Speaker at Droidcon Berlin 2015

I am excited to announce I will speak at Droidcon this Friday June 5 2015. My talk is here

The initial title “Android Fuckup and postmortem” was accepted in the Call of Paper . But to be politically correct I renamed “Failures and Retrospectives” without changing the meaning.


Raygional 3.0 with notification

A user contacted me this year. Due to his visual impairment, he uses Android Talkback. He found Raygional useful for switching the system locale. He asked me if I could build with notification, so it can be easily accessed on the system menu.

Battery by MacroPinch is an app I find really useful. The app is really useful to indicate the battery charge level. I really like the notification. My inspiration for Raygional comes from Battery.  I reversed engineer Battery and I found for each level , there is 3 icons ( one for GingerBread, one for Honeycomb, one for others ) , so there are at least 300 icons just for the status notifications. The programming of Battery is not so difficult, the main attraction is the graphic . BTW I’m looking for graphic designers, anyone ?

Because Google Keyboard does a great job to switch the keyboard settings for message typing, I did not use my Raygional as often. With my day job, if I did not set timeboxed goals. It took FOUR months , that’s way too long. During the last few weeks , I started to get interested to update the app. Today I released Raygional 3.0, it feels nice to use the notification.


The app is only compatible from Android 4.0 because the UI uses the latest updates . To make compatible from Android 2.1 , I have to import the Holo theme and ActionBar UI pattern , I’ll have a look at the latest Action Bar Compatibility which the Google ‘s answer to ActionBarSherlock .


Thanks Peter

Github library : Android-TextFontStyle

The designer studio where I work has a tendency to use special font in the text  because it’s eye-catching.

In others previous projects, I saw the font is applied programmatically. It’s difficult to maintain each TextView because you have to keep track in the java code.

For design purpose, I prefer to work in xml.
Style in Android works like Microsoft Word style : define a style and apply it to a TextView. Any change  to the style will be taken in account the TextView.

I hope more developers use typography as the app really stands out. Maybe Steve Jobs was right about the importance of typography.

And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.

The library is available here.  https://github.com/raychenon/Android-TextFontStyle




Android studio after 15 days

Shortly after Android studio came out, I installed it at work. As a long user of IntelliJ ( BTW I visited their office in Prague ), my IntelliJ projects were imported into Android studio.android-studio

What’s the difference between the two ?

Just like ADT Bundle bundles Eclipse + ADT plugin +  Android SDK now , Android Studio is pre-packaged with the Android SDK, so it already knows about android.sdk.path . In short it ‘s easier to install Android Studio than IntelliJ + Android SDK.  IntelliJ Community edition is more general. As this quote from Yole ( from JetBrains team )

Yole : The main point of this for Google is being able to have an experience focused on Android – as an example, Android Studio bundles the Android SDK and configures it automatically for you. IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition has a broader focus; for it, Android development is just one of the many scenarios it supports.

As far as I remember IntelliJ supported Android since 2011. Back then, there was no  graphical preview for the layout editor. But I used it for the fast code completion and faster compilation time. IntelliJ Community Edition bundles a Android plugin, so there was no need to download the equivalent of ADT.

But still for me,  Android Studio == IntelliJ specialized on Android . I use their names interchangeably


As an early preview  (currently v0.1.1 ) , I caught and filed the issue number 56000 ( round number , am I lucky ? )  that IntelliJ 12 did not have . I had to switch back to IntelliJ. After a few days ,  I opened Android Studio and an upgrade notification popped up. The issue was fixed.


Now there are two official IDE for Android : Eclipse and IntelliJ

Eclipse Android Studio
Version Control System ( VCS ) Need a plugin for each VCS. Update with an external VCS client, you need to refresh the workspace VCS integrated. It supports Git, subversion, mercurial. When you update with an external VCS client, IntelliJ will sync automatically . WIN
Code completion faster and indexes the world. WIN

There is one area that Eclipse beats IntelliJ : the number of plugins available. I only switches to Eclipse when there is a large team that uses Eclipse because we can easily share dependencies with the .properties files, whereas IntelliJ use .iml files.

By default, Android developers used Eclipse by default. Now Google officially supports two of them. My current choice is IntelliJ ( or Android Studio ). I don’t like the darkcula theme, I prefer light color . Matter of taste like WordPress themes . And  you , what will be your choice ?

L’application EuroMillions 2.0 sur Android

Comme j’y ai contribué à cette nouvelle version ,  j’en parle pour la première fois d’une application d’un client.

La nouvelle application EuroMillions  permet maintenant de faire des prises de jeux directement depuis un smartphone, une fois qu’un compte a créé avec FDJScan .
Néanmoins pour des raisons juridiques , la FDJ a choisi de ne pas publier cette évolution majeure sur Google Play. http://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy.html

Jeux d’argent et de hasard : nous n’autorisons pas les contenus ou services qui visent à faciliter l’accès à des sites de jeux d’argent, notamment, et sans s’y limiter, les casinos en ligne, les sites de paris sportifs et les loteries.

Donc l’application EuroMillions 2.0 est téléchargeable ici https://www.fdj.fr/page/mobile/titre/android  non plus la version sur Google Play
Ou  depuis votre smartphone android http://mobi.fdj.fr/landingpage/euro-millions.php

Remerciements à tous ceux qui ont participé au développement de l’application.

Le design est plus orienté Android 4 que la version précédente , voici quelques captures de cette évolution.

Au passage ,  ce vendredi 28 Septembre, la cagnotte est à 100 Millions €.

CompassRay update “2.0 Xu Fu”

For this release , we got the analytic , a new message popping up, no arc velocity. I didn’t see any use of angular velocity so I suppressed it, it was using space the bottom left corner.

Faster animation

I was unsatisfied with the previous animation, it feels sluggish . Now it’s more responsive but not too fast so the animation looks smooth. For developers, I simply changed SensorManager.SENSOR_DELAY_NORMAL  to SensorManager.SENSOR_DELAY_GAME  .


Need INTERNET permission . Let’s see if this permission scares away users or not. Just to know more about the demographics of active users .

New Message

Compatible with Android 4.0 ICS like you see on this pic. Yeah I got my Samsung Galaxy Nexus this week which I chose over the Galaxy 3. I introduced a Toast at each new launch to drive more traffic to indolor.com . At least it drives awareness to this site. I’m hoping users will download my other apps too.

Version name

It has been a tradition to name each version after a explorer. For this time, I chose after Xu Fu

Euro 2012

No relation to CompassRay. For the finale,  I will support Spain over Italy.
EDIT : Glad Spain defeated Italy, 4-0

Raygional update “2.3” analytics

This release has a major update. It contains analytics. Informations I want :
what devices have a problem with this app
is widget more used than the app ?

I chose Flurry because it requires one less permission ( android.permission.READ_PHONE_STATE ) than Google Analytics . Let’s see what the stats will tell after a week use.

New Flags

Fix flags for Taiwan , Brazil

New country flags are Austria, Australia, Switzerland , Ireland, New Zealand, US, South Africa. Some languages have regional flavor : take standard German, German ( Austria) and German (Switzerland).  Picking German (Switzerland)  or France (Switzerland) will display Swiss national flag.

New translation

Andrew translated the Russian version

Raygional update “2.1-FlagsOfCountries”

Raygional latest update has  country flags in the widget. Everytime you change the language, the country flag will be displayed in the widget. Of course the list of flags is not complete, so by default Raygional icon will be displayed.

This update contains the following flag :
-China cn
-Denmark da Dansk
-Germany de Deustch
-Greece el ελληνικά
-Great Britain en English
-Spain es Español
-Finland fi Suomi
-France fr Français
-South Korea ko 한국어
-Italy it Italiano
-Japan jp 日本語
-Netherlands nl Nederlands
-Norway no Norsk
-Romania ro  Română
-Russia ru русский
-Sweden sv Svenska

Some users may wonder WTF I chose American English so why do I see the British flag? . Languages don’t have a national flag on their own, it’s the country where it’s associated. The same language can be spoken in different countries. If that’s an user request I’ll add the regional flags . ie For English : Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States.

Raygional update “2.0 widget”

It’s been over 2 years without any updates. Simply because it worked for me and HTC sense has a nice feature to change the keyboard configuration when typing. But recently I played with other smartphones and DAMN I was wrong. Worse I did  not read users comment. That was my old self = no customer support. Some emailed me. Hey I can’t reproduce your problem since I don’t have your device. But things have changed since I have plenty of devices at work.

What’s in the update

Raygional had a major update.

  1. First the one click change didn’t work on most devices. Not great for an app supposed to change the language setting in one click. On my device it was working but that’s no excuse. Now it’s compatible with android 2.x and 4 (ICS) , no test on 3 (honeycomb ) if someone can report.
  2. Second now it has a widget which is showing the current language setting used. Click on the widget to change the language.

Raygional widget

For those don’t how to insert a widget , here is a how to:

  • android 2.x :  press Menu button > Add to Home > Widget > Select the widget
  • android 4 : click on the app list > go to widgets tab

Ideas for next updates

The locale setting does not change the keyboard. You can still have all the apps in German and keep the French keyboard. It’s troublesome because word completion is in the keyboard setting. will be the  That’s two different settings on OEM smartphones ( at least on Samsung Touchwiz and HTC Sense). One setting on Nexus S. I’ll try to add on the widget both : language used in the OS and the keyboard.

One minor, the language displayed on the widget is just the language without any regional preference. There is English (United Kingdom) , English( United States).

Graphic designer needed

The icon ( tongue with flags) I’m using is not mine . Just found on google . I’m looking for a graphic designer for Raygional. It’s just one single 512*512 icon. I’d be really grateful for the help. Email me at raychenon At indolor.com . You’ll get your name or alias ( for privacy ) in the special thanks.

Google Play in China

There are many alternatives to the official Android apps distribution ( aka Google Play formerly Android market ). I didn’t bother to publish on the less known app stores.

Users themselves find apps via the official way. But what if a big market cannot access Google Play. That’s the case in China where it’s censored . One way to distribute in China is to use a local App Store. One of them Ndoo contacted me.

I shipped one version CompassRay back in November 2011, they did the translation. I signed an agreement as “License to Use and Distribution”.

Visit NDoo

In April 2012, I visited Shanghai for a week. Since I know the city and I studied nearby at Fudan. So why not say hi to them. They were nice to welcome me at their offices in Northen suburds of Shanghai.

Ndoo  is addressed to developers. Nduoa ( N多网 ) is targeted at the Chinese market. The language is Chinese only.

They have 2 floors and about 100 people staff for the Shanghai office.


No longer true / Google Play is accessible in China

I could access all Google services ( gmail, search, maps, reader ) except Google Play and Youtube  on April 16 2012. But on April 17-18 2012, I can access it. It seems the Chinese government is blocking Google Play from time to time. Thanks to great firewall = China internet censorship . It’s frustrating , I asked many Chinese and they don’t even know why. From now Google Play is not blocked. Friends living in Shanghai confirmed they can download from Google Play


Since Google closed  their office in China, the operations are now done in Hong Kong . Here is what I found on April 20 at around midnight. Google search redirected to google.co.hk/xampp . They use an xampp stack .