April 12, 2011

Android app in 1.5 hours

I have to give great props to the Google Android team. I was able to go from “I want to build an app for my phone” to “My app is now published on the Android market” in approximately 90 minutes of effort.

1) Download the SDK – that was easy.

2) Add the plugin to Eclipse – also easy

3) Set up the various platforms in the SDK “system”. This was confusing at first. Eventually I realized that one wants (typically) to go for ‘lowest common denominator’ – so Android API 1.5

4) Find a skeletal app to rework. I was writing a soundboard, so it turned out to be incredibly easy to repurpose.

5) Make my app changes – easy, because of the template.

6) Load the emulator and try out my changes. This took a little while to get right, because I didn’t have the target set up properly in my app.
7) Run the emulator and test my code – straightforward

8) Create a package-able version, and load it directly onto my phone

9) Use Astro file manager to install the app from the phone itself – easy

10) Verify that the app worked on my phone – easy. surprisingly so.

11) Create a signed package for publishing (this took a little while because the wizard was a little confusing, but not horrible)

12) Sign up as an android developer. This cost me $25, but was very easy.

13) Upload my app. This took a little while because I had to rename it (there was a conflict), create screenshots, etc.

14) Publish.

Within minutes, the app was live on the Android Marketplace.