The Pain of Developing for Android

Make no mistake about it. Developing for Android is a f*cking PITA. The people who created Android had no conception of ease of use, user-friendliness, or high productivity. Their only goal was programming flexibility. Typical hacker mentality.

I recently started to write an Android version of an iPhone app. Writing for iOS, using Xcode, is a breeze compared to using Eclipse and ADT. The Android environment is extremely complex (remember, the people behind Android were only interested in flexibility, elegance be damned).

Here are the three biggest gripes I have about Android development:

  1. The Android emulator is unbelievably slow and generally unreliable. It takes several minutes to upload an application to it!! And starting up the emulator fails about half the time (the dreaded “emulator disconnected” error).
  2. Each step in adding functionality to the app is like pulling teeth. Nothing is easy nor straightforward. The SDK has voluminous documentation, but it is tough slogging to get through, and there is a dearth of good examples.
  3. ADT’s counterpart to Xcode’s Interface Builder is crude, unintuitive, incomplete, and frustrating to use. Trying to visually layout your application screen is so painful, it nearly pushed me to suicide.

I’ve overcome a number of obstacles that I’m sure most novices to Android development would normally encounter, so I have created this blog to help them.

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Published in: on January 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm  Comments (1)