I’ve learned to make an Android App

Yes, I’ve learned to make a Google Android App, using the Googlelabs App Inventor (beta)….

I’ve made my very first app for my Android phone! It’s not an all-singing, all-dancing program, but it’s an app, all the same. Why make an app? I’ve always wondered how to make an Android application for a while, and also wanted a way of making our College library induction leaflet available to more students, and making it instantly available and updatable. I recently found a couple of websites that you can pay to have an app developed for you, or make an app from an RSS feed fro free, but I wanted one where I could add content myself. I came across App Inventor for Android (beta), which is one of the gadgets on Google Labs. It looked just the thing I needed to make my own app.

The blurb on the website says:

Creating an App Inventor app begins in your browser, where you design how the app will look. Then, like fitting together puzzle pieces, you set your app’s behavior. All the while, through a live connection between your computer and your phone, your app appears on your phone

Android App Inventor Blocks Editor

(screenshot of the Blocks Editor)

The basic app that I made uses text-based lists and a basic navigation system to provide the content, and it’s even got a button that lets you dial the library’s phone number! I’ve so far added things like opening times and how many books you can borrow, but it’s a start. The App Inventor lets you add all sorts of complex programming, using drag and drop blocks that interlink, and updates the output via either an online phone emulator, or your own phone linked to the computer. It’s a great little program, and it’s got enough scope and complexity for me to add links to (and play) online induction videos, external content, and send updates to users’ phones, all using the same application.

One shortcoming of the Google Android App Inventor, is that you can’t, at the moment, add your self-made app to the Android market. You can, however, download it and share it with your friends and students.

Picture of Library App

(screenshot of the completed app).

This post was first made by me on Posterous.

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Youtube and other video sites driving web traffic

I’d guess that a lot of people have a video or two on Youtube, Google Video, and some of the many other video hosting sites. Out of those people, how many of them use the videos to drive web traffic to their own, or someone else’s website?

I’ve got a couple of the O’Neill surfing clips on Youtube. These are two of the sections that are used in the “Deep Blue Open 2005” promo film, featuring three of my tracks.  Since I uploaded them, I’ve have quite a lot of hits, but it doesn’t seem to be driving a lot of traffic to my this blog or the mistrust music website. The videos are amongst quite a lot of other surfing videos so you’d think that people who watch those would follow the links to my music. Maybe not. There doesn’t seem to be a lot written on the web about how to improve your traffic using Youtube etc. Maybe someone could suggest something.

Following on from the last post – “The Colour Purple” – I can now report that I was featured artist of the week on a show on Purple Radio, which is the official radio station of the Big Chill organistion. The DJ, Ketsbaia, played three tracks, “Dubcrazy”, “Painless Light” and “Distant Shores”. I got a few nice comments from the DJ, and some support on the Big Chill Forum. My tracks were played alongside a lot of “A-list” bands, and seemed to hold up ok. He ran out of time to play a fourth track “Never Alone”, but said that he liked it that much that he’d play it in a couple of weeks.

As for other things…

The “mistrust clan” went to Borth near Aberystwyth for a week in a caravan at the end of July. It’s an old fishing village, which is very quiet and suited Paul (my stepson, who has PDD-NOS, and a massive social phobia, amongst other things). It started off as a complete disaster – pouring rain, burst car tyre, everyone worn out – but in the end we didn’t want to come home. Lots of nice scenery and fresh air to inspire me to write some new tunes. I’ll put some of the photos on Flickr soon.

I’m in the middle of applying for a new job, and contemplating a move from the Manchester area to Yorkshire. Things are happening at work which mean I could be out of a job or at least being downgraded in the next two years, so the time is write to put my skills to better use. Besides that, the holiday proved how much Paul, and the other children, need to be nearer the countryside and aware from where we’re currently living. If anyone reading this lives in the more scenic areas of West Yorkshire, please can you leave a comment saying if it’s a nice place to live?

The colour Purple

No post for a few weeks, mainly due to family commitments, work commitments, and stuff like that. However, I’m excited right now. I’m finally going to get some tunes played on an upcoming internet radio show. More details to follow after 10pm (UK time).

In the meantime, you can get hold of all my music for free. See the previous post for details….

Zen and art of selling music

Some people have been asking where they can buy my music. Well, the simple answer is: you can’t. It’s all free to play/download over the internet. You can listen to it and download it, make your own compilation CDs from my tracks. As long as you don’t sell it on or pass it on as youre own, I don’t mind. I’m trying to get my music into film, tv, adverts, that sort of thing, so the more people who listen to it, maybe the more chance that some music supervisor somewhere will hear the tracks and want to use it. That’s the idea….

“mistrust music” can be downloaded here:

TV Tunes (10 tracks) at MusicFreedom (including: Dubcrazy, Paul the phone is ringing, All roads)

Making Movies (8 tracks) on MusicFreedom (including: Never Alone, Happy Birthday)

Making Movies EP on Nishi Netlabel

Myspace

If you prefer me to send you a physical CD, I can send one out to anywhere in the world for just a small price to cover printing, postage and packing, with either the list of tracks that are on MusicFreedom/Myspace or a “pick and mix” selection of your choice.

Click here to contact me if you want a CD….

If anyone wants to use my music for film/tv/advert work etc., please click here to discuss your project with me. Have a look on Youtube for examples of my previous film work. I’m already signed to Candy Cover music library on a non-exclusive deal…