Need help with an Android (4.0.3) widget


2 posts
by obarthelemy » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:13 pm
Hi.

I got an Android tablet for my elderly parents, but they'll struggle with the UI (too small and fiddly). I've looked everywhere for LARGE and evocative launch widgets or launchers, no luck. Either they aren't big enough, or they're just a generic icon, not a preview of the actual content (my sister's blog...). So I'll need to roll my widget, who needs to do the following:

- be very large, the goal is 4 widgets per 10", 1280x800 screen, landscape mode
- display a static image which I'll prepare and put on the tablet beforehand (will mostly be an enlarged, cropped, screenshot of a website)
- launch a specific app or bookmark when clicked
- be configurable individually, I'll use several instances of the same widget per screen, on several screens. I'm thinking touching 2 opposite corners (a single one is not idiot proof) pops up a config menu where I can hunt for the image to display, and either select an app to run or enter an URL to open with the default browser.

The deluxe version of the widget would be resizable to any random size up to full screen, and also able to display live web content with an offset (to skip the top+left ads/menus), zoom factor, and of course cropping the rest. Maybe a "refresh now" button (large).

I haven't programmed in ages, and never in Java. I've fished around for tutorials but they seem to assume knowledge I don't have and/or older versions of Android.

Could someone point me to a nice, up-to-date tutorial, and/or give me pointers (pointers in Java... I know...) as to how to go about programming that ?
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:53 pm
by zorba » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:21 pm
Hi,

I don't really know that much java but if you want a quick win you could try some of these:

'App' generators (a bit basic, you give them rss feeds or links or something and it gives you an app) - I would start with Andromo first:
www.appyet.com
www.appgeyser.com
www.andromo.com

The webpage formerly known as Google AppInventor - it's very very good and lets you implement jigsaw pieces of logic to build an app. If I remember rightly, you can also hand edit the code if you need to:
http://www.appinventor.mit.edu/

I hope that helps - I'd love to hear back how you get on!
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:16 pm