Buzzer | Android Twitter-like Social Application [XServer]

Introduction

Please carefully read this guide in order to fully configure this template, and remember to test it on a Real Device – the Emulator may fail.

An internet connection is required.

IMPORTANT: The backend of this template is the XServer API.

If you own a VPS server (on GoDaddy or other providers), you can purchase the XServer API, upload it to your own VPS server, and configure it (see the Installation and Configurations chapters of the XServer API).

In case you don’t own a VPS server (or don’t want to buy it), you can create a Free account on XServer.app, create a Database and configure it to work with this app – read the Official Documentation
In this case, you don’t need to download the SDK, it’s already included in the package of this template.


Quick Start

BEFORE running this app on your own device via Android Studio and test it, you can either do the following:

a) Create a FREE account on XServer.app and a Database, then replace the string of the DATABASE_PATH variable with your Database path in the XServerSDK.java file:

public static String DATABASE_PATH = "https://xserver.app/__apps/buzzer/";

Your app is now connected to your own database on XServer.app!


b) If you have bought the XServer API, you need to copy the path (URL) where you’ve hosted the files of the xserver folder in your VPS server (ex: https://mydomain.com/xserver) and replace the string of the DATABASE_PATH variable in the XServerSDK.java file with your XServer’s path:

public static String DATABASE_PATH = "https://xserver.app/__apps/buzzer/";

Then enter the _Tables folder on your server and:
1. Delete the Users.json and Posts.json files
2. Upload the JSON files included in the Tables folder of this template’s package

Your app is now connected to your own server!


General

Android Studio

This template has native Android Java/XML code so you can edit it only with Android Studio. If you don’t have it, download it for free.

PLEASE NOTE that you’ll need the latest official version of Android StudioNO BETAS, because Betas are always buggy and never work properly.

Please also make sure you have installed the following SDK Tools:

Change App Name

Enter the string.xml file – it’s into the res folder in Android Studio – and replace the App name with your new one in this line:

<string> string name="app_name"> Buzzer </string>

Change the Package Name

Follow these steps:

In the Project panel on the left side, click on the little gear icon.

Uncheck the Compact Empty Middle Packages option.

Your package directory will get broken up into single directories, you will have to select each directory you want to rename and do these steps for each one:
• Right-click on it
• Select Refactor
• Click Rename
• In the pop-up dialog, click on Rename Package – DO NOT click Rename Directory!
• Enter a new name and click Refactor
• Android Studio will update the changes, it may take up to 30 seconds, usually less, just wait for AS to be done.

When renaming a com directory, Android Studio might show a warning. In this case, select Rename All.

You must also change the "package_name" string into the google-services.json file accordingly to the new package name you’ve just set in Android Studio, as shown in the picture below.
NOTE: The google-services.json file is usually located in the app folder of your project folder.

Open build.gradle in Android Studio and rename the applicationId string into your new full package name, then click Sync Now on the top-right corner, it’s usually highlighted by a yellow bar.

Wait for the build.gradle sync to be done. if it doesn’t print any error in the Android Studio console, then you’ve successfully renamed your package name.

Reskin the UI design of the app

This project has .xml files – stored into the res/layout folder – where you can edit all Views, Buttons texts, TextView’s strings, and all Views attributes – position, font color, size, etc.

Alert messages are located in the code, they can be edited only in the .java files.

All images are stored in the drawable folders, where the app icons are stored into the mipmap folders.

Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Open the tou.html file form the left-side panel’s list in Android Studio and edit it accordingly to your own Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Also, replace the APP_NAME words with the new name you assigned to your App.

Please also pay attention to this line:

"mailto:support@yourdomain.com">support@yourdomain.com

There are a few identical lines like that in the tou.html file, so you must replace support@yourdomain.com with a valid email address where people can contact you for any question, feedback or in case they want to delete their account.

Delete a User’s account upon request

Accordingly to GDPR Terms, you have 24 hours to delete an account after receiving a deletion request. In order for you to delete an account, you first need to identify the user’s row in the Users table of your Database, keep a note of its ID_id value, select that row and click the Delete Row(s) button.
Then, just search for that ID_id value you’ve previously noted in all the other Tables of your database, check out all the rows until you’ll find that ID_id and delete it – this is in case it appears into some Array type columns.

You can use the Query function to find an ID_id in your database:

Reported content

People are allowed to report inappropriate/offensive User or Buzzes, as well as block/unblock Users from Chat. So you should daily check your database in order to see if the column called AR_reportedBy of the User and Buzz tables has some cell with some value – the ID‘s of Users – and take action for it asap.

You’ll also get an email when someone will report a User or a Buzz, such email contains the ID of the User or Buzz that has been reported and the reason why it has been reported.

You may delete those rows from your database forever by selecting a cell and click Delete row(s) button, but please note that before deleting a user from the Users table you must take note of its ID_id and search for it in the other tables. If you’ll find the same ID_id in a cell – kike in an Array field – you’ll have to remove it too, so the app won’t crash.


Configurations

The strings-xml file

You can find this file into the res/values folder in Android Studio. Open this file and keep reading this guide, you’ll have to perform some edits in this file in order to get your template ready to run.

App Name

Replace the following name with the new one you want to give to this app in this line:

<string> string name="app_name"> Buzzer </string>

AdMob Ads

Replace the values of these variables with your own Interstitial Unit ID and App ID strings.

<string>name="ADMOB_INTERSTITIAL_UNIT_ID">ca-app-pub-3940256099942544/1033173712</string>
<string>name="ADMOB_APP_ID">ca-app-pub-3940256099942544~3347511713</string>

You have to create your Unit ID at apps.admob.com.
Follow the instructions on the AdMob’s website in case you don’t know how to generate an AdMob Unit ID.

The XServerSDK.java file

Open this file in Android Studio and keep reading this guide, you’ll have to perform some edits in this file in order to get your template ready to run:

XServer Database Path

As explained in the QuickStart paragraph, you must replace the DATABASE_PATH string with your own database URL, either from your own XServer API or from the xserver.app website.

• Using the XServer API hosted on your own VPS server:

To install and configure the XServer API  into your VPS server, please follow the Installation and Configurations chapters of its Documentation.

Once you’ll have the XServer API files ready in your own server, enter the _Tables folder and:
1. Delete the Users.json and Posts.json files
2. Upload the JSON files included in the Tables folder of this template’s package

In this way, you’ll get all the necessary Tables and columns for this app to work, without having to manually create them in the XServer’s Dashboard.
Data will be empty, so after you’ll get this app’s configurations done, you’ll be able to sign up with test Users, post items, and all the other features.


• Using the XServer.app BaaS

1. Create a Database, click the Settings button and click Copy Database path.

2. Paste the copied Database Path to this variable:

public static String DATABASE_PATH = "https://xserver.app/__apps/buzzer/";

3. Import the JSON files included in the Tables folder of this template’s package in your Database:

4. Read the Dashboard -> Database Settings chapter to learn how to perform a few more settings for your Database.

Custom Colors

You can edit the HEX values of the following variables as you wish, change the numbers before # symbol. The main color of the app and some UI will be affected by your change:

   public static String MAIN_COLOR =  "#6441A4";
   public static String DARK_GREY = "#687683";
   public static String HASHTAG_COLOR = "#1DA1F2";
   public static String GREY = "#bababa";

PLEASE NOTE that not all views will be affected by changing the HEX values above, you may still need to go through some XML file and adjust the colors on your own with the right-side Attributes panel. Also, please check the colors.xml file into the res/values folder:

    <!-- custom colors -->
    <color name="main_color">#6441A4</color>
    <color name="light_purple">#b9a3e3</color>
    <color name="dark_grey">#687683</color>
    <color name="light_grey">#F3F3F3</color>

Custom fonts

This App uses some custom fonts for Buttons, TextViews and EditTexts. The font files are stored into the app/src/main/assets/font folder and are declared in this line:

    public static Typeface popBlack, popBlackItalic, popBold, popBoldItalic, 
    popExtraBold, popExtraBoldItalic, popExtraLight, popExtraLightItalic, popItalic, 
    popLight, popLightItalic, popMedium, popMediumItalic, popRegular, popSemibold, popSemiboldItalic, 
    popThin, popThinItalic;

Such fonts are initialized into the onCreate() function as follows:

        popBlack = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-Black.ttf");
        popBlackItalic = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-BlackItalic.ttf");
        popBold = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-Bold.ttf");
        popBoldItalic = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-BoldItalic.ttf");
        popExtraBold = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-ExtraBold.ttf");
        popExtraBoldItalic = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-ExtraBoldItalic.ttf");
        popExtraLight = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-ExtraLight.ttf");
        popExtraLightItalic = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-ExtraLightItalic.ttf");
        popItalic = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-Italic.ttf");
        popLight = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-Light.ttf");
        popLightItalic = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-LightItalic.ttf");
        popMedium = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-Medium.ttf");
        popMediumItalic = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-MediumItalic.ttf");
        popRegular = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-Regular.ttf");
        popSemibold = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-SemiBold.ttf");
        popSemiboldItalic = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-SemiBoldItalic.ttf");
        popThin = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-Thin.ttf");
        popThinItalic = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/Poppins-ThinItalic.ttf");

In case you want to add a new font, you have to first drag your .ttf or .otf font file into the app/src/main/assets/font folder, then you have to instantiate it at the end of the public static Typeface line that’s into the onCreate() function – let’s pretend you have a font file called Helvetica-Bold.ttf, you may add an instance called hBold (it’s just an example, name it as you wish since it’s a variable):

public static Typeface popBold, popSemibold, ... hBold;

Lastly, import its path into the onCreate() function like the existing ones. Based on the font example above, your new line of code may look like this:

hBold = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(),"font/helvetica-Bold.ttf");

Number of GIFs

Check the drawable folder in the Android Studio’s left panel, it contains 13 .gif files progressively named (so gif0.gifgif1.gif, etc.).
If you’ll add some new animated GIF file in the drawable folder, name it progressively – for instance, if you’ll add a new gif image, you must name it as gif13.gif.
Then increase the number of Gifs in the variable below, accordingly to the total amount of the .gif files stored into the drawable folder:

public static int NUMBER_OF_GIFS = 13;

If you’ve added 1 new gif image, the 13 value must be changed into 14.
If you’re wondering why the file name of your new gif image must be gif13.gif and the value above 14, that’s because the first gif image into the GIFs folder is called gif0.gif, and its because of an array that gets created in the code based on the names of your .gif files. Arrays are 0-indexed, so the first item of an array is at position 0, not 1, that’s why the gif file names start with gif0.gif 🙂

Maximum Video recording time

The variable below sets the maximum duration – in seconds – to record a video or select it from the Gallery.
You can edit that value as you wish, but please keep in mind that if you increase it, it’ll affect the uploading and loading speed of the app:

public static int VIDEO_MAX_DURATION = 20;

Maximum characters for a Buzz

This app allows people to post Buzzes with a maximum length of 140 characters. You can change that number as you wish in the variable below, but please note that then you will also need to adjust several things in the .xml and .java files, so I just suggest you to leave it as it is:

    public static int MAX_CHARACTERS_FOR_BUZZ = 140;

Admin email address

You must replace the following string with a valid email adress where you want people to contact you in case of questions, support or even account deletion requests – accordingly to EU GDPR:

public static String ADMIN_EMAIL = "your@email.com";

Buzz and Users report Issues

People are allowed to report posts and users, and when they do that, the app shows them a couple of lists of reasons why they should report a post or a user to the Admin. Such lists are the following:

    public static String[] buzzReportIssues = {
            "I am not interested to this Buzz",
            "It's suspicious or spam",
            "It's abusive or harmful",
    };


   public static String[] userReportIssues = {
            "I am not interested in this account",
            "It's suspicious or spam",
            "It appears their account is hacked",
            "They are pretending to be me or someone else",
            "Their Buzzes are abusive or hateful",
            "Their profile info and/or images include abusive or hateful content"
    };

You can edit those arrays items as you wish, they are just strings and will be shown when you choose to report a Buzz or a User.

Utility Functions

Unless you are familiar with Android programming, you should leave the code below this comment as it is:

// MARK: - TABLES & COLUMNS NAMES

XServer backend

The backend of this template is XServer, and you can either buy the XServer REST API an install it on your own VPS server, or create an account on xserver.app and a Database for this app.
After performing the configurations mentioned below, you will run the app and see no content, so Sign Up with a test user in order to create a test account and start testing the app.

The FREE account on XServer.app offers 10 MB of storage and 1 Database. This allows you to create demo data and fully test this app on your side.
PLEASE NOTE that once the amount of data grows, you’ll need to subscribe to a Paid Plan, check the Pricing table on the XServer.app website.
I suggest you to start with a Basic Plan – it’ only $5/month – so you will get more Database Storage and Databases. Then, you’ll still be able to upgrade your Plan in the Pricing section in case you’ll need more Storage.

If you own a VPS server (on GoDaddy or other providers), you can purchase the XServer API, upload it to your own VPS server, and configure it (see the Installation and Configurations chapters of the XServer API).

In case you don’t own a VPS server (or don’t want to buy it), you can create a Free account on XServer.app, create a Database and configure it to work with this app – read the Official Documentation
In this case, you don’t need to download the SDK, it’s already included in the package of this template.

PLEASE NOTE: If you already bought the iOS version of this template, you don’t need to create a new database.
Just set the DATABASE_PATH into the XServerSDK.java file.

This application handles Verified Users by putting a badge on the bottom-right corner of the avatar images.
In order for you to set a User as Verified and show it in the app, just enter the users from the Users table and change the isVerified switch from False into True:


Push Notifications

Follow these steps to create a Firebase project and grab the GCM Sender ID and Server Key strings, in order for the app to send/receive Push Notifications:

Login in to your Firebase account and click on + Add project

In the popup window that will show up, enter your app name.
Select the country where you live in.
Check the Use the default settings for sharing Google Analytics for Firebase data option.
Check the I accept the controller-controller terms option as well.
Then click Create project

When Firebase has created your project, click Continue.
On the top-left corner of the page, next to Project Overview, click the gear icon and select Project settings from the menu.

In the Settings page, click the Cloud Messaging tab, here’s where you can copy the Sender ID and Server Key.

In the General tab, download your google-services.json file and replace the existing one inside the app folder:

Depending on what version of XServer you’re using, paste the Server Key either into your Database Settings of the XServer.app BaaS, or the _config.php file of the self-hosted XServer API you bought and installed on your VPS server.


 Useful stuff

Learn more about XServer.app

XServer vs Firebase


F.A.Q.

Should I buy the XServer API or create an account on XServer.app to make this template work?

The code of this app template is written using the XServer SDK for Android – this is included in the project – so you must either buy the XServer API or create an account on XServer.app to make it work the way it is.

But, if you’re an experienced developer and want to implement a different backend in the code, you can still buy this app and do your own job, since the UI is already built, as you can see by the Screenshots section.

If I buy this app template, can I use for multiple projects?

No: in case you want to publish more than 1 application using this template, you must purchase a License/project you want to publish on the App Store.

Instead, if I buy the XServer REST API or subscribe for a paid Plan on XServer.app, can I use the XServer backend for different projects/apps than this one?

Yes, that’s an API and you can use it in any other application or project.

What kind of support is offered?

Free support is offered in case of bugs encountered in the original template, either in the code or the UI design.
In case you have edited the code – and so created bugs because of your editing – I may apply some fee to fix your bugs by a remote connection through AnyDesk, or by you sending me your source code for verification.

Should I use Android Studio to edit this template?

Yes, you must always use the latest stable official version of Android Studio to edit this application – NO Betas, they don’t work properly!
Download Android Studio

I’ve performed all configurations mentioned in this Guide, but something is wrong. What should I do?

• Double-check all your configurations, probably you have missed something.
• Always check the Logcat in Android Studio if the app crashes, usually the error messages are shown in red color.
The Logcat helps to debug your app, it’s really important

How do I remove AdMob ads?

It’s super easy, just open the Find in Path tool in Android Studio by clicking Edit -> Find -> Find in Path, and search for:

fireInterstitialAd

The Find in Path window will show you a list of files where that string is located.
Just comment out (or delete) the following line of code in each file and the app will not show AdMob ads on next run:

fireInterstitialAd(ctx);

Commenting a line of code simply means that you have to put // in front of it, like this:

// fireInterstitialAd(ctx);

Support | Contact