I'm no Android developer, but I figure if I wanted to get started, I'd check out some videos and pick up a couple of books. That leads to the obvious question: where are these things? Packt, a publisher of both eBooks and good old-fashioned print ones, is currently offering its full catalog of development-oriented works for $5 each (in digital format only). It's also offering a few videos at the same price.
On Wednesday, Google teased developers and enthusiasts by officially announcing Lollipop, but chose to delay the release of anything substantial for another two days. Well, we've waited for the obligatory 48 hours, and the SDK is finally available, just in time for the weekend. (Yay?) Developers can finally abandon the interim SDK and move on to the real thing. There's no more pretending 'L' counts as an API Level, Android 5.0 is officially numbered 21.
For those who skipped the L Preview, it's worth taking a look at some of the more notable APIs available with this release, including the new Camera 2.0 API with its extensive performance improvements and DNG support, a JobScheduler for more efficient recurring tasks, and of course, all of the new animation capabilities intended to enable Material Design.
Treehouse is another one of those online education platforms people can use to get some learning done without having to set foot inside of a classroom. This particular company focuses on providing people with the knowledge needed to design their own apps and websites. To aid in its goal to reach a tech-savvy crowd, it has released an Android app into the Play Store that provides access to much of its content.
Treehouse offers over 1000 educational videos about topics ranging from creating software and designing sites to handling the business side of things. It tests knowledge through quizzes and provides space to code directly within the app.
Running, jumping, shooting—these are the sorts of things you'd expect in a mobile game. Coding? Eh, less so. That's what makes Hacked so interesting. This game, created by Joaquim Verges (Falcon Pro dev) and Fabien Devos, is built around a programming language (H) and a mobile friendly code editor (the Hackpad). You play the game by creating and running simple programs, so a little coding experience is needed to get the most out of it.
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.
Tynker made waves back in March when the developers released the teaching app on the iPad. It introduces children (or anyone, I suppose) to the basic principles of coding and programming. Tynker was available on the web before that, teaching extremely basic programming with a puzzle-style visual interface and pre-made tools. The Android app is only available on tablets, which makes sense given the format, and it costs $4.99 with no in-app purchases.
Tynker won't teach your kids how to code C++ or Java overnight - it's more about learning to think and establish work patterns that roughly approximate programming to get kids interested.
Google is taking the stage at I/O 2014 to announce a lot of really interesting stuff, but if you listen carefully, you may hear a shout out to Udacity. The official Android app has been released in conjunction with the show, allowing you to learn programming at your own pace from your Android device of choice.
The odds are against most people in the Android world having heard of TouchDevelop by Microsoft. From the start, it was designed to be used with a small touchscreen interface by hobbyists and intended to ease people into programming. Things haven't changed too much in that department, but the project has grown from its humble beginnings on Windows Phone to supporting iOS, Windows, Mac, and now Android.
The app actually doesn't do very much, it only handles push notifications and acts as a shortcut to the website. All of the real action happens in Chrome for Android; both the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and the scripts it creates are built on HTML5.
When I was a kid, "robot" meant something that you had to wind up (or if you were rich, something you plugged into your Nintendo Entertainment System). Startup company Play-I wants to change that with Bo and Yana, a pair of toy robots that use a tablet or smartphone as both a controller and a programming tool. The company's crowdfunding campaign started yesterday and has already hit almost 80% of its quarter-million dollar goal.
The idea is simple: kid-friendly robots with kid-friendly programming. These aren't simple RC cars in fancy plastic shells, they're fully interactive robots that will require creative thinking and problem-solving from kids in order to reach their full potential.
Today we are looking at the successful funding of a programmable flying robot that is anything but a drone. Patrick Edwards-Daugherty's team wanted $125,000 on Kickstarter to fund the development of Spiri, a Linux-powered robot that is both obedient and autonomous, and they ultimately received just shy of $130,000 in pledges. Just don't call their project a drone - you won't find the word anywhere on the page.
That's likely because drones are scary, and the Spiri's developers want it to be anything but. It isn't merely a robot, it's a social creature that's capable of scoping out the landscape, detecting land mines, watering plants, reporting the news, and saving lives.