Like most Android developers, I became intrigued way back in 2005 (an eternity ago!) when it was announced that Google was buying Android Inc. for it’s mobile arsenal. Nobody was saying exactly what would come of it, in fact it was a closely held secret what exactly Android was doing. Everyone knew it was mobile related, but that was about it.
A few years later, when more details were made public, and the SDK was released, I was hooked! I loved the idea of a Java based open source software development stack for creating mobile phone applications. I downloaded it, set it up on my mac and quickly got a Hello World program running. Moving beyond that was more challenging, of course. I found a bunch of interesting websites and Google discussion groups that were very helpful. I started bookmarking and checking in on those sites to get new information, find tutorials, and learn more about the SDK. The truly generous and helpful culture of software developers has been a wonderful resource in documenting and sharing this knowledge.
When the first Android device, the T-Mobile G1 made it’s debut, all kinds of websites sprouted up that were about the phone, the market, and end-users instead of developers. I continued finding new sites, blogs, cool RSS feeds, and even Twitter streams on an almost daily basis! This is a great thing, but I realized that most people would get lost in the plethora of choices and might never find the really good stuff.
AndroidSavvy was my attempt to consolidate and present a unified experience and central place to get all the best Android information. I knew it would be a very dynamic site, so using a Content Management System (CMS) seemed like a good idea. I chose Joomla as it seemed easy to use and has a lot of free add ons and extensions to show content in very interesting and useful ways. Like Android, Joomla is an open source project that is very widely used in the developer community. I was able to build my initial site in about a weekend, and later found some great add on modules that show RSS feeds, Twitter streams, and website links including thumbnail images of the actual website.
Unlike static content sites, AndroidSavvy is constantly updated. Not by me, but by you, the Android community! Every time you visit the website, the carefully selected RSS feeds on the front page are taken live from the sites they point at. The Tweets page is also updated on every visit by polling Twitter and getting the most recent updates from more than a dozen hand-picked twitter streams related to Android. The Links page is also updated by hand on a regular basis so only sites that seem relevant, up to date, and useful are included.
I hope you find AndroidSavvy useful in your Android work, and fun as well! I visit it often to see what’s new and get the latest updates from all around the web.
Bob Rose is a Google engineer, but is speaking on his own and not for his employer.