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Topic # 66222 15-Aug-2010 03:38
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Hi there, having received my Nexus one a few days ago ive started to want to create my own android applications to go on the market (or just to use myself).

Ive done a LITTLE amount of researched and seen that you need to know alot of things (Java, SDk, Coding, lots of other things I cant remember the names of)

How hard is it to learn all this? Is it really necessary?

All I want to do is to start off with something really small like a clock widget, calculator or a calender that does nothing but show the dates.

I want to get into this, and maybe one day start selling my own apps on the market, but right now it just seems to hard.

Thanks

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  Reply # 367717 15-Aug-2010 04:08
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First, can you write software / program in any languages?

If yes, then you should be able to use your knowledge to learn how to write for Android. You may be able to use a language you already know and cross compile it to Android. E.g. javascript

If no, and you haven't done any programming, then yes it is going to be hard and there is a lot you will need to learn... but you can still do it. You just have to do the hard yards, learn as much as you can and work towards your goal.

Perhaps a good place to start:

http://developer.android.com/resources/tutorials/hello-world.html

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Master Geek


  Reply # 367723 15-Aug-2010 06:13
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You might find the following page interesting:

http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about/

Google wants non-coders to also be able to write android apps :) It's still in beta and you need to request access, but it might be worth checking out.

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  Reply # 367725 15-Aug-2010 07:22
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I thought I read somewhere that Google had brought out a method of creating apps for non-geeks.  ie you build it by dragging building blocks together and it creates an application for you.  It sounds a brilliant idea - not sure if it is applicable to the mobile environment or just for PC's or Tablets though - maybe someone else will know ?

cheers 

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  Reply # 367726 15-Aug-2010 07:23
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doh ! I didn't see your post Sonmica ! :-D

BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 367744 15-Aug-2010 10:07
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AppInventor is good stuff - but you still need to know how to put an algorythm in the form of blocks. And if you want to try debug on actual devices then you need one of the (currently) two devices supported.








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  Reply # 367826 15-Aug-2010 14:01
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Thanks everybody for your replies. No I cant write any kind of software or anything. I found this link last night which might get me started in a way to understand Java

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/program2.htm

Yes I saw the App inventor. I made a gmail account and registered for that, dont know if I will get it though. It says primary school children can create apps for it, so surely id be able to.

Looks like I might have to spend weeks learning Java and everything else if im serious about this

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  Reply # 367880 15-Aug-2010 16:14
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I'd seriously recommend something OTHER than Java if you have never ever programmed before and trying to learn by yourself.

You might even want to try out something as simple as Logo :P
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logo_%28programming_language%29
(even little kids can use this easily and gain the basics, HOWEVER it is also very powerful and can teach much more complex concepts than you need now)

For "grown up" languages Scheme and Ruby would be great to learn after you've had a play around with Logo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheme_%28programming_language%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_%28programming_language%29

Some quotes from the wikipedia articles illustrates why I suggested these:

Matsumoto has said that Ruby is designed for programmer productivity and fun, following the principles of good user interface design. He stresses that systems design needs to emphasize human, rather than computer, needs

Ruby is said to follow the principle of least astonishment (POLA), meaning that the language should behave in such a way as to minimize confusion for experienced users.

Scheme is a very simple language, much easier to implement than any language of comparable expressive power


Scheme follows a minimalist
design philosophy specifying a small standard core with powerful tools
for language extension. Its compactness and elegance have made it
popular with educators, language designers, programmers, implementors,
and hobbyists



As for how these can be used for Android:

Google's App Inventor for Android uses Scheme, where Kawa is used to compile the Scheme code down to byte-codes for the Java Virtual Machine running on Android devices.
http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2009/08/under-hood-of-app-inventor-for-android.html

What stronger recommendation do you need for Scheme than Google using it themselves!

As for Ruby, there is of course JRuby which runs on the JVM so naturally you'll have no problems there easily making Android apps. (I'd keep your eyes on this too: http://ruboto.org/)






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  Reply # 367886 15-Aug-2010 16:29
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Thanks for that dman. I dont really understand any of it yet. Ill give all those links a read when I get around to it :)

n4

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  Reply # 367968 15-Aug-2010 20:19
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freitasm: AppInventor is good stuff - but you still need to know how to put an algorythm in the form of blocks. And if you want to try debug on actual devices then you need one of the (currently) two devices supported.


Which two devices would that be? I got it working with the Samsung Galaxy S, just using the Samsung drivers that their PC Suite (Kies) uses to talk to the phone - would be the same for any phone I would have assumed?




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  Reply # 374108 29-Aug-2010 09:29
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AppInventor works with all/most Android devices as far as I know - I've got it working with my HTC Magic (and I'm running Cyanogenmod 6!)

This tool is awesome, once I've learned how to get apps to talk to websites I'll be away laughing. =D

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  Reply # 374181 29-Aug-2010 13:37
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Does it let you create widgets?

I want a simple 1x1 or 1x2 widget to show the time or date in a text with user defined colour and a transparent background.  The problem is that i want the text small and quite close to the top of the widgets border.  I havn't been able to find any widgets that fit this criteria.




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  Reply # 374183 29-Aug-2010 13:42
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I haven't seen anywhere to do widgets in the Inventor, so I'm guessing not...

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  Reply # 377822 8-Sep-2010 11:49
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I've had access to appinventor for a couple of weeks now,
to answer a few questions....
Appinventor wont let you create widgets, you are limited to 1 screen but you can set items to visible or nonvisible, no support for transparency yet.
You can't sell the apps on the market place, it's a basic educational tool

you can't write java code or add java to the blocks, its very much drag and drop.

Blocks for web db, local db,gps, accelerometer, compass, camera , minimal graphics and logic.

You don't need an android phone as there is an emulator supplied.

It takes forever to get approved/accepted and for me it was enough to make a very simple but cool app.
In the long term it will encourageeople to learn java and be less afraid of the steep learning curve.

N4, how did you do that, no one can get the i9000 to work with appinventor, did you do something to kies ??? You would be the only one I've heard of that has achieved this, care to share ?

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  Reply # 377823 8-Sep-2010 11:50
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oh yes, and txt to speech and speech to text blocks also.

n4

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  Reply # 377848 8-Sep-2010 12:57
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turnin: N4, how did you do that, no one can get the i9000 to work with appinventor, did you do something to kies ??? You would be the only one I've heard of that has achieved this, care to share ?


I would have to admit that its hasn't been completely pain free and has been somewhat hit and miss. I've only actually done it a couple of times to play around with the tutorial apps, and the first time it just worked, the second time I did have to do some messing around. IIRC I had to use the touchwiz launcher on the phone (as well as the correct ADB related settings). I think I also resintalled the USB drivers the second time (the first time being just after the initial install). I have since upgraded Kies to the xxx83 version which I think will update the drivers, and makes connecting to Kies more reliable, so I'll try again tonight if I remember. I've also upgraded firmware to JM1.




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