October 23, 2014

Dev Case Study: Fonolo, Part Two

fonoloThe Dev Case Study series highlights Android application projects, focusing on the thoughts and perspectives of the developers who wrote the application in question.

Today, we continue our interview with John St. John (JSJ), Craig Gardner (CG), and Abdul Alrasheed (AA) what they thought of building the Fonolo client for Android.

AG: Did you find anything that pleasantly surprised you about Android development — useful features, tool assistance, community help?

JSJ: I found that the various message boards answered most of my questions about Android development. I was able to figure out everything other than the HTTP posting problem in a very short period of time by reading through the various message boards and tutorials.

CG: Droiddraw was extremely useful in putting our UI together. once we had the backbone it was very easy to modify to our needs.

AA: The big number of followers. which make it interesting environment.

AG: Did you build this app using the public Fonolo API, or did you get access to any “secret sauce”?

JSJ: Unfortunately we had no secret sauce, however all of our code is free to access at http://code.google.com/p/fonolo4android/ so others can benefit from our work.

AG: Do you have any advice for others interested in getting into Android development?

JSJ: The tutorials on Google proved very useful. I would recommend gong through them and actually writing the code yourself. Also doing a Google search for “Android [my problem]” solved my issues 9 times out of 10.

AG: If you had to do it over again, would you? And would you have built  anything differently?

JSJ: If I had to do it over again, it was definitely not too painful, and I wouldn’t mind. I would probably put more time into researching threading strategies and figure out a cleaner way to handle background tasks that update the foreground.

CG: I don’t like the way the buttons for the company list and the phone tree are presented, which is why I am currently reworking the layout to use a ListView instead. Looking back I wish I would have put more research into layouts.