Developing an Android App

By Chris Corradino on January 6th, 2011

From the minute we launched NYIP's iPhone app, we started to get a steady stream of comments from the legions of devoted fans of Android-system phones. When, they wondered, would we have an Android version to offer? No question the Android users are a devoted bunch, and it reminds us of the Canon vs Nikon debate, or even the Chevy vs Ford pickup truck partisans. The first answer was that we had to wait for AppMakr, whose services we used to build our iPhone app, to have the same capability for Android phones. Well, that day arrived fairly quickly, and then our intrepid Chris Corradino, who is decidedly an iPhone/iPad kind of guy, set to work. How did he fare? Read on.

Developing an Android AppAfter working through Apple's convoluted submission process for the NYIP iPhone app, I was skeptical about attempting an Android build. I don't even own an Android device, nor have I ever used one. I viewed it much like a foreign language which I never took the time to learn. Still, considering the Android platform's rapidly expanding user base, it was clear that I needed to dive in head first.

I started the process using AppMakr and quickly set up the RSS feeds to the blog, videos, podcasts, photo feed, and twitter account. Each one was given a unique icon, followed by the school's logo and branding art. In less than one hour, I had a working demo on my desktop computer.

The app was off to a terrific start, but I still wondered what challenges lie ahead. There was a surprising absence of instructional videos, and almost no forum chatter from struggling developers. Could it be this easy? I forged ahead to find out.

Developing an Android AppThe next step involved downloading the completed app file to my hard drive. I then purchased the Android developers license for the bargain price of $25. Not bad considering that Apple's license is $100. After completing payment, I was prompted to upload the file. The finishing touches included adding a description, setting the price (free), and uploading screen shots. All of this brought the whole process to approximately two hours.

If there is one definitive place where Android has Apple beat, it's in the App submission process. There was no lengthy waiting period, and no convoluted paperwork. In fact, just moments after I uploaded the file, the app was available live for download! You can get it here.


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