Tag Archives: xe7

Top Ten Video Roundup Of Awesome Connected Devices Integrated With Firemonkey

Programmable and internet connected devices like the Arduino are exploding in popularity. There are quite a few videos on up YouTube showing fun integrations between Delphi and various bluetooth, wifi, and serial connected devices. Here are the top 10 Delphi device integration videos I’ve seen.

Some of them utilize Delphi XE8 Firemonkey apps on Android and IOS while others are simple Delphi 7 VCL apps using a COM port. There are three different Arduino integrations, two different drone integrations, a brain interface integration, a robot arm integration, a depth sensor integration, an animatronic head integration, an integration with beacons and mobile devices, and a gesture control integration. Three runner ups are listed at the end and they are a swimsuit integration, IP camera integration, and a temperature sensor integration.

Add your favorite Delphi hardware integration videos I’ve missed in the comments below!

#1 Animatronic Terminator Head Controlled Via A Delphi XE8 Android App

There are four different servo motors that control this creep animatronic head. Is that the Firemonkey light in his eyes?

#2 Delphi Firemonkey Android App Controlling LED Lights In The Room

This is a slick looking control interface for changing the room lights by sliding the colored bars in this Delphi app. Another similar video is here.

#3 Audience Member Controls A Drone Using His Brain Via Appmethod App And An Emotiv Headset

Nothing says this is the future like watching a guy fly a hovering vehicle with his mind. There is a second longer video with more explanation and background that you can watch here.

#4 Robot Arm Sketches Letters Via An Arduino And Delphi Control App

The Delphi app in this video is actually playing back a list of commends to create the sketch.

#5 Demonstration Of Accessing Microsoft Kinect Depth Data From Within Delphi

You can see the depth data made available via the Kinect SDK in this video. Includes sample source code.

#6 Ultrasonic Ping Pong Game Build In Delphi And Controlled Via An Arduino

This one is awesome because of the ultrasonic controllers. The Delphi and Arduino source for this integration is available in the YouTube description. The runner up to this video uses a knob but it also has a speaker (check it out here).

#7 Appmethod Control App Used To Pilot A Parrot AR Drone Around The Office

It’s hard to top a brain controlled drone but sometimes you just need the drone to go where you want and that’s where controlling it with a Delphi app comes in.

#8 Medical App Built In Delphi On Android And IOS Utilizes Check Ins Via Beacons For Distance

I believe the apps demonstrated in this video were covered in a webinar by Embarcadero and you can find all the resources for building the apps here.

#9 Appmethod Reads Data From A Myo Gesture Control Armband To Move A TRectangle

There is also a second video here where the armband is used to control a photo app in Delphi with gestures.

#10 Slick Looking Delphi App Used To Control An Arduino Via Wifi And Bluetooth

You can test out this app demo yourself and get the Arduino side of the source code here.

BONUS: Connected Swimsuits That Monitor (Via Delphi) How Much Sun They’ve Received

It isn’t quite clear how Delphi (or Appmethod) is used. I assume it is used by the sunlight monitoring device as the control app on a tablet or phone.

DOUBLE BONUS: IP Cameras And I/O Controllers Connected And Controlled Via An A Delphi Android App

This video is good but it is someone long as it contains a lot of technical details and a lot of connected devices. Really good showcase of technology.

TRIPLE BONUS: Read Temperature Data From An Arduino Device Using Delphi And Display It In An App

This integration with Delphi is achieved via simple serial port interface.

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Ten Tips For Building Stunning Professional Android Apps With Firemonkey

#1. Secure Your App’s Data Connections With SSL

If you are using the REST client or the TIdHTTP component in your mobile apps you should encrypt your connection with SSL to keep your user’s data secure. You can utilize services like CloudFlare and MaxCDN to simplify implementing SSL on your web servers. Or encrypt your data manually with these free components.

#2. Reduce Your Mobile App Data Usage With Data Compression

With mobile service providers charging by the gigabyte lowering data usage is important. If you are making any kind of HTTP connection to a web server from your Firemonkey apps you should enable GZIP compression on both your server and client. There is also an open source compression library for files available.

#3. Save A Shortcut To The Home Screen After Install

If you want users to be able to find your app again after they first install it you should add your icon to the user’s home screen. The user can remove it or it will automatically be removed if they uninstall your app.

#4. Create And Deploy Icons For Your App

You will need to create quite a few different icon sizes to deploy with your app and to upload to the app stores. Each of the four major app stores (Google, Apple, Amazon, and Samsung) have their own icon size requirements. There is a free utility available which makes this easier. A second free tool will help you make all the splash screen images you need.

#5. Handle App Activate And Deactivate System Events

Take action when the lifecycle of your app changes in events like FinishedLaunching, BecameActive, and EnteredBackground. Users multitask using Android these specific system events (and others) will be fired. You should add these events to your app and take action as needed. There is also a bonus component called TfgApplicationEvents which gives you OnIdle, OnOrientationChanged, and OnStateChanged.

#6. Keep The Focused Edit Field Visible Above The Virtual Keyboard

If the virtual keyboard pops up over your memo or edit control in the lower half of the device screen you will need to implement a solution to scroll the field into view. There is a demo included with the latest version of Delphi called ScrollableForm which demonstrates another way of doing it.

#7. Keep Your Mobile Apps Responsive With Native Progress Dialogs

While your app is doing work that the user must wait for you should display a native progress or activity dialog to keep the app responsive. Your app will do it’s work in the main app thread (or your own custom threads) and the native progress or activity dialogs will animate seamlessly in the foreground.

#8. Check Network Connectivity Before Trying To Connect

You should check if a user is connected to the internet before making any opening any connections that attempt to connect using the internet. This way you can notify the user if they do not have connectivity and your app can handle that accordingly.

#9. Handle The Android Hardware Buttons

Android devices have a back button which you should handle so your users will have an intuitive flow inside of your apps. On Android devices there is also the VK_MENU button which you can handle in the OnKeyDown and OnKeyUp events as well.

#10. Automatically Save Form State Between Sessions

A new event is available in Delphi XE7 called TForm.OnSaveState which gets called when your app is going to be hibernated by Android. There is a free class helper available that will loop through the controls on your from in the OnSaveState event and save them out to JSON. When you form is created you can load up the previous saved form state.

BONUS TIP: Google Cloud Messaging Push Notifications

If you want to keep connected to your users and increase retention you can use push notifications. On Android there is a push notification API from Google called Google Cloud Messaging. It is pretty closely tied to Google and you have to have API keys but keeping connected to your users is worth it. Push notifications are similar to an email newsletter. You can also do push notifications through the BaaS components via Parse and Kinvey.

DOUBLE BONUS TIP: Apply Premium Styles For A Professional Look

Delphi XE7 comes with 7 premium styles for Firemonkey that look fantastic. You can give your users the option to choose which style they want to use at runtime. The Jet style works particularly well in direct sunlight.

Finally, check out the older version of this post for Delphi XE5. Check out twelve tips for IOS. And find out tips for building games with Delphi Firemonkey.

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