Sunday, April 13, 2014

Learn how to program iBeacons in your Android and iOS apps - CODE Magazine May/June 2014 issue

My article on iBeacon is the cover story for the May/June issue of CODE Magazine! Grab a copy or if you prefer, read the online version here
"One of the buzzwords you hear often is Bluetooth LE, short for Bluetooth Low Energy. Bluetooth LE is a wireless personal area network technology like its previous incarnation, Classic Bluetooth. Most people are familiar with Classic Bluetooth: You pair your Bluetooth headset with your mobile phone and use it to answer your calls, etc.
However, using Bluetooth Low Energy, you don’t necessarily have to pair with a device in order to perform useful work. A number of health-related medical devices, such as the Heart Rate Monitor and Blood Pressure Monitor, allow your mobile device to connect to them and receive vital information about your health. One very cool use of Bluetooth LE is Apple’s iBeacon. Using an iBeacon, a device can detect the presence of an iBeacon and use that information to provide locale-specific functions, such as merchandise promotion, payment information, etc.
In this article, you will learn the basics of Bluetooth LE and explore the world of iBeacons. You will see how you can write iOS and Android apps that use iBeacons to provide location-based services"

Saturday, April 12, 2014

List of Courses for June 2014

I am pleased to launch a couple of new courses this coming June. Check out the list below and more details will be released in the coming days:

16-17 June 2014 (Mon-Tue) - PEB101Foundation of Pebble Programming - $1,295

18 June 2014 (Wed) - AND303Advanced Android - Bluetooth Low Energy Programming - $699

19 June 2014 (Thu) - IOS301 - Advanced iOS - Programming iBeacons and Bluetooth Low Energy - $699

20 June 2014 (Fri) - HRD102 - Getting Started with Arduino - $699

21-22 June 2014 (Sat-Sun) - AND001Developing Android Applications using App Inventor - $1,195

23 June 2014 (Mon-Tue) - AND101Foundation of Android 
Programming - $1,097

25 June 2014 (Wed) - AND304Advanced Android - Android Wear Programming  - $699

26 June 2014 (Thu) - AND305 - Advanced Android - Developing Android User Interfaces - $699

27 June 2014 (Fri) - HRD101Getting Started with Raspberry Pi - $699

Bayview Hotel Singapore
30 Bencoolen Street
Singapore 189621
9am to 5pm

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Speaking at NDC Oslo on Pebble and Android Wear!

For the upcoming Norwegian Developers Conference (NDC) in Oslo, Norway (2-6 June 2014), my theme is on one key area - Wearable Computing Programming.

Here are the talks that I will be giving:

Programming Pebble
Say Hello to your Google Android Wear Watch

If you are in the area, be sure to say hi!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Foundation of iPhone Programming on the 14-15 April is now confirmed!

The Foundation of iPhone Programming course on the 14-15 April is now confirmed! If you have always wanted to learn how to program your iPhone and iPad, come join us! For registration, email See you at the course!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Android Tip - Intercepting Links on Browsers

Have you ever encountered this situation where you click on a YouTube link on the browser on your Android device and you are prompted to view the video either using the YouTube app or on the browser? How do you make your app respond to a particular type of links on the browser?

You do so, you just need to add in the necessary intent filter to your app’s AndroidManifest.xml file. The following code snippets shows how your app can be launched when the user taps on a link that points to

            <action android:name=
                "android.intent.action.VIEW" />
            <category android:name=
                "android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
            <category android:name=
                "android.intent.category.BROWSABLE" />
            <data android:scheme="http"
                  android:pathPrefix="/2014" />

In your activity, you can retrieve the URL that the user has tapped using the getDataString() method of the Intent object:

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        Intent i = getIntent();            
        Toast.makeText(this, i.getAction(),
        Toast.makeText(this, i.getDataString(),

The following URLs will trigger your app:

But the following URLs won’t:

iOS and Android Training in Latvia

This coming May/June I will be running a series of courses in Latvia while I am there for the DevConFu conference. If you have always wanted to get started in iOS or Android programming (or both!), this is your best chance to get jumpstarted in the shortest amount of time!

Foundation of Android Programming 26 May 2014
Foundation of iOS Programming 27 May 2014

DevConFu workshop: Foundation of Pebble Programming 28 May 2014

Advanced Android – Bluetooth Low Energy Programming 2 June 2014
Advanced iOS – Programming iBeacon in iOS7 using Bluetooth Low Energy 3 June 2014

Android Tip - Hide App Icon in Launcher

You may have an application that contains a broadcast receiver and for some reasons you want to hide the application icon in the Launcher after it has been installed (so that the user doesn’t know the app existed).

Programmatically Hiding the Icon

If you want the application icon to be visible after installation and hide it programmatically afterwards, you can use the following code snippets:

    PackageManager p = getPackageManager();
When the above statements are executed, the application icon in the Launcher will disappear after a while.

Declaratively Hiding the Icon

The easist way to hide your application icon from the Launcher is to remove the android.intent.category.LAUNCHER category from your app’s AndroidManifest.xml file. However, simply doing so will also render your broadcast receiver useless – it won’t respond to your broadcasts.

To fix this, you need to also add in the android.intent.category.DEFAULT category, like this:

            android:label="@string/app_name" >
                <action android:name=
                    "android.intent.action.MAIN" />                              
                <category android:name=
                    "android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
                <category android:name=
                    "android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />

The application icon will then no longer appear in the Launcher.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Android Tip - Notification Listener Service

Android 4.3 introduces a new API called the Notification Listener Service.  Its main function is to let applications have the ability to be notified when notifications are posted or removed from the system. A good example use of this is the Android Wear application, which receives all the notifications posted on your Android device and routes them to your Android Wear device.

To create a notification, you can use the NotificationCompat.Builder class:

    //---create a notification---
    Notification notification = new
            .setContentTitle("Notification Title")
            .setContentText("Notification Message")
            .setTicker("Ticker Text")
    //---set the sound and lights---
    notification.defaults |=
    notification.defaults |=

To post a notification on your Android device, you can use the NotificationManager class’s notify() method, passing it a tag, notification ID, as well as the Notification object:
    NotificationManager notificationManager;  
    int notificationID = 0;

    //---display the notification---
        notificationID++, notification);   

To listen for notifications posted on the Android device, you need to create a new class that extends the NotificationListenerService base class:

package net.learn2develop.notificationservice;

import android.service.notification.StatusBarNotification;
import android.util.Log;

public class NotificationListener extends
    NotificationListenerService {

    public void onNotificationPosted(
        StatusBarNotification sbn) {
        //---show current notification---
        Log.i("","---Current Notification---");
        Log.i("","ID :" + sbn.getId() + "\t" +
            sbn.getNotification().tickerText + "\t" +

        //---show all active notifications---
        Log.i("","===All Notifications===");
        for (StatusBarNotification notif :
            this.getActiveNotifications()) {           
            Log.i("","ID :" + notif.getId() + "\t" +
                notif.getNotification().tickerText + "\t" +

    public void onNotificationRemoved(
        StatusBarNotification sbn) {
        Log.i("","---Notification Removed---");
        Log.i("","ID :" + sbn.getId() + "\t" +
            sbn.getNotification().tickerText + "\t" +

You need to override two methods in this class:
·       onNotificationPosted() – called when a notification is received by the system
·       onNotificationRemoved() – called when a notification is removed

For these two methods, an instance of the StatusBarNotification class will be passed in, allowing you to know which application posted the notification, its content, id, etc.

Within the service, you can also list all the notifications currently available in the notification bar by using the getActiveNotifications() method. You can also remove a particular notification by using the cancelNotification() method, passing it the package name of the application that posted the notification, the tag of the notification, as well as its notification id:


To remove all notifications, use the cancelAllNotifications() method:

    //---remove all notifications---       

Finally, you need to declare your service in the AndroidManifest.xml file:

<service android:name=".NotificationListener"
        <action android:name=
 "android.service.notification.NotificationListenerService" />

When the application is installed on the device, the user must explicitly give permission to your app to listen for notifications on the system. They need to do so via the Notification access page at: Settings | Security | Notification access: