Pointly – Location Sharing via SMS

My first app, under my personal banner is available in Google Play Store. iOS version is coming soon (as soon as Apple approves it).

Pointly is a location sharing app, where the device sharing location don’t need any data. The device receiving the location, also don’t need data, as long as the Google Maps is cached! All transactions happen through SMS. Completely private. More Android integrated features coming soon.

The app is FREE with no Ads or in-app purchases! Give it a try and give your feedback!

Don’t take OTA when having Custom recovery. But why?

Anyone rooting and installing custom recovery or ROM in their Android devices would have heard not to take Over the Air (OTA) software update. But why?

OTA may be new to iOS users, but was integral part of Android experience right from the beginning. OTA will be pushed only if you are using the default ROM and don’t have a custom, 3rd party built ROM. That will be the case for many, as most of the folks, like me, will only root and install custom recovery but don’t venture into custom ROMs for stability purposes.

Any OTA will mostly tend to only deliver patches to the System and also possible updates to the pre-installed recovery. OTA does not assume you might have custom recovery.

Most likely root privileges will be lost after OTA. In many cases that is alright assuming you can root the newer software version also. Bigger problem is you will end up in Boot Loop (bootloop) or get stuck in your custom recovery as the OTA will mess up with your recovery installation. More here. I learnt this the hard way for my T-Mobile LG G2 D80110G update. Thanks to XDA developers I am back on track or else my device is, what we call, bricked!

Ok, then how do you get an over the air update when you have installed custom recovery? What is the work around? In safer side, you would have to revert to stock recovery then get the OTA, as long as you have the stock ROM. Or simply wait for someone to deliver an image update which you can flash in your device without hurting anything. Whatever it is, follow your device forum at the XDA developers.

In simple terms clarifying what some of the above jargon mean: (pretty much doing any of these will void warranty of your device!)

Rooting: Process of getting Super User or elevated rights on your Android device. You can do simple stuff like removing unwanted default apps that carriers push or even over / under clock the CPU to your heart’s desire!

Recovery: This is a bootable partition that is used to handle flashing content to your device and also to manage total image backup and restore. Every phone comes with it. You can install custom ones like TWRP and CWM for easier and advanced operations.

ROM: The Android OS, being Open Source can be customized to any level. Any such Android installable is called a ROM. It can be stock, meaning as provided by your manufacturer or custom ROM like CyanagenMod, Omni or Paranoid ROM.

Where is my R.java?

Anyone developing Android for a while will know or at least heard of R.java file. You don’t write it, but Android generates for you in the “gen” folder. Once you update your SDK to version 22 (and above) if you see don’t see this file getting generated as normal, you are not alone. Predominantly you will be facing R cannot be resolved kind of issues and the gen folder will be empty. In the SDK download manager, the Android SDK Build-Tools needs to be installed and Eclipse needs to be restarted to fix this problem. I found the hard way from the below link.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2282587

If you are wondering what is this file anyway, this site seem to explain it good.

http://www.satyakomatineni.com/akc/display?url=displaynoteimpurl&ownerUserId=satya&reportId=2883

Wireless ADB

Starting things off with a Developer Tool – Android Debug Bridge.

This is the tool using which you connect your physical device like phone to your PC / Mac so you can test your application. Android allows using this tool even without USB cable making it Wireless ADB.

Simply download one of many applications from Google Play Store by searching for “Wireless ADB”. The one I am using is “ADB Konnect“. Install the app and turn the feature ON with a simple button click.

Then using the command prompt of your PC (or Terminal of Mac) navigate to the Android SDK’s platform-tools folder and execute the command adb connect followed by the IP address shown in your device.

It would look like this. Of course the IP will change for you.

adb connect 192.168.0.100:5555 (for Windows)

./adb connect 192.168.0.100:5555 (for Mac) 

Why do you need: To develop and test with ease without scrambling for usb cable.

Why don’t you need: You lose the ability to get the phone charged as well when testing!