Thursday, December 3, 2009

why not?

So every now and then I've thought about "porting" talkLock to a different platform/API. I bought a Motorola Q thinking that I could resume developing talkLock on it, only to find that I bought the Windows Mobile flavor, not the J2ME one. Bummer. I thought that maybe I would play with Windows Mobile a little. I ended up trying two of them, and they both had different problems (I bought them on eBay). So I had to fall back to my old BREW phone that I can't develop for.

My carrier, Verizon, who I was planning on ditching, has now come out with the Motorola Droid, and I believe at least one other Android based phone. Android is the platform I think I'd really like to try, since I have read some things about it that I liked. I am a Free Software guy, and Android seems like one of the most unrestricted mobile environments.

My wife ( I was married this past August!) bought an iPod Touch, but I never got bit by the bug of trying to develop for it. Partly because it's her iPod, and I'm not good at sharing electronic things :) I have learned that it's best if I have my own PC, laptop, phone, etcetera, whether it's with a roommate or significant other. That way everyone else will find their devices exactly the way they left them, while mine is always bootstrapping some wierd software or operating system, or running some bizarre user interface, or running some code that I wrote that is very brittle, or hogs all the cpu, or makes sound stop working sometimes, or runs up their data plan bill... Come to think of it I should probably have my own internet connection as well, since I'm always running my own server or doing some kind of test or analysis...

I digress.

The reason I posted today is that a couple of days ago I set up the Eclipse integrated development environment with the Android plugin and the rest of the development kit. I did it all on Linux on my MacBook, the same one I've been running Netbeans on and doing the talkLock J2ME development. By the end of the day I had a talkLock splash screen Android program running in the emulator :)

So I thought, why not just keep going? Android seems very J2ME, the concepts are there. So I figured out how to push out an Android .apk binary application, put it on my web server, and had a friend who bought a Motorola Droid install it. It installed and ran, and showed my talkLock logo 8-)

So I went from knowing pretty much nothing about Android to having a (very simple) application running on one in a day. Maybe a new namespace will be created on Sourceforge, "talklock_android". We'll see.

OH and guess what? Sound doesn't work in the Android emulator either! At least not on Mandriva on my MacBook at the moment...