Android Academy

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Android Academy Certified Developer

Well - how about that! We've been working on something a little special for some time now, and today's the day we're proud to announce our new baby - the AACD programme. In collaboration with SteelyEye Digital Media, we're announcing the Android industrys first Accreditation scheme - the Android Academy Certified Developer programme. This is in the form of an online exam which has been developed and calibrated by a team of Android experts for over a year. The software driving the exam is the same the SteelyEye guys used when they were running the Symbian Academy, so it has a pedigree second to none. This is no cut and paste script kiddie affair - well over £2.5m has been spent perfecting it such that it adapts to the knowledge level of the subject as it progresses. This means no two exams are the same.

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CozyBot - Cool desktop phone holder every Android fan will love!

Early in 2012 a mysterious object appeared on the lawns outside OTAMate's HQ. What did it mean? Were the Mayans right and this was some kind of 2001-style omen? Nope - it was CozyBot! Designed by OTAMate and sold through our very own shop, this is the cool desktop phone holder every Android fan will love! When news of his arrival broke on Linked In there were so many hits to the site the servers crashed. He's been sold all over the world and had sightings in Brazil, the Philippines, Canada, Australia, the Czech Republic amongst many other countries including, of course, the US. Made from sturdy ABS shatterproof plastic, the CozyBot comes in two parts and is made to the highest quality manufacturing standards - even the color is the official pantone green.

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Distributing APK's for testing

Here's a tip for anyone involved in writing and distributing Android apps to others for testing. The usual way has been via a web server with the APK's available in a download area - then all you need to do is tell your testers to point their onboard browser to the URL. Note, if you do this it's essential you set the MIME type for .apk's (application/vnd.android.package-archive) or the browser won't launch the app installer on download. However, theres now a smarter way which has the benefit of not needing a server - use DropBox. Install it on your PC,  place the .APK in a folder, get your testers to install the Android DropBox app and share that folder. They'll get a notice when you add the apps and they'll be able to just click it to install. Very cool...

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Voice Actions send SMS problem fixed at last!

Voice actions are great. Speaking your commands directly to the computer has been the staple diet of sci-fi since way before Star Trek. So when it hit Android I was puzzled to find it all worked as expected apart from "Send text to..." and "Send email to...". The wierd thing was how it failed - it launched the browser with a perfect transcription of what you said in the search box. After more digging it turns out Settings | Voice Input & output settings | Voice recogniser settings | Language was set to English (UK), where it should be English (US). Why the heck changing this actually activates different functionality is beyond me, but it was a relief to find it.

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