Best resources to learn RxJava


Some time ago I got interested in reactive programming and RxJava in particular. It’s gaining more popular in Android world and I often see RxJava as an obligatory skill for a Senior or Mid Android Developer position, that’s why learning it can be of a great benefit if you’re seeking a job 😉 But even if not, it can simplify your app development, especially if you have lots of UI fields which you fill in with some changing data or if you want to have an interactive search, or while using Retrofit for you HTTP requests. There are even smaller libs for a particular task, like RxWear, RxNotifications or RxAndroidBle (find a full list of such libs here). Choosing the right one will depend on your needs 😉

And so today I just want to share a few resources which I found very useful while learning how RxJava and RxAndroid libraries work (and what are they at all :). I have basically reviewed what’s available on ReactiveX Tutorials list (which is huge!) and listed the most intuitive and easy to get below, as well as a few articles and tutorials I found on the Internet myself.

A separate and an absolutely must position is a RxJava for Android App Development free e-book. It’s very short (only 41 pages!), and it’s a piece of cake to read, believe me, because I read it before any other docs or tutorials, and it explained the most important principles just fine 🙂

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What is it about Context in Android?


Today I want to talk about Context in Android. As you know, whether we’re attaching a view or get an asset, – almost always there is a reference to Context. From the documentation, Context is an interface to global information about an application environment. This is an abstract class whose implementation is provided by the Android system. It allows access to application-specific resources and classes, as well as up-calls for application-level operations such as launching activities, broadcasting and receiving intents, etc.

On the one hand, we all know it and use it, on the other – we often use it in a wrong way or just don’t care enough whether garbage collector will clean it or will the context be hanging there somewhere or, even worse, cause a memory leakage. So, what are the ways of getting a context? A couple actually:

  • this / getActivity()
  • getContext()
  • getBaseContext()
  • getApplicationContext()

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Look Counter app and more!

Hi there,

It’s been a long time since I talked about my app’s release, but finally this day came! Today, I want to present you Look Counter – a simple app for counting how many times a day you have turned on and unlocked your phone (or tablet). It counts this in background and displays the latest numbers on the main view. You, as a user, can delete this data at any moment of time (Clear all Data option, with a quick Undo if you change your mind).

Look Counter app screenshots


I’ve put an About view, if somebody is confused with the minimalist design and doesn’t follow what those numbers in circles mean, or maybe, wants to contact me right away, and say that counting doesn’t work for him at all! 😛

Anyway, the source code is on GitHub, so you can check what’s inside and grab tasty pieces, as well as point me at my mistakes 😉
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Tutorial: How to use a Handler?


Today I will show you how to benefit from Handlers in Android 🙂

First of all, Handlers aren’t some new concept, they were there long ago. How long? Well, from API level 1. Still, I always felt Android developers don’t use them enough, me included.

When I’ve discover the brilliance of Handlers, I was surprised how handy they are and how easy is to use them.

So, what does a Handler do? A few things, really.
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