Create A Scrollable Widget Full Of App Icons Using ‘Foldery’

There are a ton of apps for Android that allow you to improve your productivity. As this is Android we’re talking about, you have far more freedom than you’d have on iOS, for example. There are apps that can boost your messaging experience, multitasking, and even change the look and feel of your entire home screen while adding some extra features into the mix. Well, we’re here to talk about an app called Foldery Multicon Folder Widget’ or ‘Foldery’ in short, which is basically a widget that will help you organize your home screen in a unique way, read on.

Many of you probably have quite a few icons on your home screen, and some of you are probably reluctant to use too many home screen pages. Well, with Foldery, you can create scrollable widgets and place app icons inside of them. You can essentially create a 1-by-1 widget on your home screen and place a number of icons inside of it. You can go through them by swiping either vertically or horizontally, that’s totally up to you. If your launcher allows you to, you can resize this widget and truly take control of what will it look like. The app also allows you to manipulate the size of the icons you include, you can make them huge, or simply use the standard size, it’s totally up to you. You can also increase the number of columns you’d like to use in a widget, change the background of the widget, and Foldery also supports icon packs, which means you can use whichever icon pack you want, as long as it is installed on your smartphone.Foldery worked great during our testing, and the app is very well designed, it’s not exactly in line with the latest Material Design guidelines, but it looks nice and it’s fairly easy to navigate. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you can create only 1 Foldery widget in the free version of this application, if you’d like to add more of them, you’ll need to make an in-app purchase. Interesting enough, you have 5 levels of contributions to choose from, ranging from ‘Patronage’ to ‘Coconut Cocktail’, which essentially means you can choose how much you’d like to pay for the app, though do keep in mind that you won’t be able to pay less than $1. All of these aforementioned options will give you access to ‘Foldery Premium’, and this is a one-time payment.

[Source:-AH]

 

Create a Blogging Guide for Your Small Business Blog

Have you created a blogging guide for your small business blog? Why do you need one?

At first glance, blogging may seem to require little effort. Just sign up for WordPress, get a hosting company, grab a nice skin (or theme) for your blog, and then start writing. Simple, right?

In theory, it really can be that simple. But, if you’re serious about blogging, it often takes passion — for the topic you’re writing about and for the people who will be helped by reading it. This means that you will probably need time to craft posts that are so valuable that it’s almost impossible for them to not be helpful (even to at least one person).

 

It also means that it will be helpful if you can be consistent about sharing quality information over an extended period of time. This is not easy to do (yep, personal experience talking) and the ability to regularly share content will mean that you have to be clear about the main topics you’ll write about.

In order to do all those things well, you will have to be focused and kick distractions to the curb. The process is not always easy to execute. In fact, before you pull out your laptop or tablet and fire up WordPress, you should think about the …

Things You Should Do BEFORE You Start Writing

Ideally, before you write any post, you should have a plan — not just for your individual posts, but also for the process you’ll use to craft juicy pieces of content. This doesn’t mean that you can’t write spontaneous and inspired posts. Of course, you can.

Recommended for YouWebcast, February 16th: Build Your Growth Roadmap in a Day

But, it can help to have a plan so you can capture and funnel your blog ideas into a repository (like Evernote or Trello) for safekeeping until it’s time to turn them into fully developed posts.

How to Create a Blogging Guide

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Plan-Before-You-Write.png.png

Create a Blogging Guide for Your Small Business Blog

Do you have a blogging guide for your small business blog?

So, you will need to come up with some guidelines (a.k.a blog writing system) that you’ll follow and include things like:

  • Capturing blog ideas. How will you keep track blog ideas and resources? Will you use a specific app (like the one’s I mentioned above) or write your ideas down in a notebook?
  • Length of blog posts. Will your blog posts be epic (2000 words or more)? Short and sweet (300-500 words)? Or, somewhere in between? Will you shake things up a bit and have a combination of both epic and short posts?
  • Types of posts. How do you feel about list posts? What about posts that recap interviews with industry leaders and influencers? Will you have a recurring topic? Will you create a blog series? Would you consider created some posts that only have images and videos and no text?
  • Posting schedule. Will you schedule posts once per week? Several times per week? Will you write about specific themes on specific days? Oh, yeah, and will you add guest bloggers to the mix? If yes, what criteria will you use to accept or decline their posts?
  • Writing habits. Will you write every day? Will you write and schedule several posts at once? Will you write the post on the day is scheduled to be published or a day in advance?
  • Using an editorial calendar. Will you use a calendar to plan your posts across several months or will you “write from the heart” and when the mood strikes you? What type of editorial calendar will you use: digital, paper-based, or a plugin?

 

When you answer these questions (and any others that come up for your specific situation), you’ll know what you’re working with, so to speak. This will be, in essence, a guide for you to follow every time you decide to put your fingers to your keyboard.

You will know exactly what you’re aiming for and this will give you a direction to go in. In other words, you’ll have a clear plan that’s reasonable to follow and keep up with. Planning in advance (start now!) will save you time and conserve your brain power so you can get on with focusing on writing your posts.

What’s your secret sauce? Do you use a blogging guide for your blog?

[Source:-B2C]

Create a Blogging Guide for Your Small Business Blog

Have you created a blogging guide for your small business blog? Why do you need one?

At first glance, blogging may seem to require little effort. Just sign up for WordPress, get a hosting company, grab a nice skin (or theme) for your blog, and then start writing. Simple, right?

In theory, it really can be that simple. But, if you’re serious about blogging, it often takes passion — for the topic you’re writing about and for the people who will be helped by reading it. This means that you will probably need time to craft posts that are so valuable that it’s almost impossible for them to not be helpful (even to at least one person).

 

It also means that it will be helpful if you can be consistent about sharing quality information over an extended period of time. This is not easy to do (yep, personal experience talking) and the ability to regularly share content will mean that you have to be clear about the main topics you’ll write about.

In order to do all those things well, you will have to be focused and kick distractions to the curb. The process is not always easy to execute. In fact, before you pull out your laptop or tablet and fire up WordPress, you should think about the …

Things You Should Do BEFORE You Start Writing

Ideally, before you write any post, you should have a plan — not just for your individual posts, but also for the process you’ll use to craft juicy pieces of content. This doesn’t mean that you can’t write spontaneous and inspired posts. Of course, you can.

Recommended for YouWebcast, February 16th: Build Your Growth Roadmap in a Day

But, it can help to have a plan so you can capture and funnel your blog ideas into a repository (like Evernote or Trello) for safekeeping until it’s time to turn them into fully developed posts.

How to Create a Blogging Guide

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Plan-Before-You-Write.png.png

Create a Blogging Guide for Your Small Business Blog

Do you have a blogging guide for your small business blog?

So, you will need to come up with some guidelines (a.k.a blog writing system) that you’ll follow and include things like:

  • Capturing blog ideas. How will you keep track blog ideas and resources? Will you use a specific app (like the one’s I mentioned above) or write your ideas down in a notebook?
  • Length of blog posts. Will your blog posts be epic (2000 words or more)? Short and sweet (300-500 words)? Or, somewhere in between? Will you shake things up a bit and have a combination of both epic and short posts?
  • Types of posts. How do you feel about list posts? What about posts that recap interviews with industry leaders and influencers? Will you have a recurring topic? Will you create a blog series? Would you consider created some posts that only have images and videos and no text?
  • Posting schedule. Will you schedule posts once per week? Several times per week? Will you write about specific themes on specific days? Oh, yeah, and will you add guest bloggers to the mix? If yes, what criteria will you use to accept or decline their posts?
  • Writing habits. Will you write every day? Will you write and schedule several posts at once? Will you write the post on the day is scheduled to be published or a day in advance?
  • Using an editorial calendar. Will you use a calendar to plan your posts across several months or will you “write from the heart” and when the mood strikes you? What type of editorial calendar will you use: digital, paper-based, or a plugin?

When you answer these questions (and any others that come up for your specific situation), you’ll know what you’re working with, so to speak. This will be, in essence, a guide for you to follow every time you decide to put your fingers to your keyboard.

You will know exactly what you’re aiming for and this will give you a direction to go in. In other words, you’ll have a clear plan that’s reasonable to follow and keep up with. Planning in advance (start now!) will save you time and conserve your brain power so you can get on with focusing on writing your posts.

[Source:-B2C]

Create new possibilities for your SEO & SEM campaigns

smx-adv-2017-1-1920x1080

2016 brought incredible developments in both SEO & SEM. From the emergence of AI, search engine algorithm changes, new formats like ETAs, call extensions and voice search the complexity of managing SEO and SEM has become more complex than ever. And the momentum won’t stop as 2017 brings forth a new wave of opportunities for SEOs and SEMs like you.

Learning how to drive quality, targeted traffic from your efforts is the difference between success and failure and SMX West features 50+ sessions on SEO, SEM, Analytics, Content Marketing, Social Media and more.

Join us at Search Engine Land’s SMX West March 21-23 in San Jose for an inside look into the continuous changes surrounding search engine optimization and paid search advertising that drive your business forward. You’ll learn from leading search marketing experts who will provide you with actionable tactics you can use to make different in your business immediately. Some of our highly anticipated sessions include:

SEO

  • AMP: The Next Generation
  • SEO For Google’s Mobile-First Index & Mobile-Friendly World
  • The Great Debate: PWAs Or Apps?
  • Optimizing Content For Voice Search & Virtual Assistants
  • Successful SEO Using Markup & Structured Data

SEM

  • Thinking Outside the SEM Box
  • Advanced Audience Targeting
  • Conquering Google Display & Gmail Ad Targeting
  • Updating Your SEM Toolbox With New Shiny Tools
  • Proving The Value Of Paid Search

View the SEO and SEM tracks.

P.S. SMX West goes beyond conference sessions. You’ll also have opportunities to connect with the search marketing community at multiple networking events, find time-saving solutions in the Expo hall, attend Plus sessions and get all the amenities you expect from a Search Marketing Expo conference; free wifi, hot meals and lots more!

Search Engine Land’s SMX West is returning to San Jose in 2017! We’re celebrating 10 years of providing proven tactics, networking, industry-leading vendor solutions and demos, and top notch conference amenities to hard core SEOs and SEMs. If you’re looking to feed your obsession with SEO and SEM, then make it a priority to attend SMX West in March. We guarantee your investment will be worth it. Past attendees rave about SMX West, and so will you! Register today!

[Source:-Search Engine ]

How to create a widget for your Android app

create-an-android-app-widget-feature-image

Android app widgets may look pretty simple – essentially, they’re just small windows that users embed in an App Widget Host, typically their device’s homescreen – but your average application widget has a lot to offer.

For users, widgets help them make the most of all that homescreen real estate that would otherwise go to waste. And for developers, creating a widget to accompany your latest Android app is a way of delivering a better user experience (and if you want those 5 star reviews then you should seize anyopportunity to deliver a better user experience) plus a well-designed app widget is a useful tool for keeping your app at the forefront of the user’s mind.

Every time the user passes through their homescreen, your widget has an opportunity to catch their interest by presenting them with a snippet of your app’s most important content – ideally tempting them into launching your app.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to create an effective app widget for your latest Android project. I’ll be covering all the essentials of creating a basic widget, before sharing some best practices that can help ensure your widget will have no problem securing itself a permanent spot on the user’s homescreen.

Planning your widget

So, you’re sold on the idea of creating an Android app widget, but the first step is deciding what kind of widget you’re going to build.

If you’re struggling for inspiration, then it can help to look at what other Android developers are doing. When you look at all the Android widgets that are currently out there, they can generally be divided into the following categories:

  • Information widgets. Display important information related to your app. Some examples include clock and weather widgets, and widgets that notify the user about new emails or SMS messages.
  • Collection widgets. These vertically-scrolling widgets display multiple elements from the same group, such as a collection of headlines from a news app, or a series of photos from a gallery app.
  • Control widgets. These widgets give users the ability to trigger an app’s most important features from the comfort of their homescreen – kind of like a remote control. A control widget can help your app feel more like an integral part of the user’s device, rather than an add-on that the user opens, plays around with for a while, and then closes. A widget that allows the user to play, pause and skip tracks in a music application is one example of a control widget.
  • Hybrid widgets. Can’t choose between the different categories? Many widgets combine elements from two or more categories – case in point, the music widget from our previous bullet point. Assuming this widget displays some information about the currently-selected track, then this is an example of a control widget that borrows elements from the information widget category. If you do decide to mix and match, then it’s recommended that you target one category first and then add elements from other categories as and when required.
android-widget-hybrid-music-widget-example

An example of an information widget (above) and a hybrid widget (below) that combines elements of a control widget and an information widget.

What are the essential components of an Android widget?

To create a widget, you’ll need the following classes and XML files:

  • An AppWidgetProviderInfo file. An XML file containing important information about your widget, such as its minimum width and height, its layout resource file, how often it should be updated, and whether it uses a configuration Activity.
  • An AppWidgetProvider class implementation. This is where you’ll define the methods that you’ll use to programmatically interact with your widget.
  • An XML layout resource file. Your widget’s initial layout.
  • An App Widget configuration Activity. If you want the user to be able to modify your widget, then you’ll need to create a configuration Activity. This Activity will launch automatically when the user creates an instance of your widget.

There’s no set rules about the order you should create these files and classes in, but I find that it helps to have a clear idea of how your widget will look, before you start worrying about how it’ll function, so I’m going to start by creating my widget’s layout.

Creating your widget’s layout

You define your widget’s layout in the same way you define the layout for any Activity: create an XML layout resource file and add all the UI elements you want to use.

The only major difference is that widget layouts are based on RemoteViews, so you can only use layouts and views that RemoteViews supports.

Specifically, when you’re creating your widget’s layout you can use the following layout classes only:

  • FrameLayout
  • GridLayout
  • LinearLayout
  • RelativeLayout

And you can use the following widget classes only:

  • AdapterViewFlipper
  • AnalogClock
  • Button
  • Chronometer
  • GridView
  • ImageButton
  • ImageView
  • ListView
  • ProgressBar
  • StackView
  • TextView
  • ViewFlipper

Any layout you create should look good and function correctly across a wide range of different screens, however when it comes to widget layouts you have some extra motivation for ensuring you layout is as flexible as possible:

  • Users typically place widgets on their homescreens, and although all Android homescreens are divided into a grid, the exact number of cells, spacing and sizing will vary between devices. Your widget needs to be flexible enough to handle all the different homescreen grids it may encounter.
  • Users expect to be able to resize widgets horizontally and vertically, so your widget should meet these expectations unless it has a very good reason not to. This means your layout needs to be able to cope with however the user chooses to resize your widget.

Creating a flexible widget layout follows many of the best practices you’ll be familiar with from building other Android layouts, but in particular you should:

  • Provide alternate versions of all your layout’s resources. These alternatives should be optimized for a range of different screen configurations. The Android system will then select the best version of each resource to use at runtime, based on the current device.
  • Create a density-independent layout. Make sure you specify all layout dimensions using density-independent pixels (dpi) and use flexible units of measure, such as “wrap_content” and “match_parent,” rather than absolute units.
  • Test! Make sure you test your widget across a range of screen configurations by creating multiple Android Virtual Devices (AVDs). If you do discover issues with a particular screen configuration, then you may want to create an alternate layout that’s optimized for this particular screen. You should also check that your layout can handle being flipped between portrait and landscape mode, and that it continues to look good and function correctly regardless of how the user resizes it. If you do encounter issues once your widget has been shrunk past a certain size, then you can specify a minimum size for your widget – something I’ll be covering when we create our AppWidgetProviderInfo file.

Create an AppWidgetProviderInfo file

The next step is creating a AppWidgetProviderInfo XML file and defining all the qualities you want your widget to have.

Create a res/xml directory (if your project doesn’t contain one already) and then create a new XML layout inside this directory.

android-app-widget-create-xml-directory

This is going to be our AppWidgetProviderInfo file, so open it and set its root element to <appwidget-provider>. You can now specify all the qualifies your widget should possess – here’s a few examples:

<appwidget-provider xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
// Your widget’s default width and height
   android:minWidth="50dp"
   android:minHeight="50dp"

// How often your widget should be updated, in milliseconds
  android:updatePeriodMillis="90000000"

// The XML file containing the widget’s layout
   android:initialLayout="@layout/appwidget"

// Whether the user can resize your widget horizontally, vertically, or both (horizontal|vertical). If you don’t
// want your widget to be resizable, then you can set this attribute to "none"
   android:resizeMode="horizontal|vertical"

// Even if you follow all the best practices for designing a flexible layout, if a user keeps shrinking your
// widget indefinitely then at some point it’s going to become unusable. Prevent the user from pushing your
// layout to its breaking point, by assigning it a minimum height and width
   android:minResizeHeight="30dp"
   android:minResizeWidth="30dp"

// Specify whether your widget can be displayed on the homescreen, (home_screen), the lockscreen (keyguard)
// or both - although only devices running Android 4.0 and lower support lockscreen widgets. Lockscreen
// widgets aren’t particularly private, so if you do give the user the option of placing your widget on their
// lockscreen then just make sure your widget doesn’t feature any sensitive or potentially embarrassing
// information!
   android:widgetCategory="home_screen">
</appwidget-provider>

Create Your AppWidgetProvider class

The AppWidgetProvider class is where you’ll define the methods that will be called during the widget’s lifecycle, for example whenever a widget is deleted, enabled or disabled. This class is also where you’ll create the code that’ll ultimately be responsible for updating your widget.Create a new Java class that extends the AppWidgetProvider class and override its update methods. In my example, I’m going to be using MyAppWidgetProvider.

 

[Source:-Android Blog]

How to create a widget for your Android app

create-an-android-app-widget-feature-image

Android app widgets may look pretty simple – essentially, they’re just small windows that users embed in an App Widget Host, typically their device’s homescreen – but your average application widget has a lot to offer.

For users, widgets help them make the most of all that homescreen real estate that would otherwise go to waste. And for developers, creating a widget to accompany your latest Android app is a way of delivering a better user experience (and if you want those 5 star reviews then you should seize any opportunity to deliver a better user experience) plus a well-designed app widget is a useful tool for keeping your app at the forefront of the user’s mind.

Every time the user passes through their homescreen, your widget has an opportunity to catch their interest by presenting them with a snippet of your app’s most important content – ideally tempting them into launching your app.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to create an effective app widget for your latest Android project. I’ll be covering all the essentials of creating a basic widget, before sharing some best practices that can help ensure your widget will have no problem securing itself a permanent spot on the user’s homescreen.

Planning your widget

So, you’re sold on the idea of creating an Android app widget, but the first step is deciding what kind of widget you’re going to build.

If you’re struggling for inspiration, then it can help to look at what other Android developers are doing. When you look at all the Android widgets that are currently out there, they can generally be divided into the following categories:

  • Information widgets. Display important information related to your app. Some examples include clock and weather widgets, and widgets that notify the user about new emails or SMS messages.
  • Collection widgets. These vertically-scrolling widgets display multiple elements from the same group, such as a collection of headlines from a news app, or a series of photos from a gallery app.
  • Control widgets. These widgets give users the ability to trigger an app’s most important features from the comfort of their homescreen – kind of like a remote control. A control widget can help your app feel more like an integral part of the user’s device, rather than an add-on that the user opens, plays around with for a while, and then closes. A widget that allows the user to play, pause and skip tracks in a music application is one example of a control widget.
  • Hybrid widgets. Can’t choose between the different categories? Many widgets combine elements from two or more categories – case in point, the music widget from our previous bullet point. Assuming this widget displays some information about the currently-selected track, then this is an example of a control widget that borrows elements from the information widget category. If you do decide to mix and match, then it’s recommended that you target one category first and then add elements from other categories as and when required.

android-widget-hybrid-music-widget-example

An example of an information widget (above) and a hybrid widget (below) that combines elements of a control widget and an information widget.

What are the essential components of an Android widget?

To create a widget, you’ll need the following classes and XML files:

  • An AppWidgetProviderInfo file. An XML file containing important information about your widget, such as its minimum width and height, its layout resource file, how often it should be updated, and whether it uses a configuration Activity.
  • An AppWidgetProvider class implementation. This is where you’ll define the methods that you’ll use to programmatically interact with your widget.
  • An XML layout resource file. Your widget’s initial layout.
  • An App Widget configuration Activity. If you want the user to be able to modify your widget, then you’ll need to create a configuration Activity. This Activity will launch automatically when the user creates an instance of your widget.

There’s no set rules about the order you should create these files and classes in, but I find that it helps to have a clear idea of how your widget will look, before you start worrying about how it’ll function, so I’m going to start by creating my widget’s layout.

Creating your widget’s layout

You define your widget’s layout in the same way you define the layout for any Activity: create an XML layout resource file and add all the UI elements you want to use.

The only major difference is that widget layouts are based on RemoteViews, so you can only use layouts and views that RemoteViews supports.

Specifically, when you’re creating your widget’s layout you can use the following layout classes only:

  • FrameLayout
  • GridLayout
  • LinearLayout
  • RelativeLayout

And you can use the following widget classes only:

  • AdapterViewFlipper
  • AnalogClock
  • Button
  • Chronometer
  • GridView
  • ImageButton
  • ImageView
  • ListView
  • ProgressBar
  • StackView
  • TextView
  • ViewFlipper

Any layout you create should look good and function correctly across a wide range of different screens, however when it comes to widget layouts you have some extra motivation for ensuring you layout is as flexible as possible:

  • Users typically place widgets on their homescreens, and although all Android homescreens are divided into a grid, the exact number of cells, spacing and sizing will vary between devices. Your widget needs to be flexible enough to handle all the different homescreen grids it may encounter.
  • Users expect to be able to resize widgets horizontally and vertically, so your widget should meet these expectations unless it has a very good reason not to. This means your layout needs to be able to cope with however the user chooses to resize your widget.

Creating a flexible widget layout follows many of the best practices you’ll be familiar with from building other Android layouts, but in particular you should:

  • Provide alternate versions of all your layout’s resources. These alternatives should be optimized for a range of different screen configurations. The Android system will then select the best version of each resource to use at runtime, based on the current device.
  • Create a density-independent layout. Make sure you specify all layout dimensions using density-independent pixels (dpi) and use flexible units of measure, such as “wrap_content” and “match_parent,” rather than absolute units.
  • Test! Make sure you test your widget across a range of screen configurations by creating multiple Android Virtual Devices (AVDs). If you do discover issues with a particular screen configuration, then you may want to create an alternate layout that’s optimized for this particular screen. You should also check that your layout can handle being flipped between portrait and landscape mode, and that it continues to look good and function correctly regardless of how the user resizes it. If you do encounter issues once your widget has been shrunk past a certain size, then you can specify a minimum size for your widget – something I’ll be covering when we create our AppWidgetProviderInfo file.

Create an AppWidgetProviderInfo file

The next step is creating a AppWidgetProviderInfo XML file and defining all the qualities you want your widget to have.

Create a res/xml directory (if your project doesn’t contain one already) and then create a new XML layout inside this directory.

android-app-widget-create-xml-directory

This is going to be our AppWidgetProviderInfo file, so open it and set its root element to <appwidget-provider>. You can now specify all the qualifies your widget should possess – here’s a few examples:

<appwidget-provider xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
// Your widget’s default width and height
   android:minWidth="50dp"
   android:minHeight="50dp"

// How often your widget should be updated, in milliseconds
  android:updatePeriodMillis="90000000"

// The XML file containing the widget’s layout
   android:initialLayout="@layout/appwidget"

// Whether the user can resize your widget horizontally, vertically, or both (horizontal|vertical). If you don’t
// want your widget to be resizable, then you can set this attribute to "none"
   android:resizeMode="horizontal|vertical"

// Even if you follow all the best practices for designing a flexible layout, if a user keeps shrinking your
// widget indefinitely then at some point it’s going to become unusable. Prevent the user from pushing your
// layout to its breaking point, by assigning it a minimum height and width
   android:minResizeHeight="30dp"
   android:minResizeWidth="30dp"

// Specify whether your widget can be displayed on the homescreen, (home_screen), the lockscreen (keyguard)
// or both - although only devices running Android 4.0 and lower support lockscreen widgets. Lockscreen
// widgets aren’t particularly private, so if you do give the user the option of placing your widget on their
// lockscreen then just make sure your widget doesn’t feature any sensitive or potentially embarrassing
// information!
   android:widgetCategory="home_screen">
</appwidget-provider>

Create Your AppWidgetProvider class

The AppWidgetProvider class is where you’ll define the methods that will be called during the widget’s lifecycle, for example whenever a widget is deleted, enabled or disabled. This class is also where you’ll create the code that’ll ultimately be responsible for updating your widget.

Create a new Java class that extends the AppWidgetProvider class and override its update methods. In my example, I’m going to be using MyAppWidgetProvider.

public class MyAppWidgetProvider extends AppWidgetProvider {
...
...

// Retrieve the widget’s layout// RemoteViews views = new RemoteViews(context.getPackageName(), R.layout.activity_main); // Tell the AppWidgetManager to perform an update on this application widget// appWidgetManager.updateAppWidget(currentWidgetId,views);

You’ll then need to declare the AppWidgetProvider class in your project’s Manifest:

//Specify your AppWidgetProviderInfo XML file//
<receiver android:name="MyAppWidgetProvider" >
// Specify that the AppWidgetProvider accepts ACTION_APPWIDGET_UPDATE, which is the broadcast that’s sent whenever
// a new instance of this widget is instantiated and also whenever a widget requests an update. Both of these
// are events that the AppWidgetProvider class needs to be able to respond to
   <intent-filter>
       <action android:name="android.appwidget.action.APPWIDGET_UPDATE" />
   </intent-filter>
<meta-data android:name="android.appwidget.provider"
// Point the Manifest in the direction of the AppWidgetProviderInfo XML file you created earlier //
     android:resource="@xml/myappwidgetprovider" />
</receiver>

Creating an app widget configuration Activity

Do you want the user to be able to customize your widget? These customizations could be visual tweaks, such as changing the widget’s colour, or functional changes such as specifying how often the widget should be updated.

Whatever the specifics, if you want to create a customizable widget then you’ll need to create a configuration Activity, and set this Activity to launch automatically when the user creates a new instance of your application widget.

To add a configuration Activity to your project, create a new Java class (I’m going to use ConfigurationWidget). Then, when you declare this Activity in your Manifest make sure you specify that it accepts the ACTION_APPWIDGET_CONFIGURE intent.

<activity android:name=".ConfigurationWidget">
   <intent-filter>
       <action android:name="android.appwidget.action.APPWIDGET_CONFIGURE"/>
   </intent-filter>
</activity>

You’ll also need to declare this Activity in your project’s AppWidgetProviderInfo using the android:configure attribute, so hop back to this file and add the following:

   android:configure="com.example.android.ConfigurationWidget"

Although the main body of your configuration Activity will vary depending on how the user can edit your widget, there’s a few common features you should add to any configuration Activity, in order to ensure it functions correctly.

Firstly, if the user exits the Activity without completing the configuration process, then you should notify the widget host and tell it not to add the widget to the user’s homescreen:

@Override
public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
setResult(RESULT_CANCELED);

Normally, when the user adds a widget to their homescreen, performing the initial setup is the onUpdate method’s responsibility. However, as soon as you create a configuration Activity, this setup becomes the responsibility of the configuration Activity. This means your configuration Activity will need to request an update from the AppWidgetManager:

//Find the App Widget ID from the Intent that launched this Activity//

Intent intent = getIntent();
Bundle extras = intent.getExtras();
if (extras != null) {
   mAppWidgetId = extras.getInt(
           AppWidgetManager.EXTRA_APPWIDGET_ID,
           AppWidgetManager.INVALID_APPWIDGET_ID);
}

// If you receive an intent without the appropriate ID, then the system should kill this Activity//
if (mAppWidgetId == AppWidgetManager.INVALID_APPWIDGET_ID) {
    finish();
}

Once you’ve completed this setup, you can fill this class with all the options your users should be presented with when they create an instance of your widget. Just don’t get carried away – setting up a widget shouldn’t feel like a monumental task, so limit yourself to 2-3 configuration options.

Once you’ve written your configuration code, there’s a few final tasks you’ll need to complete. Firstly, you’ll need to get an instance of the AppWidgetManager by calling getInstance(Context):

AppWidgetManager appWidgetManager = AppWidgetManager.getInstance(context);

Then, you’ll need to update the app widget with a RemoteViews layout by calling updateAppWidget(int, RemoteViews):

RemoteViews views = new RemoteViews(context.getPackageName(),
R.layout.example_appwidget);
appWidgetManager.updateAppWidget(mAppWidgetId, views);

Finally, create the return Intent, set it with the Activity result, and finish your configuration Activity:

Intent resultValue = new Intent();
resultValue.putExtra(AppWidgetManager.EXTRA_APPWIDGET_ID, mAppWidgetId);
setResult(RESULT_OK, resultValue);
finish();

App Widget Best Practices

Now you know the basics of creating a functioning application widget, let’s look at ways to build on these foundations by covering some best practices.

Include margins for earlier versions of Android

An application widget that extends to the edges of the user’s screen or presses flush against other widgets runs the risk of making the user’s homescreen look messy or cluttered. You can make sure your widget always has some breathing space, by including margins.

On Android 4.0 and higher, the system automatically adds padding between the widget frame and the widget’s bounding box, so you only need to add margins manually when your app is installed on devices running anything earlier than Ice Cream Sandwich. You definitely don’t want to add margins across the board, as your manual margins combined with those automatic margins can seriously add up on devices running Android 4.0 and higher, creating an awkward amount of empty space around your widget.

The solution is to create two dimens.xml files that specify different margins, depending on the device your app is installed on:

  • res/values-v14/dimens.xml. In this file, define the 0dp of padding that should be added to the margins that Android 4.0 creates by default.
    <dimen name="widgetmargin">0dp</dimen>
  •  res/values/dimens.xml. This is where you’ll define your widget’s custom margins that should be used on devices running anything earlier than Android 4.0.
    <dimen name="widgetmargin">10dp</dimen>

android-widget-create-alternate-dimens-files

Then, you just need to reference “widgetmargin” in your widget’s layout and the system will select the appropriate widgetmargin value to use at runtime:

    android:padding="@dimen/widgetmargin"

Don’t update too often

Up now, we’ve focused on one method of updating your widget: using the updatePeriodMillis attribute to specify an update interval. Once this interval has elapsed, the app widget framework will request an update, and if the device happens to be asleep at the time then it’ll wake up in order to perform this update.

Waking the user’s device every now and again generally isn’t a huge problem, but if your widget requires frequent updates then this can result in a noticeable drain on the device’s battery. And battery-hogging apps rarely get good reviews on Google play! For the sake of preserving the device’s battery life, you should update your widget as infrequently as you can possibly can without compromising the user experience.

If your widget does have a valid reason for requiring frequent updates, then you should avoid using updatePeriodMillis and opt for an alternative, more battery-friendly way of updating your widget.

One option, is to perform updates based on an alarm that only gets delivered if the device is awake. If the device is asleep, then the update will be delayed until the device wakes up, which means your widget’s updates won’t have such a negative impact on the user’s battery.

To use this technique in your project, you’ll need to use the AlarmManager system service to create an alarm and set it to the type AlarmManager.RTC. You can then specify how often you want your widget to update, in milliseconds, for example:

alarmManager.setRepeating(AlarmManager.RTC, calendar.getTimeInMillis(), 1000 , ClockIntent(context));

Even after you’ve written this code, your project’s updatePeriodMillis attribute can override your alarm and wake the device anyway. To make sure this doesn’t happen, find this attribute in your project and set it to android:updatePeriodMillis=”0″

Since alarms are delivered as intents, you’ll need to configure your app to listen for this intent type, so open your project’s Manifest and add a new intent-filter beneath the existing  APPWIDGET_UPDATE filter. For example:

<intent-filter>
   <action android:name="android.appwidget.action.APPWIDGET_UPDATE" />
   <intent-filter>
   <action android:name="com.jessicathornsby.myapplicationwidget.WIDGET_UPDATE" /> </intent-filter>

With this bit of setup out of the way, you’re free to update your AppWidgetProvider class with the code that specifies how often you want to send this intent, and how your widget should handle these intents when they arrive.

Provide a preview image

You add a new widget to your homescreen by launching your device’s widget picker, browsing the available options, and then selecting the one you like the look of. When you’re browsing this widget picker, you may have noticed that many apps display a preview image of how their widget will look once it’s properly configured and setup on your homescreen.
create-an-android-app-widget

A well-designed preview image is a good way of encouraging the user to choose your widget over the competition, so it’s well worth taking the time to create a preview image. If your project doesn’t feature a dedicated preview image, then the system will use your app’s launcher icon instead, which doesn’t quite have the same effect.

Create the image you want to use and add it to your project’s ‘drawable’ folder. Then, open your AppWidgetProviderInfo file and point it in the direction of this new drawable resource, using the android:previewImage attribute:

<appwidget-provider xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
...
 android:previewImage="@drawable/preview">
</appwidget-provider>

Wrapping Up

In this article, we looked at how to create all the necessary classes and files you’ll need to develop an Android app widget, including an optional configuration Activity that will allow users to tweak your widget’s settings. I also shared some best practices that can help you put those finishing touches to your widget. You can find an app widget outline, complete with all the code covered in this article, on GitHub.

[Source:-Android Authority]

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the way to Create particular content material to construct Your blog’s Authority

photo-1429216967620-ece20ff3a5f9

this is a guest contribution from Julie Petersen.

With a lot statistics at the net nowadays, the competition for 86f68e4d402306ad3cd330d005134dac content material is strong – and it’s developing.

you could’t usually introduce new topics on your target market, on account that influential bloggers have already written tons of content on the troubles you’ve got in mind. there’s a trick although: you don’t necessarily need an authentic idea to craft precise content material. you may always develop your personal piece by adding the right dose of creativity into any subject matter your target market is interested by.

as an example, allow’s say you’re running a way of life blog and you’ve exhausted all topics approximately getting inspired, locating a reason in lifestyles, attaining dreams, and all other issues which might be typical for those styles of blogs. you may take the good-antique concept on giving purpose making plans guidelines, but you could upload a exceptional attitude. here are few examples:

How blogging let you Plan and obtain existence desires
Do You actually need a Calendar for making plans?
How Plans Can prevent Procrastination
Or, you could relate your niche with the idea of blogging, so that you’ll give hints to different bloggers. In this example, the subject can be some thing like uncommon methods for making plans blog Posts. There are infinite variations and spins you could consider.

you can locate several other on-line posts whilst you get such an concept, but your man or woman approach will make it one-of-a-kind. How can you think out of doors the box to bring a new attitude to a worn-out topic?

This blog put up takes the conventional subject matter of making plans and connects it to some thing unconventional: pet birthdays, fan conventions, and divorce events. It’s a pleasing example of how you could supply new existence to a humdrum subject matter.

Untitled1

don’t forget: it’s clearly feasible to reap originality and a sizeable following. but, it’s going to take tough paintings and practice. examine on; we have some suggestions that will help you with that!

Why is specific content material so tough to discover?

there’s a easy answer to that question: huge competition.

It doesn’t depend what your blogging area of interest is and what subject matter you have got in mind; your audience can probably locate lots of other resources whilst googling the key phrases you used.

That being stated, it’s clean why it’s hard to find entirely specific content material in case you restriction the term precise to some thing that’s to be had from a single writer. Even if you think about a subject that has never been protected earlier than, different bloggers will get inspired by way of it and they may take it in addition with their very own ideas, so it received’t be that specific to any extent further.

Does that imply you need to surrender on blogging? Of route now not! you spot, there is a trick: the time period unique is pretty flexible in its essence. you may nonetheless work on an evergreen subject matter and convey some thing fresh on the desk. You simplest want to expose your person fashion and consider a few authentic thoughts.

Matthew Inman’s The Oatmeal is a exceptional example of ways uninteresting or mainstream topics can get sincerely a laugh while you add a twist.

Untitled2

Why unique content is critical

if you don’t serve whatever new in your target audience, you received’t be unique for them. They don’t need to study the identical antique guidelines time and again again.

as an example, let’s say you’re writing a submit that’s presupposed to assist human beings surpass slight depression. in place of writing cliché pointers like “study a ebook, watch a film, take a stroll, speak to friends, and meditate,” you can endorse some thing radical, like “cease the process that’s making you depressing and begin your very own business.” – but you higher be geared up to back it up!

you may additionally hyperlink the subject matter with celebrities; that frequently works clearly well. Untitled3

The reality of seo (seo) is vital to apprehend

without satiating and specific content, your website will not receive the search outcomes you want. search engines value your content as lots as your viewers. And ultimately, you’ll want publicity in engines like google to reap success.

A search engine measures area of expertise a piece otherwise than your readers do. Your audience wishes clean thoughts, however Google wishes non-plagiarized content material. In other words – do no longer replica someone else’s work!

Your content material needs to include strategically-positioned key phrases and phrases as nicely and clear, properly-written human reproduction.

keywords in the proper locations are indicators to serps, in order to assist them to classify your web site and target the suitable viewers during searches. Don’t overstuff your piece with key phrases, though. when you use too many key phrases that your audience can without problems apprehend, they may have an effect on the overall strong point of your post.

treasured content will growth your information and authority

similarly to search engines like google, you need to consider your readers. search engines will supply your weblog/internet site higher seo rankings if your content is visible as an “authority”. To attain this popularity, your posts want one-way links, as well as a steady and huge variety of traffic (who hold long view times).

whilst you deliver readers something of substance, you’re more likely to hold them as constant traffic. once they get used to your blog, they will perceive your content as particular even if there are lots of comparable articles on the internet. they’ll continually study yours first. If, for example, someone is looking for articles related to digital, social media, and generation, they are maximum probable to go to Mashable as an authoritative weblog inside the niche, because they recognize they may always locate some thing treasured there.

consider it this way: in case you examine informative articles of extraordinary value, you’re most in all likelihood to bookmark those web sites for destiny use. That’s the impact you need to attain with your own posts.

the way to create unique content material

you may need to start each post with a first rate idea, but, this could be difficult to acquire on a consistent foundation.

First, you have to understand that 86f68e4d402306ad3cd330d005134dac, unique content calls for numerous areas of attention. Don’t slim your mindset right down to the unique niche you’ve selected; make certain to research different regions of interest and connect them with topics applicable for your audience.

evaluation the following recommendations to get started out.

1. concept generation

if you’re creating site content, you then possibly have enough enjoy and understanding in a selected area to provide pleasant paintings (and a foundation to returned it up). but, that does not continually mean you may create interesting titles, headlines or particular thoughts.

It’s everyday to face a point of low proposal. beneath are some of the pleasant on-line destinations that assist you discover ideas for unique posts.

on line turbines
– TweakYourBiz is a outstanding alternative that quick offers hundreds of ideas (separated into classes like lists, bests and issues) for writers with a easy key-word search. no longer all of those pointers will seem logical, however at the least they may inspire you to find a twist to the topic you propose to cover.
Untitled4

other gear, including Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer and AMI’s Emotional price Headline Analyzer, will assist you pick the maximum efficient headline when you have few options in your thoughts.

Blogs
– extend your imagination and take a look at out blogs outdoor your given area of interest. even if a weblog is absolutely off-subject matter out of your own, you’ll be surprised to locate unrelated areas of hobby intersect and inspire new thoughts. Then, you want to relate the ones ideas in your very own area of interest, and you’ll provide you with a completely unique topic to your piece.
for instance, permit’s say you discover an high-highexcellent blog put up about the significance of academic writing, however you’re strolling a blog associated with enterprise startups. you can infiltrate this ideas in your very own editorial time table with a put up entitled How educational Writing Made Me a better Businessman.

Social Media
– this is a amazing manner to discover what’s trending to your weblog’s problem count number. If human beings are talking approximately it and analyzing approximately it, then you definitely want to provide them with your angle. perhaps the concept gained’t be one hundred% precise, but your own factor of view will make it unique.
2. adequate research

after you get a few sturdy thoughts, it’s time to research well. You don’t need to give your readers fake records and you don’t want to tarnish your status either.

begin by the usage of Google and seek your blog idea or name. The results could be your first exposure to the opposition. evaluation the pinnacle outcomes and search for the following:

test for readability and glide. Is the object informative and exciting? Does it waft obviously? If it’s believable and actual, you could upload it as a aid on your publish.
Be attentive and check the date on the posts as well. If the posts are more recent, they will seem greater relevant to your audience.
It’s additionally imperative to hold your research organized. The popular app Evernote is a notable source for garage. The device connects on all devices and users can save anything from video and audio documents, to on-line articles, photographs and extra. have you heard the state-of-the-art news? Evernote now lets in you to pin the content material you discover on-line. That’s exceptional, because you’ll get an even higher evaluate of the assets of suggestion you find.

Untitled5

whilst you keep tune of all sources, you gained’t danger the usage of a person else’s unique thoughts just due to the fact you forgot wherein they came from.

remember: get inspired by using the research; do not replica the content material you determined!

3. enhancing and proofreading

once you’ve drafted a post, it’s time to edit. You have to by no means submit a first draft. This disregards an vital part of the procedure and could substantially affect the authority of your website online content material. Use the following tips to get began:

You should make sure to test the uniqueness of your piece in the course of the modifying manner. Use online tools like Plagtracker to make certain your content is 100% authentic.
whilst writing for the net, your articles ought to be attractive, however additionally concise and to the factor. the eye span inside the virtual world is brief, irrespective of the target audience you’re targeting. in case you submit uninteresting, unclear content, it received’t count number how particular it’s miles… no longer many humans will study it.
Use tools like the Hemingway app for assist. The device highlights problems like complex sentences and adverb usage, and it affords an general readability score.

examine your content out loud to your self. this could display you repeated or out of place phrases which you ignored while reading quietly to your self. It’s additionally a amazing check for flow and natural tone. Repetitiveness influences a reader’s affect for distinctiveness, so ensure to eliminate it.
regardless of what topic you’re protecting, your content should constantly be created with passion, motivation and honesty. every content material writer should be the usage of those guidelines and equipment to decorate the introduction process and give you unique pieces of content.

Julie Petersen is a content advertising and marketing specialist and a personal English language tutor. She is the proprietor of AskPetersen opinions blog and a regular contributor to such web sites as enterprise.com, FreelanceWrite.about, Addicted2Success, and so on. study her contemporary blog post aboutFreshEssays overview. touch Julie on Linkedin.

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Create your posts and pages very easily and quickly, with unprecedented design possibilities and no coding skills required. Zedity makes your WordPress experience much better.

  • Really Easy to Use: 100% pure visual content creation becomes a reality with Zedity. Finally, no more need to get your hands into HTML5, CSS or Javascipt codes: Zedity generates that for you, so you can focus on what matters to you.
  • Great Time Saver: what would usually take you hours, will take you only minutes with Zedity! Furthermore, since you can do it by yourself, without hiring developers, you may also save money.
  • Powerful and Flexible: Zedity gives you unprecedented flexibility and possibilities not available in the WordPress visual editor. A simple example? How would you place some text on top of an image? Unless you want to deal with coding, you just cannot do it. With Zedity, instead, you can do that and much more than that.
  • Dedicated Assistance: we love what we do and we will be assisting you. Whether you need help, you think you have found a bug, or you have a feature request, pleasecontact us. If you are using the plugin already and would like to rate it, you’re welcome. Here is a post you may want to read before rating:https://zedity.com/blog/plugin-ratings-on-wordpress-org/

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IMPORTANT: we recommend all users on past versions, to **install the latest 7+ version, which comes with a brand new user interface, support for touchscreen devices, interactive tutorials and other features. Enjoy Zedity!

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[SOURCE:-wordpress]

Learn How to Create a Better Customer Experience with Omni-Channel Marketing

omni-channel-marketing

In today’s world, the customer experience extends beyond the walls of a brick and mortar store. Customers engage with your brand through content that’s spread across multiple channels and accessed by multiple devices. And with so many possible touch points, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to ensure consistency throughout–especially for their millennial audience.

A survey by SLD, a customer experience software and services provider, revealed that 44% of millennials surveyed expect their experience to be consistent across all devices. In addition, 60% said that they expect the same experience across all customer touch points–from phone service to in-store and digital interactions.

So how do you create that consistent customer experience? Through omni-channel marketing.

Defining Omni-Channel Marketing

Omni-channel marketing is a holistic, strategic marketing approach that aims to provide a seamless user experience across all channels and devices.

Every brand has a story to tell. A message that tells their audiences who they are, what they stand for and how they can be of service in a time of need. And an important part of successfully conveying that message is through creating a positive, consistent customer experience with your brand. How can you build a relationship with a customer if your message is inconsistent? How can you build that trust?

In addition, providing a consistent customer experience contributes to building brand recognition and awareness among your target audience. Remember, your marketing efforts aim to build and nurture your customer relationships.

Best Practices for Omni-Channel Marketing

At TopRank Marketing, we often talk about the importance of an integrated content marketing strategy. One that uses multiple tactics–across multiple mediums–to be the best answer, when and where people are searching for information. The key to all this? A focus on the customer and their journey–which is a natural connection to omni-channel marketing.

Content plays a major role in the customer experience. It’s product descriptions. It’s blog posts. It’s advertisements. It’s emails. It’s social media status updates. It’s a promotional sign hanging in a store’s window. Use omni-channel marketing as another layer to bolster your content marketing strategy–and really your overall marketing strategy.

Other best practices include:

  • Use consistent imagery. Humans are very visual beings. We process so much with our eyes. Using consistent imagery contributes to that brand recognition and awareness brands so desperately want.
  • Establish a consistent voice. This is your brand voice and it should be recognizable to your customers. Are you serious? More light-hearted? Silly? Educational?
  • Personalize. Remember that each channel likely has a distinct audience. Strike a balance between your brand standards and optimizing your message for each medium.
  • Put yourself in customers’ shoes. Take the time to regularly review the experience that your customers go through to research, buy and connect with your products and brand. When it comes to your digital interactions, use your analytical tools to identify barriers. Where are people dropping off the site? Which forms convert the best? Where is the most site traffic coming from? Which mediums get the most engagement? Now that you have this information, how can you improve the experience? Is it through new content or better calls-to-action?

Disney

Disney Omni-Channel

Disney is an omni-channel rock star. From booking your trip on their mobile responsive website to securing fast passes through the My Disney Experience app to accessing your on-property hotel room with a Magic Band, the magic of Disney is consistent throughout.

Target

Target Omni-Channel 1

Target Omni-Channel 2

Another omni-channel heavy weight is one of my most beloved brands:Target. Whether you’re shopping from your PC, your mobile device or in-store, each medium works together to create a seamless, efficient shopping experience (even if you fall down the perusing rabbit hole). Your digital shopping cart can be saved and accessed from either a PC or mobile device, or you can opt to pick items up at your closest store.

Coca-Cola

Coca-cola omni-channel

Coca-Cola is one of the world’s most recognizable brands. It’s sold in hundreds of countries and it’s branded itself as a deliciously refreshing beverage that delivers happiness in a bottle. From allowing soda lovers to share the love by personalizing a bottle for a special someone to their rewards program to utilizing traditional media to remind customers just how tasty their drink is, their brand is all about customer experience.

What are some of your best practices for ensuring a seamless customer experience? Share with us in the comments section below.

 

[SOURCE :-toprankblog]