Tips for a hands-off setup experience

A 100% command-line based solution to a working emulator

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Photo by Irina Nalbandian on Unsplash

When it comes to setting up the Android emulator on a computer, most online tutorials start with “Download Android Studio.” Subsequent steps explain how to use the interface to pick the API and device profile before finally creating the AVD.

Point and click solutions often work well for the visual user or in cases where a one-time setup is all that is necessary to bootstrap a configuration for later use. …

For the times when there’s no app for that

Demystifying the three-step process by learning by example

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Photo by James Hammond on Unsplash

You can find a Gradle plugin to do just about anything with Java. If you have ever worked on any modern Java application with this build tool, then you are no doubt accustomed to importing and applying plugins to the top of your .gradle files before you can build.

However, in some cases, you’ll encounter a missing link that cannot be adequately addressed by anything on the web. I have encountered this situation several times and was surprised how easy it was to mend this discrepancy.

The Blueprint

There are a few concepts I’ll discuss which do not readily appear in the Gradle documentation but turn out to be quite helpful during testing. Once we have Gradle (the build tool for the plugin itself) and our IDE configured as needed, then we can proceed to build our plugin. …

Leveraging the open library to take it further

Extending Jetpack’s ability to navigate anywhere

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Photo by NASA on Unsplash

With the introduction of Android Jetpack, developers now have a marvelous new set of libraries which offer an unprecedented level of simplicity and reusability. Before Jetpack’s debut, fragment and activity-based navigation often proved to be complicated, fragile, and nearly unique to each app on the market. Google has heard our pleas for help and given us the Navigation Component.

Current State of the Navigation Component

Since the preliminary release of the navigation component in May 2018, much of its functionality has improved, changed, and expanded. As of December 2019, the current state of this library offers native support for these destination types:

  • Fragments
  • Activities
  • DialogFragments

Support for Chrome Custom Tabs (CCT) is a notable omission from this list. Fortunately, since CCT is similar enough in behavior to activities, it is not a significant lift to add in support for this destination type. …


Oliver Spryn

I’m connecting people with technology, seamlessly. Since 2008, I’ve been a software architect and a leading engineer, delivering smart and intuitive software.

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