Software development on smartphone
I never considered this so far, but I am curious.. is it now possible to do serious development using a smartphone as dev environment? (ie not using a desktop or laptop). What are your suggestions and experience? (Or even, your wishes!)
5/10/2018 5:02:58 AMifl
16 AnswersNew Answer
I think software development on smartphone is possible, but limited. Some languages like HTML, CSS and JS work perfectly on Android because you just need the system integrated web view to "run" your code. Other languages don't, for example C++ can hardly compiled on your device, you'll need a PC with Android studio for it. Also smartphone don't support typical desktop libraries or frameworks, so even just making a console application (with ncurses) wouldn't work. For me coding on my smartphone isn't as effective, too. On a PC you can use different documents and a web browser simultaneously, a real keyboard and a larger screen. You also have many dev tools like gcc, many different IDEs and useful hotkeys to make your workflow faster. Finally I'd say development on smartphone is rather for those languages which are supported by the OS, but maybe not as efficient especially while working on larger projects. Also it doesn't seem like phones were optimized for developers, there need to be more tools, mainly compilers (no online compilers like in SL), this is something google/apple should focus on. I personally hope that the upcoming Linux phone will support many tool I'm also using on my Linux PC https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/ .
you can make native apps on Android devices [the best being AIDE app] and its possible to compile and run, or interpret, many languages (C++, Java, Python, JS, ruby, assembler , etc. I recommend termux app for this) So yes, to a certain extent. Keep in mind most mobile devices use ARM or other RISC architectures (meaning compiled languages wont work on other architectures such as intel or amd) Platform specific code wont work on other devices (Windows doesnt use Android toast, for example) Mobiles have horrible resolution and keyboards IMO (I'd rather have a big screen or multiple screens to layout my work or have docs on one screen while i program on another and have pre release code to reference on another and a nice big spacious keyboard for my long fingers etc.). In conclusion, yes its possible, but its tedious and can waste time. Why struggle when you have better tools? I always go to P.C. for coding serious stuff ;) Mobile just small stuff when i'm bored and away from PC or helping someone here
ifl You can connect/cast a smart phone to a tv. I believe samsung tvs and devices do this Big screen, check! USB OTG cables can make you connect keyboards to phones or bluetooth keyboards can also be connected. Only problem is strict compatibility. My phone has usb otg but you need the brand name usb otg cable :/ And what if my keyboard isnt even compatible... Keyboard, check! Cross compiling... couldnt tell ya. FTP the source code into your PC and translate it if needed or just compile there.
Addition... MAYBE any phone that has HDMI output you can use with HDMI tvs
too close to my face xD it might strain the eyes (my eyes are fairly sensitive though) Cool idea though; never thought of it ;)
While it is possible to do software development on a smartphone it is not possible to do serious software development on one. There is a reason developers like big monitors, you need lots of screen real estate when debugging.
@Aaron Eberhardt. AIDE supports C/C++ development for both Android GUI based apps and native console apps. I know because I've used it to port cross assemblers and other utilities. Granted I used a 10 in. tablet with external keyboard to do it. I'd rather chew my own arm off than attempt to write anything longer than "hello world" on a smartphone.
I think that programming on smartphone is good only when you are in bed 😁😁😁
I am developed some simple apps on my device (like an web scraper and a library most some user scripts for browsers).... I think that its not very funny if you use a small device but with table (with right power) you can do it in more funny way
While you can use a Bluetooth keyboard with many smartphones the physical size of the screen has nothing to do with the resolution. An 800 x 600 pixel display (or whatever) still has the same number of pixels whether you view it on a 4 in. screen or a 56 in. widescreen television, the pixels just appear larger. A decent gaming laptop costs less than the latest smartphones. If your not doing heavy 3D graphics work a run of the mill laptop can be had for a third of the price of smartphone and a 10 in. tablet for peanuts in comparison.
Aha... Any one has any thoughts on using oculus or the like to visualise the screen(s)?
AFAIK the screen resolution of all smartphones is fixed. It's not like a laptop where you can change it. I've never come across one yet that can be changed, however, I'm only familiar wth Android and apple devices. Does anyone have experience with Windows phones? Does anyone even use Windows phones?
thanks for all your comments so far. That's food for thoughts!
As rightly mentioned by others, yes, serious dev is much easier with a large screen and good keyboard. So what are the best solutions available to attach those on a smartphone? Any advice on brands, apps, techniques...?
@Martin. Yes sure, we all agree that a smartphone is inadequate for programming. The question is about, what would it take to make it possible, or at least tolerable. And how far can we hack it with the current tech available. (out of curiosity, say :-) )
Martin Taylor good point about the screen. Would it be possible to adapt the resolution though?