Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

ExpenseClam
Easy-to-use business expense tracker for Android.

ExpenseClam for Android

June 20th, 2011

ExpenseClam – finding the currency

Stair case

Stair case

Yesterday I released ExpeneseClam, a business expenses tracking app for Android.  Recording expenses on a smartphone can be a painful experience, typos are common, expense claims are not always made in chronological order, and there is usually little time to note down how much a taxi cost.  ExpenseClam has a number of features to help make this easier.  Simple things like auto-suggesting expense descriptions based on the amount entered can make it much quicker to record common recurring expenses.

One of the niftiest features in ExpenseClam is something that you will only stumble across if you travel a lot: it auto selects the default currency for a new expense based on the country you are in.  This is done without needing user permission to determine location, carry out reverse geocoding or even internet access.

The secret sauce is Android’s TelephonyManager and it’s method getNetworkCountryIso().  This method returns the ISO code given by the mobile operator for the network that you are connected to (the Mobile Country Code).  From this a Locale object can be created, which then allows the Currency instance to be created.  None of this requires network traffic and it takes very little processing power to complete.

Changes in the default currency only happens when the country changes.  This is to avoid frustrating users who have to enter expenses in a different currency to this default.  The country derived currency is however prioritised in the list of currencies to make selection easier for what is likely to be a common choice.

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Copyright 2009 Colin Stewart

Email: colin@owlfish.com