Thomas Hunsaker

My app tried The Cyril APK Diet, you won't believe how it changed!

Upworthy title aside, apps have gotten quite bloated lately, with higher resolution assets and numerous libraries that ease development but also contribute, sometimes significantly, to APK size. Cyril Mottier wrote a great article about reducing the size of android apps: Putting Your APKs On Diet. The post describes general common sense things, like, don’t include resources you aren’t using, as well as more advanced things like using ProGuard to obfuscate and minify code.

BitDroid is Dead. Long live BitDroid!

Aug 25, 2014

BitDroid was my first Android app, since it has evolved with the platform since Android 1.5 it has changed a lot over the years, for the better. Android has grown in leaps and bounds, most notably since the introduction of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). As a result Android has started to look (and work) much, much better than before. I had restyled BitDroid before after it broke horribly on all Android 4+ devices due to changes in the underlying system.

Here We Go Again!

Aug 22, 2014

Here we go again…I’m writing.

Galaxy S3 + Touchstone = Awesome Without Wires

Mar 18, 2013

After promises of a wireless charging kit, expensive 3rd-party options, getting a semi-official version months and months later from Samsung/Verizon and numerous delays, I decided to stop waiting. I don’t particularly care for wireless charging, I think it is pretty cool, but it is a bit slower than just plugging in a device. The cost has been a major issue for me, even if the device came with it built-in like the Lumia 920 and Nexus 4, the docks cost 3x as much as a standard wall adapter, I just didn’t think it was worth the money.

Galaxy S(uperphone) III - How I fixed a flawed phone

Jan 11, 2013

I upgraded my aging T-Mobile G2 (HTC Desire Z) in November, and boy what a difference 2 years makes.

My Top Android Apps (2013 Edition)

Jan 4, 2013

I’ve done a few of these lists before, and it is interesting to see how my tastes and usages have changed depending on the device, and how some apps persist. Check out my previous lists: My Top Apps for 2010 (T-Mobile G2 running Android 2.3.x [Gingerbread]) and Android Apps - What I Use (T-Mobile G1 running Android 1.6 [Donut]) or dive right into the (mostly) new apps below, in no particular order.

Cameroni and Queso

Dec 27, 2012

Cameron has just turned 2 years old. I have been speaking to him almost exclusively in Spanish since birth. As a non-native Spanish speaker, I have, of course slipped up here and there and spoken to him in English, either out of frustration or out of laziness. I have pushed through, despite the first few months, where it seemed to have no effect and I would only get smiles back, regardless of the words used. Now he has been speaking for quite some time, almost 1.5 years. His first Spanish word was “agua”, which unsurprisingly enough is the first word for many Spanish speakers.

BitDroid 2.2 Released

Nov 22, 2012

After completely rewriting BitDroid, I was sure to take advantage of all the new features that Android 4+ devices have to offer. One of those features I hadn’t used before was AsyncTask which helps to load data in the background without tying up the UI thread. Android 4+ devices force this behavior, in order to increase the speediness of applications, and prevent the user from wondering if the app is doing anything or not.

Rapido 1.2 Released

Oct 7, 2012

Rapido 1.2 now works with Android 4+ devices! I also added the option to send/share to Rapido to make posting messages, and especially ones with links even faster.

Introducing Rapido!

Sep 9, 2012

Rapido or fast/rapid in Español was built, like many things, out of a frustration with existing software. I use both Facebook and Twitter frequently, but find it obnoxious to open up either, type a message, copy it, then open up the other app, paste it, and send it. I know you can setup both Facebook and Twitter to cross-post messages, but I don’t always want to send the same update to both, so that is a less than perfect solution.

Cross-Device Communication

Sep 5, 2012

I’m not sure exactly what to call this awesome trend of having our devices (phones, mostly) share information, send information or interact with another device: Cross-Device Messaging? Cross-Device Communication? Cross-Device Syncing? A combination of the three? Either way, it is awesome.

You Work for Me Now

Aug 31, 2012

In the last few weeks I have discovered a few services that take boring and menial tasks and turn them into automatic automated awesomeness. The general rule is: “If it is too difficult to do or remember, most people won’t do it.” Basically, any amount of complexity or repetition added to a task makes it easy to put off and not ever do, especially things we need to do, like letting your wife know when you’ll be home from work. Here’s where IFTTT and on{X} come into play. They allow normal people (non-programmers) to easily setup simple tasks that can automate some of our life both online and off.

Push Away

Aug 17, 2012

Push notifications have almost completely replaced text messaging and email notifications for me. I used to love text message reminders, but now I get annoyed that I cannot take action on those items. For example, I get a message from twitter, the most I can do is click a link. When I get a push notification from twitter I can read it, then dismiss, or I can touch it, get the full twitter app experience and find out more about that particular tweet, user, hashtags or people mentioned. This gives me a lot of power that a simple text message cannot.

Controllers (ASP.NET MVC)

Aug 15, 2012

I had the opportunity to write up a presentation about the Controller part of ASP.NET MVC. With Pro ASP.NET MVC 3 as my guide I whipped up this presentation and some sample code. Feel free to download/read/learn/look at it as you please.


Feb 11, 2011

If you are reading this on a desktop computer, the screen shots are for you. If you have a smartphone or other smaller screened device let me know in the comments how it looks and what does/doesn’t work.


Feb 3, 2011

Just got some cool new HTML5 stickers to show off. Now it’s time to add some new features to my site.

My Top Android Apps for 2010

Dec 23, 2010

As Android has grown in popularity and the range of devices has widened, many of my friends and family have been getting Android phones. This list is supposed be a starting point for those getting a new Android phone or really wanting to get the most out of the phone they already have.

How to Create a Custom Shortcut in Android

Oct 2, 2010

I’d been wanting a quick and easy way to compose a new email. I tried my hand at whipping up a simple program that just installed a homescreen shortcut, but ran into namespace issues and didn’t feel like putting more than an hour into it.

2010 Goals - Update (almost 6 Months)

Jun 17, 2010

I started a list of goals at the beginning of this year of things I would like to do or accomplish.  We're about half-way through 2010 and I wanted to update my list to see how I'm doing.  Some goals are not ones that I simply achieve and then move on, so I'm not marking those off completely.

BitDroid v0.5 Has Been Released

Jun 6, 2010

My second first update has been released and is ready for immediate consumption/updating. I've added a dashboard and an "action bar" after reading up on Android's Evolving UI Patterns on the Android blog. The dashboard and action bar will continue to evolve as it is developed.

My First Android App - BitDroid

May 19, 2010

I did it, I got all the kinks worked out, made myself a fancy icon, and put menus all over the place.

My First Android App Preview

May 17, 2010

I was interested in android development before I bought my first Android device. It wasn’t until recently that I tried to do something more than the typical “Hello, World!” intro app.

New Twitter Quote Tool

May 4, 2010

A tweet from Alisha!

Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th be with you!less than a minute ago via web

Mobile Web Apps - What I Use

Apr 9, 2010

The following is a list of web apps/sites that I use on an almost daily basis on my phone, some of them replace installed applications for me and others simply augment them. I use my phone constantly for web browsing, just ask @alishahunsaker. Visiting the links provided on a standard computer/browser might not take you to the mobile optimized site, either load up this page on you phone or scan the qr codes to go directly there.

Google Reader (, QR) - Google has done a great job of keeping me addicted to Google Reader, their mobile app is fast and easy to use, great for reading when you are away from your computer.

Google Product Search (, QR) - This page has a barcode scanner button, so you can scan barcodes and then search online w/o crowding your phone with the "Google Shopping" app, "ShopSavvy" or "CompareEverywhere" which all do the same thing. Not as comprehensive as the installed apps, but it has worked for everything I've needed.

Twitter Mobile (, QR) - Twitter's basic mobile site has been refreshed for newer, more capable phone browsers. Even though I have an installed Twitter client, sometimes I need full access to the entire feed. If I haven't updated Seesmic in a while, I don't always get the full feed of updates.

Gowalla Web (, QR) - Gowalla's android app is still in development and has a few bugs to workout (it has gotten a lot better since). The mobile site is fairly reliable and one of the better looking sites/web apps out there. It is integrated with the device's GPS to guess where you are and lets you checking/post to twitter and add new venues. It's still not perfect and occasionally the device can't find me and thinks I'm miles away from my actual location.

Google Docs (, QR) - Currently the mobile interface allows you to view/edit Spreadsheets, and view Docs and Presentations. Any other files you may have uploaded to Google Docs are visible and will download to the device when clicked. Overall the interface is clean and similar in nature to the full Google Docs experience for browsing files. The only problem I've found is with viewing forms is the browser gets stuck in a refresh loop and I think they should give you an option to view the form or the results spreadsheet.

Facebook (, QR) - The mobile site works just as well as the installed (Android) app for viewing Facebook feeds, commenting, sending message, etc. What it doesn't do is allow you to upload photos, which in my case isn't a big deal. Also, you don't get alerts like you would with an installed app, once again, not a big deal for me because I get emais when that stuff happens. Saves space on my phone, does what I need.

Bank of America (, QR) - My bank has an app on most platforms, based on their Android app, its a simple port of their mobile web site with some GPS features thrown in for good measure. The mobile site supports viewing accounts, bill pay, transferring funds, location finder (w/o GPS). Haven't used another bank, aside from the American Express Mobile site (which is fairly spartan, but reliable,) so I don't know if any others are doing it better., QR) - This site is in beta as of this writing and aims to solve the problem with "Check-In Fatigue". I've been using it for about a week now, it integrates Brightkite, Foursquare and Gowalla into a simple, easy to use mobile site (after I've logged in and connected to the other sites). I fire up the app, it locates me, I select my location from Brightkite's database of locations, then it attempts to match up with the other services and find the same spot using magic. If a match cannot be found it asks you to select the appropriate match from a list of available locations or to skip the service in question. Once the places have been selected for each of the services, you simply "Check-In" and you are done. This really works much smoother than I described here. Only problem is, you don't know if there are any Foursquare specials, if you've become mayor, if you've discovered an item, etc. This is an efficient way to Check-in, but it removes some of the appeal of each service, so I may continue to use a combination of both.

Others worth mentioning but not used as often:
Ars Technica - - or
Digg -
Disqus -
Espn - http://m.espn.go/
Flickr -
LinkedIn -
Netflix -
PayPal -
TripIt -

Android Apps - What I Use

Feb 24, 2010

I've been asked by a few people for recommendations of Android applications that I use.  I've made a few lists, but this one is the most comprehensive of those lists.  Most links below go to Androlib which have QR codes for you to scan with your phone.

  • Advanced Task Manager (free) - Great for killing hanging processes and keeping yourself from needing to reset the phone.
  • Astro File Manager (free) - because everyone needs a file manager
  • BookmarkBR (free) - Backup utility for your browser bookmarks.
  • CalWidget (free) - Quick at a glance widget for home screen.
  • Documents To Go Full ($29.99 $14.99 for a limited time) - Kinda spendy, but great if you need to open/edit docs or spreadsheets or view pdfs on your phone.  I've done a few homework assignments in a pinch with this, very handy to have.
  • Draw! (free) - Great drawing app to entertain kids with.
  • Foursquare (free) - Great app for checking in and letting the world know where you are, much, much better than their mobile website.  You can view offers and other foursquare specific things within the app.
  • FxCamera (free) - My wife loves this because she can make "polaroid" pictures with it.
  • GDocs (free) - Great if you need offline access to your google docs. Allows editing of Google Docs and quick access to Google Spreadsheets.
  • Google Voice (free) - Great app for checking your Google Voice messages.  Its also great that it can take over your phone and make calls as your Google Voice number.
  • GPS Status (free) - Get better information from the GPS radio, compass included.
  • Live Bookmarks (free) - A great desktop widget for quick access to all of your browser bookmarks.
  • Reveal Reader (free) - A simple scripture reader for for those interested in the LDS Standard Works, and other church-related publications including hymns.  Support for bookmarking and in-app downloads, so you don't have to go hunting for the files yourself.
  • Ringdroid (free) - customize mp3 on your phone and make them into ringtones 
  • Seesmic (free) - Great for twittering, nice big compose screen, integration with the share menu and it doesn't have a huge footprint.  Twitter updates come in pretty reliably, yfrog/twitpic/etc image preview saves time.
  • Shazam (free) - Good for identifying songs on the radio or elsewhere.
  • Skydeck (free) - Great if you want to keep a backup of your messages and calls on the web, check out their check out their site.  Their app also has a caller id function that identifies calls from people not in your contacts.
  • TextEdit (free) - Small little application lets you jot down notes, w/o internet access.
  • Voice Recorder (free) - Record audio and email it.
  • Yelp (free) - Great for finding a place to eat.

Other apps that I've had installed but deleted due to space limitations on the G1: Google Sky Map, Twidroid Pro, Google Goggles, Layar, Evernote, Brightkite, Steel, Locale, Pandora, and  Most were great, but I didn't use them often enough to warrant using the space to keep them.

Let me know in the comments if there are some alternate apps that I should take a look at.

My First Chrome Extension - My Shortcuts

Feb 22, 2010

I threw together a Chrome extension a while back when extensions were only in the development build of Chrome.  Since then I've changed my extension quite a bit, and it now has around 4,000 weekly users.  

When I first put the extension together, it was a toolstrip on the bottom of the Chrome window.  These have since been removed in favor of BrowserActions, which are single buttons on the Chrome UI.

v. 1.0 - 1.2

I thought the toolstrip worked pretty well, but you can see how my extension would get out of hand with more than a few links.  I made the switch to using the BrowserActions, this was relatively simple, I just changed the layout to vertical.

v. 1.3

I've been making incremental changes over the last few week or so, to both speed it up and add features.  The most recent release v.2.0.3 includes a new feature that allows users to create their own links to go along with the included Google links.

v 2.1

The entire project was written with InType, which is an awesome Notepad replacement with tabs and syntax highlighting.  It works very well for javascript/css/html editing, though debugging must be done within Chrome.  Highly recommend this as a replacement for a quick text editor.

In making these changes I've tried to optimize the extension to make it as small and fast as possible.  I used Google Closure tools to minify the javascript with their Closure Compiler.  In order to do this I pulled all of my js code out of the popup and options pages and put them in their own script files.  The minification of my js files saved me a few kilobytes of space.

I was able to compress the stylesheet using CSSDrive's CSS Compressor, which only saved a few bytes, but helps nonetheless.

I ran all of my images through PunyPNG, which shrunk the overall image footprint, even though only half of my images saw any change.

I'll continue making changes and listening to the feedback from users and hopefully keep it current and usable.  Thanks for the support.

Get it here:

Introduction to Web Development

Feb 19, 2010

So, I'm taking a class that requires me to create a blogger account, which I have, as of a few years ago, and to post about said assignment.  Here it is.

Chrome Extension Sneak Peek

Feb 19, 2010

Look for another blog post in the next few days about my updated chrome extension and the enhancements being made.  Sneak peek: 

2010 Goals

Jan 9, 2010

Hopefully by publishing my goals for all to see, I will be more motivated to finish them, and or receive help/support from others to do so.  Here are my goals/resolutions for 2010, some may take longer, but these are a few things that are on my mind as I write this.  Happy New Year!
  1. Don't use my phone while driving (except to answer a call or navigate)
  2. Add a blog to my sad little website
  3. Publish 1 technical blog post each month
  4. Post at least once a week
  5. Only use Twitter on my phone while at work
  6. Only check Google Reader at home, or on my phone at breaks.
  7. Get our house ready for a baby (paint, furniture, etc)
  8. Help Alisha get her photography business going
  9. New computer/laptop
  10. Photoshop
  11. Camera stuff (umbrella flash, hot shoe flash)
  12. Develop my own Android app, and publish to the market
  13. Organize the garage (get shelves and such for walls)
  14. Organize the Master Closet
  15. Organize the front room/office
  16. Go through the boxes in the guest closet, toss/store farther away from sight.
  17. Buy/make bed frame for master bed.