Add social sharing icons to your app

I wanted to be able to share selected content in my app to several social media places, and not merely by copy/paste to an email client. Now my app can share contents of a <textarea> field to Facebook, Google+, Google Drive, Dropbox, a memo app, email, and so on. It was easier to do than I thought. Here is how I did it for Android.

This assumes you already have a Cordova project built and Android platform added. (Steps will be slightly different for iOS. I’ll add those steps to this page when I’m ready.)


My current environment:
Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11.6
cordova -v: 6.3.1
cordova platform ?: android 5.1.1 Continue reading

Using Android Studio with Cordova projects

This article assumes you already have a Cordova project ready to use. So you will use CLI to build the project first as you normally would, including adding an Android platform to the project and running cordova build android. You’ll still need to use the steps outlined in my article to build Cordova apps, including steps for installing plugins, icons, and screens:

You’ll need the dependencies set up if you’ve never made a Cordova project before. See:

Resources:  Continue reading

Implementing the Moust Videoplayer Cordova plugin for Android

The Moust videoplayer plugin allows the app to play videos within the app in fullscreen mode.

Unfortunately, the video does not play according to its own proportional size, nor is it confined to the proportion of the div it’s in. It breaks out to fit in the device window. We are given two different options for scaling the video. The following were the results when viewing a 320x200px video in my Nexus 7:

SCALE_TO_FIT_WITH_CROPPING As noted, this doesn’t show the whole video. In landscape, the top/bottom are cropped. In portrait, the left/right sides are cropped. No pinch-to-reduce functionality included.

SCALE_TO_FIT (default) This will stretch/squeeze the video to fit the device’s screen, whether horizontal or vertical orientation.

It makes the most sense to use this player when you want to play back the videos in the same mobile device you shot them with; then they would play back in perfect proportion. If you want your videos to play back reliably across Android devices in their own proportion, I recommend trying Crosswalk.  Continue reading

Implementing Crosswalk’s Chromium webview plugin in an Android app

Why consider using Crosswalk? Android devices have different implementations of the webview, in which our PhoneGap and Cordova apps appear. Vendors have made their own tweaks of the webview, causing our code to render inconsistently. So our CSS and scripts will play differently across devices or not at all.

For instance, the HTML5 <video> tag won’t work across all Android browsers:

<video id="video_1" 
 controls preload="auto" width="320" height="240">
 <source src="video/myvideo-h264.mp4" type="video/mp4">
I'm sorry; your device browser doesn't support HTML5 video in MP4 with H.264.

But it will work in the Chromium webview provided by Crosswalk. By adding the Chromium webview to our app, we will have a unified Android playing field for our app. Continue reading

Using ADB Logcat to debug your Android app installation

A more descriptive title would be, “Using ADB logcat outside of ADT, Eclipse, or Android Studio to debug your Android app installation errors.” Did you try to install the app in your Android device, but got the annoying “Unfortunately, [app name] has stopped”? If so, then you need to run ADB logcat to find out why. Logcat allows us to read the logs that are automatically running in the background when we run the program. So when the app quits suddenly, we can read the messages along the way and pinpoint when it went south. Here are the steps to implement logcat. Continue reading

Using NetBeans IDE instead of Eclipse

I’ve decided to ditch Eclipse in favor of the NetBeans IDE. Since we can create signed apks with the Cordova CLI, Eclipse is no longer needed. There are several good replacements if you want a code editor. NetBeans, like several other code-creation editors, offers much more than a text editor can provide. Here is why I am enjoying NetBeans (NB) with Cordova. These are just a few of the features I’ve found handy when using NB. (If you have a coding IDE you favor other than NB, please talk about it in the comments section.) NB works on the PC and Mac. Continue reading