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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Finally have new ActionBarActivity working with Android Studio

Yes I am a sucker for punishment. The new Android Studio 0.2.6 came out today and I found this out my usual way - saw it on Reddit. Since I just battled this beast yesterday I thought I would give it yet another shot.

Post install it still could not build my project but was mad about even more things. I decided to delete the entire project off disk and start fresh especially since it kept being mad about gradle build settings and make settings that I would change and save and it would forget I had done that.

I deleted the project. Started AS, told it to create a new project with old project name, single activity. While it did this it appeared to download some additional gradle files. Probably updating from 1.6 to 1.7 but I am not sure. It did not do that when opening my old project.

Shut down AS. Copied the java source code, resource files and manifest over from the working Eclipse project. I did not want to risk changes to a working project. Started up AS and it found all the files automatically. I love that about Java, just put the files in the proper directly and have at them.

Copy in the build.gradle from this web site http://www.recursiverobot.com/post/59267986367/setting-up-the-new-actionbarcompat-in-android-studio then add the dependencies to the two bonus libraries I am using - achartengine and GSON. Run the rebuild all and everything worked like a champ. No errors. I was able to deploy it to my Note II and it ran perfectly.

Obviously multiple things happened here. AS was upgraded and it needed to upgrade various support tools which it did not do until I forced it via creation of a new project. That is pretty annoying. Once that was in place it is finally working.

I am glad they fixed the issue dealing with Google support libraries. The actual editing you do to the build.gradle is simpler than the project import work I had to do in Eclipse. You can read those steps here http://developer.android.com/tools/support-library/setup.html

Do I think this project will keep working? Who knows, seems on the AS side of things they make changes that require you to start with a fresh project or you are hosed. Gradle is in flux too. I like the editor and layout preview features of AS so I may use it for the next parts of this project. I really want to come up with functional tablet layouts beyond what you can do on the phone. I have everything split into fragments so this should be possible. I also want to use more than just the pie chart from achartengine and have more than one chart on screen in tablet mode.

This ties back into the JavaScript work I was doing in another area of our product. While that works in the browser on tablets it is slow and cumbersome. I should be able to do something similar in native code with large gains in speed and usability.

Using Genymotion to test against various device sizes. Nice and fast and recommended when you are not testing on an actual device. Very happy they added device rotation support.