Thursday, 28 December 2017

Knowing the Significance of Context in Android Application

The term context is a very important component for a developer to understand due to its wide usage in Android Application development. 
Each and every developer is aware about the term and widely uses that also. It is like next to important task to solve context related error sometimes for new programmers while developing an Android Application. That creates requirement for anyone to understand the problem thoroughly to get easy solutions which creates a need to understand the context.

Basic idea of context
In simple words, context is an interface that helps to provide global information to the application environment.  There are many different operations in any application and it includes receiving intents, broadcasting, launching activities etc. Context provides interface to all application specific resources. Android system provides the implementation to this abstract class.
The usage of context
We can understand the Context more by understanding its usage. Context is widely used in the Android Application Development when the information or data is required about the application activities.
This includes the different tasks too. This includes,
1.   Creation of dynamic views
2.   Loading of Common resources
3.   Launching of Activates
4.   Displaying of Toast messages
Different types of Contexts
Many a times the developer gets confused about the proper usage and selection of the context. It creates real difficulty for the developer. A developer can choose wisely the one which is best for the application among the different types of contexts.
Here is a brief idea about all the different types of contexts that are used for the Android application development and the first one is,
1.  Activity Context
The activity context is mainly used in the creation of an object which has lifecycle attached with an activity. Thus, the context has its availability in activity and it gets different data through different activities.
As a general rule it is a more beneficial for a developer to use activity context but a developer can use other contexts also if reasons may suffice the conditions to use them.
2.  Application Context
Application context is used where the lifecycle is attached with an application. It gets its access through the different applications. This context is a better choice for the creation of singleton object.  The drawback of using activity context is the leakage of data at this place and thus it makes application context the best choice.
3.  Get  Context
This is also an application context and it has a similar usage like application context. The availability of get context is through getContext( ) method.
·      It is advisable to not to use this context each and every time as this is not a complete context.
·      Sometimes it creates memory leaks also in the cases when something is created by the calls and everything flushes out in the process of removing collected garbage.
·      It does not support each and every activity so many operations may fail and especially when it is related to GUI.
The helping rules
A developer uses the best suitable context as per the best need still there are few golden rules. By following these rules a developer can fetch maximum benefit and can avoid the later troubles also.
·      If the reference is directly not extended beyond the lifecycle then the developer can directly hold that.
·      The developer should use the context that is directly available as an enclosing component.
Conclusion
This article provides the thorough Understanding of Context in Android Application. The different aspects of context like basic idea, how to and when to use it, and different types are also covered. Few tips are also discussed that can prove very beneficial to the developer and saves from the future problems also.

Author Bio
Earleen Brown is a veteran Android application developer for reputed Android App Development Company. You can contact her to hire Android app developer to avail reliable and efficient app development services. 
Read more ...

Top 4 ways you can save Money on your Phone bill in 2018

2018 is the year of the phone user
Last year, 2017, saw unprecedented levels of change in the phone industry. A fundamental shift has started to appear in how people are interacting with their telcos. The results have started to appear in surveys and analysis around the world. Where, in the past, people bought phones under contract from their phone companies, they are now buying the phone themselves and tailoring their solution more precisely to their needs.
Buying a phone outright and adding a cheap SIM to it can save users hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of the device.
Source: pexels 
So, what can you do to save yourself money?
Luckily, with 2017 and all its lessons learned now readily available for users, saving money on your phone and plan as we move into 2018 is nice and easy.
-       Buy your phone yourself: Cheap Chinese imports are now flooding the market all around the world. Typically, they use the Android operating system and, as a result, have more than 90% of all the features you’ll find in the latest flagship Android device releases from the major phone companies. Huawei, for example, have a broad range of products which cost half what Samsung, Sony or Google themselves will charge you. And they perform exceptionally well. Chinese phones tend to have dual SIM slots, too which means you can tie together multiple phone plans to squeeze more out of your dollar. This is especially useful for those who make international calls, for example. Many phone companies which specialize in niche features like international voice minutes are not the best value for data. Dual SIM facilities mean you can have one SIM for each service and move seamlessly between them.

-       Get a phone plan from a smaller phone company: Smaller phone companies, also known as MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) or Network Resellers have happier customers and offer much more data per $ than big phone companies. There really is no reason NOT to buy a plan from these companies. Those who do get precisely the same level of network coverage and priority on the network as customers who go directly to the big brands. The plans they offer tend to be prepaid or SIM only which are simple to understand and are rarely provided with a contract. That puts the power in the hands of users who can move when they want to, based on new deals which come out. That’s not the way it works when you’re under a contract.

Source: pexels

-       Know what you want: The right phone plan will have everything you want and nothing you don’t. It’s still rare to find mobile plans with unlimited data anywhere around the world (the USA is the only exception) but everything else is up for grabs. There are plans which offer data rollover facilities, free streamed audio and video services (you’ll often pay more for those) and even which refund unused data to you at the end of the month. Before you shop, make a list of what it is you want. Pick the provider which gives you all of it.

-       Use the free self-service app: Every phone company now offers a free Self Service app alongside your SIM. They’re easy to use and help both sides of the equation. To phone companies, Self Service apps are an affordable way to cut their service costs. But the research is clear. People who use their self-service apps are actually happier with the service they get from their phone companies. Self Service apps reduce the time taken to do simple things like a prepaid recharge. Instead of a long voice call, simple tasks like this can be done in seconds. Our advice is to download and use your Self Service app now.

Summing up
The power has finally started to move from the phone companies to their customers. Competition has created a huge number of options, from smaller phone companies and their bigger counterparts. Now, users can easily tie together their own tailored phone plan with minimum hassle and expense.

Follow these 4 simple steps to save hundreds – and stay tuned for 2019. The future looks bright.
Read more ...