I’ve learned to make an Android App

Yes, I’ve learned to make a Google Android App, using the Googlelabs App Inventor (beta)….

I’ve made my very first app for my Android phone! It’s not an all-singing, all-dancing program, but it’s an app, all the same. Why make an app? I’ve always wondered how to make an Android application for a while, and also wanted a way of making our College library induction leaflet available to more students, and making it instantly available and updatable. I recently found a couple of websites that you can pay to have an app developed for you, or make an app from an RSS feed fro free, but I wanted one where I could add content myself. I came across App Inventor for Android (beta), which is one of the gadgets on Google Labs. It looked just the thing I needed to make my own app.

The blurb on the website says:

Creating an App Inventor app begins in your browser, where you design how the app will look. Then, like fitting together puzzle pieces, you set your app’s behavior. All the while, through a live connection between your computer and your phone, your app appears on your phone

Android App Inventor Blocks Editor

(screenshot of the Blocks Editor)

The basic app that I made uses text-based lists and a basic navigation system to provide the content, and it’s even got a button that lets you dial the library’s phone number! I’ve so far added things like opening times and how many books you can borrow, but it’s a start. The App Inventor lets you add all sorts of complex programming, using drag and drop blocks that interlink, and updates the output via either an online phone emulator, or your own phone linked to the computer. It’s a great little program, and it’s got enough scope and complexity for me to add links to (and play) online induction videos, external content, and send updates to users’ phones, all using the same application.

One shortcoming of the Google Android App Inventor, is that you can’t, at the moment, add your self-made app to the Android market. You can, however, download it and share it with your friends and students.

Picture of Library App

(screenshot of the completed app).

This post was first made by me on Posterous.

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Changes

After acumulating so many blogs on wordpress.com – for my music-making, for personal stuff, e-learning stuff, etc.,  I’ve decided to start posting anything non-“mistrust music” related on here. So, that means anything I want to talk about, things I come across and want to share, e-learning stuff, will appear on here.

Henceforth this blog will be known as “What I have learned today”.

I’m not closing down my other blogs just yet. Just starting from now, all my “stuff” will go on here, except music-making “stuff”. I’m just going to keep the mistrust music blog for things I’m doing with my remixes and other bits of what I’m upto music-wise.

So, if you’ve come here looking for a “mistrust remix” or info about “Half Past One”, hop on over to mistrustmusic.co.uk/blog

If not, say hello!

By the way, I’m on Twitter and Facebook

Up Peel Monument

View of Peel Monument
View of Peel Monument

Hello, it’s been a long time since I posted a new missive on this blog! All of you who subscribe via feed readers etc must be shocked to see me posting again. Well, what have I been doing over the last few months? It seems like not a lot! Actually, I’ve been trying to keep fairly fit and healthy, doing a lot of walking – mainly taking Paul up to Peel Monument (see the photo – it’s near Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester). It’s an old folly on top of a hill, 1100 feet above sea level, and a very steep climb. I’ve also been taking the dog for a walk, about 2.5 miles, three or four times a week in the evenings. It feels like I’ve lost some weight around my middle, so it’s doing something!

I’ve also been trying to get some new tunes written, but severely lacking some inspiration. I’ve got some ideas in my head, proper ideas, rather than just fiddling with loops from a cover disc. I’ve been using a vst host called Minihost, which loads a vst plugin and lets you use your computer keyboard to place the vst instrument. It’s got a built in chord maker, arpeggiator, and sequencer, which is great for fiddling around with. My 5 y.o. also likes playing with it – saying he’s playing Kraftwerk’s Man Machine, and the Dr Who theme tune! Expect some new tunes soon…from him, not me! Only kidding….

The Rude Mechanicals remix I did for NZ band Pitch Black is still around on the web and on the band’s remix CD, Rhythm, Sound and Movement. The remix is also going to be used to promote a big music and arts festival in New Zealand, called Splore. More news to follow soon. I’m also going to meet Paddy and Mike from Pitch Black at the end of October when they play their only UK gig in London. I’m also supposed to be getting the stems to remix a track by International Observer.

Other stuff….been doing a lot of Moodle stuff at work – very busy these days. I’ve also made a website for Paul’s dad and his painting and decorating business, D and S Decorators.  Oh, and I’m now on Facebook, and Twitter, so follow me on there if you’re on there….