Android Development

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Freecare Spiritwise
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Android Development

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Mon May 27, 2013 1:07 pm

I'm just starting out with Android development. Does anyone else here build Android apps? Any advice for a noob just starting out? I'm a little rusty on Java but with decades of C based languages and OOP, I'm expecting to pick it up quickly. It's just all these new tools. And some of it seems crude compared to what I'm used to, though I'm downloading some IDE called Android Studio that looks cool.

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Re: Android Development

Post by Minute » Mon May 27, 2013 2:40 pm

I've doinked around with it. Never tried with anything but Java though & outside of creating a few tasker-type apps haven't done anything. With the eclipse plugin & the AVD make it crazy easy. I'm not anywhere near capable of offering any advice but I can tell you it's a lot of fun.
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Re: Android Development

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Mon May 27, 2013 3:41 pm

It does look fun, and it's something new for me, so I'm excited. I think my first app will be a flashlight app for my outdoor blog. Not a lot of blogs have their own branded apps, so it's probably a good starting point.

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Re: Android Development

Post by Ddrak » Mon May 27, 2013 3:46 pm

I've done about the same as Minute - messed around with the Eclipse plugin (ADT). No idea if Android Studio is better/worse than that.

Otherwise, it's just Java, which is pretty much the same as C#, with a different set of libraries.

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Freecare Spiritwise
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Re: Android Development

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Tue May 28, 2013 12:34 am

It took a handful of google searches and hours dicking with it to even get the thing to come up. It looks pretty at least. It turns out the version of the SDK it ships with isn't recent enough to run the app. It's supposed to run stand alone but I learned my first Android development lesson.

Lesson 1 - Every Android developer has the ADT bundle installed whether they need it or not.
Lesson 2 - Everything needs the ADT bundle.

I think I'll do a blog post on getting Android Studio running under Win8.

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Re: Android Development

Post by Taxious » Tue May 28, 2013 12:50 pm

I have not myself but looked over my co-worker's shoulder as he developed one. From what I understand, one of the most challenging things with Android is with all the devices not being standardized. It seems impossible to develop something that will look good in every Android device.
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Re: Android Development

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Tue May 28, 2013 6:38 pm

Not really impressed so far. But I want this merit badge for my resume, and it's part of my Internet marketing strategy, so I'll just fumble through it and hope to borrow enough friends' tablets and phones to test with, and hope the emulation is "good enough" for everything else.

But so far, I've lost a little respect for Android seeing how shaky its underpinnings are. I can see this is going to feel like work :)

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Re: Android Development

Post by Minute » Tue May 28, 2013 10:23 pm

Androids fragmentation is known issue. Supposedly they are working on it though. Still better than iOS. Fuck Apple.

Also, I don't see it any worse than developing for the web. Making shit globally compliant for that is a big PITA.
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Re: Android Development

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Tue May 28, 2013 10:41 pm

Agreed. The web was originally conceived as a way for scientists to link documents and share them with each other. It's horrible as an application platform, which it was never intended to be. The WWW set back the field of software development at least 10 years. I guess whatever gets people out of having to learn OOP ;)

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Re: Android Development

Post by Ddrak » Wed May 29, 2013 2:19 am

What are you thinking of as "shaky underpinnings"? Dalvik, or some of the Linux stuff?

Also, I don't see the multi-size issue as any worse than what you get in desktop development. Basically it just means you can't be lazy and pixel-paint.

My biggest complaint with Android is that there's no significant consistency in the apps. Apple has this walled garden they don't let you out of, but at least they make sure it's pretty.

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Re: Android Development

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Wed May 29, 2013 10:17 pm

Didn't Oracle sue Google, claiming Java isn't actually open source? Either way, I wasn't a huge fan when Sun owned it.

The development environments seem overly brittle. I realize that I'm used to a higher standard of fit and finish, but c'mon, seriously.

Right now I'm using Eclipse just so I can run the ADT samples and get a feel for the platform. I spent a couple days wondering why my emulated tablet wouldn't boot, before it dawned on me that these emulated devices are slooooowwww. It was just taking a long time to boot. I'm running a Win8 VM with 4gigs of RAM on my quad core laptop and the emulated devices are dogs. But, everything is working and now I have some sort of baseline.

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Re: Android Development

Post by Minute » Wed May 29, 2013 11:16 pm

Freecare Spiritwise wrote:Didn't Oracle sue Google, claiming Java isn't actually open source? Either way, I wasn't a huge fan when Sun owned it.

The development environments seem overly brittle. I realize that I'm used to a higher standard of fit and finish, but c'mon, seriously.

Right now I'm using Eclipse just so I can run the ADT samples and get a feel for the platform. I spent a couple days wondering why my emulated tablet wouldn't boot, before it dawned on me that these emulated devices are slooooowwww. It was just taking a long time to boot. I'm running a Win8 VM with 4gigs of RAM on my quad core laptop and the emulated devices are dogs. But, everything is working and now I have some sort of baseline.
Java was better when Sun owned it. The # of security fuck ups since Oracle took over has been stupid & I knew it was taking a turn for the worse the first day I had to uncheck the fucking bullshitware when upgrading. I'm kinda hoping that Google will throw some real weight behind Go.
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Re: Android Development

Post by Minute » Wed May 29, 2013 11:18 pm

Btw... I dunno why you're having issues with speed. My shit is almost instantaneous. I mean Eclipse compiles shit on the fly.
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Re: Android Development

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Thu May 30, 2013 12:55 am

I compile just fine, it's just the emulator that's slow. It's in a virtual machine running Windows 8 on a cheap laptop, so that could be it. A10 4500M with 8GB of RAM. Too cheap to run an SSD in it, though I may have just found my justification. I run VMs at work, each with their own dedicated SSDs in my desktop and they are all fast as shit. Booting a network in 10 seconds is the bomb-dot-com as the kids say.

But everything except the emulators run at a nice clip. I wonder if it's just support for Win8 that's lacking. It could also be in VirtualBox as well. My Win8 virtual machines weren't even really stable until Windows and VirtualBox both picked up a couple updates. There's also known issues with Android with Win8, too. I can run Win7 if I need to. So far, I'm not sure I need to.

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Re: Android Development

Post by Taxious » Thu May 30, 2013 8:35 am

The time I dabbled with it I noticed the device emulator was really ugly and slow as well. This was also the main complaint for my co-worker who actually developed the app for the company. Probably not just a Windows 8 thing, Free.
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Re: Android Development

Post by Ddrak » Thu May 30, 2013 3:45 pm

The emulators are stupid slow. You'll go far less crazy just finding an old Galaxy S2 on eBay that you can drop the latest CyanogenMod on.

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Freecare Spiritwise
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Re: Android Development

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Thu May 30, 2013 8:05 pm

Ok, thanks guys. I thought it was maybe just me. It doesn't sound like an SSD would speed it up since it's not an I/O bottleneck. My AMD A10 benchmarks firmly in core i5 sandy bridge territory and even beats a couple i7s I believe. My brother works for Intel and didn't think we did too bad: $400 a piece on Black Friday for our laptops. And because the GPU is built onto the chip (they call it an APU) our cheap little machines game as well as most i7s.

Can't I also just plugin my ZTE Engage phone, Acer tablet or maybe the wife's HTC One for testing? Or would that risk bricking them? The ZTE is stock Android I believe. Heh, the wife would probably like me bricking her One, as she'd go buy an S4.

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Re: Android Development

Post by Bahd Zoolander » Fri May 31, 2013 12:03 am

We build our apps in C++ using Marmalade: http://www.madewithmarmalade.com/

The main benefit is the same source runs on Android, IOS, Blackberry, Facebook, etc. The other nice thing is we can program and deploy to IOS from Visual Studio on Windows. Their device emulator is also super fast. :)
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Re: Android Development

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Fri May 31, 2013 12:46 am

I will check that out, thanks. C++ to me is like a worn in pair of boots. I tried VS-Android which sounds similar, but I was having too many issues getting it to work right. This weekend I'll check out Marmalade. Does it support VS 2012 or just VS 2010?

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Re: Android Development

Post by Ddrak » Fri May 31, 2013 2:56 am

Freecare Spiritwise wrote:Can't I also just plugin my ZTE Engage phone, Acer tablet or maybe the wife's HTC One for testing? Or would that risk bricking them? The ZTE is stock Android I believe. Heh, the wife would probably like me bricking her One, as she'd go buy an S4.
No brick risk running apps, and as long as you can stick it dev mode (in options) then it will work just fine.

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