Create Session in Open Event Android Organizer Application

Open Event Android Organizer Application offered variety of features to Organizers from all over the world to help them host their Events globally but it didn’t had the functionality to create Sessions in the app itself and associate it to Tracks. This feature addition was crucial since it enables Organizer to create Sessions which every common person enquires about before attending and event. In this Blog Post we will see how we added this functionality in the app.

Open Event Android Organizer Application is a client for Open Event Server which provides the REST API.

Problem

There can be various Sessions associated with Tracks for an Event. Open Event API had the endpoint to implement Creating Session but the Orga app didn’t, so we worked on creating a Session in the app.

The UI for creating a Session is shown above. User can fill in the necessary details and click on the green Floating Action Button to create a Session.

How to implement functionality?

We will follow MVP Architecture and use Retrofit 2.x, RxJava, Dagger, Jackson, Data Binding and other industry standard libraries to implement this functionality.

Firstly, let’s create Session model class specifying the attributes and relationships to set up in database using RazizLabs DbFlow library. The POJO will be serialized into JSON by Jackson library to be passed on as a part of RequestBody to server.

Now we will create SessionApi class that will contain the request details to be passed to Retrofit. @POST denotes a POST request and @Body denotes the requestBody of the request which is a Session object.

public interface SessionApi {
@POST(“sessions”)
Observable<Session> postSession(@Body Session session);
}

This is the CreateSessionFragment class that contains the code binding model to the view. The Fragment class implements the CreateSessionView class overriding the method declarations present there. The @Inject annotation of Dagger is used to load singleton presenter instance lazily to improve app’s performance.

Event-Id and Track-Id’s are retrieved from Bundle from Fragment Transaction. These are then passed on to presenter when Create Session button is pressed. There are other methods to show binding progressbar, snackbar and other UI components to show progress of the background request to server and database.

public class CreateSessionFragment extends BaseFragment<CreateSessionPresenter> implements CreateSessionView {

@Override
public View onCreateView(LayoutInflater inflater, @Nullable ViewGroup

container, @Nullable Bundle savedInstanceState) {
binding = DataBindingUtil.inflate(inflater,

R.layout.session_create_layout, container, false);
validator = new Validator(binding.form);

binding.sessionCreate.setOnClickListener(view -> {
if (validator.validate()) {
getPresenter().createSession(trackId, eventId);
}
});

return binding.getRoot();
}

@Override
public void onStart() {
super.onStart();
getPresenter().attach(this);
binding.setSession(getPresenter().getSession());
}
}

In the Presenter createSession method is called when create button is pressed in UI. The method attaches track-id and event-id to Session object. This is necessary for Relationship constraints on Session Model. Then after binding all the data to Session object, we pass it on to SessionRepository. The success response is provided to user by passing success response in getView().onSuccess() method.

public class CreateSessionPresenter extends

AbstractBasePresenter<CreateSessionView> {

public Session getSession() {
return session;
}

public void createSession(long trackId, long eventId) {

Track track = new Track();
Event event = new Event();

track.setId(trackId);
event.setId(eventId);
session.setTrack(track);
session.setEvent(event);

sessionRepository
.createSession(session)
.compose(dispose(getDisposable()))
.compose(progressiveErroneous(getView()))
.subscribe(createdSession ->

getView().onSuccess(“Session Created”), Logger::logError);
}
}

The SessionRepository uses RxJava to make asynchronous Retrofit Call to Server. We throw a Network Error to user if the device does not have Internet Connectivity.

The session object accepted as a parameter in createSession method is passed on to sessionApi. It will return Observable<Session> Response which we will process in doOnNext() method. Then the Session object along with required foreign key relationships with Track and Event is saved in database for offline use.

@Override
public Observable<Session> createSession(Session session) {
if (!repository.isConnected()) {
return Observable.error(new Throwable(Constants.NO_NETWORK));
}return sessionApi
.postSession(session)
.doOnNext(created -> {
created.setTrack(session.getTrack());
created.setEvent(session.getEvent());
repository
.save(Session.class, created)
.subscribe();
})
.subscribeOn(Schedulers.io())
.observeOn(AndroidSchedulers.mainThread());
}

The above code snippets are from Open Event Orga Application. For exploring the entire codebase please refer here. For details about the REST API used by the app please visit here.

References

  1. Official RxJava Project on Github by ReactiveX https://github.com/ReactiveX/RxJava.
  2. Official Retrofit Project on Github by Square Inc https://github.com/square/retrofit.
  3. Official Open Event Organizer App on Github by FOSSASIA https://github.com/fossasia/open-event-orga-app.
  4. Documentation for REST API of Open Event Server on Heroku by FOSSASIA https://open-event-api-dev.herokuapp.com/.
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Creating Activity for Visualizing Recorded Sensor Data from List Items

In previous blog Using RealmRecyclerView Adapter to Show Recorded Sensor Experiments[2], I  have created a DataLoggerActivity in PSLab Android app containing RecyclerView showing a list having all the recorded experiments where every list item shows the date, time and the sensor instrument used for recording the data, but there arises below questions:-

  • What if the user wants to see the actual recorded data in form of a graph?
  • How the user can see the location recorded along with the data on the map?
  • How can the user export that data?

There is no way I could show all of that information just on a list item so I created another activity called “SensorGraphViewActivity” the layout of that activity is shown in the figure below:

Figure 1 shows the layout of the Activity as produced in Android editor

The layout contains three views:-

  1. At the top there is graph view which I created using Android MP chart which will show the recorded data plotted on it forming the exact same curve that was created while recording it, this way it is useful to visualize the data and also there is also a play button on the top which simulates the data as it was being plotted on the graph in real time.
  2. In the middle, there is a Card view containing two rows which will simply show the date and time of recording.
  3. At the bottom, there is a Map view which shows the location of the user which would be fetched when the user recorded the data.

This is the gist of the layout file created for the activity.

But now the question arises:-

How to show the data in the activity for the item that the user wanted?

For that, I implemented click listener on every list item by simply adding it inside the onBindViewHolder() method

@Override
public void onBindViewHolder(@NonNull final ViewHolder holder, int position) {
   SensorLogged temp = getItem(position);
   holder.sensor.setText(temp.getSensor());
   Date date = new Date(temp.getDateTimeStart());
   holder.dateTime.setText(String.valueOf(sdf.format(date)));
   holder.cardView.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
       @Override
       public void onClick(View view) {
                    ...
       });
}

and inside the click listener I performed following three steps:-

  1. First I stored the position of the item clicked inside a variable.

    int positionVar = holder.getAdapterPosition();
  2. Then I used that position from the variable to fetch related data from the Realm database by simply using getItem() method which returns the SensorLogged[1] RealmObject at that position as I used a special type of RecyclerView Adapter called as RealmRecyclerViewAdapter[2].

    int positionVar = holder.getAdapterPosition();
  3. Then I created an Intent to open the SensorGraphViewActivity and passed the related data (i.e., sensortype, foreignkey, latitude, longitude, timezone, date, time) from SensorLogged[1] object to activity in form of extras.
    Intent intent = new Intent(context, SensorGraphViewActivity.class);
    intent.putExtra(SensorGraphViewActivity.TYPE_SENSOR, item.getSensor());
    intent.putExtra(SensorGraphViewActivity.DATA_FOREIGN_KEY, item.getUniqueRef());
    intent.putExtra(SensorGraphViewActivity.DATE_TIME_START,item.getDateTimeStart());
    intent.putExtra(SensorGraphViewActivity.DATE_TIME_END,item.getDateTimeEnd());
    intent.putExtra(SensorGraphViewActivity.TIME_ZONE,item.getTimeZone());
    intent.putExtra(SensorGraphViewActivity.LATITUDE,item.getLatitude());
    intent.putExtra(SensorGraphViewActivity.LONGITUDE,item.getLongitude());
    
    context.startActivity(intent);
    

And, in the SensorGraphViewActivity, I used getIntent() method to fetch all those extra data in the form of Bundle.
For showing the data in the graph I used the foreign key fetched from the intent and queried all the LuxData[1] RealmObject containing that foreignkey in the form of RealmResult<LuxData>[2] ArrayList and used that list to populate the graph.

Long foreignKey = intent.getLongExtra(DATA_FOREIGN_KEY, -1);
Realm realm = Realm.getDefaultInstance();
entries = new ArrayList<>();
RealmResults<LuxData> results = realm.where(LuxData.class).equalTo(DATA_FOREIGN_KEY, foreignKey).findAll();
for (LuxData item : results) {
   entries.add(new Entry((float) item.getTimeElapsed(), item.getLux()));
}

For the map, I fetched the latitude and longitude again from the intent and used the coordinates to show the location on the open street view map.

Thread thread = new Thread(new Runnable() {
   @Override
   public void run() {
       IMapController mapController = map.getController();
       mapController.setZoom((double) 9);
       GeoPoint startPoint = new GeoPoint(latitude, latitude);
       mapController.setCenter(startPoint);
   }
});

For map purposes, of course, I used a separate thread as it is a heavy and time-consuming process and it could lead the app to lag for a long time which could hamper the User Experience.

Thus after the data being plotted on the map and coordinated being plotted on the map, we can see the layout of the activity as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 shows the layout of the activity after being populated with data.

I also created the export button in the toolbar that will use the CSVLogger[3] class implemented inside the PSLab android app to export the data in the form of CSV file and save it in the external storage directory.

Resources

  1. Storing Recorded Sensor Data in Realm Database – My blog where I created the Realm Model classes to store recorded data.
  2. Using RealmRecyclerView Adapter to Show Recorded Sensor Experiments – My previous blog where I created the RecyclerView.
  3. Saving Sensor Data in CSV format – Blog by Padmal storing the data in CSV format.
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Connecting SUSI iOS App to SUSI Smart Speaker

SUSI Smart Speaker is an Open Source speaker with many exciting features. The user needs an Android or iOS device to set up the speaker. You can refer this post for initial connection to SUSI Smart Speaker. In this post, we will see how a user can connect SUSI Smart Speaker to iOS devices (iPhone/iPad).

Implementation –

The first step is to detect whether an iOS device connects to SUSI.AI hotspot or not. For this, we match the currently connected wifi SSID with SUSI.AI hotspot SSID. If it matches, we show the connected device in Device Activity to proceed further with setups.

Choosing Room –

Room name is basically the location of your SUSI Smart Speaker in the home. You may have multiple SUSI Smart Speaker in different rooms, so the purpose of adding the room is to differentiate between them.

When the user clicks on Wi-Fi displayed cell, it starts the initial setups. We are using didSelectRowAt method of UITableViewDelegate to get which cell is selected. On clicking the displayed Wi-Fi cell, a popup is open with a Room Location Text field.

override func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, didSelectRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) {
if indexPath.row == 0, let speakerSSID = fetchSSIDInfo(), speakerSSID == ControllerConstants.DeviceActivity.susiSSID {
// Open a popup to select Rooms
presentRoomsPopup()
}
}

When the user clicks the Next button, we send the speaker room location to the local server of the speaker by the following API endpoint with room name as a parameter:

http://10.0.0.1:5000/speaker_config/

Refer this post for getting more detail about how choosing room work and how it is implemented in SUSI iOS.

Sharing Wi-Fi Credentials –

On successfully choosing the room, we present a popup that asks the user to enter the Wi-Fi credentials of previously connected Wi-Fi so that we can connect our Smart Speaker to the wifi which can provide internet connection to play music and set commands over the speaker.

We present a popup with a text field for entering wifi password.

When the user clicks the Next button, we share the wifi credentials to wifi by the following API endpoint:

http://10.0.0.1:5000/wifi_credentials/

With the following params-

  1. Wifissid – Connected Wi-Fi SSID
  2. Wifipassd – Connected Wi-Fi password

In this API endpoint, we are sharing wifi SSID and wifi password with Smart Speaker. If the credentials successfully accepted by speaker than we present a popup for user SUSI account password, otherwise we again present Enter Wifi Credentials popup.

Client.sharedInstance.sendWifiCredentials(params) { (success, message) in
DispatchQueue.main.async {
self.alertController.dismiss(animated: true, completion: nil)
if success {
self.presentUserPasswordPopup()
} else {
self.view.makeToast("", point: self.view.center, title: message, image: nil, completion: { didTap in
UIApplication.shared.endIgnoringInteractionEvents()
self.presentWifiCredentialsPopup()
})
}
}
}

 

Sharing SUSI Account Credentials –

In the method above we have seen that when SUSI Smart Speaker accept the wifi credentials, we proceed further with SUSI account credentials. We open a popup to Enter user’s SUSI account password:

When the user clicks the Next button, we use following API endpoint to share user’s SUSI account credentials to SUSI Smart Speaker:

http://10.0.0.1:5000/auth/

With the following params-

  1. email
  2. password

User email is already saved in the device so the user doesn’t have to type it again. If the user credentials successfully accepted by speaker then we proceed with configuration process otherwise we open up Enter Password popup again.

Client.sharedInstance.sendAuthCredentials(params) { (success, message) in
DispatchQueue.main.async {
self.alertController.dismiss(animated: true, completion: nil)
if success {
self.setConfiguration()
} else {
self.view.makeToast("", point: self.view.center, title: message, image: nil, completion: { didTap in
UIApplication.shared.endIgnoringInteractionEvents()
self.presentUserPasswordPopup()
})
}
}
}

 

Setting Configuration –

After successfully sharing SUSI account credentials, following API endpoint is using for setting configuration.

http://10.0.0.1:5000/config/

With the following params-

  1. sst
  2. tts
  3. hotword
  4. wake

The success of this API call makes successfully connection between user iOS Device and SUSI Smart Speaker.

Client.sharedInstance.setConfiguration(params) { (success, message) in
DispatchQueue.main.async {
if success {
// Successfully Configured
self.isSetupDone = true
self.view.makeToast(ControllerConstants.DeviceActivity.doneSetupDetailText)
} else {
self.view.makeToast("", point: self.view.center, title: message, image: nil, completion: { didTap in
UIApplication.shared.endIgnoringInteractionEvents()
})
}
}
}

After successful connection-

 

Resources –

  1. Apple’s Documentation of tableView(_:didSelectRowAt:) API
  2. Initial Setups for Connecting SUSI Smart Speaker with iPhone/iPad
  3. SUSI Linux Link: https://github.com/fossasia/susi_linux
  4. Adding Option to Choose Room for SUSI Smart Speaker in iOS App
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Adding Marketer and Sales Admin Events Relationship with User on Open Event Server

In this blog, we will talk about how to add API for adding and displaying events in with a user acts as a Marketer and/or Sales Admin on Open Event Server. The focus is on Model Updation and Schema updation of User.

Model Updation

For the Marketer and Sales Admin events, we’ll update User model as follows

Now, let’s try to understand these relationships.

In this feature, we are providing user to act as a marketer and sales admin for a event.

  1. Both the relationships will return the events in which the user is acting as a Marketer and/or Sales Admin.
  2. There are two custom system roles in model CustomSysRole which are Marketer and Sales Admin. A user can act as these custom system roles with respect to an event.
  3. In this relationship, we will return those events from UserSystemRole model in which a user is acting as Marketer Custom System Role and Sales Admin Custom System Role.
  4. We make use of Event and join UserSystemRole and CustomSysRole where we use that user where UserSystemRole.user_id == User.id , CustomSysRole.id == UserSystemRole.role_id, CustomSysRole.name == “Sales Admin” and then we return events in which Event.id == UserSystemRole.event_id
  5. Similarly, for Marketer events we make use of Event and join UserSystemRole and CustomSysRole where we use that user where UserSystemRole.user_id == User.id , CustomSysRole.id == UserSystemRole.role_id, CustomSysRole.name == “Marketer” and then we return events in which Event.id == UserSystemRole.event_id

Schema Updation

For the Marketer and Sales Admin events, we’ll update UserSchema as follows

Now, let’s try to understand this Schema.

In this feature, we are providing user to act as a marketer and sales admin for a event.

  1. For displaying marketer_events relation self_view is displayed by API v1.user_marketer_events and collection of these events is displayed by API v1.event_list
  2. These APIs will return the Events as schema=”EventSchema”. Here, many=True tells us that this is One to many relationship with Events model.

So, we saw how an user can act as a marketer and/or sales admin for many events.

Resources

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Adding Custom System Roles in Open Event Server

In this blog, we will talk about how to add different custom system roles concerning a user on Open Event Server. The focus is on its model and Schema updation.

Model Updation

For the User Table, we’ll update our User Model as follows:

Now, let’s try to understand these hybrid properties.

In this feature, we are providing Admin the rights to see whether a user is acting as a Marketer and / or  Sales Admin of any of the event or not. Here, _is__system_role method is used to check whether an user plays a system role like Marketer, Sales Admin or not. This is done by querying the record from UserSystemRole model. If the record is present then the returned value is True otherwise false.

Schema Updation

For the User Model, we’ll update our Schema as follows:

Now, let’s try to understand this Schema.

Since all the properties will return either True or false so these all properties are set to Boolean in Schema.Here dump_only means, we will return this property in the Schema.

So, we saw how User Model and Schema is updated to show custom system roles concerning a user on Open Event Server.

Resources

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How to pass data between fragments of an Activity in Android app

This blog demonstrates how to pass values of a variable between two fragments of a single activity. The blog will mainly include the demonstration of passing values between fragments while using BottomSheet Navigation as done in PSLab Android application.

This blog contains the work done by me in the Lux Meter instrument of the PSLab Android app of passing data from LuxMeterConfiguration fragment to LuxMeterData fragment as shown in the featured image to set the high limit for the pointer and to set the update period of the Lux Sensor. The blog will solve the difficult task of communication between two fragments of a single activity. For passing data between multiple fragments of different activities, refer to [1].

How to pass data between fragments?

In this blog, I will pass data from Fragment 2 to Fragment 1 only. But vice versa or passing data from both the fragments can also be made using the same given approach.

  • First, make a static method in Fragment 1 which can set the parameters i.e. the value of the variables as soon as the fragment is inflated as follow
public static void setParameters(int one, int two, int three) {
        Fragment1.firstValue = one;
        Fragment1.secondValue = two;
        Fragment1.thirdValue = three;
    }
  • Now, there is one point to mark that Fragment 1 will be inflated only when Fragment 2 gets destroyed. Else, other than default inflation of Fragment 1, there is no way Fragment 1 can be inflated after navigating to Fragment 2.
  • So, override the OnDestroy() method of Fragment 2 and use the setParameters() method to set the value of variables from Fragment 2 to be used in Fragment 1.
@Override
    public void onDestroyView() {
        super.onDestroyView();
        highValue = getValueFromText(highLimit, 0, highLimitMax);
        updatePeriodValue = getValueFromText(updatePeriod, updatePeriodMin, updatePeriodMax + 100);
        Fragment1.setParameters(selectedSensor, highValue, updatePeriodValue);
    }

Here, the highValue, updatePeriodValue and selectedSensor are the variables being used in the Lux Meter fragment in PSLab Android app. But they can be replaced by the necessary variables as per the app.

So, in this way, we can pass data between the fragments of the same Activity in an Android application. Above demonstration can be extended in passing values between multiple fragments of the same Activity by creating different methods in different fragments.

Resources

  1. Blog on how to pass data between fragments of different/same activities: https://www.journaldev.com/14207/android-passing-data-between-fragments
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Prevent Android Activity from Operating while using Bottom Sheet in PSLab App

This blog demonstrates how to prevent the Android Activity in the background from operating while the Bottom Sheet is up in the foreground. The demonstration will be purely from the work I have done under PR #1355 in PSLab Android repository.

Why prevent the Activity from operating?

When using Bottom Sheet in Android, it is preferable to dim the screen behind the Bottom Sheet to provide a good user experience. But the dimming of the screen is itself an indication that the screen won’t work. Also, if the Bottom Sheet is open and while sliding it, if, by mistake, any button in the background of the bottom sheet gets pressed, then if the function related to that button starts executing then it can create a bad user experience.

For example, in PSLab Android app, in Accelerometer instrument, there are record/pause and delete buttons in the toolbar as shown in figure 1. Now, if the bottom sheet is opened and while closing it if the delete button is by mistake pressed by the user, then whole recorded data gets deleted. Thus, it’s a good practice to prevent the background Activity from operating while Bottom Sheet is opened.

Figure 1. Accelerometer Instrument in PSLab Android app

How to prevent the Activity from operating?

In this demonstration, I will use the method followed by PSLab Android app in creating a Bottom Sheet and making the background dim using a View widget. A step by step guide on how to make a Bottom Sheet as in PSLab Android app can be found in [1] and [2].

Strategy

The strategy used in solving this problem is setting an OnClickListener to the View that is used to dim the background and close the Bottom Sheet (if open) and hide the View as soon as the method is called. The View is again made visible when an upward slide gesture is made to open the Bottom Sheet.

Follow the below steps to get the desired results:

  • First, in OnCreate() method, set the OnTouchListener to the view.
view.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
@Override
public void onClick(View v) {
                              if(bottomSheetBehavior.getState()==BottomSheetBehavior.STATE_EXPANDED)
                    bottomSheetBehavior.setState(BottomSheetBehavior.STATE_HIDDEN);
tvShadow.setVisibility(View.GONE);
      }
});
  • Now, override the OnSlide() method of the GestureDetector class and add the following code to it.
@Override
public void onSlide(@NonNull View bottomSheet, float slideOffset) {
    Float value = (float) MathUtils.map((double) slideOffset, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.8);
    view.setVisibility(View.VISIBLE);
    view.setAlpha(value);
   }

So, now test the Bottom Sheet and you will find that the Bottom Sheet will get closed as soon as the click is made outside it if it is opened. The demonstration of the working of the above code is shown in figure 2.

Figure 2. Demonstration of preventing the background Activity from operating while Bottom Sheet is up

Resources

  1. http://thetechnocafe.com/make-bottom-sheet-android/: Blog on how to make a Bottom Sheet in Android
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How to use Mobile Sensors as Instruments in PSLab Android App

This blog demonstrates how to use built-in mobile sensors in an Android application. This blog will mainly feature my work done in PSLab Android repository of making a Compass and Accelerometer instrument using built-in mobile sensors.

How to access built-in mobile sensors?

Android provides an abstract class called SensorManager which is able to communicate with the hardware i.e. here the sensors in the mobile. But the SensorManager can’t provide continuous data fetched by the sensor. For this, Android provides an interface known as SensorEventListener which receives notifications from SensorManager whenever there is a new sensor data.

How to implement the functionality of sensors in Android app?

Following is a step by step process on how to add support for different sensors in an Android app

  • First, make a new class which extends SensorEventListener and override the default methods.
public class SensorActivity extends Activity implements SensorEventListener {

     public SensorActivity() {
        // Default Constructor      
     }

     @Override
     public void onAccuracyChanged(Sensor sensor, int accuracy) {
     }

     @Override
     public void onSensorChanged(SensorEvent event) {
     }
 }

Here, the SensorActivity() is the default constructor of the class and the onAccuracyChanged() and onSensorChanged() methods will be explained soon.

  • Now declare the SensorManager and use the sensor needed in the app.
private final SensorManager mSensorManager;
private final Sensor mAccelerometer;

     public SensorActivity() {
         mSensorManager = (SensorManager)getSystemService(SENSOR_SERVICE);
         mAccelerometer =        mSensorManager.getDefaultSensor(Sensor.TYPE_ACCELEROMETER);
     }

Here, I have used Sensor.TYPE_ACCELEROMETER to use the built-in Accelerometer in the device. Some of the other options available are:

  1. TYPE_LIGHT – To measure ambient light
  2. TYPE_MAGNETOMETER – To measure magnetic field along different axis
  3. TYPE_GYROSCOPE – To measure movements (sudden changes) in any particular direction

The list of all available sensors in Android can be found in [1].

  • It is necessary to disable the sensors especially when the activity is paused. Failing to do so can drain the battery in just a few hours.

NOTE: The system will not disable sensors automatically when the screen turns off.

So, to save the battery and make the app efficient, we can use the registerListener method to notify the SensorManager to start fetching data from sensor and unregisterListener to notify it to stop.

@Override
protected void onResume() {
         super.onResume();
         mSensorManager.registerListener(this, mAccelerometer, SensorManager.SENSOR_DELAY_NORMAL);
     }

@Override
     protected void onPause() {
         super.onPause();
         mSensorManager.unregisterListener(this);
     }


The onResume() method activates when the app is resumed from a paused state and the onPause() method is called when the app is paused i.e. some other app draws over the current app.

  • Now coming back to onAccuracyChanged() and onSensorChanged() methods, the onAccuracyChanged() method is used to set the accuracy of a sensor. For example, while using GeoLocation sensor, sometimes the position of the mobile isn’t very accurate and so we can define the accuracy level in this method so that the fetched data is used for calculations only if it is in the provided range. And the onSensorChanged() method is the main method where all the data is processed as soon as the new data is notified.

To get the latest value from the sensor, we can use

@Override
public void onSensorChanged(SensorEvent event) {
   data = Float.valueOf(event.values[0]);
   unRegisterListener();
}

Here, the event is an instance of the SensorEvent class which provides the updated data fetched from the sensor. Event.values is used to get the values for any of the three axis including the bias in their values. Following is the list of the index for which we can get a necessary value

values[0] = x_uncalib without bias compensation
values[1] = y_uncalib without bias compensation
values[2] = z_uncalib without bias compensation
values[3] = estimated x_bias
values[4] = estimated y_bias 
values[5] = estimated z_bias

So, in this way, we can add support for any built-in mobile sensor in our Android application.

Resources

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How to Add Icons or Menus into the PSLab Android App Toolbar

This blog demonstrates how to add different icons like help, play, pause, etc. and/or menu bar in the toolbar of an Android app along with setting their visibilities on the toolbar i.e. to display the icons only when space is available else to add them in the menu. The topic will be mainly explained by taking the example of menus and icons added to the PSLab app.

How to add a menu in a toolbar?

Following are the steps to add a menu or an icon in the toolbar widget of the Android app

  • First, add toolbar widget to the main layout file as follows
<android.support.v7.widget.Toolbar
   android:id="@+id/compass_toolbar"
   android:layout_width="match_parent"
   android:layout_height="?attr/actionBarSize"
   android:background="?attr/colorPrimary"
   app:popupTheme="@style/AppTheme.PopupOverlay"
   app:title="@string/compass" />

Here, popupTheme is the theme that activates when inflating the toolbar. Usually, it is kept similar to the default theme of the toolbar.

  • Now as the toolbar is ready, we can make the menu that needs to be inflated on the toolbar. For making a menu, make a folder named menu in the resources folder. Now, add a menu resource file in it by giving a proper name and then add the following code
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<menu xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
   xmlns:app="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto">
   <item
       android:id="@+id/compass_help_icon"
       android:icon="@drawable/compass_help_icon"
       android:title="@string/show_axis_help"
       app:showAsAction="always" />
</menu>

A detailed explanation of the above code is as follows:

  1. The <menu>…</menu> covers all the items in the menu. There can be sub-menu and also sub-sub-menu too. To make a sub-menu, use <menu>…</menu> inside the main menu.
  2. The <item> tag inside the menu defines a specific item to be included in the menu. The icon attribute of an item is used to show the icon on the toolbar. The title attribute of an item is used to show the text inside the menu if space isn’t available to show the icon on the toolbar. The showAsAction attribute is used to define the method of an item i.e. how the item should be visible to the user. Following are some of the values that showAsAction attribute can take:
    • always – It is used to show the icon of the item on the toolbar everytime
    • never – It is used to show the item as a text in the menu everytime the activity is opened
    • ifRoom – It is used to show the icon on the toolbar if there is enough space else the item is included in the menu

NOTE: Always give IDs to menu items as they are used to distinctly identify the item in the java code.

Figure 1. Example of menu and icons in toolbar in PSLab app

As shown in figure 1, the first two icons have always value in their showAsAction attribute whereas other items have never values in their showAsAction attribute.

  • Now the layout and the menu are ready to be inflated from the Java code. First, the toolbar needs to be set up from the Java code. So find the toolbar with its id and then write the following line in the code.
setSupportActionBar(mToolbar);
  • Now the toolbar is ready and so the menu can be inflated on it. So, override the following method to inflate the menu
@Override
public boolean onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu) {
   MenuInflater inflater = getMenuInflater();
   inflater.inflate(R.menu.activity_compass_help_menu, menu);
   return true;
}

Here, the getMenuInflater() method is used to inflate the menu on the toolbar.

  • Now override the onCreateOptionsMenu() method to do the predefined task of selecting the icon or the item from the menu.
@Override
public boolean onOptionsItemSelected(MenuItem item) {
   switch (item.getItemId()) {
       case R.id.compass_help_icon:
           // Do something
           break;
       default:
           break;
   }
   return true;
}

So, in this way a menu can be made so that the number of items delivered to the user can be increased by using the minimum space possible.

Resources

  1. https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/menus – Android Developers guide on how to make a menu in Android
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Detecting Barometer sensor in PSLab Android App

The Pocket Science Lab Android app has Barometer Instrument implemented in it. Although the instrument  is currently working through the mobile sensors and not the PSLab i2c library as there were some issues in the i2c communication with PSLab device.

Thus as the barometer was completely working on through the mobile sensors, there was a major problem coming up. Majority of the mobiles don’t have the barometer sensor which was required, only a  few of the latest devices have the sensors in them.

This issues created problem as now anyone who would have used the barometer instrument would have made an impression that the App was itself not working.

Figure(1) : Showing the stagnant barometer Instrument

Thus this created a bad impression for both the app and it’s developers.

Solving the issue

To solve this major bug, it required to first detect the barometer instrument and then implementing an alert dialog-box showing that barometer sensor is not present in his device.

  • Detecting the Barometer Sensor[2]

The barometer sensor was detected using the sensorManager class of Java

sensorManager = (SensorManager) getSystemService(SENSOR_SERVICE);
sensor = sensorManager != null ? sensorManager.getDefaultSensor(Sensor.TYPE_PRESSURE) : null;

Thus using this code the barometer sensor is detected, if sensor was not present the  sensorManger would be null.

  • Implementing the alert-box[1]

Thus if the sensorManger variable was null it notified that the sensor was not present in           the device and corresponding to which an alert-box was implemeneted

if (sensor == null) {
    runOnUiThread(new Runnable() {
        @Override
        public void run() {
            if (!isFinishing()) {
                new AlertDialog.Builder(BarometerActivity.this)
                    .setTitle(R.string.barometer_alert_title)
                    .setMessage(R.string.barometer_alert_description)
                    .setCancelable(false)
                    .setPositiveButton("ok", new DialogInterface.OnClickListener() {
                        @Override
                        public void onClick(DialogInterface dialog, int which) {
                            dialog.dismiss();
                        }
                    }).show();
            }
        }
    });

Thus as we can see in the code snippet the alert dialog-box will appear if  sensor is not present as shown in figure (2).

Figure(2) : Screenshot showing alert-box

Resources

  1. Android Alert-box Example, Mkyong.com:
    https://www.mkyong.com/android/android-alert-dialog-example/
  2. Creating a Barometer Application for Android, medium.com:
    https://medium.com/@ssaurel/creating-a-barometer-application-for-android-1c0a5c10b20e
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