Getting Started Developing on Phimpme Android

Phimpme is an Android app for editing photos and sharing them on social media. To participate in project start by learning how people contribute in open source, learning about the version control system Git and other tools like Codacy and Travis.

Firstly, sign up for GitHub. Secondly, find the open source projects that interest you. Now as for me I started with Phimpme. Then follow these steps:

  1. Go through the project and read all the technologies and tools they are using.
  2. Now fork that repo in your account.
  3. Open the Android Studio/Other applications that are required for that project and import the project through Git.
  4. For Android Studio sync all the Gradle files and other changes and you are all done and ready for the development process.

Install the app and run it on a phone. Now explore each and every bit use this app as a tester, think about the end cases and boundary condition that will make the app ‘ANR’ (App not responding) dialog appear. Congratulations you are ready to create an issue if that is a verified and original and actually is a bug.


  • Navigate to the main repo link, you will see an issues section as follows:
  • Create a new issue and report every detail about the issue (logcat, screenshots) For eg. Refer to Issue-1120
  • Now the next step is to work on that issue
  • On your machine, you don’t have to change the code in the development branch as it’s considered to be as a bad practice. Hence checkout as a new branch.
    For eg., I checked out for the above issue as ‘crashfixed’
git checkout -b "Any branch name you want to keep"
  • Make the necessary changes to that branch and test that the code is compiling and the issue is fixed followed by
git add.
git commit -m "Fix #Issue No -Description "
git push origin branch-name
  • Now navigate to the repo and you will an option to create a Pull Request.
    Mention the Issue number and description and changes you done, include screenshots of the fixed app.For eg. Pull Request 1131.

Hence you have done your first contribution in open source while learning with git. The pull request will initiate some checks like Codacy and Travis build and then if everything works it is reviewed and merged by co-developers.

The usual way how this works is, that it should be reviewed by other co-developers. These co-developers do not need merge or write access to the repository. Any developer can review pull requests. This will also help contributors to learn about the project and make the job of core developers easier.


Showing only Logged-in Accounts in the Sharing Page of Phimpme Android

In Phimpme Android application, users can edit their pictures and share them to a number of platforms ranging from social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc to cloud storage and image hosting sites like Box, Dropbox, Imgur etc.

Desired flow of the application

According to the flow of the application, the user has to add an account first i.e. log in to the particular account that needs to be connected to the application. After that when the user enters the share page for sharing the image, a button corresponding to the connected account is visible in that page which on clicking will share the image to that platform directly.

What was happening previously?

The list of accounts which is present in the account manager of Phimpme Android application is also getting displayed in the share image page. As the list is large, it is difficult for the user to find the connected account from the list. There is not even an indicator whether a particular account is connected or not. On clicking the button corresponding to the non-connected account, an error dialog instructing the user to log in from the account manager first, will get displayed.

How we solved it?

We first thought of just adding an indicator on the buttons in the accounts page to show whether it is connected or not. But this fix solves only a single issue. Find the connected account in that large list will be difficult for the user even then. So we decided to remove the whole list and show only the accounts which are connected previously in account manager. This cleans the flow of the accounts and share in  Phimpme Android application

When a user logins from the account manager, the credentials, tokens and other details corresponding to that accounts gets saved in database. We used realm database for saving the details in our application. As the details are present in this database, the list can be dynamically generated when the user opens share image page. We implemented a function in Utils class for getting the list of logged in accounts. Its implementation is shown below.

public static boolean checkAlreadyExist(AccountDatabase.AccountName s) {

   Realm realm = Realm.getDefaultInstance();

   RealmQuery<AccountDatabase> query = realm.where(AccountDatabase.class);

   query.equalTo("name", s.toString());

   RealmResults<AccountDatabase> result1 = query.findAll();

   return (result1.size() > 0);


public static ArrayList<AccountDatabase.AccountName> getLoggedInAccountsList(){

   ArrayList<AccountDatabase.AccountName> list = new ArrayList<>();

   for (AccountDatabase.AccountName account : AccountDatabase.AccountName.values()){

       if (checkAlreadyExist(account))



   return list;


Additional changes

There are few accounts which don’t need authentication. Those accounts need their respective application to be installed in the user’s device. So for adding those accounts to the list, we added another function which checks whether a particular package is installed in user’s device or not. Using that it adds the account to the list. The implementation for checking whether a package is installed or not is shown below.

public static boolean isAppInstalled(String packageName, PackageManager pm) {

   boolean installed;

   try {

       pm.getPackageInfo(packageName, PackageManager.GET_ACTIVITIES);

       installed = true;

   } catch (PackageManager.NameNotFoundException e) {

       installed = false;


   return installed;




Adding Zooming Functionality For Gallery Images

Phimpme is an Android app which contains the camera, editing, sharing on different platforms and displaying local images. To display local images with swipe feature we also allow the user to zoom images with pinch and double tap action on an image. So in this post, I will be explaining how I added zooming functionality for images in phimpme.

To zoom an image we are using Photoview that is similar to an imageview means it support all option that imageview supports.

Step 1

The first step is to add the following dependency in your file of your project.

dependencies {
   compile ''

Step 2

Now replace your imageview with PhotoView and it can be done by following way.


Now we can use this photoview as imageview and it will enable zoom functionality easily.

Step 3

Now next step is to load image in PhotoView. As phimpme allow to display local images of a device so we are using glide library to load image in PhotoView. We are using URI to load image in Glide.

PhotoView imageView = new PhotoView(ActivitySwitchHelper.context);


Now your image view which is actually a PhotoView is ready to provide zoom functionality by double tap on and image and by pan-zoom.

PhotoView in Phimpme Android


Burst Camera Mode in Phimpme Android

Camera is an integral part of core feature in Phimpme Android. Various features were added in the camera part such as resolution, timer, shutter sound, white balance etc. Click burst shot from camera is also an important feature to be added. Burst shot is clicking multiple pictures in one go.

Adding a Burst mode in Phimpme Camera

  • Adding burst mode enable entry in options

The popup view in Camera is added programmatically in app. Setting up the values from sharedpreferences. It takes the value and set burst mode off, 1x, 2x etc. according to value.

final String[] burst_mode_values = getResources().getStringArray(R.array.preference_burst_mode_values);
  String[] burst_mode_entries = getResources().getStringArray(R.array.preference_burst_mode_entries);
String burst_mode_value = sharedPreferences.getString(PreferenceKeys.getBurstModePreferenceKey(), "1");

Two methods created for setting up the previous and next values. To set up the previous value we need to check the current value to be not equal to -1 and greater that zero. Upgrade or downgrade the value of burst mode, according to the click.

public int onClickPrev() {
         if( burst_mode_index != -1 && burst_mode_index > 0 ) {
            update(); ...

public int onClickNext() {
            if( burst_mode_index != -1 && burst_mode_index < burst_mode_values.length-1 ) {
  • Saving the value in sharedpreferences

So on clicking the previous and next, the value of burst mode value will be updated. As shown in the above code snippet, after every increment and decrement the values set on view and called update method to update the value in the sharedpreference as shown below.

private void update() {
        String new_burst_mode_value = burst_mode_values[burst_mode_index];
        SharedPreferences sharedPreferences = PreferenceManager.getDefaultSharedPreferences(main_activity);
SharedPreferences.Editor editor = sharedPreferences.edit();
editor.putString(PreferenceKeys.getBurstModePreferenceKey(), new_burst_mode_value);

  • Taking multiple Images

Now in the implementation part, we need to continuously click the image according to the burst value set by the user. So to enable this, first check the value not to be negative and should be greater than zero. Whole iteration work on separate variable named remaining burst photos. The value of the variable decrease after every image click i.e. takePhoto method calls.

if( remaining_burst_photos == -1 || remaining_burst_photos > 0 ) {
  if( remaining_burst_photos > 0 )
  long timer_delay = applicationInterface.getRepeatIntervalPref();
  if( timer_delay == 0 ) {
     phase = PHASE_TAKING_PHOTO;
  else {
     takePictureOnTimer(timer_delay, true);



Setting the Foreground Color Based on the Background Color in Phimpme Android

In the situations where the background color gets changed, the foreground color should also change to some other color. Otherwise the foreground item may not be properly visible on the background.

In Phimpme Android, we came across this situation when dealing with the bottom navigation bar. We have a preference option in our application which enables the user to change the primary color of the application. This change affects the background color of the bottom navigation bar also. We initially had white as selected foreground item’s color and grey as the unselected items’ color. It was fine for darker background colors. But problem arose when we changed the primary color of the application to the lighter shade of any color. The foreground item which was in white color was not clearly visible over the background. So we had to dynamically decide the foreground color when the background color gets changed.

Deciding the foreground color of the bottom navigation bar in Phimpme Android was tough. The foreground item should not only be visible on the background color but it should also be visibly attractive. We needed a minimal look. So we decided to use only two colors – black and white for the selected item’s color. The unselected items’ color can be fixed. A shade of gray with less alpha can be used for it.

The black and white colors are decided based on the lightness of the background color. We used the rgb value of the background color to find the lightness. We fixed a threshold for this lightness by visual judgement and selected the foreground color from the black and white colors based on this threshold lightness. If the lightness of the background color of the bottom navigation color of Phimpme Android application is less than the defined threshold value, we used white as the foreground color and vice-versa.

The lightness can be found out by taking the average of the red, green and blue values of the background color. We considered 100 as the threshold lightness for deciding the foreground color.

void setIconColor(int color){
   if( + < 300)
       colors[0] = Color.WHITE;
       colors[0] = Color.BLACK;

For setting the different colors for different states of the foreground items on the bottom navigation bar, we used the setItemIconTintList method which takes ColorStatesList as an argument.

colors[1]  = ContextCompat.getColor(this, R.color.bottom_navigation_tabs);
ColorStateList bottomNavList = new ColorStateList(states, colors);

This above ColorStateList takes a two dimensional array of states for which we wanted to change the color of item and an array of corresponding colors for those states as arguments. In Phimpme Android we used the following way.

private int[][] states = new int[][] {
       new int[] {android.R.attr.state_checked}, // checked
       new int[] {-android.R.attr.state_checked}, // unchecked

private int[] colors = new int[] {
       Color.WHITE, // checked
       0 // unchecked set default in onCreate


Uploaded Images History in Phimpme Android

In Phimpme Android one core feature is of sharing images to many different platforms. After sharing we usually wants to look in the our past records, where we uploaded what pictures? Which image we uploaded? What time it was? So I added a feature to view the upload history of images. User can go to the Upload history tab, present in the navigation drawer of the app. From there he can browse the repository.

How I added history feature in Phimpme

  • Store the data when User initiate an upload

To get which data uploading is in progress. I am storing its name, date, time and image path. When user approve to upload image from Sharing Activity.

Created a database model

public class UploadHistoryRealmModel extends RealmObject{

   String name;
   String pathname;
   String datetime;

   public String getName() {
       return name;

   public void setName(String name) { = name;

   public String getPathname() {
       return pathname;

   public void setPathname(String pathname) {
       this.pathname = pathname;

   public String getDatetime() {
       return datetime;

   public void setDatetime(String datetime) {
       this.datetime = datetime;

This is the realm model for storing the name, date, time and image path.

Saving in database

UploadHistoryRealmModel uploadHistory;
uploadHistory = realm.createObject(UploadHistoryRealmModel.class);
uploadHistory.setDatetime(new SimpleDateFormat("dd/MM/yyyy HH:mm:ss").format(new Date()));

Creating realm object and setting the details in begin and commit Transaction block

  • Added upload history entry in Navigation Drawer


It consist of an ImageView and TextView in a horizontal oriented Linear Layout

  • Showing history in Upload History Activity

Added recyclerview in layout.


Query the database and updated the adapter of Upload History

uploadResults = realm.where(UploadHistoryRealmModel.class);
RecyclerView.LayoutManager layoutManager = new LinearLayoutManager(this);

Added the adapter for recycler view and created an Item using Constraint layout.


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: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=""

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.


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.

  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.


  1. Android Developer’s Guide – App shortcuts –
  2. GitHub – Google Sample Project to depict the usage of app shortcuts –
  3. Blog – Using app shortcuts in Android 7.0 –
  4. GitHub – Phimpme Android repository –

Using RecyclerView Instead Of ViewPager For Gallery

Phimpme is an Image app that provide camera, editing ,sharing options and a gallery section. The Gallery section allows us to view large number of images that are locally available in the users device. Generally developers used viewpager to swipe the horizontal images although we are also using viewPager but the problem is it is taking more time to load large size images and that disturb the user smooth experience. After so much research I came to new solution. So in this post, I will be explaining how to use recyclerview to view gallery images instead of viewPager.

Let’s get started

Make sure you have Recyclerview support in your dependencies in build.gradle. As recyclerView required an adapter and viewHolder to set data in recyclerView. So I will be explaining about adapter.

ViewHolder for RecyclerView

public static class ViewHolder extends RecyclerView.ViewHolder {
  ImageView imageView;
  LinearLayout linearLayout;

  public ViewHolder(View itemView) {
      imageView = new ImageView(context);
      linearLayout = (LinearLayout) itemView.findViewById(;
      WindowManager wm = (WindowManager) getContext().getSystemService(Context.WINDOW_SERVICE);
      Display display = wm.getDefaultDisplay();
      Point size = new Point();
      int width = size.x;
      int height = size.y;
      LinearLayout.LayoutParams params = new LinearLayout.LayoutParams(
              width, height);

Right now the imageView is adjusting according to device screen size so that it will be compatible with all devices.

I am passing the width and height in LayoutParams to parent of imageview i.e in our case linearlayout is parentView.

Adapter for RecyclerView

public ImageAdapter(ArrayList<Media> media) { = media;

public ImageAdapter.ViewHolder onCreateViewHolder(ViewGroup parent, int viewType) {
  View view = LayoutInflater.from(parent.getContext()).inflate(R.layout.unit_image_pager, null, false);

  return new ViewHolder(view);

public void onBindViewHolder(ViewHolder holder, int position) {
  holder.imageView.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
      public void onClick(View v) {

MediaList is an arrray of media that contains the list of images with URI that will help to load images. I am using Glide to load images you can use any library to load images. Adapter helps to load data in recyclerView.

Now set viewPager where you require to scroll images horizontally

@Nullable @BindView(
RecyclerView mRecylerPager;

Our recycler view is ready now the most important part is to set things onPageChangeListner. For example : In Phimpme we are getting path of current position image to show in image description so to update the value we are writing that codde in onPageChangeListner and to update the toolbar.

mViewPager.setOnPageChangeListener(new PagerRecyclerView.OnPageChangeListener() {
  public void onPageChanged(int oldPosition, int position) {
      toolbar.setTitle((position + 1) + " " + getString(R.string.of) + " " + size_all);
      pathForDescription = getAlbum().getMedia().get(position).getPath();

To scroll to the given position we require to set the position to recyclerView and it can be done by the following code


This is how I implemented the recyclerView instead of ViewPager to load gallery images faster as compare to ViewPager.

RecyclerView in Phimpme to load gallery Images



Displaying essential features when the Phimpme Application starts

In this blog, I will explain how I implemented showcase View to display all the essential features of the Phimpme Android application when the application starts first. In this, the users will know which activity is used for what purpose.  

Importing material design Showcase View

I used material design showcase in Phimpme  Android application to take the benefit of the latest Android design and to add more text on the screen which is easily visible by the users. We need to add the following to our gradle.

compile 'com.github.deano2390:MaterialShowcaseView:1.1.0'

There is a very good repository in Github for material design Showcase view which we have used here.

Implementing Material design showcaseView on the desired activity

In Phimpme Android application we have three main activity on the home screen. Namely:

  • Camera
  • Gallery
  • Accounts Activity

Camera Activity and Gallery Activity is used to take pictures and select the picture respectively. Accounts Activity contains more than 10 accounts of various social media platforms and storage platform. When the application starts my aim is to display the function of all three activities in a showcase View. it is implemented in the following Steps:

Step 1

Import all the module from the Material showcase view we have used in the gradle.


Step 2

Get the reference all the buttons you want to show the features. These buttons will be highlighted when the showcase View is displayed.

nav_home = (BottomNavigationItemView) findViewById(;
nav_cam = (BottomNavigationItemView) findViewById(;
nav_acc = (BottomNavigationItemView) findViewById(;

Step 3

In Phimpme Android application I have used to display the features of three navigation buttons. So, to display the features of more than one button or View we have to use MaterialShowcaseSequence class to display the features of the buttons in a sequence, that is one after the other.

In the onCreate activity, I am calling presentShowcaseSequence function. This function has a delay time. This delay time is required to wait for four seconds until the splash screen activity is over and the activity is started.

private void presentShowcaseSequence() {
   ShowcaseConfig config = new ShowcaseConfig();
   config.setDelay(4000); // half second between each showcase view
   MaterialShowcaseSequence sequence = new MaterialShowcaseSequence(this, SHOWCASE_ID);
   sequence.setOnItemShownListener(new MaterialShowcaseSequence.OnSequenceItemShownListener() {
       public void onShow(MaterialShowcaseView itemView, int position) {

Step 4

Set the initial target Button. This target button will be pointed first when the app is launched for the first time.

sequence.addSequenceItem(nav_home, getResources().getString(R.string.home_button), getResources().getString(R.string.ok_button));


Step 5

Add subsequent target buttons to display the features of that buttons. To add more subsequent target buttons we will use function addSequenceitem. To set the target we have specify the button which we want to focus in setTarget(Button). We need to display the text which will show the important features in regarding that activity in setContentText(text to be displayed). For a dismiss button we need to specify the a string in setDismissText(Dismiss button string)

       new MaterialShowcaseView.Builder(this)
       new MaterialShowcaseView.Builder(this)

Sequence.start is used to display the showcase.


Using this method users can easily have the knowledge of the functionality of the application and can navigate through the activities without wasting a lot of time in figuring out the functionality of the application.




Using Firebase Test Lab for Testing test cases of Phimpme Android

As now we started writing some test cases for Phimpme Android. While running my instrumentation test case, I saw a tab of Cloud Testing in Android Studio. This is for Firebase Test Lab. Firebase Test Lab provides cloud-based infrastructure for testing Android apps. Everyone doesn’t have every devices of all the android versions. But testing on all of them is equally important.

How I used test lab in Phimpme

  • Run your first test on Firebase

Select Test Lab in your project on the left nav on the Firebase console, and then click Run a Robo test. The Robo test automatically explores your app on wide array of devices to find defects and report any crashes that occur. It doesn’t require you to write test cases. All you need is the app’s APK. Nothing else is needed to use Robo test.

Upload your Application’s APK (app-debug-unaligned.apk) in the next screen and click Continue

Configure the device selection, a wide range of devices and all API levels are present there. You can save the template for future use.

Click on start test to start testing. It will start the tests and show the real time progress as well.

  • Using Firebase Test Lab from Android Studio

It required Android Studio 2.0+. You needs to edit the configuration of Android Instrumentation test.

Select the Firebase Test Lab Device Matrix under the Target. You can configure Matrix, matrix is actually on what virtual and physical devices do you want to run your test. See the below screenshot for details.

Note: You need to enable the firebase in your project

So using test lab on firebase we can easily test the test cases on multiple devices and make our app more scalable.