On the 30th of April, a talk on Android App Development was held by Marco and Nico who are both members of our Student Branch Passau. There were about 30 attendees present, showing that the Android framework seems to be something a lot of students are interested in.

Firstly, the two speakers presented general information about Android such as the Android versions and in which ways it is tailored to different devices. This aspect is much more important in Android than in iOS or in other comparable systems as Android does not have any standardisation concerning the hardware of its devices and has to support different configurations.

Secondly, Marco and Nico introduced the audience to layouts, listener and the life cycle of Android apps among other topics. These concepts were illustrated with numerous examples as well as with comparisons to Java/Swing. They also went into detail concerning the processing of sensor data and concerning permissions to access different services, e.g. GPS. These permissions, of which there are about 100 different ones, have to be requested in the configuraiton file of the app. Furthermore, intents were explained. These are a method of "communication" between different apps, allowing an app to access and utilize other Android applications, e.g. in order to send an image via mail.

Lastly, the speakers treated threading in Android which is handled quite unusually: Threads only live as long as the activity that started them does. This can be problematic, for example in case of a rotation of the screen as the activity and thus all its threads are restarted. AsyncTask and Services were presented as two alernative solutions.

We want to point out another opportunity to learn more about Android app development to anyone who might be interested: the vhb is going to offer a lecture on Android starting summer term 2016 in which app development, models for the development of mobile software and economic aspects such as the monetisation and marketing of apps are going to be presented.
The slides for the talk as well as an app that was used as an example are available at:

The event is here.