Monday, June 14, 2010

Smartphone app development

At, we have had iPhone apps for a while - and they are great. However, with a growing userbase that is using Android and other platforms, we'd really like to expand our apps and develop our teaching files for Android too.

Given the usual mantra of "okay, I'll give it a go", I'd launched myself head first into Android app development. My coding background is traditional webdesign - HTML, PHP, CSS and a little bit of javascript (which has been increasing lately with the use of Jquery).

So, the Java environment that is Android development is completely new to me. After a late night and a little bit of progress, I was pointed in the direction of Rhodes - a Ruby-based development stack that allows traditional HTML, CSS and javascript for designing your app and a Ruby backend for the MVC part of the app.

It sounds amazing - and what's better is that you can take your Rhodes app and build it as an iPhone app, Android app, windows mobile app... And it builds the Objective C++, Java etc. And, to give the apps a naitive feel, all you need to do is tweak the CSS - amazing.

For development, I could use RhoHub, an online SDK which looks pretty cool. But, if you want to create private apps with more than 3 contributors, you need to pay. So, I'm going to attempt to build a Rhodes development environment locally using the Android SDK and eclipse on Ubuntu 10.4 - with me luck!

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