I have been working on implementing an idea of mine for some time now. The idea came having implemented many Android apps and realising that I could automate much of the repetitive, boring coding allowing me to create apps quicker and less expensively for my clients.
The result is RADDroid which is a Java code generator. It’s a web-based ‘super wizard’ to gather the required functionality and generate a super-skeleton application. The result is a generated project that can be opened in Eclipse. You still have to be (or need) an Android developer as you have to code together the pieces of functionality, add real icons, data and graphics. However, it significantly speeds up development and leaves the developer to do the interesting rather than the boring bits. It should save experienced developers days of typing. Inexperienced developers should save weeks.
Technically, RADDroid allows you to manipulate activities and methods via a point and click web interface. There are some pre-defined screen layouts that cause methods to be implicitly generated. Similarly, adding menu (items) implicitly generates handler methods. All these methods can contain various functionality that can be ordered. In the case of asynchronous functionality, for example a http request, further callback methods are automatically created to which functionality can be added. There’s also support for common code header comments, persistent state for screen orientation changes and imports and manifest permissions are handled automatically.
I have resisted the urge to go down the App (.apk) generator path. It would be possible to add extra features to allow simple templated apps to be generated with no coding. However, I’d fall into the traps and limitations of other tools. The tool is different because it’s for developers to create rich Java apps, not pre-canned apps based on app templates.
RADDroid is currently in beta. Nevertheless, it’s 100% functional and usable. It’s just that with so many ways of using it, there might be one or two scenarios I haven’t covered.
If you are a journalist, well known blogger, Google developer evangelist or involved in hardware OEM or operator developer engagement then please ask for an invite code via the support system. Other people can use the web UI but need to pay to gain access to the code generation.