LogMyLife alpha release – try it out!

It’s time for LogMyLife to see the light of day outside my house – I’m calling it alpha-ready today. Go check it out. I’ve had it with fiddling around and no one seeing the results :-) It’s actually pretty functional, but it’s not as pretty as it could be and I know there are a few corner cases where things are a little wonky. And there’s so much functionality left to add… but it’s been a great project for me to familiarize myself with a lot of Android UI. And that will continue.

Some interesting stuff I just learned recently:

What’s in a name?

The application name and the name you see on its home screen/launcher icon need not match (though it’s probably wisest if they do). The application has a label in the manifest, and so does each activity (potentially).

If you look up the application in the settings page, it will show the application name (probably also in any market interactions). The launcher icon will show the label on the launcher activity. Presumably this is because you could conceivably have multiple launching activities for the same app (different entry points).

In my case, I wanted to show a different label (“LogMyLife – Main”) to the user once they launch the app than the application name (“LogMyLife”), so they’re oriented once they return; so I just created a shell activity (“Launcher”) with the correct app label which simply replaces itself with the real front Activity, just so I could get the labelling right. There’s probably a better way, like changing the label once the activity launches. In fact, I just tried that out (setTitle at the beginning of onCreate) and it works fine. Heh – live and learn.

Also interestingly, when I noticed this and changed the label, Android didn’t handle the change very well, at least in the 1.5 emulator where I test this (likely fixed since). The icon with the old label remained, but it wouldn’t actually load the app (error), and there was no new icon/label. I had to un-install and re-install the app to get it to launch properly.

Displaying DB data

I was going to follow up a bit on my last post, but I think I’ll do it with another post.


Anyway, the release is out there, so please let me know what you think of it. And feel free to hack it up if you want to see your own improvements! Github can have your own clone set up in seconds.

I may start working on the website for this sooner rather than later. SpringSource released some kind of library to assist with Android so I’m itching to try it out!