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Android: Diving In

Starting to work on Android application development on the side. I have an iPhone through work, but I picked Android for two main reasons:

-I used to be ok at Java and I’ve never learned any Objective C. In my new job, I’m doing front-endy stuff on top of java code, for the most part. Since android runs on java, it’s an opportunity to blow off the dust, and let the Java stuff that I learn in Android help me at my main gig, and vice versa.

-Apple’s gated community approach to application development isn’t the way that I like to work. I don’t want to have to pay for their developer license and I don’t want them have absolute authority over whether my apps live or die. I think that there’s space for multiple approaches in mobile just like with desktop OS; if Android winds up in a Linux-y type place, I think I’m ok with that.

Some notes from my first half-day with mucking with this:

-There’s some confusion out there about which version of Eclipse to use-the one tailored for Java, or the Classic. The Android website recommends the Classic, some blogs (e.g. this one) recommend Java specific. It appears that some of the Java tools were buggy for Android development in E3.5; I downloaded 3.61 and I can’t find good information about whether this has changed. It is possible to develop Android apps without Eclipse, but you don’t get to use the Android Development Tools (ADT) plugin for Eclipse, that simplifies project creation and the build process, allows easy access to the Android emulator, and full access to the Davlik (like the JVM for Android) logs.

-When I first created a new project, I included an apostrophe in the application name-Kevin’s First Test. This isn’t automatically escaped and will cause build errors-I assume that you can change the value from one of the configuration xml files, but I just deleted the project and started over.

I’m working from Reto Meier’s Professional Android 2 Development to ease myself in. I’ll continue to post as I make progress and run into difficulties 🙂

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