HitTail is a keyword tool that provides additional insight into long tail keywords. The tool analyzes existing traffic and makes recommendations based on its proprietary algorithm. HitTail takes advantage of data not available to other tools: your website’s unique traffic.
I’ve been reading about Amazon’s new tablet that they named Fire. There are a few questions I have about the new device.
Why Has Amazon Created A New Browser?
Of course the stated reason is to enhance the user experience by providing faster download speeds. Could there be an ulterior motive? As this post points out:
Amazon now has what every storefront lusts for: the knowledge of what other stores your customers are shopping in and what prices they’re being offered there.
By using Amazon Web Services (AWS), Silk will be able to sit in the middle of all the traffic between Silk users and other web sites.
A follow up question is why stop at the Fire? Will Amazon port Silk to other mobile devices? As this post points out:
If that is the case I wonder if Silk can run on a regular Android device.
Thin Silk client offering a gate to your Amazon content on other OSs? Say, on iOS?
Can The Amazon Fire Access Google’s Android Marketplace?
Amazon has their own market for Android applications and the Fire will make it easy to access this market. But will users of the Fire be able to access applications offered through the Google Android market?
Is Amazon trying to create a walled garden and lock in users to only access the Amazon market?
Why Did Amazon Choose An Older Version of Android?
The Fire uses Android 2.3 instead of a more recent 3 series release. This strikes me as a little peculiar because the 3 series Honeycomb release was directly targeted at tablet devices. Did Amazon choose 2.3 because it is more open than the 3 series releases?
As it turns out, Android is not as open as Google’s PR team would like us to believe.
Google has said it will never publish the source code of Android 3.0 (aside from Linux), even though executables have been released to the public. Android 3.1 source code is also being withheld.
The Fire is not scheduled to ship until November. It remains to be seen how the new Silk browser and Fire tablet will impact the mobile device market.
If you are new to Eclipse user but have been using vi for a long time, you may want a plugin that allows modal editing without moving your hands from the home row while not interfering with Eclipse’s auto complete functionality. The Vrapper plugin does just that. It enables vi keys to edit the source code.
The Vrapper plugin can be installed from an update site. The url for the Vrapper update site is on the basics documentation page. As a newbie to Eclipse, I used a tutorial to walk through installing the plugin. In order to use vi commands to edit code Vrapper must be enabled from the edit menu inside Eclipse.
After using it for a day, I have been pleased with the plugin. It delivers what it promises. According to the Vrapper documentation, search and replace is not yet available. Other than that the only missing command I noticed was the z command to bring the text to the top of the screen.
I recently watched the following video introduction to Android. I thought it was worthwhile to an Android newbie. I took some notes while I watched it.
The video was a little slow in the beginning if you’ve already done the hello world tutorial. The version of Android covered was a little bit dated. I think this is the reason the video is available free on youtube. Despite being dated, the screen cast was still a good introduction.
The workshop was also nice for a newbie to Eclipse. The viewer is able to see how Eclipse works by looking at the screen cast. There were a couple of technical problems during the screen cast. These were corrected quickly.
Editing XML Files
The presenter demonstrated how to edit the XML files that make up an Android project. The following was specifically covered.
- How to edit the XML files to add color screens.
- How to use @+id to create auto incrementing unique identifier.
- How to set the gravity and background properties.
- How to programmatically access the XML settings by using the R (Resource) class.
The presenter also covered topics unique to Android. He covered the following Android Java classes.
- How to create an intent.
- How to create an anonymous class in Java.
- How to use toast to pop up a text message.
- How to create an activity and add it to the manifest.
During the presentation several useful Eclipse key combinations were shown.
- ctl-1 // create stub for unimplemented message
- ctl-space // code completion
- ctl-alt-downArrow // dupilcate line
- ctl-alt-f //source menu, override/implement methods, choose methods to override. generates code and takes care of imports
This video was useful to developers new to Android and Eclipse. If you are just getting started and are looking for a training video, this will be worth your time.
The hello world application is a traditional milestone for many beginning programmers. I reached that milestone for the Android platform today.
In order to install the development environment, I followed the installation instructions at developer.android.com. I decided to use Eclipse on my Ubuntu system. The install took awhile because several large packages had to be downloaded.
I then followed the Android hello world tutorial. The first time I ran the hello world application on the emulator, I did not see the expected output. So, I ran it again and got the following warning.
Warning: Activity not started, its current task has been brought to the
front public class
A google search found someone reporting a similar problem with an informative response on stackoverflow. Turns out all I needed to do was hit the back button on the emulator.