Saturday, March 28, 2015

PIN Screen Library for Android

Here's a simple and easy implementation for adding PIN lock support for your Android apps. The library can be themed with your app theme colors. It has smooth animations and vibrate cues when something's wrong.

To use this, you just have to write about 10 lines of code, including layouts and everything. It's so simple.

Steps to implement
  • Add as dependency
       Android Studio:
compile 'com.kbeanie:pinscreenlibrary:1.0.0@aar' 
  • Add PinView to your layout file. 
    android:layout_height="wrap_content" />
  • Initialize PinView in two modes 

And finally, handle the callbacks for all events. The complete source code for this project can be found on Github. Let me know if you have any queries or issues. I would be happy to resolve them. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Sensors in Android 5.0 (Lollipop)

I found a few non-documented sensors on Lollipop (Android 5.0) on a Nexus 5.

Tried looking for them, but could't find any documentation on them on. Looks like they are mostly software sensors.

Android app on Google PlayHere's the list that I have found. I have written a simple app that displays all the sensors and shows there values. Not to mention that, only for the ones that are documented. For the ones not documented, you can only see it's details.

There are only a few which appear on
Here's an excerpt from the announcement.

New types of sensors

In Android 5.0, a new tilt detector sensor helps improve activity recognition on supported devices, and a heart rate sensor reports the heart rate of the person touching the device.
New interaction composite sensors are now available to detect special interactions such as a wake up gesture, a pick upgesture, and a glance gesture.

Since there's no documentation, for some of them, I don't really know what they do. The only thing that gives you a clue is the sensor name. And, I don't know how to work with them as well.

Tilt Detector

AMD Sensor (No idea, whats that)

RMD Sensor (No idea, whats that)

Basic Gestures Sensor

Tap Sensor

Facing Sensor

Tilt Sensor


Pedestrian Activity Monitor

Update: Seems, the documentation is coming soon. XDA picked this up.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Easy Swipe to Refresh in Android

Swipe to Refresh Android
Recently, Google released a new version of the Support Library, which has an interesting component. It's called SwipeRefreshLayout. With that, it's become a child's play to implement a quick Swipe-to-Refresh control for your apps.

A few things first

  1. Available only with android-support-v13. Which means that only apps target SDK level 13 and above can use this.
  2. It can only contain one scrollable direct child such as a ListView or a ScrollView.
That's all you need to know. Well.. A few things more, basically some xml and java code.

For this example, we use a ListView with some demo data. Once the list view is scrolled, we do some task, wait for sometime, and update the list view's adapter. Finally, ask the SwipeRefreshLayout to stop the progress indicator, since we are done with refreshing.

The layout file
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android=""
    tools:context="${packageName}.${activityClass}" >
        android:layout_height="match_parent" >
            android:layout_height="match_parent" >
The UI initialization
private void initializeViews() {
refreshLayout = (SwipeRefreshLayout) findViewById(;
                // The default colors for the progress bar are not so nice.
ListView listView = (ListView) findViewById(;
adapter = new ArrayAdapter<String>(this,
The Refresh Task
public void onRefresh() {
Log.i(TAG, "Refresh Requested");
// Fetch data and update listview's adapter
private void doRefresh() {
RefreshTask task = new RefreshTask();
task.execute((Void) null);
The Completion Work
private void postRefreshComplete() {
// Stop the refresh animation
// Update adapter with new data
adapter.addAll(getDemoData(new Random().nextInt(20)));

And there you go, a simple swipe to refresh usage for your Android apps. You can find the whole source code here

Monday, March 31, 2014

Step Detector and Step Counter Sensors on Android

Android KitKat has added a few more hardware sensors to it's API list. Step Sensors are one of them, which looks very promising. Although, not a lot of phones yet have these Step Sensors, in the future, this would gradually become a standard I think. Currently, Nexus 5 has them.

Let's see how we can interact with these sensors. Basically, there are 2 sensors.
  1. Step Counter: This keeps a count of the number of steps that you have taken. The counter is only reset when you re-boot the device, else, for every step you take (or the phone thinks you took, you counts up).
  2. Step Detector: This sensor just detects when you take a step. That's it. 
The example project shows you how to initialize and setup the SensorManager and respond to events from the Sensors.
// Step Counter
sManager.registerListener(new SensorEventListener() {
public void onSensorChanged(SensorEvent event) {
float steps = event.values[0];
textViewStepCounter.setText((int) steps + "");
public void onAccuracyChanged(Sensor sensor, int accuracy) {
}, sManager.getDefaultSensor(Sensor.TYPE_STEP_COUNTER),

// Step Detector
sManager.registerListener(new SensorEventListener() {
public void onSensorChanged(SensorEvent event) {
// Time is in nanoseconds, convert to millis
timestamp = event.timestamp / 1000000;
public void onAccuracyChanged(Sensor sensor, int accuracy) {
}, sManager.getDefaultSensor(Sensor.TYPE_STEP_DETECTOR),

No special permissions are required.

Head over to Github to get the full source code.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Smartphone Usage Statistics Highlight Its Importance In Our Lives

Smartphone Usage Statistics Highlight Its Importance In Our Lives

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