HOTU365 began on Jan 1, 2016

Penny Press resident author Wyken Seagrave began his epic video series hotu365 on January 1, 2016.

He will tell the history of the universe in 365 short videos, one for each day of the year. He will explain all the major steps in history, discuss the science that lies behind them and show how these different branches of science fit together.

When he arrives at the present day, he will use the lessons of history to make predictions about the future.

Why are social media so difficult to use

Maybe it’s just me, but every social media website I use seems difficult to use. And setting up links between them (so a post to one is automatically posted to another, thereby saving valuable time) is frustratingly, mind-boggling complex and boring. I hate doing it, but I’m afraid it has to be done.

The problem was that Google+ was set up (by default) so that posts from WordPress using Jetpack were set as private. Perhaps I’m just tired, but it has taken me far too long to find the right place to change the setting to public.

But I think I have done it now…???

B4A Book Table of Contents

Foreword by Erel Uziel



Who this Book is For

How this Book is Organized

Conventions Used in this Book


Free Upgrades


We’d Like to Hear from You

About the Author


Part 1: Basics

1.1 Getting Started


What You Need to Run B4A

Installing the Trial Version

What you see

Your First App



Connect the IDE to the device

Compiling your new app

Your Second App: Using the Designer

Your Third App

Stopping B4A-Bridge

More about Designer

1.2 The Integrated Development Environment


File Menu

Edit Menu


Project Menu

Tools Menu

Debug Menu

Windows Menu

Help Menu


Module Tabs

Code area

Windows Area

Window Tabs

The Warning Engine

The IDE Meta File

1.3 Docking

Window Menus


Tab Groups


Visual Designer

Restoring All Windows

1.4 Upgrade to Full Version

About Full Versions

Java JDK and Android SDK Installation

Install and configure B4A

Configure Paths

Updating to a new version

Part 2: Creating Your App

2.1 The Project

Project Attributes

Library compilation attributes

Project Icon

Package name

The Manifest

2.2. Designing Your App

Fulfilling Wants and Needs

Android Versions

The Android Screen

App Design Step by Step

Managing Settings

Screens and Layouts

Multiple activities


How to Detect the Display Size

Detecting Device Orientation

Allowed Screen Orientation

Adding views by code


Does the device have a keyboard?

App or Widget ?

Managing Permissions

2.3 Communicating with your User

Modal Dialogs






2.4 The Visual Designer


Docking Windows

File Menu

AddView Menu

WYSIWYG Designer Menu

Tools Menu

Windows Menu

The Abstract Designer

Designer Scripts

Adding views in code

2.5 Designer Scripts Reference


Key Concepts

Designer Scripting Basics

Script Language

Properties Within Scripts


Other Keywords

Activity Methods

AutoScale: Layouts for Different Sized Devices

Different Layouts for Portrait and Landscape

Scaling strategy

Editing Views in a program

2.6 Compiling, Debugging & Testing


Android Version

Build Configuration

Compilation Modes

Command Line Compiler


Restart (F11)


Legacy Debugging


Debug Window


Compiling for Android 5.0 Lollipop

Testing your App

Connecting the Debugger to a Device or Emulator


USB Debugging

The Emulator or Android Virtual Device (AVD) Manager

Using the Android Virtual Device Manager

Creating an AVD

Creating a Device Definition

Running a Virtual Device and scaling for Real Size Emulation

Interacting with your Virtual Device

2.7 Graphics and Drawing

Drawing Methods

Setting Backgrounds of Views and the Activity

Canvas Object

Most common Canvas functions

Animating Bitmaps

Diagrams / Charts

Charts Framework

Out of Memory Errors

2.8 Databases

Storing Data

Database fundamentals

Database Administration

SQL Object



SQLite Commands

Implementing a Database Relationship

2.9 Modules


Creating or Adding Modules

Shared Modules

Module Attributes

Visibility and Lifetime of Variables and Subs

Sub Process_Globals

Activity Module

Class module

Code module

Service Module

2.10 Publishing and Monetizing Your App

User Help

Branding and Marketing

Setting Your Project Parameters

Setting Icons

Generating Your APK

Monetising Your App

Libraries Supporting Advertising

Selling Your App

Registering as a Google Play Developer

Prepare Your App’s Google Play Page

Distributing Apps elsewhere

2.11 Getting More Help

Anywhere Software


Chat Room

Video Tutorials

On-Line Tutorials


Linked In

On-line Documentation

PDF Guides

Library Browsers

Part 3: Language and Core Objects

3.1 B4A’s Language

Lexical Rules





Declaring Variables

Naming of Variables




Type variables


Visibility of Variables

Expressions and Operators

Conditional statements

Loop structures



Error Handling

String manipulation


3.2 VB6 versus B4A

Controls vs. Views



Boolean Operations

Global Const

Repeating Structures




Exit Sub






Random Numbers




Divide by Zero




Setting Label Transparency


String “Members”

Error Trapping

“Immediate Window” vs. “Logs” Tab

3.3 Core Objects

List of Core Objects






Drawing Objects


File Object














3.4 Inline Code

Returning Data to B4A

Part 4: Libraries

4.1 Libraries


Types of Libraries

Referencing Libraries

Creating Libraries

Preparing Your Library

Library specific attributes

How to Compile a Library

How to publish your library

4.2 Standard Libraries included with Full Version


List of Standard Libraries

Accessibility Library

Administrator Library

Animation Library

Audio Library

B4XEncryption Library

Camera Library

ContentResolver Library

DateUtils Library

Daydream Library

GameView Library

GPS Library

HTTP Library

HttpUtils2 Library

IME Library

JavaObject Library

JSON Library

LiveWallpaper Library

Network Library

NotificationListener Library

NFC Library

Phone Library

PreferenceActivity Library

RandomAccessFile Library

Serial Library

Sip Library

SQL Library

StringUtils Library

TTS Library

USB Library

XmlSax Library

4.3 Additional Libraries and Modules


Additional Official Libraries

Additional User Libraries

List of libraries

How to create a library

How to Share your Library

Dialogs Library

Reflection Library

TabHostExtras Library

Toggle Library



Best-Selling Android Development Book Update Is Free

B4A 2nd Ed Front Cover-1000Android is an evolving platform and B4A, the world’s easiest rapid Android app development tool, evolves to keep up. Niche publisher Penny Press publishes and gives away free updates of their best-selling book by in-house author Wyken Seagrave.

Android is the world’s favourite mobile operating system. IDC predicts [1] Android shipments will constitute 81% of the smartphone market in 2015. But Android is a constantly developing platform, making it difficult for app developers to keep up. Further, Android apps are written using Java, which is not the easiest language to learn and use well.

That is why B4A was written by Anywhere Software [2]. It aims to be the easiest rapid Android app development tool available, allowing complete beginners to create powerful Android apps using the easily learned BASIC language. And the success of B4A is testified by the community of tens of thousands of users all over the world, including NASA, HP and IBM.

Anywhere Software is constantly updating the tool, which makes it almost impossible for any large publisher to create a book which keeps in step. Only a niche publisher, such as Penny Press Ltd [3] with an author who is skilled both in software development and writing effective user manuals, such as Wyken Seagrave [4], is capable of constantly updating their book.

And Penny Press offer something which (as far as they know) is unique in the publishing industry: free updates to the latest edition of the book for previous customers. Those who buy the e-book edition (available in 3 different formats) from the Penny Press store [5] can update their book at any time using a dedicated upgrade page [6].

This unique level of service has made “B4A: Rapid Android App Development using BASIC” by Wyken Seagrave the world’s best-selling book dedicated to deliver a comprehensive reference guide to the B4A user interface and language, to explain and illustrate every keyword, object and core library. It has just been updated to cover version 5.50 of B4A.

The book is also available in paperback [7] from any good bookstore, ISBN 9781512296259.

“B4A: Rapid Android App Development using BASIC” starts with step-by-step beginners’ guides explaining how to plan, design, develop, test, publish and make money from Android apps in the shortest possible time. It explains how to use B4A to create graphics and databases, to communicate with the user and to modify an app dynamically so it will look good on a wide range of devices.

This complete guide is also suitable for intermediate and expert developers. It covers every aspect of B4A from installation and using the WYSIWYG visual editor through a comprehensive reference section to extending the tool using Additional Libraries supplied by other users. It will quickly repay its cost by the time saved in finding the information developers need when they need it.

What readers said about the first edition of “B4A: Rapid Android App Development using BASIC”:

“This was a book that I now use as a constant reference and have found it a mine of information.”

“Brilliantly written and presented.”

“Excellent book. Just what I was looking for.”

“I will not now be able to think of developing an app without this book at my side.”

What users say about B4A

“I’ve [made] more progress with B4A in 3 hours than I have in 3 months with other Android IDEs.”

“I must say as a Visual Basic expert B4A is the best software purchase I’ve made in a long time. Within an hour of installing I had a fully functional application running on both my phone and tablet.”

“This is the greatest product ever! After spending two months trying to learn Java, I stumbled upon you. I have been a VB programmer for 25 years, and I am in heaven now! Thank you!”

A trial version of B4A can be downloaded free from the web [2].


[1] “Worldwide Smartphone Growth Expected to Slow to 10.4% in 2015, Down From 27.5% Growth in 2014, According to IDC,” IDC, 25 August 2015. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 2015].
[2] Anywhere Software, “B4A – The simplest way to develop real-world, native Android apps!,” Anywhere Software, [Online]. Available:
[3] Penny Press Ltd, “Penny Press Ltd,” Penny Press Ltd, [Online]. Available:
[4] W. Seagrave, “About Wyken,” [Online]. Available:
[5] Penny Press Ltd, “B4A Ebook on Penny Press Store,” Penny Press Ltd, November 2015. [Online]. Available:
[6] Penny Press Ltd, “Free Upgrade to New Version,” Penny Press Ltd, [Online]. Available:
[7] Penny Press Ltd, “Paperback of B4A: Rapid Android App Development using BASIC,” Penny Press Ltd, [Online]. Available:

New Cover for Illustrated Cosmic Monopole

ICM-Cover-9-Front-Flattened-50pcHaving received a proof (that is, a printed) copy of Illustrated Cosmic Monopole, I realised the words were illegible from a distance, so I have now (yet again) updated the cover and uploaded to all the sites which offer it for sale.

The idea of having the “tag line” at the top of the cover is a simple copy of a book I saw recently while browsing in my local Waterstones (something I don’t do often enough, obviously).

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on the cover design. Hopefully it is sufficiently eye-catching and well branded now.