fluffymark: (barbie)
posted by [personal profile] fluffymark at 02:58pm on 27/03/2017
I've made an android app (for work). Not totally from scratch, it was a "take a large existing java codebase and see if we can run it on android" job. I avoid IDEs whenever possible (and like using my regular text editor) I can confirm that while it is possible to go this path and make a fully working app, writing a lot of build and style xml files manually is a real pain.

Java is not scary. If you know C++, you can on the whole write java as if it were C++, but without needing to think about memory management. The boiler-plating frequently seen in Java code is a style choice in almost all cases, and I choose not to write Java in that way.

It's also possible to compile C for both android and iOS and run natively, should that work for you.

The real snag is iOS portability. Java/Android code will not port to iOS (well there used to be this tool called robovm, but it got bought out and discontinued). So if you are at all considering portability as a goal, best not write directly in Java. I heard very promising things about tools that can basically take javascript and build android and iOS apps from it, but I've not tried them myself, and don't know how free/complete they are. I'd be interested to know what the current best idea is in developing cross-platform android/iOS apps.

On more warning - my experience in developing for iOS is that the code needs constant maintenance - the APIs are constantly being changed and broken, and they won't let you release anything unless it's built with the most up to date API.

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