My Mobile App Challenge
I’ve recently been exploring how to build an Android app. I’ve written several posts on tooling and other basics of Android development. Now I’m ready to start building my own Android app to be eventually released in the app store. I want to throw down the gauntlet for myself by writing this post and declaring my goals.
Build a working Android application in six months (June 1, 2014) based off my current prototype web application, submit it to the app store and have it approved for sale. Along the way provide bi-weekly update blog posts on the application’s progress.
I have several reasons for doing this and doing it this way.
- I’ve been a professional web developer for about six years and I would like to broaden my skills beyond only the ASP.NET web stack.
- I have an idea that I’ve tried in the form of a web application but I believe it would be better suited to the mobile market.
- I wanted to announce and keep track of my project publicly because, like promising to blog daily, it helps to keep you motivated and on track.
I’m sure this question will be asked and the answer is quite simple. In order to compile iOS apps, you need a Mac or you need to rent a Mac through a service like vmOSX. I currently don’t have one and don’t want to shell out the money quite yet. I’ll be looking at iOS in the near future but I wanted to start this now. I’ve learned that if you wait for perfect alignment on all fronts, you’ll be waiting for a long time. It’s better to go!
I’ve settled on using the version of Eclipse that Google provides on the Android developer site. I like it because the tools are free but I will have to dust off my Java skills in addition to learning the Android framework. That’s not a bad thing though. Learning something new keeps you from falling into a rut. I liked the Xamarin tools but I’m trying to avoid that cost.
I chose six months because I want my goal to be measurable but yet realistic. I have family and church commitments that take up time each week. I believe that I can build an app within six months despite those limitations.
I’ve enjoyed blogging since I made the commitment to write everyday – really more than I thought I would. I don’t know how this challenge will affect that pace. If my writing schedule changes, I’ll post it here.