Android Asset Studio

Do you ever spend a couple of hours working on something, only to discover afterwards that there was a tool that would do it all for you?

I had a moment like that earlier on this week. During a conversation with a colleague about Taekwon-Dex. I was showing him my progress so far, when he suggested that the pattern ViewPager could do with some indication of how far through the pattern you are (other than the movement number). A great idea, I thought – a ProgressBar would look great!

So, that evening I set to work. Getting a functioning ProgressBar into the app wasn’t tricky at all, but the styling was a nightmare. So far I’ve tried to keep the App very consistent with the default Android Holo theme, but replacing the signature Holo blue highlight with a gold one. I had hoped that with the ProgressBar would provide simple methods to just change the track colour and progress colour… unfortunately that’s not the case.

I spent a good couple of hours dissecting the Android SDK, finding the original drawables, editing them with GIMP and putting them into my app. The end result looks pretty good, but it was a pain in the neck to do.

That brings us to this morning, when I stumbled across Android Asset Studio, More specifically, the Android Holo Colors tool. The tool lets you simply pick a colour, choose the controls you want, and it will generate you a .zip file of the default Holo controls in the colour you chose.

Other tools include a quick and easy way to generate images of your app in a device frame, a nine-patch drawable generator, and icon creation tools.

I’m glad I’ve found the Android Asset Studio and will definitely get plenty of use out of it, but I wish I knew about it before!

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