Android development – scratching your itches and stealing your code

September 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Yesterday I was driving and my phone rang. I was wearing my hands-free, but I still had to pull my phone out of my pocket to see who was calling. (Remember when you had to answer the phone if you wanted to find out who was calling? Hahaha – talk about walking uphill in the snow both ways – we used to have to answer the phone to find out who made it ring!)

Anyway, I thought that having my phone tell me who was calling would certainly come in handy. You can assign custom ringtones to your contacts so that each contact has their own ringtone. I thought it might be more useful to have an app that uses TTS to generate an MP3 using the name of the contact, then assigns that MP3 as the custom ringtone for that contact. I went looking for an app that does that, and didn’t find anything (I will grant that I didn’t look too hard). Maybe I’ll build it – I don’t have a lot of “free” time, but it doesn’t seem too hard, and it does scratch my own itch.

Plus, Android development is fun – I like it, or at least, I like most of it. I thought that this article by Michael Bleigh did a good job of summing up my major likes/dislikes regarding Android development.

Of course, I also read this piece from Fancy Widget about other people decompiling their code, making small changes, and sticking it back in the market with a different name. Of course, decompiling byte code has been fairly trivial for a long time, but at this point, anyone can use something like Show My Code to do it. This made me pause for a minute to consider if it was really worth building something that could be so easily ripped off. Then again, if I write something that’s popular enough that someone wants to rip it off, I should probably be fairly happy about it.

So, I’m going to add another item to my todo list unless someone wants to take the idea and run with it. That would make it a lot easier because I’ll just download their app, decompile it, change the name, and re-upload it. Problem solved!

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