I have always been critical of the “website as an app” approach but I have decided to exempt myself from this self-criticism for my first Android app.
There are multiple approaches that one may take in building their first android app, the most obvious ones being MIT App Inventor and AppGeyser. The former is a particularly nice tool to visually learn the building blocks of programming for Android, though it chiefly suffers from a rather outdated look. As for the latter and its peers, you have to deal with in-built ads (outright or after a certain installation threshold) and third-party branding.
So, I decided to go the full monty and create the app on Android Studio. I must admit that it was in many ways a frustrating experience to deal with compilation errors every now and then, something that is bound to happen a lot when you are just starting out. However, on the whole it was a day well spent in creating a functional, albeit simple app. For starters, it won’t feel out of place on the latest Android devices due to the use of material design. I also had to tweak the site design a bit for it to work well with the app and hence you shouldn’t be surprised to see the “scroll to the top” button on the left side of the page (love that Floating Action Button on the right!). Reasoning the purpose for this exercise would be doing injustice to the satisfaction of engaging in this activity. I guess it was just about crossing another item off the bucket list.
The app download has been linked to Google Drive, so there will be another click involved in downloading the apk file. Also, the installation has to be done by enabling the ‘Unknown sources’ option under the ‘Security’ menu. It’s too bad that I don’t have $25 to spare for publication on the Play Store, but then I have done the next best thing and had it published on the Amazon Appstore. I am curious whether anyone would ever download for the app description goes as follows:
This is a window to a world of views that won’t change the world.
It is the next best thing to watching paint dry.
If you had a penny every time this app was downloaded, you’d still be a pauper.
It is a revolutionary app that mocks the definition of revolution.
It is a time capsule that doesn’t stop time.
It is the app that challenges the moniker “smartphone”.
If this description is not a deterrence, then you are welcome to the world of perseverance.