Android Alpha

And here it is! 🎉

Let's first get the caveats out of the way. This is an ALPHA build, meaning that there are some features missing, broken, or intentionally disabled. It may crash at any time and delete all your bookmarks and identities. It only supports the portrait orientation. It's only compiled for armeabi-v7a, and has no native OS integration beyond what SDL provides. There is no right-to-left text support (HarfBuzz is disabled). These are all issues that can be fixed over time, but I wanted to get the first build out for people to try.

I'm not a frequent Android user and even less often an Android developer, so this first build will also serve as a general test to see if I can produce APKs that anyone can successfully install.

It was a bit of a slow start as I was having trouble getting Android Studio up and running on XUbuntu. For some reason, the initial setup wizard would just spit out a Java exception and never proceed. Fortunately, after realizing you can just skip the wizard, I slowly got the IDE working properly and the phone connected over USB. There was a bit of a "Linux moment" when the debugger wouldn't start because libncurses.5.so wasn't installed on the system (?), but that was an easy fix.

Once I could build and debug conveniently via the IDE, things picked up speed considerably. I managed to fix the most egregious problems like incorrect font colors and issues with the on-screen keyboard.

The two unique Android "features" are:

The most pressing issue now is updating SDL to 2.0.18. This may require recreating the Android project from scratch, but with what I've learned about the dev tools so far, it may not be too much of a problem.

Known issues

Here is a non-exhaustive list of issues that people have reported:

📅 2021-12-27

🏷 Android, Lagrange

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