Deploying for Android - Fine Tuning
In the Scraping your Solution lesson we did a basic Android deploy via the Fast Start process. Here's how you can add syncing, specific permissions, icons and more to your Android app.
Navigate to the Android Advanced Settings
On the My Projects screen, click "Test and Deploy" next to the project you want to edit the settings for.
On the Deployment Profiles screen, click "Edit" next to your Android profile. If you don't yet have a profile, you can create one by going through the steps in this lesson.
You will now see you can change some settings for your app on the General settings screen.
1) Your app name
2) Your identifier
3) Increment your build number here
4) Increment your version number here
5) Space for any copyright notice you want to add
6) Enter your custom URL scheme here. If you are asking "what's a custom URL scheme" you almost certainly don't need to know, and you should leave this blank. However, you can learn more about custom url schemes here.
You also have tabs from this screen to alter or add sync settings and overrides. These are covered in other lessons, I'm going to go next to the specific Android tab to look at the settings there.
The Android Settings Screen
Fill in the other fields.
1. Go to the Android tab.
2. Set the orientation you want your app to open in, and check all the orientations you want your app to support.
3) Automatic scaling lets you fit your app to the screen size of the target device. If you know the dimensions of the screen your app is going to be used on, for example you know that your clients organization only supplies its staff with an iPhone 6s, then you can design your app to work on that screen only. If you don't know, or you may have a range of target sizes, then automatic scaling can be useful. Choose from
a) Stretch layouts to fill screen - this should be used with caution as you risk distorting objects
b) Scale layouts down to fill screen - this could result in very small objects and text if you have a large and busy layout, but it can work well if you don't have too many items
c) Scale layouts up to fill screen - you could use this one if you have designed for the lowest common denominator, and then want to scale up for anything bigger
d) Center layouts on screen - this can be a good one to use if you design your layouts so that all important objects are a good margin in from the edge.
4. Set your App icon here.
5. If your app uses local notifications, set your status bar icon here.
6. Set the lowest version of Android you want your app to run on. It will automatically be compatible with anything later. The reason you would choose anything higher than Jelly Bean is if you have used features that only appear in later Android OS's, those features will not work.
7. This defines where your app is stored, 90% of the time you should leave this on "internal storage".
8. Choose which Android architectures to deploy to. If you don't know what to choose, there is a good explanation of Android architectures and how to find out what your phone is running, here. Ticking everything will ensure your app runs on the widest range of devices, but it will also quadruple its size.
9. I've left the Signing Keystore fields blank, which will ensure that LCFM Native signs the app with a development profile for me.
You can add various permissions to your app, for example if it needs to use the camera, or get the users location, you need to set those permissions here or these features won't work on the device. Click on "Device Requirements" and select the permissions you need.
Navigate back to the testing and deployment screen. Click Done, then on the Deployment Profiles screen click "Test and Deploy".
You should arrive on this screen:
Click Test on Your Android Device. This will deploy the app straight to your phone. The app will open on your phone and you can test whether it works correctly. You will see it in your apps screen:
Clicking the Build your app for Distribution button will create an APK file on your computer, which is your standalone native app. You can then transfer this to your phone following the steps in the lesson "Putting Your Android App on Your Device". Or you can share it with other people by uploading to the Google Play store, to your website, to dropbox or by whatever other method you wish to use. You will find your app in the apps folder in your project.
Here is the FileMaker Sample Events app, running on my Android phone: