App Inventor 2 – Switches and Buttons

In my sludging along in App Inventor 2 I wanted to have button control. Anybody that has ever built any real world electronic devices knows that switches are part of the appeal. Cool thing about apps is that the imagination is the limit when it comes to buttons(switches). I figure if I’m going to like my Apps I want to learn about buttons.

They are really straight forward in App Inventor 2. Whats a little more confusing are momentary buttons and/or toggle switches. This is the site for showing how to make toggle and/or momentary buttons.

Thanks Edward Mitchell!

I wanted to do it my way, so I thought of an applicable app for my practice. While in progress with App Inventor 2, my girlfriends daughter came home from dance class. She decided to show off her tap shoes. Perfect! I’ll make a real basic tap dancer app. So I took one picture of her foot raised. One picture of her foot on the ground. Recorded the audio of her (((TAP))). The result is when the user presses the ‘button’, the screen of her raised foot, the picture switches to her tapshoed foot on the ground. The sound is also played when the ‘foot on the ground’ picture is shown. When the screen is tapped it looks like she is tapping her foot. Pointless and fun, the 5 year old loved it…for about a couple of minutes. 🙂

Here are the .apk and .aia files

http://limbphony.com/Limbphony/tinydancer/TinyDancer.aia

http://limbphony.com/Limbphony/tinydancer/TinyDancer.apk

I didn’t quit there. I also made myself talk like a puppet. The ‘button’ shows a picture of me with my mouth closed. When the ‘button’ is pressed it shows a picture of me with my mouth open. I used the app Screen Recorder to capture the movements of my mouth. Then I recorded a stupid mindless sentence. I started screen record, went to my app, played the audio file, and pressed the ‘button’ on my app to make my mouth move in accordance with the stupid mindless sentence. I stopped screen recorder. Dropped the .mp4 and audio file to Nero Video Editor. Trimmed and lined them up and exported the final .mp4. Here it is.( I claim no bragging rights for it. It was simply an exercise in futility. )

http://limbphony.com/Limbphony/AndroidAppAnime.mp4

The video wouldn’t play on Chrome for some reason. Since I’m still sucking at Web Design I just added a link to download it. Whatevz, my practices continue.

 

Let it begin 02-17-2016

Lets Go Android!

The beginning: I was sick of what I was doing, so I decided to try and program android apps.

This is what happened and/or is happening:

I can’t really afford Android App classes, due to time and $, so I’m going solo. I CAN afford an up-to-date laptop, and from my past experiences of trying to use modern software, on out-of-date machines, causes me frustration. Actually technology causes me frustration, so it was a factor of how can I minimize the frustration. The answer was a Dell Latitude E6430 with a 500Gig SSD drive and 12Gigs of ram. I figured Intel i5s are fast. The SSD is fast. Windows 10 is current.  With all those checks on the list, the affirmation was agreed upon: “All good, I can do this.” And I have.

So it took me about a week of messing around and exploring, until I settled on using App Inventor 2. The perfect tool to give me confidence, results, fun and lots of help for my new direction.

The first thing I did…what most anybody would do…was google programming android apps. And this is where it started http://developer.android.com/training/basics/firstapp/index.html.

I kind of followed the instructions. By ‘kind of’ I mean I bounced around due to ADD and curiosity. I set up Android Studio on a slower computer because I was waiting on my laptop to be delivered. It was kind of like jumping in an ocean, and I live in the land of 10,000 lakes. The tools I really needed to stay afloat and mobile are Java and XML(they’re familiar, but I haven’t ‘gotten to em’ yet). So I followed the tutorial on how to make the ‘Hello World’ app. My brain said, “Done! – Schaweet!”  After I finished it, I could tell it was going to be awhile before I was going to be able to make cool stuff. Meh – I have a job ($), girlfriend, place to live, and therefore time….time to play with making/creating Apps.

Issues: 

-Completely new territory Android Development. Have to deal with getting lost, getting lost, and getting lost and then getting back on track, knowing its going to be a better path than the previous path.

-Endurance – Stick with it…don’t FB yet.

-Its dry

 

A different day:

I needed a name. I like to try and fragment and categorize things in my head. A name sums it all up. Like Del. Del the funkyhomosapien, but he is also Deltron 0….focus…Before I moved to Minneapolis I wanted my artist name to have something to do with Limbs. Minnesota was the bread capitol of the world for a while. The factories and milling cost a lot of people their limbs. Therefore it was the prosthetic capital for a while as well. I found that fascinating. The image of a wall of artificial limbs to chose from. The idea of technology causing limb loss in the ironic way that technology is an extension of our human bodies. Since I ditched my Artistic endeavors to focus on apps, I played around with LIMB and came up with “Limbphony”. The true test was to google it and see if there were any hits. Nope. “Wow!” I thought “Things are working out pretty well” which for the past 24years hasn’t been the case at all. So I set up WordPress.org.( now I know there is a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org.) I bought the domain name Limbphony.com. And set up a gmail account. I already had web space.

That all took about a day of my free time…I feel like it should have taken about an hour, but my focus is horrible, so while doing that i was doing a zillion other pointless things at the same time.

 Some other Day:

So I skipped on over to Android authority. That place is completely motivating. I worked through their tutorial. It helped me become more comfortable with Android Studio. It pointed out some obvious things like XML is the Layout while Java is the Control. It suggested Corona SDK, which I visited. YES! That is looking more like my speed. I started dreaming about app ideas and my notes on my progress stopped.

Time passes…..I’m still at it tho:

A week later and I’m getting lazy…its not so much as getting lazy but not being as motivated because I had to work. But the fun is that the irony is work is the motivation…because I don’t want to work at my present job 5 days/week. So I figured out a ‘why’.

I am programming Apps with hope that it will give me an out and a direction that will be able to sustain me assuming I stop or don’t work as much at my present job. 

LOVE IT! Same thing I did and tried with ‘Art’. But, I never was able to sustain myself. (I might as well do it again with something new. It seems to be a character trait)

I also love the idea of being mobile. Work from anywhere?! Sounds good to me.

 02-29-2016 – I have a date!

OK so this is 12 days later. I am using App Inventor 2. I borrowed the book from the library and ‘got App Inventor 2 running’. My grand discovery is

MAKE MUD

Just like a painter will make brown if they add too many different colors, so can I make brown(Mud) by playing and mixing stuff together, just to see what the outcome is. My father did this with Crystalography when his friend Heinrich suggested they just throw ‘stuff’ together and see the results. GREAT ADVICE for a person like me. I combine this with Dogen’s idea that the practice of zazen and the experience of enlightenment were one and the same, then I think my approach and pursuit will remain solid. Just do it. Do, do, do. Even if its just playing. As long as I’m in the environment ‘doing’ I’m learning and becoming better at what I want to do.

03-12-2016

I did it! I made a somewhat viable app. If I were taking a App Inventor 2 class then I believe I would have received an A. In life I would receive a C. The thing is tho, is that I fookin’ did it! I call it MuddleTheMixer. So it took me about 29 days to ‘get it’. Now I know. From my guess-culations it will be about 6months before I will feel like a programmer. Another thing I accomplished was this blogs intro! Kickbootybooty.