Hybrid Apps – Android System WebView Updates

From Android Lollipop 5.0, Google started pushing an app called “Android System Web View”, which they periodically update the device web view. Since Apache Cordova / Adobe PhoneGap is well adopted for building cross platform Mobile apps, this will have significant impact on the apps we’ve already built!

If you’re a Hybrid app developer and supporting Android 5.0 Lollipop & above versions, it’s worth to keep an eye on these updates and test your apps often.

It’s highly recommended to subscribe Chrome Canary beta channel – Android System WebView beta to get the updates early and act accordingly.

You can join Google+ WebView beta community to get latest updates. Android System WebView is supported on Android Lollipop 5.0 & above versions.

How to uninstall the Web View update

  • Tap on the Settings icon.

  • Scroll down and tap on Apps or Application Manager.

  • Look for Android System WebView under Downloaded page.

  • Tap to open the info page.

  • Now click on UNINSTALL UPDATES button. This will reset the web view.

NOTE: It’s a temporary solution till you work out a fix for it. If any of your existing app is breaking in the production, you can quickly ask them to uninstall the Android System WebView update.

Hope it helps!

Get started with Web

Web is very powerful! It almost replaced the desktop environment. Here are the few resources to get started with Web development –

  1. Codecademy
  2. CodeSchool
  3. Google Web
  4. Mozilla Developer Network
  5. Microsoft Virtual Academy  – Lot of cool video courses available for FREE!
    1. Getting Started with Web Technologies
    2. The Modern Web Platform Jump Start

  6. Udacity Courses ( FREE )

 

Happy learning!!!

Bower – A Package Manager

Recently I blogged on Modern Web App development, in which I mentioned few tools which will ease the web development. Today, let’s explore one more tool – Bower, the package manager for Web.

As you may aware that modern web application development requires one to many libraries or frameworks, and maintaining all of them is really hard, especially while upgrading! Isn’t cool, if we have a tool to do this job! Let’s take a look at the tool –

Bower is a great tool which helps us to maintain the project or app dependencies in more elegant way!

How it works?

Bower uses bower.json manifest (similar to package.json) file to hold all the package information. You can easily edit this manifest file. Works like a configuration file for your packages. Using Bower commands you can install all those packages at once.

Installing Bower

You can install Bower using npm (Node Package Manager). If you don’t know what is npm, you can learn here – https://docs.npmjs.com/. So, if you don’t have npm installed on your machine. Install the Node.js, which will install Node as well as npm.

NOTE: Bower requires Git. So install Git before you proceed with Bower installation.

  1. Node.js 
  2. Git

You may have to open Terminal(on MAC OS) or PowerShell / Command Prompt (on Windows). [I recommend PowerShell on Windows than Command Prompt.]

Type the following command –

npm install -g bower

NOTE: You may get permission issues, so you run the above command using sudo in MAC. On Windows, run the PowerShell or Command Prompt with Administrator Privileges.

Once you are done installing Bower globally, now we are ready to play with it!

Now, we need to create bower.json manifest file. You can create this manifest file manually or through bower.

Manually creating bower.json – Create a file and rename it to bower.json. That’s it! Data included in this manifest file should adhere to the spec –  https://github.com/bower/bower.json-spec

A Sample bower.json for Angular app

{
 "name": "demo-app",
 "version": "1.0.0",
 "dependencies": {
 "angular": "^1.3.0",
  "bootstrap": "^3.2.0",
 "angular-animate": "^1.3.0",
 "angular-cookies": "^1.3.0",
 "angular-resource": "^1.3.0",
 "angular-route": "^1.3.0",
 "angular-sanitize": "^1.3.0",
 "angular-touch": "^1.3.0"
 },
 "devDependencies": {
 "angular-mocks": "~1.3.0",
 "angular-scenario": "~1.3.0"
 },
 
}

Interactively create bower.json – You can create the bower.json interactively using  –

bower init

Answer the questions popped by Bower and it will create the file for you.

How to add new packages?

Try the following command –

//install the package and add it to bower.json dependencies
bower install <package-name> --save
//Ex: bower install jquery --save

You can search for available packages  – http://bower.io/search/

Update the bower package  –

bower update <package-name> <package-name> [options]

//-F: Force latest version on conflict

//Ex: bower update jquery -F

Uninstall the bower package  –

bower uninstall <package-name> [options]

//-S: Remove uninstalled packages from the project’s bower.json dependencies

//Ex: bower uninstall jquery -S

More Bower API’s – http://bower.io/docs/api/

Can I register my own package or library?

Yep, you can do that using bower register – 

bower register <your-package-name> <git-endpoint>

//Ex: bower register mylibrary git://github.com/user/example.git

You can also unregister – http://bower.io/docs/creating-packages/#unregister

Bower comes with lot of tools, which allows you to integrate the Bower with other IDE’s and tools. More info – http://bower.io/docs/tools/

Hope you have got quick overview of Bower package manager and usage of the tool.

Happy Web Programming!

Quick look of Keyboard events on Mobile browsers

As part of the project, we were working on the forcing the user to enter correct information while keying in. We tried leveraging the keyCode, charCode & which properties on event object.

We did a quick trial by creating a demo Hybrid App and tested the same on the Android and iOS devices. The results were surprising!

Google Chrome to be the future rich browser which is FAILING and Apple’s Mobile Safari is WINNING. Google Chrome browser is failing to return the correct key codes from Android OS KitKat 4.4 and above.

So, it’s better to have the validation check while submitting the form instead of keying in!

I have created a demo page to test the same – KeyEvents

Below are the quick analysis on different Android and iOS devices –

Device & OS Status
Samsung Galaxy NOTE 8000 (4.1.2)      √
Samsung Galaxy S3 (4.3)      √
Samsung Galaxy S4 (4.4.2)      ×
Nexus 7 (4.4.4)      ×
Nexus 7 (5.1)      ×
Nexus 9 (5.1)      ×
Nexus 4 (5.1)      ×
Nexus 5 (5.1)      ×
Nexus 6 (5.0)      ×
Apple iPhone 6 Plus (8.0.2)      √
Apple iPhone 6 (8.1)      √
Apple iPhone 5S (8.0.2)      √
Apple iPhone 5 (7.1.2)      √
Apple iPhone 4S (8.0.2)      √
Apple iPad mini (8.0.2)      √
Apple iPad (6.1.3)      √
Apple iPad Air (7.1.1)      √

Happy Mobile programming!

Useful Chrome Apps & Extensions for Web Developers

I have made by work easy by using the extensions / plugins whatsoever we call them. It can be on Chrome or Firefox. In this post, i would like show you few apps & extensions for Google Chrome(my favorite browser).

I strongly believe that Tools are great assets for web developers to debug the resolve the issues in no time. Tooling is gradually gaining momentum and it’s reaching peaks!

Backbone Debugger : Developer Tools extension for debugging Backbone.js applications. It allows to debug the Backbone.js web application by inspecting the Views, Models, Collections, Routers objects.

It’s a great debugging tool to find the daemon views which is left in the DOM and it tracks the events triggered.

You can install it from Chrome Web Store – Backbone Debugger

Ember Inspector : Tool for debugging Ember applications. It allows you to –

  • View all the routes defined in your app.
  • Information about templates, controllers and models that are currently rendered.
  • Inspect the Objects – Models, Collections etc.,
  • Make your application’s objects available in the console as $E variable.

You can install it from Chrome Web Store – Ember Inspector

Grunt DevTools : It’s an awesome tool to run your grunt tasks right inside your chrome browser. Also, it’s capable of running grunt tasks from multiple projects.

You can install it from Chrome Web Store – Grunt DevTools

JSON Editor : One of my favorite JSON editor tools which allows to edit JSON in the browser. It formats the JSON and you can live preview the results.

I know there are multiple apps / extensions for JSON, but i feel this is pretty useful to me atleast. You can install it from Chrome Web Store – JSON Editor

Tincr: Allows editing and fast reloading of local files from Chrome developer tools. With this tool, you don’t need to traverse between your source code and web browser. You can edit the source code inside the browser and changes will be automatically saved to the source. Cool Isn’t it!

In addition, Tincr does auto reloading of JavaScript and CSS changes made in other editors.

You can install it from Chrome Web Store – Tincr

Clear Cache : It allows to clear the cache / history of the browser from the beginning with a click. It’s an extension written by me and yet to publish to Chrome Web Store. It available in GIT and you can pull from it and install manually!

Download from my Git – Clear Cache

I will post more tools as i found useful to web developers like us 🙂

Happy Web App programming!

Web Tools from Microsoft – modern.IE

I was amazed with the amazing tools provided by Microsoft for Web developers and they hosted a website specially for these tools – modern.IE

So, I’m planning to brief about the Tools in modern.IE site in this post. Let’s see what’s in?

Website Tile – I love this feature! It allows to create Windows Tile in few seconds. Allows the user the user to pin the website to their Windows 8 start screen.

Virtual Machines – It provides virtual machines for different platforms – PC, Mac and Linux. Allows to test your website on different versions of Internet Explorer from your Mac or Linux.

Site Scan – This is a service which allows you to scan your website for coding problems. It helps developers to improve the performance of the site by fixing the pitfalls. It’s Open Source!

Compatibility Scan – It allows to scan your website for your code which is no longer supported and you can update it! This is very useful for outdated browser support especially for < IE 9+ versions.

Browser ScreenShots – It takes the screenshots of your web site in different browser on various platforms includes Mobile Safari and Android.

Developer Channel – Like Firefox and Chrome, IE started pushing nightly build with upcoming features enabled on it! It allows the developers to test the upcoming features in IE to take advantage of latest features!

It has much more in it including Community Support, MSDN resources etc., It’s all yours to explore the hidden information!

Happy Website – IE programming!!!