Flavien Laurent

Personal blog on programming | mainly Android, Java

Screenshots Through Automation

One important thing when an app is released on the Play Store is to have up-to-date, beautiful and clean screenshots. In an app containing lots of screens, it can be painful to manually take screenshots for each release. This article describes an approach at pushing automation into the screenshot process in order to more easily achieve this.

Spans, a Powerful Concept.

Recently, I wrote a blog post about the NewStand app and its ActionBar icon translation effect. Cyril Mottier suggested me to use Spans to fade in/out the ActionBar title which is a very elegant solution.

Moreover, I always wanted to try all available types of Span: ImageSpan, BackgroundColorSpan etc. They are very usefull and simple to use but there is not any documentation and details about them.

Making Your ActionBar Not Boring

Back in May 2013, everyone has discovered the beautiful action bar effect in the Play Music app (explained by Cyril Mottier , Pushing the ActionBar to the Next Level). This effect is really a great way to make the ActionBar a reactive part of the UI.

Yesterday, I discovered the new Newsstand app which introduced a new way to push the ActionBar to the next level. If you open the edition screen, you’ll notice the ActionBar is transparent (without icon) and overlaps a large images set (overlaped by the big magazine icon) describing some news. Once you start scrolling down, the big magazine icon is translated and scaled to match the ActionBar icon.

Each Navigation Drawer Hides a ViewDragHelper

Recently, at the Google I/O 2013, two new layouts have been introduced: SlidingPaneLayout, a view that can be dragged from bottom to top and vice versa and the DrawerLayout, now used in almost all Google applications. Both of these use a new concept to more easily manage dragging: the ViewDragHelper.

ViewOverlay: When, How and for What Purpose?

In Android 4.3, a new feature for developer has been added: Overlays. When announcing this feature, the first thing I did was looking at the source code to understand how it works. Right after, I tried to find good use cases to fully exploit the potential of this feature. So in this post, I’m going to tell you more about this useful feature.

Make Your Background Moving Like on the Play Music App

After the Google I/O keynote 2013, like many of you, I’ve received an update of the Play Music app. I think that it’s one of the most beautiful and well-made application of Google. This app contains lots of animations, effects and good ux patterns to reproduce. In this first article, I want to talk specifically about the animated background in the now playing screen.