I currently do not have an android enable smart phone, and my current plan isn't about to run out. How important is it to have one? Considering my spot in my cell phone contract, is there a way to get a reasonably priced testing device?
Pretty broad questions without knowing the carrier or what not.....but Google does sell the devices unlocked specifically for development. I've found their emulator to be pretty good, but I have done much in the way of a 'real' app. I've just tinkered with the sdk and on that I never noticed a difference between the emulator and my phone (Captivate).
For testing though I can't imagine that you'd want to release a production app into the wild without testing on a few different devices (nothing gets a bad rating from me like a required restart after install).
SCJA 6 (Studying for SCJP 6)
Joined: May 09, 2008
@Jared, thanks. I have Verizon.
You mentioned testing on a few different devices. Do you own a few? Or borrow/enlist friends devices?
Justin Durst wrote:Do you own a few? Or borrow/enlist friends devices?
I work at a Java shop and we were talking about possibly getting into android (mainly tablet market). So while we were doing some research between us we had several different devices, but the ave person could easily just ask a friend to install on the device and let you test.
As far as you getting a new device not super sure (I have att). Might call and ask them if they offer a partial discount to renew early...this is what att does.
Testing without at least one single device will be hard, the emulator just doesn't cut it. I have 6 devices currently (one directly for free from Google and one from Nvidia) so i'm in an extremely lucky situation. I'd say get one of the current generation phones, or if the you have a tight budget, get one of the last generation phones (HTC Desire/Nexus One, Motorola Droid). The later can be found on ebay and similar sites for OK prices.
I'm European so i sadly can't comment on any carrier related issues.
I think it is very important. Not because of engineering test; the Android emulator is an emulator and not a simulator, so if it runs it should (sic) run on real hardware.
But the haptic is completely different. Mouse instead of touchscreen. Full keyboard instead of on-screen keyboards (there are quite a lot of dialogs in real world apps that don't fully display on 854x480 but need a hardware keyboard - obviously tested on devices with hardware keyboard or not at all). Multitouch. Holding the device for the duration of the game. Vibration. Sensors. Sensors. (Yes, they are important.)
There are to much things that influence the gameplay that are different between emulator and real device that can determine if a game is fun or annoying.
But you don't need a high-end device for this. Devices without contract begin at ~100€. That is not a that big investment.