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Create a live aquarium wallpaper in Android

image image

Download the source code: http://www.rajeeshcv.com/download/LiveAquariumWallpaper.zip Android package: http://www.rajeeshcv.com/download/LiveAquariumWallpaper.apk (I have only tested this in the SDK simulator and haven’t considered all the screen sizes, so may find some UI glitches)
Few weeks ago I started learning Android programming , so this article is an outcome of that out-side office study :). Here I will be explaining – how to create a live wallpaper which looks like an aquarium with fishes swimming across the screen. The fish animation is done using sprite technique. Courtesy :
  1. Fish sprite used here is from a code project article - http://www.codeproject.com/KB/GDI-plus/LovelyGoldFishDeskPet.aspx
  2. Creating animation using sprites - http://www.droidnova.com/2d-sprite-animation-in-android,471.html
Lets get started…. Starts by creating new Android project in eclipse (I am not familiar with any other IDEs for Android development :) ). Now create a class for your live wallpaper service, I called it as AquariumWallpaperService, then instantiate the AquariumWallpaperEngine. This engine is responsible for creating the actual Aquarium class which does all the rendering logic. It also controls the flow of Aquarium based Surface callbacks Below is the code for  AquariumWallpaperService
public class AquariumWallpaperService extends WallpaperService {

    @Override
    public Engine onCreateEngine() {
        return new AquariumWallpaperEngine();
    }

    class AquariumWallpaperEngine extends Engine{    

        private Aquarium _aquarium;

        public AquariumWallpaperEngine() {
            this._aquarium = new Aquarium();
            this._aquarium.initialize(getBaseContext(), getSurfaceHolder());
        }

        @Override
        public void onVisibilityChanged(boolean visible) {
            if(visible){
                this._aquarium.render();
            }
        }

        @Override
        public void onSurfaceChanged(SurfaceHolder holder, int format,
                int width, int height) {
            super.onSurfaceChanged(holder, format, width, height);
        }

        @Override
        public void onSurfaceCreated(SurfaceHolder holder) {
            super.onSurfaceCreated(holder);
            this._aquarium.start();
        }

        @Override
        public void onSurfaceDestroyed(SurfaceHolder holder) {
            super.onSurfaceDestroyed(holder);
            this._aquarium.stop();
        }
    }
}
Aquarium class wraps all the rendering logic, as well as creating the fishes. This also starts a thread which is responsible for updating the view.

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User experience makes applications stand-out

stand-out
What makes your application different from others? I strongly feel the user experience that you provides plays an important role to be successful. Some of us might have felt that(at least myself), you woke up one day with a brand new idea but later you realize that somebody had implemented that an year back. Which is a frustrated feeling, I have been to that situation so many times. So even if that idea exists already, how to make that idea a successful one.

Say if you are going to enter in to a world where there are n number of similar applications, how will you attract the users? A great example may be GMail, IMHO they entered to the party when Yahoo and Microsoft where ruling email market. But now GMail is much popular than other email service providers. One reason I could think of for this success is the experience that you get as a user.

Not sure whether anybody has noted this or not but today when was about to send an email to my friend, I got a message box saying “Did you mean to attach files?

clip_image001

Yes, GMail reminded me to attach the file. I was surprised to see this, GMail has intelligently scanned what I have typed in the email message and gave me suggestion before sending…. WOW!!!!!. I checked whether Yahoo mail has got this feature, not yet. That makes GMail stand-out from others.