How to test your Android single-issue app

Luk Dhondt 30-10-2012 Android

This blog article assumes you know how to create a Twixl Publisher build for Android. If you don't know how to build for Android, check out the following article first.

Intro

When you want to deploy your Twixl Publisher publication on Android, we provide two options for testing your application on your own device(s). The first is the quickest and allows you to push the publication contents from the plug-in to a Viewer app on the tablet. The second option is to install the app on your device via the SD card.

Preview on device from the plug-in

The "Preview on device" option allows you to generate a preview of your publication from the plug-in, and send it to a device (iPad or Android tablet) on the local network. You open the free "Twixl Viewer" app on your device, then enter the IP address listed there in the Preview Settings of the Twixl Publisher Palette.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The "Twixl Viewer" app will be a free download from the iOS App Store or from the Google Play store once 3.0 final ships.

How to copy files to the SD Card

When you build your Twixl Publisher publication for Android, the output will consist of 2 files: a file with extension .apk and a second one with extension .obb.

.apk : This is the application installation file.
.obb :  This contains the publication itself and all images and other resources.

Putting the application and the .obb file on the SD Card will provide a similar experience to when a user starts the application for the first time after downloading it from the Google Play store.

If you are on a Windows computer, you can skip this chapter because there is no additional installation needed to copy files to the SD Card of the tablet. If you're on Mac OS X, you need to download 'Android File Explorer', you can download the latest version here. Once you have installed & opened 'Android File Explorer', you are going to be able to browse the file system. You can directly copy files from 'Finder' to the SD Card of your tablet.

1/ Copy the installation file (.apk) to the SD Card. The location doesn't really matter because this only an installation file.

2/ The location of the .obb file is more important. When the application is running for the first time, it will copy the contents of the .obb file to the correct location on the SD Card.

The location of the .obb file should be : /Android/obb/{packagename}/

For example, if your application ID is 'com.twixlmedia.magazine', and its version is 1.0 , the .obb file will have a package name 'main.10000.com.twixlmedia.magazine.obb'. You have to copy this .obb file to the location '/Android/obb/com.twixlmedia.magazine/'. This is a folder that you will probably need to create manually the first time.

3/ After you copied those 2 files to the SD Card, you have to browse to your SD Card on your tablet (you can use ES File Explorer for this) and open the installation file (e.g. main.10000.com.twixlmedia.magazine.apk).

Note: the package name will be based on the Application ID that you defined in the Build Settings. See screenshot below.

Conclusion

The first method is preferable if you want to do a quick test on the device. Nevertheless it's always a good exercise to test the second method as well, because this will simulate the copy process that the user will be going through the first time he/she starts the application.

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