benjii.me

I’m an Android developer

Recently I have become obsessed with creating an android app that everyone will love. I realise that android has been out for quite some time now and I should have jumped on the bandwagon earlier, but now that I have arrived at the party, I couldn’t be happier.

I’ve owned a HTC Hero since around mid October 2009, considering I live in Australia this means I own the cutting edge of phone technology that even now, no one has even heard of, so there hasn’t been a real urge to develop for the platform. However I’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to create my very own android app. This has been met by a few hurdles I’m still climbing over.

Firstly, I’m a Microsoft stack web developer and therefore a C#, Javascript, HTML and CSS fanboy, with limited knowledge of the java language and platform. By that I mean limited to the knowledge gained by actually attending the java lectures at uni, instead of going to the uni bar :) Luckily java and C# are fairly similar and the android tutorials, whilst few are available, have been quite helpful.

Secondly, the android structure of activities, layouts, views and intents (that’s all I’ve run into so far I think) is a little difficult to master straight off the bat. However I think once more people start developing and consequently start writing tutorials, it should become easier to jump on the android bandwagon as well. Also I think Google should do some more workshops in the major cities of Australia (Google, if you’re reading, I’d love to help out in Brisbane), just to spark some more excitement amongst the industry.

For anyone that may have been inspired to start developing for android, the ultimate resource can be found here: developer.android.com

To help anyone just starting out, the following links are the ones I’ve found the most useful to read:

Hello, World tutorial – The all important Hello World tutorial. Gets you set in no time.

Notepad tutorial – A more complicated but very useful tutorial that steps you through most of the workings of a basic android app.

Hello Views – Some great tutorials that step you through creating some of the different Views available in android.

API Demos – A list of commented code samples that show you how to implement various features of an application.

HTTP REST Client code – This was a magical find that showed me how to grab some JSON data from one of my WCF RESTful web services.

Common Tasks and How to Do Them in Android – Some helpful snippets of information for android developers.

Also be sure to check out a few Google IO videos. Even though some are a bit dated, as they were recorded in mid 2009, they still provide a wealth of information about various parts of the android system.

I’ll be sure to post some useful tutorials and tips once I’ve made some more progress with my application!