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Wolfram Rittmeyer
Software-Developer, Android-Geek
Software-Developer, Android-Geek

Wolfram Rittmeyer's posts

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One year ago, Google introduced ConstraintLayout. This Feburary the final version of 1.0 was released.

Yesterday at their IO talk +Nicolas Roard and +John Hoford introduced interesting new features of the coming 1.1 version.

If you haven't done so already, it's definitely time to give the ConstraintLayout a closer look. It's time to use it for new screens from here on.

And there's this new site dedicated to help you getting up to speed with it:

Initiated by +Mark Allison it's a community led site dedicated to explain and introduce ConstraintLayout and to help you find solutions for common tasks or problems.

cc: +Sebastiano Poggi +Wiebe Elsinga +Taylor Ling +Huyen Tue Dao +Hugo Visser

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This demise of G+ is really sad. It was such a great and vibrant platform for some years - at least for the Android community. But a lot of bad turns on Google's site drove people away :-(

I'm also among those that only occassionally drop by nowadays. I mainly use twitter, but it's not a real replacement. And for me Facebook ist still a non-option.

Whenever I want to post some longer opinion piece, G+ is still the only place that I think is useful for that. Though, of course, many others are as rarely to be seen here as I do. So the interaction simply isn't what it used to be.

Oh, Google, what have you done? Why did you inflict so many harmful "improvements" on us?
It’s sad but it’s time to face the truth.. G+ is dead. It has finally become what ignorant people claimed it was from the beginning.

In the last 6 months I’ve seen a sharp drop in discussion on this platform. While I’m happy that the 10-or-so people who I actively engage with here have stayed and still contribute it’s much less than it was just 6 months ago.

Approximately a year ago 90% of Googlers themselves left the platform. This lead into a slow death of high quality discussion around tech and design of Android. I greatly appreciate the few Googlers who still comment on every technical question I have an throw in their 2 cnts when possible.

Google+ is what gave birth to the vibrant Android community that came together in conferences and in the IO. Conferences were like meetings of old friends every time. That on top of the amazing online discussions on every Android post was what fuelled my early years of Android into burning passion. I’m sad that the community doesn’t exist anymore. I miss it.

I do not know where Android community goes. Twitter certainly isn’t a replacement.I can’t express my thoughts in the limited space. I also do not think that closed Slack groups work as replacement (Slack isn’t great for large groups anyways). Facebook is goodamnawful.. There’s no chance it ever replacing G+. Maybe one day, someone, will come up with a replacement.

I’m not going anywhere. I’ll stay here posting my things until the eventual spring cleaning that will finally end the platform for good. Still.. I yearn the discussion and have to go where others are..

I am on twitter:

For the ones who felt that we really connected please add me on Facebook as well. There won’t be much about Android but I’m sharing my personal life there:

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Shape Shifter v0.3.0 is out! (

Make sure you share this post with your web developer friends, because Shape Shifter now exports to CSS keyframes and SVG spritesheets! Here are the deets:

* Made significant improvements to Shape Shifter's UI, making it overall much easier to use.
* Added a new "pair subpaths mode", which allows the user to specify how subpaths in the start canvas should morph into subpaths in the end canvas.
* Added export to SVG spritesheet option for web developers.
* Added export to standalone SVG frames option for web developers.
* Added export to CSS keyframes option for web developers.
* Added the ability to import VectorDrawable files into the workspace.
* Added the ability to delete subpaths and split segments directly from the canvas.
* A bunch of performance improvements and bug fixes.

View the complete changelog on GitHub:
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This is just beautiful.

Take a look at the header design in the Microsoft Todo app. This kind of small detail add a layer of user delight and polish that many apps simply lack.

The app is also a great example how to adapt your design to be platform friendly on both iOS and Android without having to change too much.

Really nicely done MS.. I think my allergy towards Microsoft is slowly going away. It certainly will if they keep this up :-)

(Google login would be nice though)

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Writing a Realtime Database Trigger with Cloud Functions for Firebase

Watch here:

Cloud Functions for Firebase lets you run managed backend code for your mobile app that extends and connects Firebase features. In this Firecast, Jen Persons will show you how to write a function that triggers in response to a write to the Realtime Database.

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Yes, the device drivers surely are one problem. But I doubt that this is the most pressing one. If so, Microsoft would have succeeded in getting a bigger market share (I still believe they had a chance but seriously screwed up). Same with Tizen. Obviously there must be more to it than that.

One of the big attractors for developers to delve into Android initially was that it was using Java as the main language. Maybe nowadays where Java is a bit overly frowned upon that is hard to grasp, but whatever might think of Java, it managed to attract more people than C++. I think using JS as the main language has some merits. I can only suggest to choose a modern language (including JVM based or modern JS variants) as the native choice right asway. It's difficult enough to attract developers without alienating them with your main language choice.

Another thing is, that nowadays you cannot get away with things Android initially might have gotten away with. With systems that good as iOS and Android, any other system has to offer a compelling reason to users to switch. Have a look at Firefox OS. They had so many shortcomings in their early releases, that were serious obstacles to better adoption (see my very old review of it on Grokking Android: The UX of your system and of the base apps of your system has to be very good right away, if you want to cut it.

I'm really skeptical of any third contender emerging and making a serious dent into the existing duopol.

I bet, something will crop up eventually. But for a completely new device category. Like wearables that are not yet in use. Or body implants like sensoric support - whatever. For mobile, though, I am very skeptical.

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Today, the app didn't load the data for whatever reason (I was at my parents - thus I couldn't see if something was logged). As you can see, the app has no avatar. So I guess it couldn't connect to Google. But that's just a guess.

Even a config change didn't change anything. Now, though, back at home everything works fine again. It did work at my parents place as well. That was just a temporary glitch when checking if playing football with the kids had any effect on the step count :-)

I have no idea, what caused it. Did you - or anyone else - encounter this, yet?

For now two things:

1. I think the history should be a bit more detailed.

2. I think the circle should not be recreated on config change

I also think the history is a bit odd for the first week. IMHO it should start with the day the connection was established. But that surely is not a high priority issue :-)

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This looks interesting!
Here's something I'm really excited to finally show. This is an app we've been working as a side project for a month or so now.

This idea came from our own needs and as there was no app doing what we wanted in the store we decided to build one ourselves.

Introducing Social Steps. While there's million+ step counters everywhere what we wanted was something simple and easy to use to compete, and motivate you and your friends to walk more.

Opt-in link for the beta here:

Of course, the app is still in early phases and just approaching the MVP stage. There's a lot of stuff we want to do but first we must build a very solid basis.

So, jump in and give us a hand testing the app and give feedback!

iOS version is coming in few weeks!
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