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MakeUseOf:
Create The Perfect PHP Development Environment In Android
March 05, 2014 @ 10:39:17

On the MakeUseOf site there's a recent post showing how you can create the "perfect PHP development environment" on your Android-based device. Obviously, it's much more useful on a tablet, but in theory it could be used on a smartphone.

It turns out you can actually code on Android productively. For the longest time, it has been accepted that whilst computers are for productivity and creativity, Tablets exist purely to allow the passive consumption of content. I believed that as well. I'm a software developer by trade, and I use a 13" Macbook Pro to write all my code. I wouldn't have it any other way. OS X comes with everything I need to be productive as a developer, and I've built my workflow around that. Android on the other hand? I've never really thought about writing code on Android. [...] But then I bought a decent Bluetooth keyboard, and everything changed. I've now built a PHP development environment around my 2012 Nexus 7 tablet, and I love it.

He breaks it down and shows some of the tools he uses for his development including the use of VIM Touch for editing and the Palapa Web Server for local hosting of his applications. Screenshots of the setup and configuration are also included.

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Link: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/create-perfect-php-development-environment-android/

Gonzalo Ayuso:
Sending Android Push Notifications from PHP to phonegap applications
August 06, 2013 @ 10:26:09

Gonzalo Ayuso has a new post today showing how he set up Android push notifications to a Phonegap-based application with PHP.

Last days I've been working within a Phonegap project for Android devices using Push Notifications. The idea is simple. We need to use the Push Notification Plugin for Android. First we need to register the Google Cloud Messaging for Android service at Google's console, and then we can send Push notifications to our Android device.

He includes the steps you'll need to push the notification and the library to make the cURL connection out to the Google messaging platform. He's posted the full code out to github.

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Link: http://gonzalo123.com/2013/08/05/sending-android-push-notifications-from-php-to-phonegap-applications

Community News:
Make PHP-Based Android Applications with Zend Studio 10
October 24, 2012 @ 11:54:26

At this year's ZendCon conference a new technology was introduced (well, and upgrade to an existing product) that allows PHP developers to create Android applications from Zend Studio 10.

ZendCon, the annual trade show for Zend, the PHP company, announced that Zend Studio 10 (Zend's IDE) will include functionalities that will let PHP developers prototype and build native mobile apps using PHP. The new capability includes a drag-and-drop mobile interface builder, integration with the Apache project's Cordova to access native mobile APIs such as those for cameras and accelerometers, and built-in PhoneGap integration for developers to publish native app packages to the various app stores.

You can see an example of the software in action here (video) and get a bit more information about the offering from this article from VentureBeat.

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Android Hive:
Android Push Notifications using Google Cloud Messaging (GCM), PHP and MySQL
October 17, 2012 @ 08:53:04

On the Android Hive there's a recent tutorial posted showing you how to use Google Cloud Messaging and PHP+MySQL to do push notifications on an Android phone.

As per google's documentation "Google Cloud Messaging for Android (GCM) is a service that helps developers send data from servers to their Android applications on Android devices". Using this service you can send data to your application whenever new data is available instead of making requests to server in timely fashion. Integrating GCM in your android application enhances user experience and saves lot of battery power.

You can either follow along with the tutorial via the screencast (and download the code) or you can read through the text version, complete with code snippets, SQL and screenshots to help you along the way. The code for the Android side is included as well.

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PHPMaster.com:
Let's Talk Efficient Communication for PHP and Android, Part 2
June 05, 2012 @ 13:19:33

On PHPMaster.com today they've posted the second part of their series looking at combining a PHP backend and an Android application (by Matt Turland). In the previous article, he helped you set up some of the Android side to be able to reach out to a PHP web service. In this second part he gets into the sending and receiving of messages between the client and server.

Part 1 of this series focused on getting the Android application set up to make an HTTP request. In part 2, we'll focus on implementing the use of data serialization and compression on the Android and PHP sides of the request.

He has it broken up into the different steps of the process:

  • Determining the Data Serialization Format
  • Determining the Data Compression Format
  • Sending the Response
  • Decompressing the Response
  • Deserializing the Response

He also includes a section about caching the responses you get back from the server, an important step that can save you (and your users) some headaches and maybe even give a bit of a speed boost.

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PHPMaster.com:
Let's Talk Efficient Communication for PHP and Android, Part 1
May 28, 2012 @ 16:20:09

On PHPMaster.com today, they've started a new series about integrating two popular technologies - PHP and the Android OS - in this new tutorial from Matthew Turland. He'll show both sides of the code needed to get your Android app talking to a PHP backend.

This two-part article will guide you through the process of building an efficient PHP-based REST web service to be consumed by an Android-based application. Some of the concepts presented here are also applicable to other mobile platforms, such as iOS. I assume you already know the basics of PHP and Android development and that you have a suitable development environments set up for both. I'll focus mainly on showing you how to handle data serialization and compression in both environments.

In this first part, he starts from the client side, creating the code (Java) that's needed to create the connection to the backend. He stets it up as a background task so its execution won't block the main app from working. He shows how to execute it, running an "on create" method and checking to ensure the network is available for the request.

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DZone.com:
Selenium on Android
April 18, 2012 @ 12:43:04

On DZone.com there's a recent post from Giorgio Sironi looking at running Selenium tests on the Android platform via the PHPUnit Selenium interface.

Testing web applications is not only based on unit and functional tests for the server-side (PHP, Java) and client-side (JavaScript) components, but also on end-to-end tests like the ones performed with Selenium. Selenium is capable of driving a real browser like Firefox in the same way a user would do, letting you express a test with a series of page to load, element selections, clicks and typed characters. [...] In this tutorial, we'll experiment with the Android Driver and set up a couple of tests to run inside an Android virtual device.

He walks you through the basic setup of an Android environment (based on the Android SDK) and how to start up the Android driver installed from the Selenium site. An example test is included, showing how to make a request for a test page and checking its title as well as checking that the input from the "keyboard" is successful.

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AndroidHive:
Android Login and Registration with PHP, MySQL and SQLite
February 02, 2012 @ 10:41:21

On the AndroidHive site there's a recent tutorial (plus screencast) about combining PHP, MySQL and SQLite to act as the backend authorization for your Android application.

In my previous article Android Login and Registration Screen Design i explained designing the login and registration interfaces, but it has no functionality. In this tutorial i am explaining how to build complete login and registration system in android using PHP, MySQL and SQLite. Also this tutorial covers how to build simple API using PHP and MySQL.

The tutorial walks you through each step of the process:

  • Creating MySQL Database and Tables
  • Building PHP API Classes
  • Starting Android Project
  • Making the JSON Parser, SQLite Database Handler and User Functions Classes
  • Designing the Screens
  • Switching between Activities
  • Finally Updating AndroidManifest.xml

If you want to get started quickly, you can just download the final result and go.

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android api login authentication mysql sqlite application mobile


CodeForest.net:
Android JSON-RPC client and PHP Zend Framework server
July 13, 2011 @ 10:14:36

In a recent post to CodeForest Luka Peharda shows you how to create a JSON-RPC frontend for your application based on the Zend Framework.

XML-RPC rules, but the amount of data it generates is its big disadvantage. This is where JSON-RPC steps in. Data it generates is significally smaller, but this isn't suprising as JSON is known as fat free XML.This articles is based on my earlier Android XML-RPC article. Its PHP code and Zend Framework setup will be used so you should go through it if you haven't earlier (at least as far as XMLRPC Android client chapter).

You need to have some of the base code from the previous article in place to follow along, but if you're experienced with Zend Framework, keeping up won't be a problem. He uses this JSON-RPC client that was made for use with a ZF application and creates a basic jsonAction to handle the request. He then uses this Android JSON-RPC library to connect from the Android application and fetch some basic data.

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PHPClasses.org Blog:
2010 Yet another great year for PHP
December 23, 2010 @ 08:50:54

On the PHPClasses.org blog today there's a new post from Manuel Lemos looking back at 2010 an the life of PHP - yet another great year.

2010 was an year full of interesting happenings for the PHP development and its community of developers. This article presents a balance of what were the most important happenings in the PHP community in 2010, as well a reflection of what we can expect for 2011 for PHP, as well for the PHPClasses site.

Among the important happenings of this past year he mentions the issues surrounding PHP6, HipHop and PHP running on the Andriod platform. He speculates on a few things that we can expect from PHP in the upcoming year(s) like the release of PHP 5.4. Also included are some updates that were made to the PHPClasses.org site itself.

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