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General information about collaboration

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:20 am
by droid scan dev

We have a custom app / consumer app that would benefit from being able to re-use some of the scan processing technology in Droid Scan. Can we collaborate on a project?


Yes, of course.

There are several possible ways to use Droid Scan with your app in a collaborative project. This topic just provides a brief overview.

Starting with the simplest, most self-service approach: The "Share scans" feature in Droid Scan can export scans (a single scan as a JPEG, several scans as a zipped JPEG, or any number of scans as a multi-page PDF file) to any application that advertises its ability to receive these types of files to the Android OS. This method uses "Intents," a core design element of the Android OS that enables flexible ad-hoc communication between apps*.

For example, here is the entry in the manifest file for Google Docs Upload (part of Droid Scan), which accepts scans shared as JPEG or PDF files. Adding a similar intent filter to your own manifest file will cause your activity to appear on the long list** of apps that Droid Scan will offer to share these file types with.
Code: Select all
               android:name="android.intent.action.SEND" />
               android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
               android:mimeType="image/jpeg" />
               android:mimeType="application/pdf" />

[ See this topic for an alternate workflow in which your custom app launches Droid Scan:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=185#p295 ]

The long list of compatible apps gives the app user the greatest amount of choice possible and the Intents framework that enables it is one of the great strengths of Android OS. In practice it does have some drawbacks, primarily because it allows end users to create ad-hoc app combinations that haven't been tested by either developer team.

One step up in complexity from this approach is a feature introduced by the Droid Scan developers: the short list of compatible apps. The short list is still Intent-based, but it addresses the reliability issue by curating the list to apps that:

(1) Have been tested with Droid Scan, AND
(2) Are most requested by Droid Scan users, OR
(3) Have some kind of synergy with Droid Scan in the sense of growing the user base for both apps, OR
(4) Are custom apps developed in collaboration with the Droid Scan team (typically for an enterprise market).

If you have an app that should be on the short list, contact support.

*The Android developer documents explain Intents much better than I can in this short topic. If the concept is new to you or your developers, start here: ... lters.html

**The long list appears when the user selects "Show all" from a share scan screen. This list is populated automatically by querying the Android OS for compatible apps.