Do you want to build your own apps for Android but don't know your SDK from your Eclipse, or your Java from your Emulator? There is a site out there that can assist you, up to a point. If you are looking to create a content consuming app then Andromo could be what you are looking for. If you want to do more complex function then you will probably need to look at using the full Android development suite of tools.
I set myself the task of trying to create an app that would show me all the MoDaCo RSS feeds in one application - nothing too testing. I was very surprised, and I think Paul was too, when I came back 5 minutes later with a fully functioning app called 'MoDaCo feeds running on my HTC Desire'. I will take you through the process below.
Before I do you need to be aware of a few things. Firstly, the app creation is free, and you are free to distribute on the Android Market if you desire. The caveat here is that all apps created for free will contain adverts, of which you can get 50% of the revenue if you have an AdMob account. Your alternative is to pay $99 per app, per year for an ad free version of your application. For the novice builder who just wants to play around the free version will suffice and the ads aren't hugely intrusive although they are pretty low quality graphically as you will see from the screenshots. You also need to make sure you read the Terms and Conditions as there may be parts which you are not willing to agree to. My biggest issue with the terms is that you are only granted non-exclusive rights to the applications. This could mean that Andromo themselves would be able to sell your app. That's not to say they will but only Andromo can say for sure. Finally, the terms make it clear that any app is subject to US laws, including exporting.
So onto the creation process. Once you have signed up you need to go through 7 or 8 stages to create your app.
More after the break....
- App Info - name the app, and pick an icon
- Activities - this is where you can choose your content. Feeds, Youtube, Audio, Maps, Images are all options.
- Styles, Dashboard, and Action Bar - all of these allow you to change the design of your app. Colours, Backgrounds, and Alignments can all be changed
- Build - this is where you get to hit the big green GO button. This sends the build request to the Andromo servers.
- Promote - allows you to show off your app to the rest of the Andromo community. This is optional.
If all goes to plan you should receive an email within 10 minutes with your APK file. You can load this up on your phone and test it.
Andromo also lets you modify created apps so if you want to add functionality at some point you don't have to start over.
In conclusion, Andromo is a very effective tool for creating apps. I have created a few with my different RSS feeds in them, each named according to the feeds it contains. I don't think anyone else would be particularly interested in them but for the sake of 5 minutes work I am not bothered.
Try it over at the Andromo site and let us know so we can download your apps!
If you want to download my 'MoDaCo Feeds' app, please help yourself! :-)