Why I Love Processing for Android

Processing now has a version for Android. Processing for Android is buggy and slow. However, I love it! Why?

Configuration

RTFW: http://wiki.processing.org/w/Android

I liked that Processing can use your Android installation wherever it’s located. You just browse to the folder, and that’s it! That’s in contrast with other development environments for Android, that require either the default or a particular installation folder.

Moreover, the error messages make sense. My favourite one was “Ouch. Emulator got killed, I think.” (Sometimes the Emulator crashes for no reason, you re-run the same app in a minute and everything’s ok!)

Code Portability

In the beggining, I was super-enthusiastic that I could port all my Processing code from the desktop to Android.

That doesn’t happen; however, the amount of code that can be ported is huge. HT to this post which shares code which allows you to access the Menu or Back buttons of your phone.

The changes are minor though, unless you need to access the webcam (would appreciate advice here–still haven’t managed). For most projects, the same code runs on the desktop and on mobile.

Functionality

At the end of the day, it just works!

It’s the easiest way to make an Android app. You go to Android Mode by typing Cmd+D. You Run your programm as normal by Cmd+R. Emulator starts, your app runs (usually slowly).

You connect your phone with USB; instead of Cmd+R type Shift+Cmd+R. Guess what, your app runs on your phone.

They don’t pretend this is complete; you know what to expect (bugs and slow speed–see their Wiki). However, maybe it has less bugs than other products’ release versions.

Off Topic

Btw, I found it very useful to have an Android icon instead of the Processing one. I kept both installations, Processing 1.2.1 for desktop development, and Processing 0190 for Android. I renamed the latter to ProcessingDroid and I use an Android icon to distinguish it from the former.

Fun overcomes bugs! Android, here I come!

[Guess what I’ve been doing the last couple of evenings :)]

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