Tuesday, April 27, 2010

AndroidPad for 100US

The Chinese in Shenzhen have introduced a very attractive price point (100+US) Android-based tablet. Device specs include:

  • CPU: ARM-based CPU 600MHz
  • Display: 7” TFT screen, 800 x 480
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • Storage: 2GB Flash, expandable by SD slots
  • OS: Android 1.6

See http://shanzai.com/index.php/bandit-gadgets/31/951.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First Android App using Netbeans

This is a simple text and button app. An Android app uses XML for widgets and layout. This is communicated to Java via an automatically create R class when it is being built.
Running the app the first time in Netbeans will invoke the Android Virtual Device. However, it will take some time for it (avd) to startup, and the netbeans will give up and fail to run the app. You can start the AVD manually first, or just simply re-run the app from Netbeans.

Android for Netbeans: Step by Step

This blog has a screen by screen steps on how to setup for Netbeans. See http://rm1768.blogspot.com/2010/01/your-hello-world-android-program-in.html

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Alternative Android development tool

Another alternative to development for Android (and iPhone) is the Titanium appcelerator. There is a free and open source version. I have not tried it, they claim native mobile, desktop and tablet apps. It uses a combination of HTML and Javascript but does not need a browser on android , rather, it accesses part of the browser directly, in particular, it accesses the rendering part of the browser (the part that draws the webpage). The browser renderer (used in Chrome, and iPhone) is WebKit. So titanium calls Webkit to display the interface without directly invoking any browser. Since WebKit understands javascript (and its libraries eg JQuery), and HTML, essentially you are programming using both languages.

Here is a closer look on the emulator showing the menu page of the device

Here is how the Android Virtual Device looks like running in Netbeans.

Android for Netbeans - a short guide

1. Download android sdk
Run SDK Setup.exe to select versions. If you have problems, click on Settings to force it to use http instead of https. If force doesn't work, retype url.

2. Download Netbeans 6.8, and install. 6.5 no longer supported by nbandroid

3. Start Netbeans
  • Click tools/plugin/settings
  • Add Update Centers: nbandroid set URL:http://kenai.com/downloads/nbandroid/updates.xml
  • Go to Available Plugins, look for Android and install it.
  • Click tools/Java Platform
  • Add Platform, select appropriate android directory.

3. Go to android sdk/tools directory
  • run: android list targets
  • See what targets are available, use in next command
  • run: android create avd -n 'name' -t 'id'
  • where 'name' is a name that you choose and 'id' is the id for avd found in list targets command.