Android is a new open source software for mobile phones that was created by Google and the Open Handset Alliance. It is a free platform, it was inspired in mashups. It has a lot of conveniently available services ready to be used as “plug and play”. Many developers like it because it automatically manages the application life cycles of all the apps running in the phone, in other words, the developer doesn’t need to get involved in this tedious process… the OS does it for you! Another special feature of Android is that all programs are written in Java which is supported world wide.
We recently installed MotoDev and the SDK’s needed to run some examples in the emulator; which is a pretty cool feature… although the developer should have a phone available to download the app into the cellphone for development purposes, it is not mandatory. MotoDev comes with an emulator that saves time, and it is very similar to the actual phone interface.
Creating the first program is easy as long as you are following a tutorial or a book; otherwise, you will be lost as it is not very intuitive, but once you start learning step by step, you should be able to get your first Hello World in different layouts or views. I would recommend the Hello Android by Ed Burnette and Beginning Android by Mark Murphy. These are very different books, the first one takes you through the whole process on how to completely create a specific application/game from beginning to end. The second book is a good reference book, it gives you quick and easy answers to specific questions or issues.
We are planning on working on a Trivia game, something fun that users would enjoy and also learn from… at the end of the day… nobody has all answers to all questions… we can all learn something new every day!