NOTE: This blog post was originally hosted on Motorola's MOTODEV web site. That site was decommissioned in 2012. I've made every attempt to preserve blog posts and accompanying forum posts with their original content. Many web links are no longer valid, so they have been removed and replaced with emphasized text.

by Eric Cloninger (EricC)

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope the holidays were good for everyone. I took some time away from work and cleaned out 10 years of accumulated boxes from our garage. I also ran Ethernet cable through the attic to my kids' rooms for their computers and the Xbox. So, I earned points with everyone in the house.

I used my "bonus time" for several days to write an app for my DROID RAZR . As odd as it may seem, I don't get to write a lot of code. The chance to sit down and design again is actually a joy. I can't tell you how excited I was to look up one of those nights and see that it was 2 a.m. It's been several years since I've done that. My app isn't ready to unveil, but this has been a great experience as both a developer and as a product manager.

Most of the time, when I demo MOTODEV Studio or the App Validator, it's in short stretches for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. During the holiday break, I used MOTODEV Studio 3.1 and App Validator for 3 days and I took copious notes. I love hearing from users about how they love our tools, but I also like hearing how we can do better. In the case of my own development, I loved the wizards for creating activities and the string editor. We're starting our next wave of development and my ideas as well as yours are crucial to making a great experience for all Android developers.

Installers Available

As I mentioned in mid-December, we made MOTODEV Studio 3.1 available as an online update. I'm now happy to announce that the installer packages are available for download at the MOTODEV site . In my previous post , I mentioned that this package contains the latest Google ADT plugins (version 16.0.1). Some highlights of this new release are

  • The Localization Files Editor automatic translation feature now supports the Google Translate v2 API
  • Generated database classes now follow the Java naming standards
  • Automatic generation of code that saves and restores the app state
  • New code snippets, including some for the new Ice Cream Sandwich SDK, such as Finding Faces

Screenshot.png Find Faces code snippet in MOTODEV Studio 3.1

These things are in addition to many bug fixes that we've made in the product--bug fixes we've made in open source components and updates to open source components from Eclipse. Overall it's another stable release and I didn't have any problems with it for my own development, plus the hundreds of man hours of testing that went in before it was released.

There's a New Kid in Town

For the past 18 months, we've talked about the MOTODEV App Validator and it's been a vital part of MOTODEV Studio. With this release, we're now providing another way to download and install the tool. App Validator is now available as a separate download from the tools download page (scroll down a bit).

Developers who want to test their apps but don't want to use MOTODEV Studio are encouraged to download this free command-line tool. Installation is a matter of simply extracting the archive wherever you want the tool to run, preferably somewhere on your $PATH. The tool starts from a batch file or shell script called 'appvalidator' and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Support is available on our discussion boards , the same as for MOTODEV Studio.

Farewell (features)

Every release means evaluating requirements and determining what makes sense to support. This release was no different.

Two years ago, we started a project of translating our products to Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese. We went so far as to translate some of our open-source pieces as well. It was a fun project, but it is a lot of work to manage the changes of string resources between versions. While it would be nice to have translators work using the same Agile methods and tools that our developers do, the truth is they don't and probably won't for many years. So, we've removed the translations from MOTODEV Studio and the language packs from the download pages.

In our Download Components screen, we've removed the tool that allowed users to download SDK addons (emulator images) via MOTODEV Studio. This is because developers can download these files via our web site and the Google SDK manager provides this function now. We've submitted our link to Google and as soon as it's approved and activated, you will be able to download Motorola addons directly from the SDK Manager.

Finally, as for host OS support, not a lot changed. We always evaluate where we stand and I'm seeing a lot more users switching to 64-bit this last quarter. Linux developers are picking up, but the thing to point out is that we test on Ubuntu and Fedora using VirtualBox. If you have your own favorite combination (and most Linux users do), please help us by trying to eliminate as many variables as possible.

To 2012 (and beyond)

Once again, I'd like to thank everyone for their support and feedback of MOTODEV Studio and our tools in 2011. We look forward to working with you again in 2012.

Eric