet connection, you can also download the content online.

We would like to wish everyone well as they embark on their projects, looking forward to seeing interesting submissions.

Google Technology Open House 23rd April 2011

Its happening again folks!
We are finalizing arrangements for the next Google Technology Open House in Lagos.
It will be taking place in the same venue as the last one (University Of Lagos Akoka).
The theme for this open house will be centered around mobile applications and the Android platform.
So make sure you keep 23rd of April free….and we gurrantee you that you will not regret it!