Sunday, January 1, 2012

Android ADK Terminal Emulator with a Honeycomb Tablet

If you have attempted to run the Android ADK Terminal Emulator that is referenced from the Circuits@Home article found here on a Honeycomb-based tablet (like the Motorola XOOM or similar) then you may find that it crashes before it will even start.   The problem is that the Terminal Emulator is using some functionality that isn't fully compatible with menus in the default theme when ran under the Honeycomb variation of the Android OS.

For a quick work-around ... just modify the AndroidManifest.xml file ... change the default application theme to something more 'compatible' ... for example:

change this
 <application android:icon="@drawable/icon" android:label="@string/app_name">  

to this (mine is all on a single line)
 <application android:icon="@drawable/icon" android:label="@string/app_name" android:theme="@android:style/Theme">  

Then after saving and rebuilding the Terminal Emulator, upload it to the Honeycomb tablet and it will, at least, start; and you will be able to do most of what the Terminal Emulator was designed to do, including communicating to an Arduino.  

Unfortunately, you won't have access to the preferences screen or the exit option that is available... you can't access it because the Honeycomb tablet doesn't have a hardware-based menu button, and the Terminal Emulator doesn't have the code in-place to handle a software-based menu.  So, there are still some changes that need to be made.  

What I found was the easiest is to just add a context menu that is identical to the options menu already coded in the Terminal Emulator and code it so that when the keyboard-toggle icon in the upper-left corner of the main Terminal Emulator window is pressed and held, the context menu is displayed and you can then access the preferences screen and exit option as-needed.  Plus, it doesn't interfere with the ability to show and hide the keyboard; you don't have to add any additional controls to pop-up the context menu; but you will have access to the menu's preferences and exit options.

If you are interested, I've put the updated Terminal Emulator project here.

Full credit goes to the original author and you can get the original project here.

If you have any problems, let me know, I'll try to help.


02-16-2015 - Downloads moved to Github.