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Make Cross-platform Mobile Apps Quickly - SIGGRAPH 2014

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Make Cross-platform Mobile Apps Quickly - SIGGRAPH 2014

  1. 1. Make Cross-Platform Mobile Apps Quickly Gil Irizarry Conoa Your logo on white centered in this space.
  2. 2. About Me • Launched VC News Daily app on iOS and Android. Over 3000 downloads so far. Also, check out @wazareapp. • Owner and lead engineer at Conoa, a graphics and mobile software firm • gil@conoa.com • http://www.slideshare.net/conoagil/
  3. 3. About Me • All examples and sample code in this presentation can be found at: • http://conoa.com/hidden/sig2014examples.zip
  4. 4. Why? • There are nearly 2 million mobile apps available today. http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile- stats/e#lotsofapps • In 2013, there were approximately 60 billion app downloads. http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile- stats/e#appdownloads • For many, interacting with software means interacting with mobile devices (or at least devices that run mobile software).
  5. 5. What we will do • We will learn how to build lightweight mobile apps quickly, using open source tools. • The apps will be cross-platform. • However, we must actually pick a platform on which to build and test the apps. • For this presentation, we will work in Android since the tools are free and easily available. We will do this on Windows.
  6. 6. What we will do • (Mostly) everything presented today in the Android environment will apply to iOS, or has an equivalent in that environment. • So, let’s get started…
  7. 7. First, download Eclipse • Suggest using Eclipse Classic. Why? Because the larger Eclipse is geared towards J2EE development, which we won’t need. • Eclipse Classic 4.2.2 (http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/packages/eclipse-classic- 422/junosr2)
  8. 8. Complete Environment • Android has a complete development environment available in a single download. However, where’s the fun in that?  • It’s good to understand how the components are connected together.
  9. 9. Download the Android SDK • Download and install the Android SDK. The Android SDK requires that the Java Development Kit (JDK) be installed. Do that before installing the Android SDK. • It is a good idea to install the Android SDK into the folder where Eclipse is located.
  10. 10. Install the ADT plug-in for Eclipse • This plug-in tells Eclipse where the Android SDK is located. • From the Android developer site: Start Eclipse, then select Help > Install New Software Click Add, in the top-right corner In the Add Repository dialog that appears, enter "ADT Plugin" for the Name and the following URL for the Location: https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/
  11. 11. Configure the ADT plug-in • Open Eclipse and select the Window menu. • Open the Android SDK and AVD manager. • Install all available components.
  12. 12. We’re nearly there! • We still need to define a virtual device so we can run our apps on the desktop. To do this, we must create an AVD, Android Virtual Device.
  13. 13. Create an Android Virtual Device • Again open the Android SDK and AVD Manager. • Select Virtual Devices then select New. • Create an AVD for Android 2.2 – API Level 8. Call it AVD2.2. Selecting an early version of Android ensures the your app will run on as many devices as possible. You have to decide whether to use new Android features or support the widest set of devices.
  14. 14. Let’s create a project • Select the Example1 project in the Package Explorer in Eclipse. • Select Run from the top menu bar • Once the emulator starts and is finished installing the app, you should see something like this:
  15. 15. Example 1 – Hello World in PhoneGap
  16. 16. Example 1 - Hello World • Your project should run in the Android 2.2 emulator • Take a moment to explore the emulator. It features some basic apps and a full web browser • Press Ctrl-F12. This simulates a person rotating the device and allows you to see your app in both landscape and portrait modes.
  17. 17. PhoneGap • PhoneGap is a free product, now owned by Adobe, that allows cross-platform mobile development. It supports iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, Windows Phone, and more. • It allows development in HTML, allowing the use of HTML5, CSS3, Javascript and more.
  18. 18. HTML5 • <!DOCTYPE html> signifies an HTML5 file. Note the difference from HTML4 and XHTML. • If you don’t already, follow the XHTML standard when coding in HTML5. Close your tags! <br />, not <br>
  19. 19. HTML5 • HTML5 adds: • formatting tags: header, footer, nav, etc. • local storage • geolocation • canvas element • video and audio tags
  20. 20. CSS3 • Cascading Style Sheets. • Codifies what had been loosely defined.
  21. 21. JavaScript • Scripting language that originally was used in web browser but, with node.js, is now used on servers as well. • Allows a website to have increased interactivity and dynamic content.
  22. 22. JQuery • The combination of HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript is quite powerful, but the introduction of frameworks allows some great results with less effort. • jQuery is a JavaScript library that simplifies a lot of JavaScript coding. It features: • easier traversal of the DOM • built-in Ajax functions • effects and animations • plug-in architecture
  23. 23. Example 2 - Let’s Get Data • Select the Example2 project in the Package Explorer in Eclipse. • Select Run from the top menu bar • Once the emulator starts and is finished installing the app, you should see something like this:
  24. 24. Example 2 - Let’s Get Data
  25. 25. Wait, what happened? • Does your emulator match the previous slide? Probably not. What happened? • When you create a new Android project with default setting, internet access for the app is not automatically set. • AndroidManifest.xml is an inventory of what access an app requires. Remove the comment tag from <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" /> and rebuild.
  26. 26. Example 2 - Under the hood • This example brings together quite a few components. • We want to read the Google News RSS feed. • One way to do that is to use YQL (Yahoo Query Language). YQL will convert RSS to JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) via a SQL-like interface. Simply need to use the RSS URL with the YQL query and pass this to Yahoo.
  27. 27. Example 2 - Under the hood • $.getJSON(newsqueryUrl, function (yqlObject) {} ); • $ refers to the jQuery object. getJSON is a function in the object. It will call the URL in the first argument and pass the result back to the anonymous function in second. • This is an example of Ajax (not AJAX!). The anonymous function will be called asynchronously.
  28. 28. Example 2 - Under the hood • $(paragraphID).text(yqlObject.query.results.item[headlineCou nt].title); • This is another jQuery statement, which says to change the text associated with the tag that has the specified id. • Compare this to: • var tag = document.getElementById(“headline"); • tag.innerHTML = “some headline text”;
  29. 29. Example 3 - More News
  30. 30. Example 3 - local storage • This example uses a new feature of HTML5: local storage. • With local storage, data is stored on the client. Persistence rules vary between clients but storage should persist no less than the current session. • Local storage is insecure. • HTML5 also supports SQL Lite databases on the client.
  31. 31. Example 3 - local storage • Local storage is a key-value pair. • Set: localStorage.setItem(thisTitle, yqlObject.query.results.item[jobCount].title[0]); • Get: titleText = localStorage.getItem(thisTitle);
  32. 32. Example 3 - JQuery Mobile • jQuery Mobile is a JavaScript library that emulates the iPhone look and feel, among others, in a cross-platform manner. • Helps to make an HTML page or app feel ‘mobile’. • Offers different styles and customizations.
  33. 33. Example 3 - JQuery Mobile • With jQuery Mobile, “pages” are <div> tags with a single page. • Navigate between pages by “calling” the id of the appropriate <div>. • A single html file can contain multiple pages.
  34. 34. Example 3 - JQuery Mobile <div data-role="page" id="menu"> <div data-role="header" data-theme="b"> </div> <div data-role="content"> </div> </div> <div data-role="page" id="jobinfo"> <div data-role="header" data-theme="b"> </div> <div data-role="content"> </div> </div>
  35. 35. Example 4 - Access phone Data
  36. 36. Example 4 - Access Phone Data • In this example, we’ll access the device’s contact list. Normally, accessing this information would involve writing platform-specific code on Android or iOS. • With PhoneGap, this looks like the HTML DOM: • navigator.contacts.find(fields, onSuccess, onError, options);
  37. 37. Example 5 - Simple Map app
  38. 38. Example 5 - Simple Map app • We can take advantage of JavaScript APIs now that we have a framework for using them. • For example, Google Maps offers a JavaScript API. We can use it to create a basic map application. • https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/javascript /
  39. 39. HTML5 Canvas • HTML5 includes a new <canvas> element. • Canvas allows the rendering of 2D graphics via some low- level primitives. • It does not include a scene graph API, so you must store rendering information yourself for redrawing a scene.
  40. 40. HTML5 Canvas • Canvas supports: • Basic shapes • Images • Transparency • Compositing • Transforms • Basic animation
  41. 41. Example 6 - Simple Drawing • This example gives a sense of what can be drawn. • Canvas uses a drawing system similar to Adobe PostScript or Mac OS QuickDraw. This is not surprising considering that Apple developed the initial implementation of canvas before it became a (somewhat) standard. • Obtain the graphics context of the canvas for issuing drawing commands
  42. 42. Example 6 - Simple Drawing
  43. 43. Canvas Drawing • beginPath() … fill() or stroke () paradigm • moveTo() / lineTo() for paths • arc() for full or partial circles • bezierTo() for complex curves • fillText() / strokeText() for text
  44. 44. Canvas Drawing • drawImage() • colors, either by name or hex values • gradients, linear or radial, and patterns • stroke styles, including stipple patterns and line end caps • push and pop transformations and state
  45. 45. Canvas Coordinate System • (0, 0) is in the upper left corner of the canvas. • Increasing y is “down” from the screen’s perspective. Increasing x is to the right. (0, 0) (0, height) (width, 0)
  46. 46. Let’s make a pattern • Find an image from the internet and save it to • Example6/assets/www folder • Change this code: • context.fillStyle=gradient; • context.beginPath(); • context.arc(55,155,40,0,2*Math.PI); • context.fill(); • To this code:
  47. 47. Let’s make a pattern • var img = new Image(); • img.src = 'clouds.jpg'; // use your image name here • img.onload = function (e) { • var pattern = context.createPattern(img, 'repeat'); • context.fillStyle=pattern; • context.beginPath(); • context.arc(55,155,40,0,2*Math.PI); • context.fill(); • }; • Shapes that you fill will become masks for the underlying pattern.
  48. 48. Example 7 - Touch • Everything so far has been static. • JavaScript has an event system. We saw one in the previous example: onload • Let’s use other events to add some interactivity.
  49. 49. Example 7 - Touch
  50. 50. Touch Events • HTML5 canvas adds new events for devices: • ontouchstart • ontouchmove • ontouchend • Note that events come back as arrays. Why? • Because HTML5 supports multi-touch. We can have multiple simultaneous move events.
  51. 51. Touch Events • Important to remember that event coordinates triggered by the canvas are relative to the full window. • Events need to be converted to the canvas coordinate system in order to be relevant to the canvas. • Look at function windowToCanvas (canvas, x, y) in Example 7 source code (found in assets/www folder).
  52. 52. Previewing • Many of the previous examples work equally well as a PhoneGap-powered mobile app and as a web page. If you haven’t already done so, trying running assets/www/index.html in a browser. • However, by incorporating touch events, we must run Example 7 and other examples incorporating touch in the mobile emulator.
  53. 53. Example 8 - Paint & Menus
  54. 54. Images over the network • To access images over the network (or any data at all), remember that network access must be enabled. On Android, network access is not the default. It must be enabled in the AndroidManifest.xml file: • <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
  55. 55. Saving and restoring state • save() pushes the current context onto a stack. • In addition to the current transformation, attributes are also pushed. • In the current example, because the text was given a shadow, the shadow applies to the paint object. If we want only the text to have a shadow, we could put the text rendering code inside a save() / restore() block.
  56. 56. Example 8 - Paint & Menus • Since we can render images into the canvas, we can use a set of images and canvases to create menus. • We could also draw into the canvases to render the menu options dynamically.
  57. 57. Example 8 - Paint & Menus • The example allows the color and size of the paint brush to be modified • Separate canvases are used for the icon images, and touch event handlers are attached to the canvases. How else could we accomplish this? • The image selector and scale checkbox are standard HTML controls that trigger JavaScript events. We could make <div> elements with <img> elements containing the icons, and put event handlers on the images.
  58. 58. Animation • Although we’ve added some interactivity, the examples so far have been a little static. • Let’s add some animation.
  59. 59. Example 9 - Clock
  60. 60. Animation • This example queries the time from the JavaScript Date() object and draws the hands accordingly. • The canvas is cleared each frame and redrawn. • If you haven’t already, try running the Graphics Example 8 in a browser (by running assets/www/index.html) • There is something consistently missing in both the emulator and the browser. What is it?
  61. 61. Animation • The answer is flicker. The same canvas is cleared and redrawn each frame, yet there is no flicker. • This is because the canvas is inherently double-buffered. • You could implement your own double buffering scheme because HTML5 allows drawing to off-screen drawables. You could draw off-screen, then swap the off-screen memory to the on-screen canvas. However, HTML5 canvas does this more efficiently.
  62. 62. Doing Things the Right Way • We have been cutting some corners, so let’s do things the right way. • PhoneGap should load the JavaScript when it is ready, otherwise you potentially have the problem similar to when you reference an image before it is loaded. • Set a device ready event: • document.addEventListener("deviceready", fnName, false); • fnName is the name of the event handler
  63. 63. Doing Things the Right Way • Setting the device ready event requires that the device get set in the config.xml file. This file is not in a default Eclipse project, so it needs to be added manually. It goes in the /res/xml folder. • <feature name="Device"> • <param name="android-package” value="org.apache.cordova.Device" /> • </feature>
  64. 64. Doing Things the Right Way • Look at the clock app. Also, try running it in a browser and look at it there. • If you look closely enough, you’ll see a stutter on the second hand. This is because setInterval() is a general suggestion to the canvas on when to redraw and not a hard commitment. • There is a better way: requestAnimationFrame()
  65. 65. Doing Things the Right Way • requestAnimationFrame() is designed to deliver 60 FPS and is made for games or animation. • However, there is a problem. Many browsers don’t implement it! • Remember that HTML5 is still not a standard!
  66. 66. Doing Things the Right Way • webkitRequestAnimationFrame() for Chrome, mozRequestAnimationFrame() for Firefox. • Search for ‘robust polyfill code’ to find ways to deal with this. • http://my.opera.com/emoller/blog/2011/12/20/requestanimatio nframe-for-smart-er-animating
  67. 67. Doing Things the Right Way • Unfortunately, Android and iOS do not support requestAnimationFrame(), at least at the versions we’ve been supporting in these examples. • In this case, the polyfill code reverts back to setInterval() or setTimeout(). • Another solution is to support only later versions of the OS.
  68. 68. Doing Things the Right Way • http://caniuse.com/requestanimationframe
  69. 69. Doing Things the Right Way • Let’s stop the main Android activity from showing up before the HTML loads. • <application android:theme="@android:style/Theme.NoTitleBar" >
  70. 70. Example 10 - Bouncing Balls
  71. 71. Playing Sound • In the latest example, a sound is played when a ball bounces. • To enable this, remember to set the correct permissions in both AndroidManifest.xml and config.xml. • Create a PhoneGap media object. This requires the use of cordova.js in addition to cordova.jar.
  72. 72. Example 11 - Space
  73. 73. Sprites • HTML5 does not support sprites natively but, now that we know how to do animation and draw images, we can simulate them. • drawImage() allows a subset of an image to be drawn. • Every so many frames, we can draw a different part of a larger image. The larger image can be made up of different sprite images.
  74. 74. Thank You!