Camera Controls Using Volume Buttons In The Phimpme Application

The Phimpme Android application has a camera, Gallery section, edit image section and also the inbuilt sharing option. In spite of having all of the above features, the Phimpme application doesn’t compromise on the quality and functions of each of the sections. For instance, we can control the camera fully with the help of just the volume buttons. For this, we have provided an option in the settings of the application to change and select the behaviour of the volume buttons according to the users choice. In this post, I will be discussing how we have achieved this functionality.

Step 1

First, we have to display an ArrayList of options using the ListPreference in the settings. The user can perform the following functions using the volume keys.

  1. Take Photo
  2. Focus
  3. Zoom in/out
  4. Change Exposure Level
  5. Switch Auto Level on/off

There are also two other option to change device volume and to do nothing in case the user wants the default behaviour.

The above options in the settings can be provided using the following lines of code.

<ListPreference
   android:defaultValue="volume_take_photo"
   android:entries="@array/preference_volume_keys_entries"
   android:entryValues="@array/preference_volume_keys_values"
   android:key="preference_volume_keys"
   android:summary="@string/preference_volume_keys_summary"
   android:title="@string/preference_volume_keys" />

Step 2

Now as the user selects a particular option from the ListPreference, the value in the SharedPreference associated with a particular key value gets updated. After this, we have to perform the particular activity as soon as the volume button is pressed. For this, we have to Override the onKeyDown() function of the KeyEvent.Callback class in Android. This function takes in the Integer keycode and the KeyEvent as the parameters.

@Override
public boolean onKeyDown(int keyCode, KeyEvent event) {
   if (MyDebug.LOG)
       Log.d(TAG, "onKeyDown: " + keyCode);
   boolean handled = mainUI.onKeyDown(keyCode, event);
   if (handled)
       return true;
   return super.onKeyDown(keyCode, event);
}

Step 3

We have defined another onKeyDown() method in the MainUI class to keep the code modularized. In this, we have made use of the Switch cases to perform the different actions. This can be done by using the following line of code snippet.

Switch (volume_keys) {
  case "volume_take_photo":
     main_activity.takePicture();
     return true;

  case "volume_zoom":
     if (keyCode == KeyEvent.KEYCODE_VOLUME_UP) {
        main_activity.getPreview().zoomTo(main_activity.getPreview().getCameraController().getZoom() + 1);
     }
     else {
        main_activity.getPreview().zoomTo(main_activity.getPreview().getCameraController().getZoom() - 1);
     }
     return true;

In the above code snippet, we have defined the function to perform the zoom operation and to click picture using the volume keys. Similarly, we can add the functions to perform all the above mentioned activities. To get the full source code, please refer to the Phimpme Android GitHub repository mentioned in the resources section below.

Resources

  1. Android Developer Guide – KeyEvent.Callback class – https://developer.android.com/reference/android/view/KeyEvent.Callback.html
  2. GitHub – Phimpme Android Repository – https://github.com/fossasia/phimpme-android/
  3. StackOverflow – Handling key events in Android – https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5631977/keyevent-handling-in-android
  4. Blog post – Handleling Key Events – https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2009/12/back-and-other-hard-keys-three-stories.html

 

Slideshow option in the Phimpme Android Application

The Phimpme Android application along with all the basic features for viewing and sharing images also has some interesting functions, for example, the ability to view all the images at once using the slideshow option. The users can also manage the time duration for which a particular photo will be displayed before switching on to the next image. In this post, we will be discussing how we have achieved this functionality in the Phimpme Android application.

Step 1

First, we have to provide the user with an option to enter the time duration for which they want to view a particular photo. For this, we have made use of the themed dialog box which will take the input from the user and then we will be converting the time entered by them into milliseconds. This can be done by using the following code snippet.

dialog.setButton(DialogInterface.BUTTON_POSITIVE, getString(R.string.ok).toUpperCase(), new DialogInterface.OnClickListener() {
   @Override
   public void onClick(DialogInterface dialog, int which) {
       String value= editTextTimeInterval.getText().toString();
       if(!"".equals(value))
       {
           slideshow=true;
           int intValue = Integer.parseInt(value);
           SLIDE_SHOW_INTERVAL = intValue * 1000;

Step 2

For changing the photo at a particular duration of time, we need to make use of the Runnable interface in Java, which uses a method run() to execute the tasks. To use it, we have to create a Handler object and initialize it. This can be done using the following lines of the code.

private Handler handler;
handler = new Handler();

After this, we have to define and initialize our Runnable object which will be used later to change the picture. The code snippet for initializing the runnable object is given below.

Runnable slideShowRunnable = new Runnable() {
   @Override
   public void run() {
       try{
           mViewPager.scrollToPosition((getAlbum().getCurrentMediaIndex() + 1) % getAlbum().getMedia().size());
       }
       catch (Exception e) {
           e.printStackTrace();
       }
       finally{
           handler.postDelayed(this, SLIDE_SHOW_INTERVAL);
       }

As the run() method gets executed, the scrollToPosition function of the ViewPager class gets called which changes the position of the image displayed to the next image available.

Step 3

To call the runnable object we created in the second step, we have to use the postDelayed function of the Handler class which takes in a Runnable object and the time in milliseconds as the parameter. The code snippet for this is provided below.

handler.postDelayed(this, SLIDE_SHOW_INTERVAL);

Please note that we have also included the above line of code in the finally block after each successful run of the method because as the slideshow starts, we will have to call this function to scroll to the new position after every finite provided duration.

This is how we have achieved the Slideshow functionality in the Phimpme Android application. To get the full source code for this implementation, please check out the Phimpme Android GitHub repository listed in the resources section below.

Resources

  1. GitHub – Phimpme Android Repository – https://github.com/fossasia/phimpme-android/
  2. Android Developer Guide – Handler class – https://developer.android.com/reference/android/os/Handler.html
  3. StackOverflow – Runnable in Java – https://stackoverflow.com/questions/13327571/in-a-simple-to-understand-explanation-what-is-runnable-in-java
  4. StackOverflow – Image Slideshow in Android – https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2995145/image-slideshow-example-in-android

 

Compressing Albums in the Phimpme Android Application

The Phimpme Android application comes in with all the functionalities ranging from viewing images to taking photos, editing pictures  and sharing them with the world from within a single application without having to switch to or install other social media apps on your mobile phone. Apart from these basic functionalities, the Phimpme Android app also comes with additional features to enhance user experience like the ability to compress the whole album with a large number of photos so that it becomes easier to share them. In this post, I will be explaining how we achieved this functionality to compress the Albums.

Step 1

The first thing we need to do before compressing an album is to get all the paths of the images in that album and store it in an ArrayList<String> so that it can be used later for the compression process. This can be done using the code snippet provided below, it stores all the paths of the file in a particular folder whose name ends with .jpg

path = new ArrayList<>();
File folder = new File(getAlbums().getSelectedAlbum(0).getPath() + "/");
File[] fpath = folder.listFiles();
for(int i = 0; i < fpath.length; i++){
   if(fpath[i].getPath().endsWith(".jpg") ){
       path.add(fpath[i].getPath());
   }
}

Step 2

Since the compression is a heavy task, we can make use of an AsyncTask to run the task on the background thread so that the user experience is not at all hampered. In the onPreExecute method of the AsyncTask, we need to display the Notification that the compression of the particular album has started, for this we have made use of the Notification handler class that we have created in the Phimpme Android application to ease the process of displaying the notification and to avoid repetition of codes. The onPreExecute method of the AsyncTask is given below.

@Override
protected void onPreExecute() {
   super.onPreExecute();
   NotificationHandler.make(R.string.folder, R.string.zip_fol, R.drawable.ic_archive_black_24dp );
}

Step 3

On the doInBackground method of the AsyncTask, we run the process to compress the files one by one. For this we will make use of the ZipEntry class which is used to represent a zip file entry in Android/Java. First we will create a File with the .zip extension.  After this, we will make use of an object of the class ZipOutputStream as depicted in the code snippet provided below.

BufferedInputStream origin = null; 
FileOutputStream dest = new FileOutputStream(_zipFile); 
ZipOutputStream out = new ZipOutputStream(new BufferedOutputStream(dest)); 
byte data[] = new byte[BUFFER];

After initializing the ZipOutPutStream object, we will put the zip entries in it by using the putNextEntry function of the class. To create a Zip entry of a file, we need to make use of for loop to generate the object of type ZipEntry and after that by using the putNextEntry function of the class, we will put the entries one by one as depicted in the code snippet given below.

for (int i = 0; i < path.size(); i++) {
FileInputStream fi = new FileInputStream(path.get(i));
origin = new BufferedInputStream(fi, BUFFER);
ZipEntry entry = new ZipEntry(path.get(i).substring(path.get(i).lastIndexOf("/") + 1));
out.putNextEntry(entry);

While preparing the Zip file, we will update the progress of the compression operation by making use of the Notification handler class.

This is how we have implemented the feature to compress the Albums in the Phimpme Android Application. To get the full source code for the same, please check the Phimpme Android GitHub repository listed on the resources below.

Resources

  1. StackOverflow – Compressing Files in Android – https://stackoverflow.com/questions/25562262/how-to-compress-files-into-zip-folder-in-android
  2. Blog – Compressing Files in Android programmatically – http://stacktips.com/tutorials/android/how-to-programmatically-zip-and-unzip-file-in-android
  3. GitHub – Phimpme Android Repository – https://github.com/fossasia/phimpme-android/

Timer Option in Phimpme Android’s Camera

The Phimpme Android application comes in with all the options like clicking a picture, editing them and sharing it with the world using many many connected social media accounts. Not only this, it features a fully functional camera with lots of different functionality which a user wants in their day to day life. One such feature is the Timer option in Phimpme. In Phimpme, the user can go to the camera settings to enable or disable the Timer options and click their photos after setting the timer for a particular duration. After setting the timer and pressing the capture photo button, it also displays a ticker at the UI of the camera to notify the user the amount of time after which the photo will be clicked.

In this tutorial, I will be explaining how we have achieved this feature in the Phimpme application.

Step 1

The first thing we need to do is to display the options to the user in camera settings to enable/disable the timer and to select the specific amount of time for the delay in the capture. To do this we have made use of the pop-up view in which we have programmatically added all the timer values to be displayed to the user using the code snippet below:

final String[] timer_values = getResources().getStringArray(R.array.preference_timer_values);
  String[] timer_entries = getResources().getStringArray(R.array.preference_timer_entries);
String timer_value = sharedPreferences.getString(PreferenceKeys.getTimerPreferenceKey(), "0");
addArrayOptionsToPopup(Arrays.asList(timer_entries), getResources().getString(R.string.preference_timer), true, timer_index, false)

What the function addArrayOptionsToPopup does is that it adds the following arrays to the linear layout of the pop-up view programmatically.

Step 2

After displaying the timer values to the user, we need to think about the functionality of the camera if the timer is enabled. When the user presses the click picture button we check the condition whether the timer is enabled or not. If it is enabled, we make the application to wait for a specific amount of time before clicking the photo. This can be done using the CountDownTimer class which is provided by Android.

new CountDownTimer(timerDelay, 1000) {
   public void onTick(long millisUntilFinished) {
          //Called after each second
       }
       public void onFinish() {
         //Called after timer delay
       }
   }.start();

What the above piece of code does is to wait for the specific amount of time as specified by the timer delay. Suppose the user selects the option to wait for 5 seconds then we set the timerDelay to be 5000, then the above code calls the onTick method after each second where we update the user that how much time is remaining and on the onFinish method we call the takePicture method to capture the image using the following line of code below.

mCamera.takePicture(null, null, mPicture);

This is how we have implemented the option of Timer in the Phimpme Android application. To get the full source code of the Camera, please check out the Phimpme Android GitHub repository listed in the resources section below.

Resources

  1. Android Developer Guide : CountDown Timer – https://developer.android.com/reference/android/os/CountDownTimer.html
  2. StackOverflow – Implementing Timer in Camera – https://stackoverflow.com/questions/35355320/camera-application-timer-implementaion-issue
  3. GitHub – Phimpme Android Repository – https://github.com/fossasia/phimpme-android/
  4. GitHub – Open Camera Source Code – https://github.com/almalence/OpenCamera

 

Shortcuts in the Phimpme Android Application

The Phimpme Android application comes with a great functionality of capturing moments, editing them, and sharing it with the world using various social media or cloud platforms integrated into the application. Sometimes, the user may want to directly go to a particular section of the application without having to go to the home activity all the time. We have solved this issue using the App shortcuts option which is provided on Android versions greater than 7.0 Nougat. When the user long clicks on the icon of the application, it provides us with multiple options to choose which activity or section we would like to go to as depicted in the screenshot below.

In this post, I will be explaining how we have achieved this functionality in the Phimpme Android application.

Step 1

In the Phimpme app, we have three main sections named Camera, Gallery and Accounts and we have added these three options in the app shortcut menu. To do this, first of all, we need to add a meta data to the main activity in the AndroidManifest.xml file. To do this, search for the activity which contains “android.intent.action.MAIN” and add the following line of code in the activity tag.

<meta-data android:name="android.app.shortcuts"
  android:resource="@xml/shortcuts" />

Step 2

Now after we have configured the manifest file, we need to create shortcuts.xml file in the resources folder which will contain the information about our app shortcuts along with the intent action to go to a particular activity.

After creating the xml file, add the following line of code.

<shortcuts xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
  xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">

Now after this we have to create a shortcut tag and define the id of our shortcut and should add the icon to it which will be displayed to the user along with the shortcut text as depicted in the screenshot above. This can be done using the following line of code.

android:shortcutId="camera"
android:enabled="true"
android:icon="@drawable/ic_camera_alt_black_24dp"
android:shortcutShortLabel="@string/camera_short"
android:shortcutLongLabel="@string/camera_long"
android:shortcutDisabledMessage="@string/camera_short"

Now after this, we have to define the action which we want to perform when the user clicks on a particular app shortcut. To do this, create an intent tag and add the following lines of code in it.

<intent
  android:action="android.media.action.IMAGE_CAPTURE_SECURE"
  android:targetPackage="org.fossasia.phimpme"
  android:targetClass="org.fossasia.phimpme.opencamera.Camera.CameraActivity" />
<categories android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />

The above code sets the action type as Image capture and defines the package name of the application. The above code is used to open the Camera activity of the Phimpme Application from the shortcut menu. In the similar fashion as described above, we have implemented the option to open up the Gallery and Accounts section of our application by just modifying the action name of the shortcut.

This is how we have implemented the App shortcut functionality in the Phimpme app. To get the full source code of the Shortcuts.xml file, please refer to the Phimpme Android repository.

Resources

  1. Android Developer’s Guide – App shortcuts – https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/shortcuts.html
  2. GitHub – Google Sample Project to depict the usage of app shortcuts – https://github.com/googlesamples/android-AppShortcuts
  3. Blog – Using app shortcuts in Android 7.0 – http://www.brevitysoftware.com/blog/how-to-use-app-shortcuts-in-android-7-1-nougat/
  4. GitHub – Phimpme Android repository – https://github.com/fossasia/phimpme-android/

Real Time Upload Progress in Phimpme Android

The Phimpme Android application along with a wonderful gallery, edit image and camera section comes in with an option to share the images to different connected accounts. For sharing the images to different accounts, we have made use of different SDK’s provided to help users to share the images to multiple accounts at once without having to install other applications on their devices. When the user connects the account and shares the image to any account, we display a snackbar at the bottom that the upload has started and then we display the progress of the uploads in the notification panel as depicted in the screenshot below.

In this tutorial, I will be explaining how we achieved this feature of displaying the upload progress in the Phimpme Android application using a Notification handler class.

Step 1

The first thing we need to do is to create an AsyncTask that will be handling the upload progress and the notification handling in the background without affecting the main UI of the application. This can be done using the upload progress class which is a subclass of the AsyncTask class as depicted below.

private class UploadProgress extends AsyncTask<Void, Integer, Void> {
}

The AsyncTask overrides three methods which are onPreExecute, doInBackground and onPostExecute methods. In the onPreExecute method we will make the uploading notification visible to the user via the Notification handler class.

Step 2

After this, we need to create a notification handler class which will be handling the uploads progress. We will be needing four methods inside of the Notification handler class to :

  1. Make the app notification in the notification panel.
  2. To update the progress of the upload.
  3. To display the upload failed progress.
  4. To display the upload passed progress.

The notification display can be made using the following lines of code below:

mNotifyManager = (NotificationManager) ActivitySwitchHelper.getContext().getSystemService(Context.NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
mBuilder = new NotificationCompat.Builder(ActivitySwitchHelper.getContext());
mBuilder.setContentTitle(ActivitySwitchHelper.getContext().getString(R.string.upload_progress))
      .setContentText(ActivitySwitchHelper.getContext().getString(R.string.progress))
      .setSmallIcon(R.drawable.ic_cloud_upload_black_24dp)
      .setOngoing(true);
mBuilder.setProgress(0, 0, true);
// Issues the notification
mNotifyManager.notify(id, mBuilder.build());

The above code makes use of the Android’s NotificationManager class to get the notification service and sets the title and the upload image which is to be displayed to the user at the time of image uploads.

Now we need to update the notification after every each second to display the real time upload progress to the user. This can be done by using the upload progress method which takes in total file size and the amount of data uploaded as a parameter.

public static void updateProgress(int uploaded, int total, int percent){
  mBuilder.setProgress(total, uploaded, false);
  mBuilder.setContentTitle(ActivitySwitchHelper.getContext().getString(R.string.upload_progress)+" ("+Integer.toString(percent)+"%)");
  // Issues the notification
  mNotifyManager.notify(id, mBuilder.build());

The above updating process can be done in the doInBackground task of the AsyncTask described in step 1.

Step 3

After the upload has completed, the onPostExecute method will be executed and in that we need to make display the status whether the upload passed or failed and we need to set the onProgress value of the notification to be false so that user can remove the notification. This can be done using the following line of code below:

mBuilder.setContentText(ActivitySwitchHelper.getContext().getString(R.string.upload_done))
      // Removes the progress bar
      .setProgress(0,0,false)
      .setContentTitle(ActivitySwitchHelper.getContext().getString(R.string.upload_complete))
      .setOngoing(false);
mNotifyManager.notify(0, mBuilder.build());
mNotifyManager.cancel(id);

This is how we have created and made use of the Notification handler class in the Phimpme Application to display the upload progress in the application. To get the full source code for implementing the uploads to multiple accounts and to display the notification, please refer to the Phimpme Android GitHub repository.

Resources

  1. Google Developer’s Guide – Notification Handling – https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/notifiers/notifications.html
  2. Google Developer’s Guide – AsyncTask in Android – https://developer.android.com/reference/android/os/AsyncTask.html
  3. StackOverflow – Notification Handling – https://stackoverflow.com/questions/31063920/how-to-program-android-notification
  4. GitHub – Phimpme Android Repository – https://github.com/fossasia/phimpme-android/

Getting Image location in the Phimpme Android’s Camera

The Phimpme Android app along with a decent gallery and accounts section comes with a nice camera section stuffed with all the features which a user requires for the day to day usage. It comes with an Auto mode for the best experience and also with a manual mode for the users who like to have some tweaks in the camera according to their own liking. Along with all these, it also has an option to get the accurate coordinates where the image was clicked. When we enable the location from the settings, it extracts the latitude and longitude of the image when it is being clicked and displays the visible region of the map at the top of the image info section as depicted in the screenshot below.

In this tutorial, I will be discussing how we have implemented the location functionality to fetch the location of the image in the Phimpme app.

Step 1

For getting the location from the device, the first step we need is to add the permission in the androidmanifest.xml file to access the GPS and the location services. This can be done using the following lines of code below.

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION"/>

After this, we need to download install the google play services SDK to access the Google location API. Follow the official google developer’s guide on how to install the Google play services into the project from the resources section below.

Step 2

To get the last known location of the device at the time of clicking the picture we need to make use of the FusedLocationProviderClient class and need to create an object of this class and to initialise it in the onCreate method of the camera activity. This can be done using the following lines of code below:

private FusedLocationProviderClient mFusedLocationClient;
mFusedLocationClient = LocationServices.getFusedLocationProviderClient(this);

After we have created and initialised the object mFusedLocationClient, we need to call the getLastLocation method on it as soon as the user clicks on the take picture button in the camera. In this, we can also set onSuccessListener method which will return the Location object when it successfully extracts the present or the last known location of the device. This can be done using the following lines of code below:

mFusedLocationClient.getLastLocation()
       .addOnSuccessListener(this, new OnSuccessListener<Location>() {
           @Override
           public void onSuccess(Location location) {
               if (location != null) {
            //Get the latitude and longitude here
                  }

After this, we can successfully extract the latitude and the longitude of the device in the onSuccess method of the code snippet provided below and can store it in the shared preference to get the map view of the coordinates from a different activity of the application later on when the user tries to get the info of the images.

Step 3

After getting the latitude and longitude, we need to get the image view of the visible region of the map. We can make use of the Glide library to fetch the visible map area from the url which contains our location values and to set it to the image view.

The url of the visible map can be generated using the following lines of code.

String.format(Locale.US, getUrl(value), location.getLatitude(), location.getLongitude());

This is how we have added the functionality to fetch the coordinates of the device at the time of clicking the image and to display the map in the Phimpme Android application. To get the full source code, please refer to the Phimpme Android GitHub repository.

Resources

  1. Google Developer’s : Location services guide – https://developer.android.com/training/location/retrieve-current.html
  2. Google Developer’s : Google play services SDK guide – https://developer.android.com/studio/intro/update.html#channels
  3. GitHub : Open camera Source Code –  https://github.com/almalence/OpenCamera
  4. GitHub : Phimpme Android – https://github.com/fossasia/phimpme-android/
  5. GitHub : Glide library – https://github.com/bumptech/glide

 

Zooming Feature in the Phimpme Android’s Camera

The Phimpme Android application comes with a complete package of camera, Edit images, sharing and gallery functionalities. It has a well featured and fully functional camera with all the capabilities that a user expects from a camera application. One such feature in the Phimpme Android application is the zooming functionality. It provides the user the option to zoom in using the pinch gesture of the fingers or the user can select the settings to zoom in from the volume buttons. In this tutorial, I will be explaining how I achieved the zooming functionality in the Phimpme Android app.

Step 1

The first thing we need to do is to check whether the device will support the zoom in functionality or not to avoid random crashes while runtime of the application and while performing the zoom action in case the camera of the device doesn’t support this feature. This can be done by the following lines of code:

Camera.Parameters params = mCamera.getParameters();
Boolean supports = params.isZoomSupported();

Step 2

Now after getting the camera parameters and checking whether the camera supports the zoom in functionality, we need to add the touch listener to the surface view of the camera so that we can get the touch locations and the finger spacing of the user to get the pinch to zoom in functionality. This can be done using the following line of code.

surfaceView.setOnTouchListener(this);

Whenever the user touches the screen this touch listener gives a callback to the overridden onTouchEvent method and passes the MotionEvent to the function. The motion event object in Android handles the movement reports. Now in the onTouchEvent method, we calculate the finger spacing between the two fingers and calculate the approximate amount by which the user wants to zoom in. The finger spacing can be calculated using the following lines of code.

float x = event.getX(0) - event.getX(1);
   float y = event.getY(0) - event.getY(1);
   return FloatMath.sqrt(x * x + y * y);

After getting the finger spacing we need to cancel the auto focus of the camera before performing the zoom action so that the application does not crash. This can be achieved by a single line of code below.

mCamera.cancelAutoFocus();

Step 3

The final step is to set the zoom level in the camera application by calculating the zoom level by using the finger spacing. For this, first we need to get the max zoom level supported by the device so that we do not apply the zoom level that is not supported by the device. The calculation of max zoom level and setting of the desired zoom level by the user can be performed by using the following lines of code.

int maxZoom = params.getMaxZoom();
   int zoom = params.getZoom();
   float newDist = getFingerSpacing(event);
   if (newDist > mDist) {
       //zoom in
       if (zoom < maxZoom)
           zoom++;
   } else if (newDist < mDist) {
       //zoom out
       if (zoom > 0)
           zoom--;
   }
   mDist = newDist;
   params.setZoom(zoom);

This is how we have achieved the functionality of zooming in and clicking pictures in the Phimpme Android application. To get the full source code and to know how to use the volume control buttons to zoom in/out, please refer to the Phimpme Android repository.

Resources

  1. GitHub – Open camera source code : https://github.com/almalence/OpenCamera
  2. Android developer’s guide – MotionEvents in Android : https://developer.android.com/reference/android/view/MotionEvent.html
  3. StackOverflow – Pinch to zoom functionality : https://stackoverflow.com/questions/8120753/android-camera-preview-zoom-using-double-finger-touch
  4. GitHub – Phimpme Android repository : https://github.com/fossasia/phimpme-android

Uploading Images to Box Storage from the Phimpme Application

The Phimpme Android application along with many other cloud storage applications integrated like Dropbox, Imgur, Pinterest has the option to upload the image to the Box storage without having to install any other applications on the device. From the Phimpme app, the user can click the photo, edit it, view any image from the gallery and then can upload multiple images to many storage services or social media without any hassle. In this tutorial, I will be discussing how we achieved the functionality to upload the images on the Box storage.

Step 1:

To integrate Box storage to the application, the first thing we need to do is create an application from the Box developers console and get the CLIENT_ID and the CLIENT_SECRET. To do this:

  1. Go to the Box developer page and log in.
  2. Create a new application from the app console.
  3. It will now give options to select what kind of application are you using. Select the option partner integration to get the image upload functionality to all the users.
  4. Give a name to your application and finally click the create application button.
  5. After this, you will be taken to the screen similar to the below screenshot from where you can copy the CLIENT_ID and CLIENT_SECRET to be used later on.

Step 2:

Now coming to the Android part, to get the image upload functionality to the box storage, we need to make use of the Android SDK provided by Box to achieve the uploading functionality easily. To add the SDK to the Android project from Gradle, copy the following line of Gradle script which will download and install the SDK from the maven repository.

maven{ url "https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/com.box/box-android-sdk" }
compile group: 'com.box', name: 'box-android-sdk', version: '4.0.8'

Now after adding the SDK, rebuild the project.

Step 3:

After this, to upload the file on the box storage, we need to login to the Box account to get the access token and the user name to store it in Realm database. For this, first we have to configure the Box client. This can be done using the following line of code.

BoxConfig.CLIENT_ID = BOX_CLIENT_ID;
BoxConfig.CLIENT_SECRET = BOX_CLIENT_SECRET;

Replace the BOX_CLIENT_ID and BOX_CLIENT_SECRET in the above code with the key received by following the step 1.

After configuring the Box API client, we can authenticate the user using the sessionBox object by following lines of code.

sessionBox = new BoxSession(AccountActivity.this);
sessionBox.authenticate();

After the authentication, we have to get the user name and the access token of the user using the authenticated session box.

account.setUsername(sessionBox.getUser().getName());
account.setToken(String.valueOf(accessToken));

After authenticating the user, we can upload the photos directly to the Box storage from the Share Activity in the Phimpme Android application. For this, we have to create a new Asynchronous task in android which will do the network operations in the background to avoid the Network on main thread exception. After this, we can make use of the Box file API to upload the photos to the Box storage and call the function getUploadRequest which takes the three parameters file input stream, the upload name of the file and the destination of the folder respectively. This can be done by the following lines of code.

mFileApi = new BoxApiFile(sessionBox);
BoxRequestsFile.UploadFile request = mFileApi.getUploadRequest(inputStream, uploadName, destinationFolderId);

This upload request throws a BoxException so we have to catch that exception using the try/catch block to avoid the application crash in case the upload request fails.

This is how we have implemented the upload to Box storage functionality in the Phimpme Android application. To get the full source code, please refer to the Phimpme Android repository.

Resources

  1. Box Developers app console : https://app.box.com/developers/console/
  2. Box Android SDK GitHub page : https://github.com/box/box-android-sdk
  3. Android’s Developer page on NetworkOnMainThreadExceoption : https://developer.android.com/reference/android/os/NetworkOnMainThreadException.html

Adding Manual ISO Controls in Phimpme Android

The Phimpme Android application comes with a well-featured camera to take high resolution photographs. It features an auto mode in the camera as well as a manual mode for users who likes to customise the camera experience according to their own liking. It provides the users to select from the range of ISO values supported by their devices with a manual mode to enhance the images in case the auto mode fails on certain circumstances such as low lighting conditions.

In this tutorial, I will be discussing how we achieved this in Phimpme Android with some code snippets and screenshots.

To provide the users with an option to select from the range of ISO values, the first thing we need to do is scan the phone for all the supported values of ISO and store it in an arraylist to be used to display later on. This can be done by the snippet provided below:

String iso_values = parameters.get("iso-values");
if( iso_values == null ) {
 iso_values = parameters.get("iso-mode-values"); // Galaxy Nexus
 if( iso_values == null ) {
    iso_values = parameters.get("iso-speed-values"); // Micromax A101
    if( iso_values == null )
       iso_values = parameters.get("nv-picture-iso-values"); // LG dual P990

Every device supports a different set of keyword to provide the list of ISO values. Hence, we have tried to add every possible keywords to extract the values. Some of the keywords used above covers almost 90% of the android devices and gets the set of ISO values successfully.

For the devices which supports the ISO values but doesn’t provide the keyword to extract the ISO values, we can provide the standard list of ISO values manually using the code snippet provided below:

values.add("200");
values.add("400");
values.add("800");
values.add("1600");

After extracting the set of ISO values, we need to create a list to display to the user and upon selection of the particular ISO value as depicted in the Phimpme camera screenshot below

Now to set the selected ISO value, we first need to get the ISO key to set the ISO values as depicted in the code snippet provided below:

if( parameters.get(iso_key) == null ) {
 iso_key = "iso-speed"; // Micromax A101
 if( parameters.get(iso_key) == null ) {
    iso_key = "nv-picture-iso"; // LG dual P990
    if( parameters.get(iso_key) == null ) {
       if ( Build.MODEL.contains("Z00") )
          iso_key = "iso"; // Asus Zenfone 2 Z00A and Z008

Getting the key to set the ISO values is similar to getting the key to extract the ISO values from the device. The above listed ISO keys to set the values covers most of the devices.

Now after we have got the ISO key, we need to change the camera parameter to reflect the selected change.

parameters.set(iso_key, supported_values.selected_value);
setCameraParameters(parameters);

To get the full source code on how to set the ISO values manually, please refer to the Phimpme Android repository.

Resources

  1. Stackoverflow – Keywords to extract ISO values from the device: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2978095/android-camera-api-iso-setting
  2. Open camera Android source code: https://sourceforge.net/p/opencamera/code/ci/master/tree/
  3. Blog – Learn more about ISO values in photography: https://photographylife.com/what-is-iso-in-photography