Android has gone through quite a few changes during its short 6 years of life. The Android that drives most of the world's smartphones of today would be almost unrecognizable to what was launched in late 2008. We've seen massive visual changes, expansion to almost every conceivable form factor, and a completely fleshed-out content ecosystem for multimedia and apps. As the operating system matured, some elements have successfully grown with it, and others have become dead weight. Naturally, progress calls for the replacement of those pieces that haven't scaled well. We've seen an excellent example of this when ART came to replace Dalvik as the standard Android runtime.
If you're a Norwegian Android developer, you might want to consider attending JavaZone, an independent Java programming and development conference being held in Oslo from September 9th through the 11th. If you're not, you can still enjoy this parody trailer for the event posted to the group's YouTube page. If you're at work or in public, heads up: the video below has some mild swearing.
To get all the in-jokes here you'd probably need a programming undergrad degree, a passing knowledge of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones novels or the HBO TV show, and an awareness of the litigious copyright and patent lawsuits spiraling around the technology industry.
AIDE is an integrated development environments that lets you develop Android apps... from an Android app. Now the piece of software has reached version 2.5 and is taking things a step further. Instead of merely letting you code, it's prepared to teach you how. The latest version provides interactive lessons with step-by-step instructions, so you can learn how to program in Java and develop for Android at your own pace.
The Chromecast add-ons just keep coming, don't they? The latest tool to take advantage of Google's dirt-cheap media streamer is called Fling, from Plano, Texas developer Leon Nicholls. Unlike most of the tools from Koushik Dutta and others, this one expands Chromecast's desktop streaming powers. The Fling Java tool streams local video and audio files directly to Chromecast, and uses the popular VLC media player to transcode the ones that Chromecast doesn't support.
Chromecast can only stream a Chrome tab from a desktop out of the box, but Fling uses the Java Runtime Environment for quick and dirty direct streaming.
Holy cow! If you write Android apps, you need to look over here right now. You've probablyheard of AIDE, a complete development environment that runs on and builds for Android. While it was pretty impressive before, you won't believe what the appfour GmbH team has in store now. Just today, version 2.0 of the Android IDE was pushed to the Play Store with support for building native apps with C/C++, quick previews of XML layouts, and a cleaner and even more Holo-themed interface, along with major enhancements to Git.
These days, it seems like everybody can create basic Java-based applications on any old Android device thanks to tools like Tasker App Factory or any number of IDEs and compilers; but nobody even mentions building high performance native apps and games.
The majority of Android developers use Java to create their apps. While Java isn't the hardest programming language to learn, it's always best to get as many people developing as possible.... not that Android is hurting in that respect. Even so, a new way to create apps using Microsoft's familiar C# language is now available, by way of TallApplications BV's Dot42 - a tool that aims to accomplish this task without requiring something like mono.
The gist is simple: it's a compiler that will allow you to code apps in Visual Studio. You can use existing Android API libraries. There's even limited support for editing String and Menu resources in WYSIWIG.
This week, we saw a new kid among Android decompilers hit the street - JEB. JEB is a full featured, commercial dalvik decompiler aimed at security researchers and reverse engineers. Although many other decompilers exist, such as DED, Androguard, baksmali, dex2jar, undx, etc and most of them are free and work quite well, JEB comes with features not seen in most free tools:
Easy to use UI
Direct dalvik to java decompilation
Easy on the eyes bytecode
Easy cross referencing of items
Easy renaming of items
The downside is mainly the price, weighing in at a hefty $1000.
We've talked about AIDE, the mobile developer toolkit that allows you to write Android apps (almost) entirely on your phone or tablet. In those past discussions, we've mentioned that you can probably get by with just the free version. The premium key offers a few nice extra features, though, like APK publishing, Git push/commit, and saving large project files.
Most of the features of the premium version are handy if you want to code entirely on your mobile devices which, admittedly, most of you probably won't want to do. Ideally, this app works as a companion to your typical IDE (like Eclipse), but while this sale is going on, it's a small price to pay for a little extra convenience.
The number of quality games in the Play Store may be increasing at a healthy pace, but let's be honest, there's still some room for improvement. Unfortunately, even if you know Java, creating games can be a little different than creating an app. You need some help - a professionally-written book to break down and explain each part of the process, then help you bring it together.
When we last left our heroes, AIDE was just released on the world, to the excited cries of developers who liked the idea of writing and testing their apps on the same device, but still probably couldn't replace their desktop development rig with a tablet. However, the app has been steadily making improvements and, as of the newest version (1.0.1), it's out of beta and will be moving to a freemium model.
The IDE will be available for free from the Play Store. However, if you'd like the option to publish commits to Git, publish an APK, or save files in larger projects (25+ Java files), the developers will ask for a one-time fee of $9.99.