I just got an HTC Droid Incredible last Thursday, so naturally I've been playing with it nonstop. It is admittedly my first smartphone, though I've owned my iPod Touch 2g for almost a year so I am well acquainted with apps. So far I really love the Google Android OS, which I expected given that Lifehacker recently recommended it over the iPhone OS for geeks. But nothing about the phone gave me more joy than a spinning cube.
Last night, I downloaded the Android SDK, installed it into Eclipse, and wrote some Java to create an app - a spinning colorful 3D cube, hardware accelerated with OpenGL ES. After it ran perfectly in the emulator, I connected my phone, installed drivers and ran a command to transfer it. My "OpenGL Test" app may not be any more than a spinning cube with no interaction, but to see it run on my phone screen is so rewarding, especially after so little time and effort.
And as I posted on Facebook shortly after: "I've had my iPod for
one year; Apple requires a Mac to develop for it, so I have done
nothing as far as coding on it. I've had my Incredible for 5 days; I
just developed my first mini Android app, a spinning 3D cube, and
deployed it to my phone." I think this is a definite win for Android, Java, and Eclipse!
If you have an Android phone and haven't touched the SDK, go give it a try! It's daunting at first but I promise it's not very hard!
Anyway, the whole reason I wanted to write this post was to ask about IBM and the Android Market (the equivalent to the iTunes App Store). IBM has no presence there! If we are trying to be leaders in Java, would it not make sense to develop some Android apps in Java, alongside our other Java initiatives?
For example, I think a slim WebSphere console would be neat. Let's say it's 3AM and IT guy Bob Smith is woken up by a call from a client; their web application is being hacked into, they're in a panic, and they want it to be taken offline immediately to stop the attack while they fix it. Normally, Bob would get up, run into his home office on the other side of his house, turn on his computer, VPN into his company, connect to the WebSphere server, and then stop the application. But what if it was as easy as hanging up with the client, tapping the WebSphere app, and tapping the stop button next to the client's web application. He wouldn't even have to get out of bed, not to mention the time saved.
Do you think this is something that IBM, or more importantly IBM's clients, would find desirable? Is there a reason for IBM's neglect of the Android Market?