How to Add Menu Items to Android Apps

I’ve been looking at the new Android phones and a lot of them do not have keyboards. I don’t know why the industry is still playing “me too” with iPhone-like interfaces. But as an app developer, I have to be aware of this issue. Considering that keyboard-less android phones have few buttons, the menu button becomes more important. That meant I had to get past a developer hurdle – learning how to add menus to my android apps.

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Making My Android Apps Zipaligned

android-photics-forums-thumbnailWhen I would publish my Android Apps, the Google Developer Console would give me an unusual error. “The apk is not zipaligned. Please run the…” Blah, blah, blah… what’s Google complaining about now? Typically, I would just ignore this warning. Why should I care? Google didn’t prevent my app from being published, so I would just let it go. But recently, I decided to give this another look. How do I zipalign my apps? I went digging through the Android Developer documents and I was finally able to publish my apps properly. Although, as usual, it was a bit of a struggle. That’s because I hadn’t updated my Android software in a while. It seems that some things have changed in Android land.

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Photics Forums – The iPhone App

photics-forums-icon-thumbnailDespite the grumpy feelings, I decided to give iPhone development another go. So far, I’m pleased that I did. While converting my Photics Forums app to the iPhone / iPod Touch, I learned some new tricks. For the longest time, I was struggling with getting my iPhone apps to match my Android apps. I was having problems with Reachability and Landscape mode. With the completion of my new app, that’s no longer an issue. While waiting for my app to be approved, I have some time for reflection on my progress.

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Theory – Easy Reachability for iPhone / iPod Touch Webview Development

photics-reachability-thumbnailAhh… my article starts out with a hedge… a single word that could negate the value of this tutorial… theory! Apple has built a walled garden. It is their happy little nirvana, filled with thousands of apps and billions of downloads. Your apps are invited to this party, if you can get past the checklist. If you have an online app, there is one pesky requirement that could instantly thwart your dreams – reachability. Your app needs to test for Internet connectivity. If it doesn’t, it risks rejection!

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WebView and Reachability – The iPhone Development Requirement

photics-reachability-thumbnailSome of you might be wondering, “Hey Mike… where have you been? Where are the site updates?” My mind has been elsewhere, trapped in the iPhone SDK. A lot has happened during the last two weeks. After a decade of being grumpy with Apple, I bought a Mac. It was required for developing iPhone apps. After my success with Android, I decided to try iPhone development. Yet, owning a Mac was far from the most difficult requirement.

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