Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Android SDK: first impression (eng)

I have started learning the Android SDK. And I'd like to share my impressions about this technology that is new for me.

So, what I liked:
  • There is used the Java programming language, although Android does not support established Java standards (SE or ME) - it just uses Java syntax and provides a lot of Java standards classes (streams, threads, collections etc)
  • The familiar development environment (eclipse) with Android plug-in (ADT) that does all routine work automatically. For example, it automatically generates classes from defined .aidl files. There are also built-in widgets (layout) editor, manifest file editor that allows editing it as raw XML data as by clicking to necessary buttons :)
  • Simple, clear for understanding documentation. To start developing something for Android it is enough to read the "Android fundamentals" article on developer.android.com.
  • There are supported all famous platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X. For example, In iPhone I don't like the necessity for developing only on Mac OS.
  • Good Virtual devise with an ability to customize device features. There is a set of SDK tools to monitor/control the device - it is possible to view info about each running process, cause Garbage collector etc.

What I didn't like:
  • The virtual device is starting too slow. For example, iPhone emulator starts immediately with already loaded operation system. Like the "true" device, the Android starts with black screen of terminal :) The good news is that it is enough to start device at once and after work with it, eclipse connects automatically to this device each time. But not skilled developers often close virtual device window and each time have to wait until it starts :)
  • Virtual device works slowly sometimes
  • Sometimes eclipse don't allow to debug application, and it needs to restart it.
In general, developing for Android is an interesting and very promising direction.

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