Thursday, November 13, 2014

Starting Android development on my phone

I have been creating blog posts from my phone and doing a little coding.  I have been wondering, though, if I could do android app development work on my phone.  I want to do this for the same reasons that I post to this blog from my phone.  With young kids and other responsibilities I don't have much time to sit in front of a computer.

So using what I had learned from blogging and other activities on my phone I decided to give it a try.

First I needed to learn how to build my apps from the command line.  I have done all my previous Android development using Eclipse.  The machine I am working on is running Ubuntu.  I did some reading and found out it was pretty easy.

First off, in the project folder I needed to be able to run the android command to setup the project.  To do that I had to add the android sdk directory to my path.  After doing that I got an error about tools.jar missing.  After some Googling and trying different things I ended up installing openjdk 7.  This resolved the issue.  Then I also needed to install ant.  I had no issues with that.

After that setup I ran the android command in the project folder passing some arguments specifying a target and some other things.  I already had some emulators setup from my previous development work, so I was able to use one of those as the target.

Then all I had to do was run 'ant clean' and then 'ant debug' and it created an apk for me.

Now I needed to be able to do that from my phone.  I setup ssh on the Ubuntu machine and I was able to connect from my phone using the ssh client app that I use.  The one I use now is just called SSH Client.

Then I setup the project as a github repository.  Using an app called SGit I am able to check out the repository on my phone and make changes to the code using an app called Quoda.  Then I commit and push the changes.  Then I ssh to the Ubuntu machine, run 'git pull', 'ant debug', and a new apk is generated.  The folder where it is generated is in my Dropbox folder, so then from my phone I can download it in the Dropbox app.

There are a lot of apps involved there and it takes a long time to get anything done.  This works okay, but I would like to cut out some of this process and maybe automate some things.  I will blog again after I look into some ways of automatically building the apk etc.

This post has been mostly written for a while, but I forgot to publish.  I am almost finished with a followup post.  I may publish that today as well.

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