I’ve Added Android to my Toolbox

For the past 2 years, I’ve been working on Android apps. It started in mid 2010 when I was doing some work for Push IO. They sent me a Motorola Droid (the original one with the slide out keyboard and built like a tank) to experiment with. I was impressed by its turn by turn navigation and it handled basic smartphone functions well. I was even more amazed at how easy it was write a simple app and deploy it to the device. I was used to fiddling with certificates, provisioning profiles, entitlement plists and if I was wearing my 0xE800003A Open Radar t-shirt that I got from @timburks correctly.

In 2011, I bought an unlocked Nexus S and then swapped in my iPhone sim to see what it was like to truly be an Android user full-time. At first I did not like it, since I had gotten used to the bounce scrolling, tapping the top bar to scroll to the top, etc. But I got used to it and realized that this was actually a nice platform. I took to carrying around an iPod Touch with me at this time since I like both iOS and Android. Currently, I’m toting an iPhone 4S and a Nexus 7.

I’ve built several Android apps now, for both Android handsets and tablets, while still building iOS and Mac apps. I started building Android apps for clients in early 2011. I had been concentrating on iOS and Mac apps up to that point, but the demand for apps for Android handsets had reached a tipping point.

I’ve found that I have a unique perspective on and appreciation of Android because in my pre-Indie life, I had been the lead developer on a large client Java application and during the past 4+ years of my Indie career, I have been focusing on mobile apps. No, Android is not SWT or Swing. It is not exactly equivalent to iOS either. However, it is a nice fusion of those concepts. While many of my developer friends regard Eclipse as an abomination of an IDE, I find it comforting. This is partially due to having rebuilt that large Java app as a series of Eclipse plug-ins (instead of being a monolithic Swing app) and being immersed in the Eclipse codebase and community.

If you look at the archives of this blog, this isn’t the first time I’ve pivoted. I started out blogging exclusively about Java and Eclipse. In 2005, I started blogging about Cocoa and Rails. Going forward, I’m planning on blogging about Android, iOS and Mac.