Getting Back into Android

August 9, 2015

It’s been over a year since the last time I’ve created an app for Android. “App” is being used in a rather loose sense here, because said app, CAB Manager, was created and designed for a very small (15-30) group of people within a single university. While it served its purpose and was well-liked by its users, at the end of the day, it was simply too esoteric to warrant publication.

Although there have been some recent issues involving the Android platform, I still regard it as superior to the competition. I like that Android development is more accessible and open than iOS. Its SDK is available on Windows, OSX, and Linux. The fees for app publication are lower. The content rules on the Play Store resemble a democratic forum, contrasting with the App Store’s gulag-esque model, the content guidelines for which contain such risible gems as:

Apps that include games of Russian roulette will be rejected

It’s a great time to work with Android! In addition to the established phone and tablet platform of Android, there is a nascent array of Android devices which await great apps: Wear, TV, and Auto. Each of these device types are used in quite different contexts, yet in many situations, connect with more traditional mobile devices in different ways. For example, Google Maps’ navigation feature would make a lot of sense with Wear and Auto, but perhaps not so much with TV. Play Music, on the other hand, would be useful with all three.

In the time since CAB Manager, there have been a lot of changes with the platform: The introduction of Material Design, the release of Lollipop, and the official deprecation of the Android Eclipse plugin in favor of Android Studio, just to name the most resounding. In light of this, I’ve chosen to start from scratch, beginning with setting up Android Studio and running the BlankActivity Hello World on my phone.

I’ll post more as I develop the app, which will be my attempt at porting the functionality and interface of an existing iOS app to Android.

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