Published Celebrity Astrology Android App

I have been working on an android application to work with my http://celebrityastrology.net site. It is now in alpha and can be downloaded from the android marketplace. Built a json service into the celebrity astrology site, after doing mobile/webkit optimized version. Application works with this service to display lists and show content. I needed to downgrade the chartwheel activity to a webview until the image viewer can be perfected.

Mobile Apps from a Shareware Lens

Being involved with mobile development, including web, applications, etc and having developed and successfully sold applications  in the shareware market for many years, has given me an interesting perspective into the Android, iPod, iPhone and iPad applications market. One of the challenges with these markets has been that many applications are sold for little or no cost, nor with an expectation of payment. People used to complain about shareware that you’d never get paid, but those with successful, compelling products did develop substantial businesses, for instance WinZip. Many of those who didn’t do well, didn’t consider market issues and demand for propsed products and consider what it would take to develop a full featured product competitive with commercial products. I had always producted numbers including a shareware version, and several different commercial versions, and the strategy basically worked until the market got saturated. A saturated market is also a problem for mobile applications, consider the number of iphone applications for sale, and the typical prices. There is more space in the Android marketplace, but more challenges including different hardware and software versions. If the android user base continues to grow at a quick pace, which i suspect it will, a significant market could arise, if developers find a way to get paid for their work.

Challenges with Android Development

Been working on several applications for Android, along with supporting Crisp Wireless‘s efforts and expanding mobile advertising opportunities, have discovered a number of issues working on applications with android. First many of the devices have been highly customized, creating significant amounts of fragmentation, which is complicated by the number of active api verstions 1.1 – 2.1, and varying features, for instance input types and navigation controls. Another challenge discovered has been a bug in the browser, that makes work with layers using z-index difficult in that the browser does not respect z-index when doing hit testing, so clicking on a top most level, could wind up activating controls or links on a lower layer. Developing image related applications revealed other issues, including differences between phones such as the Motorola Droid and Emulators. For instance in work with a scrolling, dragging, image browser works fine with the emulator and allows using the application as viewport into a larger image, but the Droid support for Image Views and Scroll Views causes the view to resize to fit, regardless of the settings

Moving to Support Vista is a Bitch

Astro for Windows had been working well with Windows XP. Windows Vista adds a lot of challenges, particularly files that users modify that under XP could live under Program Files, have to be moved either to Public or the users directories. Security has become much more challenging, things that worked before now have to change. Moving from Earlier versions of Windows to support XP had fewer challenges and fewer issues surface, than supporting Vista