Android

Spent the last few weekends doing some Android applications for my HTC Desire. I thought my first app would be something to help me learn Finnish. It’s called FinnGo (Finnish Lingo). I am also using it to help me learn Android.

For learning languages, I find that translating headlines is usually pretty good… they are a few lines which you can usually guess. I usually read these on my mobile phone when I am in bed or sitting in the armchair – either way, the wife gets quite annoyed when I ask her to help me translate some of the phrases. Hence the application. Google translate is excellent – although it struggles with Finnish – but it’s always a nightmare trying to set up the URLs.

For the application itself, I have made many learnings..

  1. sdk. Use eclipse… and then it’s a doddle… you don’t even need a device as they have emulators running within eclipse.
  2. market. 25USD to have the honour to upload… you soon start to work out that google is not just making money out of ads πŸ™‚
  3. admob. Bought by google, but still seems to be the main ad engine… although for a select few they are starting to serve adsense ads.
  4. adsense on mobile. You thought getting adsense account for web was hard… try mobile – lucky for us, if you already have adsense due to a blog or website, then getting a mobile account is quite easy as you can reuse your existing one!
  5. web views. really hard… I will add the link here that helped me…
  6. progress bar. exceptionally hard. trick is to use webchromeclient attached to your webview and the onprogress method. Best to use the inbuilt progress spinner on the title bar. problem is that UI updates are not always done on events like clicking buttons (to load web pages for example) – hence the need for webchromeclient.
  7. UI design. eclipse toolset is good for java programming, but still struggles with UI design (not quite as easy as VisualStudio for example).
  8. packaging. use google’s own pages for this… estimate about half a day to get your head around this and…
  9. icons. wow I did not realize these would be so complex.
  10. upload. Once you upload you probably want to install the market version… make sure you uninstall your own test version first… they do not work in parallel (and the error is not very reassuring… might make you want to unpublish if you read it)…