My Android experience


It was in May and one of my old friends called me and after exchanging pleasantries, we somehow got talking about the Android Developer Challenge.

Being typically my old lazy self, I waved it off and said I wasn’t interested because I didn’t KNOW how to program Android; however he persisted and got me to realise that it wasn’t so much of a big deal. Pronto! I changed my mind and set about learning Android believing I was going to build the next Angry Birds – don’t blame me oh. I downloaded the SDK – took me about a week: I live in Nigeria, see? Got Eclipse and set up my development tools and was finally ready.

I made the first mistake by trying to learn Android from the developer docs; after fooling around with the sample apps in the documentation and covering little or no ground I decide to get a book . I scoured the internet looking for a free book on Android – I don’t pirate stuff, remember? – and finally stumbled upon the busy coder’s guide to android development, a book by Mark L. Murphy which is released on a Four-to-Free (42F) policy. This means that after 4000 copies are sold or after the fourth anniversary of a book’s publication; the book is open sourced. The author’s wit made the book an enjoyable read. Armed with my knowledge of Android and fueled by my passion to develop the next viral app; I immediately set to work with much gung-ho. :D

Initally the plan was to build a mapping app and we were working on it. However, my partner realised it was taking too long and suggested we ‘dumb down’ to meet the ADC window. Finally, we wrote an application that shortens text messages; there are three modes: basic, moderate and extreme and each mode does what its name potrays; interested? Test the app. I would have loved the application to be better but there was little time and I’m still a little bit shaky on my Android programming skills.

Anyway, it’s a good start – I’ve learnt so much ranging from collaboration using subversion and top-down design to Android development; next I’ve got to learn how to theme wordpress sites or maybe drupal… God help me.

Oh, our the Android app: smsReducer will soon be available for download; we’re adding more features before we release it.

Have fun.

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