I wrote a “practice app” to learn Android development. It’s called BlubberPatrol and it’s for tracking & charting your weight. It turned out to be quite a nice little app, and is free in the Google Play store. Read more on the BlubberPatrol home page.
I chose this app because I thought it would be easy. If I were writing a desktop version in Realbasic, it would have been a walk in the park. But I wrote it in Java with the Android SDK and the Eclipse IDE, and it was like walking over hot coals by comparison. It probably took me 100 times longer than I had expected. If I do another Android app, I will look at using something like Basic4android. Once you are spoiled by a Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool like Realbasic, it’s hard to go back to “real” programming.
Now I have to learn about Google Play store marketing. It’s a very crowded place. Getting an app into Google Play or the App Store is like putting a needle into a haystack – you might not ever find it again yourself! Actually, I think I might just skip to the Samsung store – I hear developers are getting a lot more downloads there.
And yes, ensuring that your app will run on the thousands of different Android phones and tablets out there is a major pain. I probably spent way more time testing on the Android emulator than I did coding. It’s a horror scene, and will take your eyes.