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    Resolved [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    I am thinking of taking the plunge into writing for android and am wondering what tool I should use.

    I have lots of experience in Basic, Visual Basic Classic and Visual Basic .Net
    I have did some coding in C/C++ Pascal and Java Script but not a lot.
    I have did a lot of mobile apps that run under windows mobile and windows CE as well as a few for the Palm OS back in the day and way back in the day some for those mobile devices that were running under DR Dos.

    So the question is is there a good tool out there that resembles Visual Basic or Visual Basic .Net or should I just go ahead and try to jump to C++ for this. I guess Java is also an option but given the syntax and learning curve I'm thinking C++ may be the better choice.

    Still I would love to find something a little less foreign to me.

    Thoughts?

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    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Some resources I've used to get started with:


    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!fo...oid-developers
    https://www.androidpit.com/forum/and...general/recent
    http://androidforums.com/forums/appl...evelopment.28/
    https://developer.android.com/studio/index.html


    that last one is probably the one of most interest... it's a link to the official android IDE studio...

    It looks like you can use either C/C++ or Java with it, so if you're more comfortable with C++, have at it.

    There maybe something that resembles VB/Vb.NET that does a translation to C/C++/Java, but I'm not sure.

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    Re: Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Thanks for the links. The forums could be a big help.

    I did download Android Studio earlier today but have not installed it yet.

    I'll try to get it installed tomorrow on a VM and dive into it a bit.

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    Hyperactive Member PlausiblyDamp's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Xamarin is also an option, it is C# rather than VB.Net but it is still a familiar framework you are coding against.

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    Re: Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Quote Originally Posted by PlausiblyDamp View Post
    Xamarin is also an option, it is C# rather than VB.Net but it is still a familiar framework you are coding against.
    That is another one I should look at. I am a bit more comfortable with C# than with C++ or Java.

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    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Xamarin is also an option, it is C# rather than VB.Net but it is still a familiar framework you are coding against.
    I am currently using the Xamarin tooling for a project since the VS plugin was made free after MS bought them.

    I have 2 main things to share about the experience.

    1, Setup is a pain in the ass

    2, If you can get past those setup problems then there is a lot to like about the development experience.


    I am going cross platform so i am using Xamarin Forms, and also the MVVM Light framework.

    If you dont need to go cross platform, then Xamarin Android seems to be a bit more stable, but either way you will likely need to use an MVVM framework and i have found MVVM Light to be really nice to work with and there are quite a few examples projects you can download from the Internet.

    If you have ever used MVC then MVVM will be familiar to you and the learning curve easier.

    What great is you can just carry on using Visual Studio and C# to code, and you can test your apps on Emulators which in the most part you can debug.

    What is less great there are thing you cannot debug, you can easily break your project by doing simple things like just adding a new page (if your not careful), and the Setup !!!!!!!


    If you do decide to go down the road of Xamarin i would be happy to share with you the document i have compiled which is essentially what you need to do to setup, and niggly issues you may have and how to get round them.
    Please Mark your Thread "Resolved", if the query is solved & Rate those who have helped you



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    Re: Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Well I have created a Windows 7 VM and installed Android Studio on it. So far I am not impressed with it.
    After installing I tried to create a project to see what the IDE looked like, and of course it is completely alien to me. messages complaining about gradle sync [whatever that is] and telling me that I need to use the sdk manager and download the ndk so I did and thought maybe it would do something after wards. So then it is complaining about cmake not being installed.

    So after installing the cmake it seems to be doing something at least building, indexing all seems to be taking a long time and I have no idea what or why it is doing this. I was expecting to see some kind of desiginer where I could maybe add some input fields, buttons, images and the like but so far all I see is some xml and some other script.

    Is there any kind of WYSIWYG designer for this and I am just not looking in the right place or is it just script and xml?

    Maybe time to go download VS2015 and Xamarin

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    Re: Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Well I installed VS2015 and Xmarin this evening [seemed to take forever] finally was able to get into it and to my surprise I see no visual editor component there either.

    Maybe I am spoiled after all the years working with VB and other tools but it had been over 20 years since I saw an IDE without a visual tool for form layout. Seems like stepping into the dark ages.

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    Re: Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Seem to be spinning my wheels here with VS2015. Perhaps I am missing something that needs to be installed or do not have something configured correctly but I can not seem to get started with the Xmarin forms for Android. If I choose Blank Android project I get no indication of the Forms being included and I see nothing in add references to add it. If I place any related code then the IDE complains that it is missing.

    If I choose cross platform then it seems to recognize the Xmarin forms but complains about something related to iOS. If I hit run on any of the templates the IDE goes off to build for a while then complains that it can not start a project with the output of class library or something to that effect.

    Any tips on how to get started and make a simple app for an android device that uses xmarin forms and can be executed or previewed somehow?

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    Re: Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Well after banging my head with VS in my VM for a while I moved back to Andriod Studio. Got a little farther, managed to locate the layout panel so that was nice but was having some major issues trying to get a sample to run on the emulator image.

    I thought well maybe I should just go ahead and install this on my gaming PC as it should be quite a lot faster than the VM I was using. So I downloaded and installed the Studio on that machine Windows 10 4ghz 8 core AMDFX with 8gb ram. Still seemed slow but better, still having issues with the emulators. To my surprise I noticed that VS2015 and XaMarin were already installed on this system. I must have did it some time ago and forgot about it as I generally use this system under Windows 7 rather than 10.

    Anyway I dived back into it on this PC, still lots of issues but have made some headway at last, Turns out the layout panel was not working under VS2015 at first but after updating some files I managed to get that up and running and managed to get an emulator working and was able to test run a very simple app so perhaps now I can actually start trying to figure out how to do the things I need to do.

    Looks like I will likely end up using the XaMarin at least for now. I am more comfortable with VS than the other tools I have found and have written more in C# than C/C++ or Java so should be a little less painful.

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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    the ndk manager is only necessary if you are using c++. By default, android studio expects you to use java. The development environment definitely has a learning curve, but if you know c++, java isn't too much different. There are OTHER environments available such as netbeans, but google manages android studio so it's updated at least once a week.

    If you have any questions or need help, message me. I have a summa-***-laude level certificate in java development and i have a published app on google play.

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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Check B4A: www.b4x.com
    It is a RAD tool, it creates native applications. The language is similar (not identical) to VB6.
    (I'm the CEO of Anywhere Software)

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    Hyperactive Member PlausiblyDamp's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Quote Originally Posted by DataMiser View Post
    Seem to be spinning my wheels here with VS2015. Perhaps I am missing something that needs to be installed or do not have something configured correctly but I can not seem to get started with the Xmarin forms for Android. If I choose Blank Android project I get no indication of the Forms being included and I see nothing in add references to add it. If I place any related code then the IDE complains that it is missing.

    If I choose cross platform then it seems to recognize the Xmarin forms but complains about something related to iOS. If I hit run on any of the templates the IDE goes off to build for a while then complains that it can not start a project with the output of class library or something to that effect.

    Any tips on how to get started and make a simple app for an android device that uses xmarin forms and can be executed or previewed somehow?
    iOS is a pain, to build an app that will run on iOS you need an Apple Mac on your network, unless you are planning on supporting iOS just remove the iOS project and the error goes away.

    The error about running a class library is just down to whatever project is the startup project for the solution, if you right click on the android project you should be able to make it the startup.

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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Quote Originally Posted by Erel View Post
    Check B4A: www.b4x.com
    It is a RAD tool, it creates native applications. The language is similar (not identical) to VB6.
    (I'm the CEO of Anywhere Software)
    Thanks, I'll check it out.

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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    So I downloaded and installed the B4A trail version. To my surprise it downloaded and installed pretty quickly and loaded quickly as well, a little configuration and I was up and running. Only took a few minutes more to get a very simple app to load and run on the emulator. Basically in under an hour I was able to get to the point that it took 24 hours to get to with the other 2 I tried.

    I'm impressed!

    I would say it is more similar to VB.Net than VB6 but it definitely feels more natural to me right off. It also did not take long to find that WYSIWYG designer which I rather like so far.

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    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Xamarin does not really have a visual wsywig designer as of yet.

    You can design the pages either in XAML or in C#. I believe that they are intending on integrating it with Blend in the longer run so you it will likely eventually have a visual forms designer just not yet.

    After a bit of playing around i actually found it fairly easy to design the page layouts i wanted, it was getting all data binding correct that took a bit more time.

    Anyway please be aware that this document is just something i compiled for myself and the others on my team as a starting point to get setup. As we work behind a proxy server at work there are also some steps later in the document (the stuff to do with Fiddler) which are mainly due to the fact of the proxy, if you are not working behind a proxy you may be able to ignore this stuff.

    Anyway here is the document - Xamarin – Installation and Setup.docx
    Please Mark your Thread "Resolved", if the query is solved & Rate those who have helped you



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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    So I downloaded and installed the B4A trail version. To my surprise it downloaded and installed pretty quickly and loaded quickly as well, a little configuration and I was up and running. Only took a few minutes more to get a very simple app to load and run on the emulator. Basically in under an hour I was able to get to the point that it took 24 hours to get to with the other 2 I tried.
    Great

    I recommend you to use a real device with B4A-Bridge or USB debug mode. The Android emulator (which is part of Android SDK) is quite slow and unreliable.

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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Ok, so I took the recommendation and connected my Galaxy Tab 4 to the PC, figured out how to put it in dev mode and get it connected via USB in debug mode. Then made a stand for the tablet and placed it on the desktop next to my PC monitor Much better than using the emulator and the WYSIWYG is even more impressive now It is great to be able to place the labels and controls and see them directly on the tablet as well as any changes to fonts, colors scaling and other such things.

    I still have to do some experimenting with code to be sure that it will do what I need but it looks very promising now. My main requirements are that I can write to a local file, ability to use a database such as SQLite and be able to send and receive data via TCP. From what I have saw so far it looks like b4a can do all of this, just a matter of writing some code and doing some testing.

    Question: If I purchase a single developer license will I be able to install and use it on more than one PC without a problem so long as I am the only user? I have 3 PCs here one with XP, one with 7 and one with 10 on them, also use VMs from time to time and would like to make sure that I would be ok to install on any or all of those without running into a problem.
    Last edited by DataMiser; Feb 20th, 2017 at 02:49 PM.

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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    From what I have saw so far it looks like b4a can do all of this, just a matter of writing some code and doing some testing.
    That's true.

    If I purchase a single developer license will I be able to install and use it on more than one PC without a problem so long as I am the only user?
    Yes.

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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Thanks, I just purchased the full version and will be writing my app using this.

    I'm glad I was prompted to look at this before spending much more time in the others. Should be a huge time saver for me.

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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    I'll create a separate thread as well in another forum, but figured I'd ask here as well since I had followed this thread with interest because it dealt with at least part of what I knew I would be needing soon which is having a project that runs on Android. The rub is that it will also need to run on Win 10 (Surface 4 Pro tablets). No plan to support iOS. The basic needs are reading temperature sensors and answering some questions based on warehouse location.

    My experience so far is pretty much limited to VB6 and VB.Net. I know enough PHP/JS to make some mods to websites, but have never had to fully code a website yet aside from standard HTML pages.

    I had heard of Xamarin for years, but sounds like DataMiser's experience wasn't too positive. The other rub I have is that I need something working by May 1 so not a lot of time to deal with a steep learning curve.

    The ideal to me would be writing a standard .Net program for Win 10 and then having a converter for Android (haha), but I'm guessing a web-based project would be easiest as long as I can figure out how to read from the sensors using JS. The one simple Android search app my company did several years back before I got here was web-based (DreamWeaver and ColdFusion) and was converted to Android using PhoneGap (now Cordova I understand). ASP.Net may be an option though I've gotten somewhat used to supporting the DW/CF web stuff we have done.

    Any advice on how to best proceed?

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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    Well you could do the PC program in .Net and the Mobile in B4A or you could use B4J for the PC part pf the program if you need to share some code this may work out better for you. I have barely looked at B4J but after using B4A it looks very similar in terms of code syntax and such. Naturally there are differences as Windows and Droid handle things differently, especially on the display side but there are enough common areas where it may be worthwhile to use this approach.

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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice on tools to use for andriod development

    In Developing with Eclipse, from Android Developer Tools, you'll learn about the basics about Eclipse and many ways to use IDE to improve your code.dev with eclipse Android Fundamentals, from Building Hybrid Android Apps with Java and JavaScript, will help you learn the essentials of these components.

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