■ SCREENSHOT 1. Everything revolves around the Android
APIs. Plus, you can't beat the price of this application.
Before beginning the discussion, I drove down the
traditional Android development road. I downloaded and
installed the Android SDK, the Java JDK, and Eclipse. I
actually got a simple app to compile and run. Other than
writing Android apps, I went through the Eclipse-based
Android development cycle in order to be able to
describe it to you here. My other interest in producing
Android apps involves “talking” to my PIC microcontroller-based gadgets using my Bionic and Galaxy Tab. Before the
sun sets on my dreams, I plan to use the Android
Bluetooth and USB communications portals as the “other
end” of my PIC data pipes. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see
myself writing a 100 column series on Android
programming. So, I searched for a higher road.
BACK TO BASICS
Basic4android, that is. Most of us have built PC
applications using Visual Basic or Visual C++. Now, we
can build Android apps in a similar fashion. Basic4android
is very similar in touch and feel to Visual Basic. However,
instead of sliding on Windows API calls, Basic4android
rides on the Android SDK and Java JDK. Basic4android
generates pure compilations of native Android code that
don’t require extra run-time dependencies.
Before deciding to purchase a copy of Basic4android,
I was very skeptical. How could something so detailed
and complex be pounded into a Visual Basic-like package
that is easy to use? I decided to take a chance and join
the 25,000 developers that took the plunge before me.
NOT WASTING ANY TIME
Let’s stop talking and get cranking. The first task that
has to be performed is the downloading and installation of
the Java JDK. Basic4android depends on the Android SDK.
The Android SDK does not play well with the 64-bit
version of Java. So, even if you are running Basic4android
on a 64-bit PC, you must load the 32-bit version of the
Java 6 JDK.
The next milestone on the road to real
Android app building is the installation of
the Android SDK. Once you’ve installed it,
you’ll need to install at least one version of
the Android APIs. As you can see in
■ SCREENSHOT 2. This is where you
specify the Android API set you want
to use in your app.
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