The Android Developer, who started the SDK petition that objectified the frustration of the Android community as a whole, answered some questions about himself and the mobile software platform.
Nicolas Gramlich, is known as PlusMinus in such online communities as on Android Google Groups and his development community AndDev.org. but offline is a 21 year old Computer Science student at the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences in Germany. Nicolas prefaced the interview stating, “My first contact with Android was right on the day it was officially announced in early November.
Having seen the first videos about the structure Android is building upon I was really impressed, and seeing the “Build an Android Application in 2 Minutes”-Video by Dan Morrill I decided to start coding for Android.
The same night I started writing about my development experiences in the Android-Development-community ‘anddev’ (http://www.anddev.org ) which by now is the worlds largest Android Community (besides the Google-Groups themselves). (There are > 3000 people registered.)”
The following is the Question & Answer session we had:
- What made you decide to focus on programming with Android?
I think its a bit of everything, simplicity of coding, open system, Java (which I learned at university) which is good for rapid application development, rich APIs (if they are fully implemented already, incredible ease of working with Maps, good emulator, …
- Do you feel your petition was worthy and getting Google’s attention in the right way?
I never thought the petition would cause such high waves throughout a lot of big tech-sites all over the world, but except the one unofficial statement by JBQ (an Android Engineer) there has been no reaction by Google.
- Will you send Google a paper or electronic version of the petition once you have a set number of signatures (currently at approximately 200)?
I’ve just had a talk with one of the Android-engineers and he said “and the reasons why we do not release public SDKs won’t change because of a petition”. Also he said that “I think you will be happy about the next public SDK” and “we’ve been working incredibly hard since M5″. That is what I truly believe, that within the last 5 months there had to be extraordinary development and i know that the Android Dev Team even up to what the public sees has done an awesome job.
- How many applications have you created for Android and which is your most significant?
Additionally to all the tutorials I wrote for anddev.org, my most significant application is AndNav, which is a Google-Maps based Navigation System. What makes it different from other Navigation-System is, that it - will cost less than a tenth of usual systems.
- as it is based on worldwide GoogleMaps, the maps are always up to date and users don’t need to buy “MapPacks” or “MapUpdates”
- It has got a Sattelite-View (not only the classing-navigation-view)
- It will support Google StreetView
- many more… Other Applications are: - A simple 5-day weather-forecaster (not yet public, as its not that spectacular).
- Pipes clone
- What do you envision as the future of Android for the coming year and then years ahead?
I believe that Android will spread throughout the whole world really fast. I know that there will be a lot of valuable applications that will draw people to Android for many years. Also I think that Android is an OS that will keep evolving with the years.
- Who would you say are the top Android developers at this point and who would you look to for Android programming advice?
The Top Android-Developer is of course “romainguy” as he’s a member of the Android Dev Team. If I need a quick hint I visit #android -channel on irc.freenode.net where a lot of good android-developers hang around. One of them did something similar to what you are looking for, before and almost every time you’ll find a solution together.
- What are the top Android sites that you read?
I have a Google-News alert on “Android” which keeps me informed pretty good. To be on the cutting edge, I hang around in the #android -channel on irc.freenode.net , also the Android-Discuss/Developer GoogleGroups are valuable.
- What is your purpose of AndDev and what do you hope to achieve with the site?
I wanted to create a site, where people (not only hardcore-developers) can learn Android from scratch and explaining the things that are clear for someone involved in a manner that beginners also can follow each step. The feedback I got from the users that profited from anddev is overwhelming. A bunch of the ADC winners said that almost every Android-Developer profited from it at least once.
- How do you feel about Germany in the upcoming Olympics?
I’m not that interested in watching sports, more in doing them myself . Anyway, I wish the German athletes only the best! Nicolas also did a similar interview at Last100 of which I liked his quote that, “Android is for the masses, iPhone for the rich“