26 Sep 2016
by Artjom König

10 Best Blogs about Android Apps, Games and Smartphones

Android is the leading operating system not only for mobiles but also for tablets, laptops and smartwatches. And the increasing use of android makes it one of the most trending topic on internet. There are a lot of blogs, magazines and news websites that publishes latest news, reviews and lists of android apps, smartphones or utilities and tools. Even android gaming is covered by some tech magazines.

Today I have come up with a list of top 15 blogs/websites talking about android apps, games, smartphones and tricks. The below list has no specific order

Top 10 Blogs about Android Apps and Games


Top of the list, there is androidauthority which is actually an authority when you consider finding knowledge about android operating system, android apps or smartphone reviews.

Android Authority is sharing deep view inside the android apps and when it comes to gadgets and reviews, they are publishing true and fair view thereon. The weekly gadget giveaways are the main attraction for android users.


The Android guys blog deals with android tech tips, tricks and tutorials to educate you more about the little computer inside your pocket. Yes, that’s the android.

Working tricks and tutorials based on latest updates is what android guys is known for.

Android Police

Android Police can be defined as the cop in the world of android. Critical evaluation and review of android apps and roundups of amazing apps only is the identity of android police.

Android PIT

The special thing about android PIT is that they have information in other than English language as well. And the forum over there is really helpful for dummies and techies.


Android and me is the group of tech enthusiast who are contributing the web with amazing and useful resources about android. Especially the technical aspects of the android and behind the tech is what androidandme can be visited for.

Toms Guide Android

If you ever encountered a problem in your computer hardware or software and looked up for solution over internet? You might have met tomsguide.

The android section of tomsguide website does the same. It has hell lot of resources to bring you out of the problem with your android device.


The Android Central forum is the biggest android forum. Not only a forum, Android central is also publishing android news, android apps, smartphone reviews. I love the android central giveaways even if I never won any.


Started back in April 2012, team android has grown in the world of android. Team android claims to be much clear than XDA developers when it comes to share knowledge about custom ROMs and guides and tutorials.


Phandroid is one stop destination for technology videos, android news and tutorials. Phandroid actually started to deliver helpful resources for its readers and it is doing the same till now.


DroidCrunch stands here as one of the fastest growing android apps and games reviews blog. Started back in June 2016, It is growing rapidly and enlarging the resources for android app users and gamers. More than games and apps, DroidCrunch treats with smartphone reviews and useful lists of resources.

10 Mai 2016
by Artjom König

Use API codes in Android projects

Sometimes you have to use secret keys in your code, e.g. an API key. If it is your private repository, you can just check your key in e.g as a string resource. But if you don’t want expose your secrets, here is one possible solution:

Define a property in your file (do not check in this file, include it in your .gitignore). Now you can use this property in your build.gradle.


This expression will add your API key as a string resource named api_key to every build type of your project. This way you can even use distinct keys for debug and release builds.

You should also provide a hint for other developers, that they have to define this property, because otherwise the build will fail without a useful error message. Just include the following lines in your build.gradle:

05 Feb 2016
by Artjom König

Kotlin example project ‚Sunshine reloaded‘

About a week ago I stumbled upon Kotlin and desided to rewrite the Sunshine project using Kotlin and some popular libraries like RxJava and Retrofit.

Let’s start with a very simple version. It should load 7 days forecast using the Openweathermap API and show it as a list. There are no menus, no navigation, no database… just a list with one entry per day. The current day should be highlighted (have another layout) and there should be a possibility to reload the data. The list is implemented with RecyclerView, the refresh with SwipeRefreshLayout. The data is loded using the Retrofit 2 Framework and I use RxAndroid for handling the response.

There are some Kotlin-related parts, that are interesting here. In my projects I normally use Butterknife for binding the Views. In Kotlin there are Kotlin Android Extensions, so instead of

you import the the properties generated by the Kotlin android extensions and use the Views referencing them by their id straight in your code:

It works for the ViewHolder, too, just look in the ForecastAdapter for the example.

Another interesting part of Kotlin are the extensions. iOS developer are already familiar with this technique, now you can use it for Android development, too. With extensions you can add functions to existing classes like this:

This function is added to the Long type of Kotlin and can be called on all Long values to format them to a String, if the value is a Unix timestamp (seconds since 1970). This way we can avoid introducing utility classes with static functions e.g. TimeUtils.formatUnixTimestampAsShortDate(long timeInMilliseconds), instead this you can just write myTimestamp.unixTimestampAsShortDate(). By the way, don’t use your own date/time formatting patterns, even if stackoverflow is full with such examples. Use Locale specific formats, so that your users see the date in the format of their country.

Another example for an extension is the convenient inflate function:

you can call it on every ViewGroup like this:

This version of the project can be found on Github.

06 Mrz 2014
by Artjom König

Einfaches Testing-Workflow mit Jira

Testen mit Jira

Neben dem Projektmanagement und Bugtracking ist das Managen und Dokumentieren von Softwaretests ein wesentlicher Use-Case von Jira. Atlassian widmet einen ganzen Bereich der Dokumentation der dazu benötigten Tools und Workflows.

Einfaches Testing-Workflow

Nach dem Testen verschiedener Möglichkeiten, haben wir einen eigenen, sehr einfachen Workflow für die manuellen Tests entwickelt. Folgende Anforderungen waren für uns dabei wichtig:

  • Jeder Test sollte zu einer User-Story (Akzeptanz-Test) oder einem Bug (Regressionstest) gehören.
  • Die Test lassen sich übersichtlich darstellen und mit wenigen Klicks bedienen.
  • Wir brauchen keine Test-Historie, da nur die jeweils aktuelle Version getestet wird.

Und so sieht das Endergebnis aus (als Gadget auf der Startseite):


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