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Questions of the Week 42

This weeks update will go out a bit late or maybe even tomorrow. The reason for the postponing is the scope of the changes. We've made a lot of changes to ParparVM and we are very concerned that there will be regressions. So we would like this update to go in later in case we need to revert that work. Steve wrote a detailed post about the changes he made to ParparVM which we will post next week...

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Moving to 64bit by Default

When building an iOS debug version of the app we only build a 32bit version to save build time. Otherwise the build will take almost twice as long as every file would be compiled twice. This worked well and was also fast enough. However, Apple started sending warnings to old 32bit apps and mistakes our apps as such.

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Autosizing, Add All & iOS Redirects

One of the common requests we received over the years is a way to let text "fit" into the allocated space so the font will match almost exactly the width available. In some designs this is very important but it's also very tricky. Measuring the width of a String is a surprisingly expensive operation on some OS's. Unfortunately, there is no other way other than trial & error to find the "best size".

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Block Copy/Paste & Faster Performance on iOS

I discussed both of these last week but we've made some progress that warrants a dedicated post. We added a new feature that allows you to block copy & paste on a text component either globally or on a case by case basis. This is helpful for highly sensitive applications.

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TIP: Use Android Gradle Dependencies in Native Code

Integrating a native OS library isn't hard but it sometimes requires some juggling. Most instructions target developers working with xcode or Android Studio & you need to twist your head around them. In Android the steps for integration in most modern libraries include a gradle dependency.

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Questions of the Week 41

We are releasing a small Eclipse update today, it's small because it isn't a full release that includes the latest features/libraries but rather a minor bug fix to the previous release which was missing the UWP build target. One of the biggest changes this week is the fix for the build performance issue mentioned below. It might also speed up general app performance for some use cases!

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Intercom Support

We use intercom.io for our website support system you can see it as the chat button on the bottom right of the page. The true value of this tool is in it's ability to deliver a unified interface everywhere, normally this stretches into native mobile apps as well. As a result we decided to port the native intercom device API to Codename One so it will be easy to deploy everywhere.

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Disable Screenshot, Copy & Paste

Continuing our security trend from the past month we have a couple of new features for Android security that allow us to block the user from taking a screenshot or copying & pasting data from fields. Notice that these features might fail on jailbroken devices so you might want to check for jailbreak/rooting first.

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Strong Android Certificates

When Android launched RSA1024 with SHA1 was considered strong enough for the foreseeable future, this hasn't changed completely but the recommendation today is to use stronger cyphers for signing & encrypting as those can be compromised.

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TIP: Use Tethering to Simulate Slow Network Connections

I recently had to debug some code on Android Studio and was reminded how awful that IDE really is. IntelliJ is a pretty good IDE but Android Studio is remarkably slow even for trivial projects... One of the things that make it slow (besides RAM usage) is the approach of downloading everything it needs dynamically.

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