So, for the past 2 months, Jeff and I have shifted gears a little. We've transitioned away from doing only Gumstix development, and moved toward Android Application development.
I'm happy to report that our first product, the Shopping List, is becoming a success. The free version just jumped to over 5,000 downloads (within the first month), and the paid version is over 100.
So, why did we decide to move to Android?
First, according to many sources, Android is poised to take control of the Smart Phone market. Noticing the many benefits to handset manufacturers in switching to Open Source Android, and noticing the few pitfalls, we're inclined to believe it.
Second, Android apps are super simple to develop. We hashed out the first version of the ShoppingList in less than 10 hours, and that included learning the SDK. It uses Eclipse and a built-in virtual machine that makes testing a snap. As a bonus, you can connect your phone to your computer and automatically run your software in the phone.
Third, the Android platform runs on Gumstix (see www.gizmoforyou.com). Since many of the Android handsets use similar processors to those used on the Gumstix (in particular, the Nexus One uses the TI OMAP3430), support will be provided by the manufacturers and built into the kernel. Major bonus.
Finally, being on Android means we can make the software we want and release it to a wide audience, without worrying about spending time and effort on a program that may never get approved. Android apps can be downloaded from anywhere, and the market is available as a convenience rather than a burden. This creates a true freedom not found in other similar platforms.
What do you think? Are you hip with Android?