Alternate Android & IOS dev platforms

I was at at a local Maker meetup and had a discussion with a developer about Android apps and the fact that I dread getting into that. He pointed out that he has been using Basic4Android and finds it not only easy but also fast to turn produce applications. I also recently acquired TechBasic for my IOS tablet because I don’t have nor want a Mac to develop on. What’s cool is you develop and run the apps ON the tablet and you can distribute the run-time free-of-charge.

Just thought I’d share that with users who may be in the same boat as me :smile:

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Err… Are you sure? You still need Xcode to compile the app. And I think you still need an Apple iOS developer account ($99) to even distribute an ad-hoc app due to iOS devices looking up a valid provisioning profile among other things.

I developed the same app for iOS and Android back in June 2012 using PhoneGap, so the development was pretty much the same for both platforms. However, distribution on Android was MUCH easier. iOS has a lot of hoops to jump through. But, once the app is live, we had WAY more issues with the different versions of Android running on a bajillion different devices, as opposed to iOS devices running basically the same.

After developing for both platforms, I just stick with developing little HTML web apps using jQuery Mobile and my own virtual server. It’s way easier and works just as well as a native app for all of my purposes.

A little story about developing those apps back in 2012. I bet my boss (the CEO of the company) that I could build both apps and have them on the app stores in 2 weeks. Two weeks later, he was purchasing a fairly decked-out MacBook Pro Retina laptop for me, since I had to use my personal laptop to develop and deploy the iOS app. Best bet I ever made!

wgbartley, what I meant by “free” was TechBasic does not charge you. Of course Apple will find a way to drain your wallet somehow! I am not an HTML guy since my background is more hardware/firmware. But I am learning fast. In the meantime, I know VBasic (ya, I know… yuk) and I can get something going instead of slowly plodding with HTML. When you say jQuery Mobile with your own virtual server, can you elaborate? You have a VM server running somewhere as the backend of the mobile app?

Argghhh… too much to learn, too little time!

Programming with Xcode can be done on windows through a virtual machine running a hackintosh, since Xcode itself is free. If you’re fortunate enough to have your iDevices jailbroken, then you can install them without the apple-hassle :slight_smile:

I have a virtual server at DigitalOcean that’s a glorified LAMP (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP) setup. Other than the Simple Spark PHP Proxy for “transparent” routing of API calls with the access token secretly appended, the jQuery Mobile stuff I’m doing is 100% HTML + JavaScript + PHP, so there’s no server-side stuff.

Hey, if I can help you learn something, then I am all for it. Feels nice to know something that you uber-smart guys don’t!

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Oh ya, expect me to pick your collective brains in a big way! :slight_smile:

Probably not what you are after but: I recently used MIT App Inventor 2 for a basic bluetooth project. For tinkering and simple apps it is great stuff. I made a basic app in two hours without any experience in app development (I did not fare quite that well in my first attempt using Eclipse + ADT. Steep learning curve if you come from .NET).

And best of all, it’s brilliant if you want to teach kids programming:
http://ai2.appinventor.mit.edu/