Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Android Hacker

My manager at work put together a simple AndroidTM app last weekend. It was just a toy app, but he plans to continue to mess around with things on the side (in his vast spare time </sarcasm>). He encouraged me to do so as well. For one, the development platform we are using to experiment can run Android. More importantly, we always want to be "sharpening the saw" in order to stay competitive. Unlike his suggestion that I learn python, the suggestion to learn android is something I can get excited about.

I also am intrigued here by the apparently successful efforts of a former fellow grad-student. He now works for lolo developing iOS apps. The apps look pretty cool (I do not have an iPhone or an iPod touch): lolo burn lite, lolo burn, and tempomagic. I do not know how their apps are doing, but they look impressive to me (I'd buy lolo burn if I had an iPod Touch).

Here are the steps I took to download the SDK and get it installed:
  1. Go to the Android Developers website. I found myself getting a little bit of that "Christmas morning anticipation feeling" when I went there, but that might be due to my download of the latest KNOPPIX I have going.
  2. Click on the "Learn more" link under Download to get the SDK!
  3. View the system requirements and then download Eclipse (triple check to make sure I get the version I want). Install Eclipse by extracting the zip file into the Program Files directory (or wherever you want it).
  4. Download the Android SDK (more exciting than the Social Network, I know). Unpack it somewhere (I unpacked it into Program Files too) and then add it into your PATH. Do this by right-clicking on your computer (either on your desktop or in the taskbar) and then selecting properties. You then want to get in the advanced system properties and select "Environment Variables." Edit the path variable to have an additional semi-colon and then the absolute path to the Android SDK.
  5. Use the ADT instructions to install Android Development tools in Eclipse.
  6. Install all the "extra stuff." I am not sure what I need, and I have plenty of space, so I just installed everything. Yay for free software!
That is all for now. Next I move on to Hello, World. After that: profit! Or not. While profit would be nice, I think it will just be fun to tinker around a bit.

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