Tag Archives: titanium

Insights from the Titanium App Developer certification exam

Recently I became a Titanium Certified Application Developer (TCAD) and I was thinking on giving some insights on the exam for those who want to take it.

The exam covers all the areas that exists in the process of developing an app with Titanium Appcelerator:

  • Code Questions,
  • Contacts and Social APIs,
  • Cross-Platform Development in Titanium,
  • Integrating Web Content,
  • Media and the Filesystem,
  • Using Location Services,
  • Working with Local Data,
  • Working With Remote Data,
  • You’re a Native Application Developer Now,
  • Zero To App Recap,
  • UI Fundamentals,
  • Deployment and Distribution.

To pass the exam you will need of course experience but the Appcelerator team has put online at Wiki the labs for each part of the exam. I strongly suggest you to take a good look at them, even at those that might look already known to you, because you might find some nice stuff inside and it will also remind you forgotten stuff at least.

Some of the courses have videos and also links to the downloadable projects.

The projects are a good point to start/learn how to do things “the right way” and explain pretty well some principles that apply to an Appcelerator app.

Don’t let the word “exam” scare you because it’s not really difficult – some of the questions are simple and common sense.

So go for it!

Create a countdown timer with Titanium Appcelerator

In this post we will try to show you how to make a countdown timer using Titanium Appcelerator for Iphone or Android applications.

First we will create an OOP countDown object that can be used independently in the background of the application and then we will connect it with some interface elements.

The countDown object

To have functional a countdown timer we’ll need to declare some properties and some methods.

As properties we will set:

time:{ m : minutes, s : seconds },
total_seconds : m*60+s

I think this is pretty clear, time is an object with minutes and seconds and total_seconds contains the number of seconds until we reach 00:00.

We will need to set methods that will allow us to:

  • set a time to count from
  • stop the timer
  • start it.

We also ned to set some callback functions that will be executed on each tick of the timer   Рfn_tick Рand one that will execute when the timer reaches 00:00 named fn_end.

We won’t make a callback for start because we know when this occurs we can trigger it by ourselves.

The countDown timer will look like this:

var my_timer = new countDown( minutes, seconds, fn_tick, fn_complete);

on this we will be able to apply

my_timer.set( minutes, seconds );

Below is the code that defines the countDown (pretty simple).

var countDown =  function( m , s, fn_tick, fn_end  ) {
	return {
		set: function(m,s) {
			this.total_sec = parseInt(m)*60+parseInt(s);
			this.time = {m:m,s:s};
			return this;
		start: function() {
			var self = this;
			this.timer = setInterval( function() {
				if (self.total_sec) {
					self.time = { m : parseInt(self.total_sec/60), s: (self.total_sec%60) };
				else {
				}, 1000 );
			return this;
		stop: function() {
			this.time = {m:0,s:0};
			this.total_sec = 0;
			return this;

And now to use it in our code we will do something like this:

var my_timer = new countDown(1 , 5 ,
	function()	{
		//something here...
	function() {
		// something here...

Ok, the above example is useless, we will need to display the current time on each tick of the countdown times (so on each second) and at the end we’ll have to alert the user when we reached 00:00.

We will also need some interface elements to access the countdown methods and to display the current time.

For this we will create a label named display_lbl, that will show the time and also 3 buttons : set_btn , start_btn and stop_btn.

Creating the code is pretty simple so I won’t put the code here but you will be able to take a look at it downloading the countdown project.

What is most important is to connect the interface with the countdown timer.

So we create the timer and set the fn_tick and fn_end functions

var my_timer = new countDown(5,30, 
		function() {
			display_lbl.text = my_timer.time.m+" : "+my_timer.time.s;
		function() {
			alert("The time is up!");

And this is how we connect the buttons with my_timer

	display_lbl.text = "5 : 30";

As you see we also set the label’s text to the initial value when we set the timer because otherwise we’ll loose the first second. We do this here to keep the timer object clean of any external interaction so we can use it even without an interface.

This is how the final project looks like

Countdown timer with Appcelerator

Please keep in mind that this is just a simple example and we don’t have a control mechanism to detect when the user stopped the timer or it reached by itself 00:00 – but you can add it as an exercise ūüôā

You can download the Resources folder of the project from here.

Everything is MIT licensed and you can use it in any application you want to, but spreading the word would be nice.

Check the Spanish version of this post:
Crear un temporizador regresivo con Titanium Appcelerator

iPhone tooltip with Titanium

Create a nifty tooltip in Titanium

In this post I will show how to create a tooltip to those that are using Titanium to develop their iPhone apps.
Sometimes when we set a button with an icon – lets say in navbar – a simple icon is not enough to make the user understand what the button is supposed to do.

For example this one:

What would the rightNavButton do ? The application is an ebook reader – if this helps, but I’m sure it will not….

What about this:

Now you know that by hitting this button you can continue your reading – in case something took you out from the chapter, like ¬†changing a setting, or answering the phone or whatever…

So let’s start.

The tooltip is a simple view with the tip image set as background:

var lasttipView =  Titanium.UI.createView({

The “Continue reading” is a simple label added to this view

var lasttipLabel =  Titanium.UI.createLabel({
text:'Continue reading',
fontFamily:'Helvetica Neue',

and the index window contains the tip view


I supposed we already have the index_win created.

Now when we open the index_win the tooltip will be there and the user will know what the rightNavButton does. But if the tooltip stays there it becomes annoying so we need to find a way to hide it. I choose to hide it when the user clicks the button by using a smooth fadeout.

The code below creates an animation and attaches it to the click event.

var anim_out = Titanium.UI.createAnimation();
anim_out.duration = 250;
last_read =  Titanium.UI.createButton({
last_read.addEventListener('click', function() {
index_win.setRightNavButton( last_read );

Ok, here is the button code too but for simplicity I removed some parts that actually display the chapter and trigger other functions.

That’s all. Pretty simple, isn’t it ?

PS. You can use the bubble image in your apps if you want, only just let me know – and if you are curious about the app here it is:
Youth, by Isaac Asimov iPhone ebook.

Check the Spanish version of this post:
Crear una ingeniosa herramienta de notificación en Titanium

Custom table rows with Titanium

Custom row for TableView in Appcelerator Titanium

In this post  I will try to explain how to create custom rows for TableViews using Titanium Mobile.

If you don’t know what Titanium is about, ¬†take a look here.¬†I suppose you already know how to setup and start a Titanium project so I’ll show only how to create a custom row.

By default a TableView will let you create a row that can have: the left image, the title and the row type decorator set. The next code is an example of the standard data that needs to be passed to a TableView.

var RegData = [
{ leftImage:'es.png', title:"Spain", hasChild:true },
{ leftImage:'gb.png', title:"United Kingdom", hasChild:true },
{ leftImage:'us.png', title:"United States", hasChild:true },
{ leftImage:'fr.png', title:"France", hasChild:true }
var TheTable = Titanium.UI.createTableView({

And the result is this:

Ok, we would like to add more data to a row, maybe something like this:

This will require to build the row “by hand”. So we need to add a 2 imageViews, the flag and the trend, and ¬†labelViews for the country and the percent . We also need to change the data array of course.

var CustomData = [
{ flag:'es.png', country:"Spain", trend:'up.png', percent:'28%' ,hasChild:true },
{ flag:'gb.png', country:"United Kingdom", trend:'down.png', percent:'-3%', hasChild:true },
{ flag:'us.png', country:"United States", trend:'up.png', percent:'8%', hasChild:true },
{ flag:'fr.png', country:"France", trend:'down.png', percent:'-40%', hasChild:true }

We create a data variable as an array that will hold the row objects generated.

var data=[];

then we walk through the CustomData array, create  a new row , the imageViews and labels and add them to the row.

for (var i = CustomData.length - 1; i <= 0; i--) {
var row = Titanium.UI.createTableViewRow();
var flag =  Titanium.UI.createImageView({
var country = Titanium.UI.createLabel({
var percent =  Titanium.UI.createLabel({
var trend =  Titanium.UI.createImageView({
row.className = 'coutry_row';

As you see we also add a className to the row to improve the rendering performance, as the iPhone will reuse the row template with every new data when rendering the table.

The obtained result is this:

You can download the complete Titanium project from here. You will have to create a new project in Titanium and replace the resource folder with the one in the archive.

Let me know your thoughts.

Check the Spanish version of this post:
Como crear filas personalizadas para TableViews usando Titanium Móvil