Is My Google Maps Broken?

Phone, Laptop, Tablet: All clicked on the same ‘address’ link from Android Australia MeetUp page and the Nexus 4 location is incorrect (Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 opened the link from the Meetup app, while the laptop from the webpage)

Image

When opening the webpage link in Chrome for Android on both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, they both report the same incorrect place! So the Nexus 7 has changed marker positions…

Image

And now loading the link in the Meetup page on the Nexus 7 goes to the wrong location
Image

This is strange as a couple of months back, I had a similar situation shown below. The weird thing here is that both screenshots taken on Nexus 4s: just different ones (and obviously the one that didn’t work was mine!). Though taking a closer look shows that the non-distinct grey circle indicates the correct location. But why are the views so different? But whatever it is, all I know is that Google Maps has

Image

So You Want to Develop for Android – Google I/O Extended Brunei (2012)

An overview of Android development with a quick and easy way to get started in cross platform development (including Android) with PhoneGap, presented at Google I/O Extended Brunei. The presentation aims to provide attendees with basic understanding of Android development and providing them tools to create an actual application.


(this is a recorded presentation done after the actual event due to Internet connectivity issues during the event prevented an ideal recording environment)

Links

  1. Hackathon file list

    linked at http://tiny.cc/googleiobn complete with installation guide, tutorials, sample code and presentation slides used for the presentation

  2. PhoneGap Sample Code on GitHub

  3. “So You Want to Develop for Android” presentation slides

I prepared the materials assuming attendees would have no or very little Java programming background (which is needed for Android development) and thus a platform like PhoneGap was ideal as it provided an easy starting point into app development utilizing HTML and Javascript which are easier technologies to understand, and that more people would have exposure to. Based on the actual session, this assumption proved to be true and I believe was a good starting point and it has even spurred @mfirdaus to dabble with some Android development.

I highly encourage Brunei developers out there to contribute and give back to the community. During our time, there were no such developer events to my knowledge, and with social media, it is so much easier to get the word and out and just meet up and provide the young developers in the country with opportunities that we never had.

Footnote: Background

I was contacted by Cikgu Azaman (@azlinux) over a month ago regarding having a Google I/O Extended in Brunei. A hackathon was to be conducted and after throwing around a few ideas, I was put in charge of presenting an Android development session as in intro for the hackathon.

The event was held at iCentre on 27th June and while Internet connectivity didn’t allow a proper Google+ Hangout with a live video presentation (i.e. there was gagal-ness in trying to get things up and running) so we resorted to an audio Skype call while @mfirdaus went through the presentation slides at the Brunei side. So I thought it would be best to do a recorded presentation after the fact for a more complete presentation.

Android Google Maps Zoom Limit

A couple of months back, I noticed that the Google Maps app on my LG Optimus One phone couldn’t zoom in as far as it could before (unless my memory is failing me). Below is the maximum zoom level on the phone

This is not the maximum zoom of the Google Maps android application as my ZTE V9 tablet can zoom in much further as shown below

While you may think that this is a trivial matter, it really rises as a problem when I look for tram stops and street names here in Melbourne. Take a look at the CBD of Melbourne in the screenshot below and see how problematic this is: I can’t see the names of the smaller streets and I have to tap each tram stop in order to see the stop name.

To rub salt into the wound, apps that use a map view can zoom in further than the Google Maps application! Below are screenshots via the Domain.com.au app.

I’ve tried to search for a reason for this discrepancy and have yet to find one. The map settings are both the same in the tablet and phone. CPU and RAM-wise, both devices are comparable: 600MHz each with about 420MB of RAM. Both devices are rooted with my Optimus One running the official Android 2.3.3 ROM from LG and the tablet running Android 2.3.7 via CyanogenMod. The only other difference would be screen size and resolution: 7″ 800 x 480 screen on the tablet and 3.2″ 480 x 320 screen on the phone.

Anybody who has a clue what’s going on, do let me know. Any help would be well appreciated.

[categories Android, Technology]

Making Registration/Questionnaire Forms in Google Docs

Last Saturday a friend asked if it would be possible to have an online registration form for a camp their organizing, so I thought it would be a perfect time to look at Google Docs as I remembered that they had a form creation functionality and I was pleasantly surprised and what I discovered.

What is great is that Google Docs provides a relatively simple way to create the form and share it online (remember to change the privacy settings to public/not require a sign in if you want the public to answer). Above is a simple form that I came up with in about 5 minutes of playing around with the Form builder: just select the field type from a drop down list (text / multiple choice / checkbox / etc) and enter the question details and mark the field as required if necessary. Drag and drop the fields to arrange their order. Plain and simple yet effective. Now aside from that, you can also choose a theme from their presets although I don’t think you can make any changes/customizations to the theme, but nonetheless a nice option as opposed to a standard white background form. Not only does it generate the form, but all the responses are automatically linked to a spreadsheet and charts are even drawn up based on the the answers to the questions. So if you need a quick registration form / questionnaire all it takes is 10 minutes of your time to generate a simple form and be able to share it with anyone.

Step-by-Step Guide in Creating Forms using Google Docs:

  1. Sign into Google Docs
  2. Go to the “Create new” drop down menu and select “Form”

  3. Create the necessary fields/questions

  4. Set the proper permissions in the Spreadsheet that gathers the data (In Form Editor: See responses > Spreadsheet. In the Spreadheet: Share > Sharing Settings)

  5. Embed / share the link
  6. Gather responses / data from people filling in the form
  7. View responses

Show Me Where It’s At!

Ever had a person ask you if you know where a certain place is and you couldn’t get a good map to show them? Well I ran into this issue and I wanted a quick way to add a marker to the map and pass that information on to the necessary person. So here I introduce….

Show Me Where It’s At!

Just click on the map to get started. Fill in the details. Create and give the link to the person who needs the information. A quick sample: Brunei’s National Stadium