Tips & Tricks: TeamBox

Hi Android-devs,

We hope you started the year good.

This week another tips and tricks from PullesSon, but again not an Android specific one.

Like all start-ups we also started searching for solutions to collaborate and project planning. Of course as start-up time is money and there is not much money available. So we started looking for several open-source and easy to setup project management tools.
We used several like dotProject, ProjectOpen, OpenProj and many others. But all had a lot of options and configurations that made it hard to let them work on a self-hosted server. Then we came by TeamBox.

This collaboration and project management tool is easy to setup and has a small and simple wizard to add your first organization, project and tasks. Adding projects, add people to projects and add tasks is really intuitive and easy. The collaboration part has a nice layout and easy to use and understand.
The calendar part is very useful to have an over view the project planning and easy syncable to Google Calendar.
The files part per project is a cool feature and file can be used in the collaboration conversations also, these file can also link directly to a dropbox.

A simple layout overview:
Tasks

If you don’t have a server, you can always use one of their plans specially the free plan with maximum 3 projects and 50MB storage.

TeamBox is a must for start-ups and even 1 person companies to quick and easy manage the projects, tasks and planning.

The only things we miss are:
1. Add an estimation when planning a task.
2. An Android app (If TeamBox reads this, feel free to contact us).

For more information look at their website TeamBox.com and the user guide.

Kind regards,
PullesSon – Android

Tips & Tricks: Screen sizes

Hi Android developers,

Last week was hectic, we needed to reinstall and reconfigure the backend server of Perka’s File stash.

This week we will take a little twist and we will talk about a topic that is more focused on design: Screen sizes.

When designing Android apps the best practice is to use Density-independent pixel (dp) as measure. A dp is equivalent to one physical pixel on a 160 dpi screen, which is the baseline density assumed by the system for a “medium” density screen. At runtime, the system transparently handles any scaling of the dp units, as necessary, based on the actual density of the screen in use. The conversion of dp units to screen pixels is simple: px = dp * (dpi / 160).

Another best practice is to use wrap_content and fill_parent in XML so the layout will scale automagically. Also a RelativeLayout is a good practice, it will keep the distances the same even if the screen is bigger or smaller.

Also keep in mind of using layout and orientation qualifiers, which can be added to the /res/ directory. This will make it easy to make to make a different layout for another screen size and/or orientation.

For images used in for the different screens, you might want to use draw9patch to make image.9.png files. These files are processed by the tool and you can assign how it will be stretched.

Another good practice is to use Fragments, this will allow you to reuse designs in different layouts. You can combine the fragments in a layout or just use 1 fragment as layout.

Extended information can be found at: Supporting Multiple Screen Sizes and Android Training Multiscreen

Kind regards,
PullesSon – Android