Archive for the ‘Android Hacks’ Category

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Posted: November 26, 2010 in Android Hacks

Visit our new website myhackz.com

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The Dell Streak is an Android tablet. [Collin Meyer] wanted to use an original SNES controller to play emulated games on the device. What he came up with is a controller that is a dock for he handheld.

Several things have to come together to make this happen. The Streak uses a standard PDMI dock that connects to a computer via a USB connection. [Collin] repurposed a sync cable by connecting a couple of pins on the dock connector which forces the device to use USB host mode. From there he used a Teensy microcontroller to convert the SNES controller into a USB device (very similar to this hack). The Teensy and shortened sync cable find a new home inside the SNES controller body and, in the video after the break, it looks like he used something like sugru to add a bit of support for the Streak.

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Here’s a look at the TRRS cable that Android phones use. [Rich Kappmeier] want to control the music player on his Nexus One while driving. It’s not necessarily a safe endeavor if you’re staring at the screen and poking away with one hand while trying to stay in your lane. A little bit of research helped him figure out how the hardware in a headphone controller worked and he decided to incorporate that into a connector cable for the car.

The control signals rely on a specific resistance between the TRRS function ring and ground. Once he worked out the chart above and targeted the correct resistance values he built a rocker switch for Fast Forward and Reverse, as well as a Play/Pause button into the connector cable. You should be able to use this for more than just music control. Take a look at our Android Development tutorial and see what else you can come up with.

[Thanks Alastair]

 

Solid ice beer caddy

Posted: October 30, 2010 in Android Hacks

[Rob] has made an astounding contribution in the effort to keep our libations chilled. Not content with merely refrigerating his cold ones, or even putting them in a cooler full of ice, he has built a beer caddy out of solid ice. Though it may look simple initially, you can see from his writeup that it actually took quite a few itterations to get it to freeze correctly, and then actually survive the process of removing the bottle placeholders. Ultimately, he found that glass bottles full of sand work best and you have to freeze the caddy in layers. Though he calls himself an impatient person, we’ve seen people who insisted on having their cold ones made frigid faster. You can see a video of the ice caddy after the break.

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Driving with Android

Posted: October 30, 2010 in Android Hacks

[Elrik] converted an RC car so that it can be controlled with an Android phone. He wisely uses the accelerometer for steering with a button for forward and another for reverse. There’s even control for the headlights. The car itself has had a servo retrofit for steering but it’s the Bluetooth module that catches our eye. It’s a GP-GC021 which you can get your hands on for under $20. It has a serial UART for easy interface with a microcontroller at up to 9600 baud.

Now you can convert over that larger vehicle to use Bluetooth instead of WiFi, just don’t hurt yourself. And if you’re just starting out with writing Android apps, don’t miss our series: Android Development 101.

 

In this tutorial we are going to cover completing the Information Tracker using DroidDraw to design the layout of this project. This will give you insight into an alternative to the stock layout manager in the eclipse environment and how DroidDraw functions. DroidDraw can be your best friend when designing Android applications or your worse enemy if you don’t know the layout of the application and how it works. This will show you the basics to this program and how to incorporate it into your development process.  This is significantly easier than the previous post but will teach skills on other programs to help development such as DroidDraw.

in this tutorial we are going to cover packaging one of our applications into an .apk file and getting it ready for the Android Market.  After we have completed this tutorial you should be able to use the tools provided in the AndroidSDK to sign your application, put the application on your phone and install it or send it to the Android Market.  These will be great assets to have if you decide to develop applications that you may want to charge for.  This tutorial will also be a change from the normal ones because it will include little, if any, code.