Android Development Adventures

May 04, 2015

I was struggling with the right tool to write an app for Android, but finally I decided to go for the native Android SDK.

A couple of years ago I had an idea for an Android app. That would remind me of taking my medicine. I know that there are a lot of apps for that, but I wanted to do that anyway. Why? Because I tested some of them and found all too fancy or too ad oriented. My idea since the beginning was to create something so simple that would be my very first choice,

I had never written an Android application (but games) by that time, so that would be like a lab to me. I would learn a lot and end up with a product, a solid product. I created all the project on my mind and documented it on paper. That really was a simple app. Then the next step would be to find a technology to work on.

By then I did not want to use the native Android toolkit. I’ve never been a real fan of Java, although I have wrote a some multiplayer game servers on it before. So I started looking for alternatives.

Sencha Touch

After a quick research, I picked up Sencha Touch. That seemed the right tool for me. I pretty much like Javascript and the SDK was very interesting. MVC was one of the key concepts that made me chose that. They also offer a command-line tool to help development and deployment.

I started working on it. Created the basic screens in a few days and stored on GitHub.

First version screenshot

I don’t know exactly why, but I didn’t work on this project anymore after that. Sad, I know. That was even beautiful! Maybe because Sencha was a little bit confusing, or I wasn’t taking time enough to grasp it.

Some time later, I started working on an Android app, for the company I was working by then, using Appcelerator Titanium. That seemed like a very good tool.. Again Javascript, but running along with a native-gui wrapper. I really liked that tool. However that was kind of deprecated by then, few people using and a lot of problems unsolved online. So, nevermind.

Cordova and jQuery Mobile

Recently I decided to continue with the project. But try a new technology. I started the project with Cordova, with the new Visual Studio support, and picked jQuery Mobile for the UI.

After a few tests I realized that jQuery Mobile was a bit weak for me. I needed something more consistent. Sencha Touch again? No.

Android SDK

So finally I decided to learn Android SDK. Even though I don’t really want to create a great product, my intentions are mostly create something useful (at least to me) and learn different things, I’m pretty sure that there is no better way to create an Android app than the native way.

Smeduler

So this is the project. I’m working on it now, the native way. Took some time to understand how the layout works, but I’m progressing. I took the decision to leave the code open, so, again, it’s on GitHub.

I created a logo for it

I plan to support these features:

  • Registering medicines with smart scheduling for the doses
  • Reminder for each dose
  • Clean interface, completely ad-free
  • Dose/Medicine history

For me, those are the features needed for the project to attend my needs. Since I don’t plan to make it a commercial project, I have no schedules to finish it. Just having some fun developing.


Headline photo was found on Gratisography.