Last night I attended the ‘Android for Java Developers’ event which was put on by the London Java Community. Reto Meier, an Android advocate from Google took us through the basics of the platform and covered topics including IDE support, some of the libraries available, how applications are assembled and signed and also provided some information on the Dalvik virtual machine.
A couple of Android devices were passed around for us to play with during the talk, having never used Android before I had somehow arrived at the conclusion that the OS was a bit clunky compared to the iPhone/ Palm Pre, this illusion was quickly dispatched when I got to play with the devices and I was in-fact impressed at how responsive and feature laden both devices were. (Note to self I will definitely be getting an Android phone as soon as the contract on my horriffic self rebooting N95 runs out!)
The event was really interesting, as a developer it was pitched at just the right level giving an insight in to both technical and commercial aspects of the platform and also providing useful feature comparisons with other platforms. I was also pleased to hear about the inclusion of proper threading support: Android/ Dalvik has a multi-threading model analogous on a basic level to standard Java whereas the iPhone OS is inherently single threaded. I see this as a serious plus point for Android since phone apps are already getting more complex and often need to be able to run as background services without locking the rest of the phone up.
So there you have it, many thanks to the LJC for putting on the event, Google for hosting us and to Reto and his colleague (whose name I have forgotten - sorry!) for an entertaining and enlightening talk! I’m now off to write a best selling Android app, make my millions and retire early!