Monday, 13 June 2011

Android SDK...

I don't own an Android device (and don't plan to), but I tried today to play with the Android emulator on PC to see how it works. Well I don't know about the SDK yet, but the emulator is really not very good:

Just installing what is necessary on Eclipse is really not very straightforward. You have to install the SDK, then configure the SDK, then install Eclipse, then install the ADT plugin on Eclipse, then configure it. If you are lucky, you are OK, but it's not easy to know what you are doing. And you must not make any mistake when you download the necessary parts of the SDK: what do you need to install? What are the compatibility packages for Android? Are there any settings that must be identical on the SDK and the ADT plugin? Nothing is explained anywhere.

Then you compile the samples provided with your version of the SDK. Beware, they are not available with all versions, so I choose to stick with a version - 2.2, for which there was an SDK platform and samples available.

Then run your samples app. The good thing, it's launching. The bad thing, it take ages to launch (on my good PC, approximately 7 minutes, even with the project already compiled), and it signals that there's a problem of signature... mm, for a sample which was directly downloaded from google website, it's not very professional.

At least, it runs even with the error messages warning you that the app will close very soon. And it works, but it's really not responsive at all, you wonder for every click if it will do something or if it will hang forever.

There is no comparison with the iOS SDK provided by Apple. XCode and the emulator both work like a charm, and launch super quickly. I'm fed up with Google seemingly considering that it's not a problem to have a sub-par SDK just because it's for a free and Open Source product:

  • Android is not entirely Open Source

  • Apple SDK is free if you use it on your Mac

  • NetBeans / the JDK and many other Open Source tools are entirely free and very responsive