First Step Toward a Native Android App

NNW Android, Step 1

Now that No-Nonsense Weather for HP WebOS has been officially discontinued, thanks to Hewlett-Packard’s stunning mismanagement of the platform, it’s time to look to the future. My earlier plan had been to port the existing NNW app to PhoneGap, a cross-platform API that would let me bring one HTML, CSS, and Javascript codebase to Android, iOS, WebOS, BlackBerry OS, and others. I got the app half-developed, and it worked okay, but it just didn’t feel ‘right.’

So, instead, I’m going to develop a native Android app. Depending on how successful the final product is, I’ll consider making versions for other platforms. As you can see by the screenshot to the right, I’ve done my obligatory ‘hello world’ app . . . my first, tentative steps into the world of an Android developer.

Obviously this is very early in the development process, but there are a few things I know already.

First, the bad news: The app, unlike its defunct WebOS cousin, will not be free. I don’t know how much it will cost yet (or if it’s feasible to offer a free, ad-supported version), but I have to get some money out of this to cover the costs of getting into the Android market, to fund access to a commercial weather API, and to compensate myself for the time it’ll take to build it.

But hopefully the good news will outweigh the bad. By using a commercial (pay) weather API, I’ll be able to offer the app world-wide, and provide you with weather info wherever you travel (assuming you have data access). The WebOS version used a free National Weather Service data source, which only provided weather data within the United States. I’ll also be able to provide real-time current conditions, severe weather alerts (that actually alert you), and who knows what else . . . and development should be easier, since whatever API I end up going with will be well-documented and easy to use (I’m leaning strongly toward the Weather Underground API at the moment).

Anyway . . . nothing much to show yet, but I’ll let you know how it develops!

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.