First I wrote this:
Then this happened:
masukomiOMG HUMAN BINGO: drive to somewhere good for people-watching like a mall: fill out bingo card with random human characteristics like "big muscles", "long hair", etc.. cross each off when spotted.
A web site to generate cards:
isaaclyman.com/human-bingo/ by @isaacandsuch20:51 PM - 08 Aug 2018
Please finish the Human Bingo app ;)
So I decided to see how quickly I could turn Human Bingo, formerly a jQuery-based web app, into a native Android app (with little prior experience).
As it turns out, the answer was "about three days." That includes the time it took to learn Kotlin, since I don't like Java.
Here's the finished result: Human Bingo on Google Play
And here's the GitHub repository (the app is open-source): human-bingo-android on GitHub
This is a really simple app with no login, no online features, no high-def graphics, no on-device data storage, and no permissions needed. I'm sure a more experienced developer could have finished it in a day. But I learned a few cool things by taking the time to do it myself.
- Android Studio, the IDE used to make Android apps, is really great (and so much better than it was four years ago, the last time I tried to make an Android app).
- The problem of supporting legacy browsers (like IE8) doesn't disappear when you leave the web. To reach a large audience, Android apps have to target many different versions of the OS. Luckily, the development ecosystem comes with a lot of backwards-compatibility baked in.
- Kotlin is a fun and elegant language with an astoundingly useful and comprehensive standard library.
- Most of the tutorials and Q&A about Android apps are written for Java, so sometimes you have to figure out the equivalent Kotlin yourself. But if you copy and paste Java code into Android studio, it will offer to transpile it for you.
- Creating and publishing an Android app is about as easy/hard as creating and publishing a website.
If people-watching is your thing, pick up the app and try it out, or feel free to head over to GitHub and make a contribution.
And thanks for your encouragement, everyone.