New target : Android

I’ve been using a symbian “smartphone” (a Samsung SGH-i560) for ages now, but finally decided to swap it for a new and shiny Android device, mainly to code on. So I recently bought myself a Huawei Ascend G510. It’s a middle class Android handset with a dual-core CPU (1,2GHz) and a 4.5" screen that supports OpenGL ES 2.0 that doesn’t cost a fortune (~140€) and condidering the pricetag it’s a pretty good phone. So once the battery was loaded I attached it to my PC and started to develop on it right away. I started off with the native FPC armv7-cross compiler using native Android Controls, went over to integrating Free Pascal (JVM) into Eclipse and did some basic OpenGL ES demos with both of them.

And though it may be appealing to code in pascal for the Android platform, I decided to go with Eclipse and Java. Java has a lot in common with Delphi, and getting used to it’s syntax only took me a few days and I’m already creating productive sources. Actually I kinda like coding with Java (and Eclipse). You get lots of modern language features that Delphi has been lacking for years, and the code features (auto completion, correcting problems, etc.) are just great. And best of all is that you get it for free, which is no comparsion to the expensive entry into the Android world with Delphi XE5 (which btw. forces you to use FireMonkey).

So after getting used to Java and Eclipse (in the form of ADT) I started work on an Android version of the glCapsViewer, called “glESCapsViewer”. It’s already up and running, getting the implementation details. It reads out information on the device, the renderer, all available extensions and all supported texture compression formats. Next on the line is generating XML files for the repots and then uploading them to my online database.

I’m not sure yet on wether to just add the mobile OpenGL ES reports to the current caps database, or to add a sparate database. But I guess I’ll go for the latter way, as it’ll allow for more flexibility. This would allow me to e.g. also add information on the device iteself and wouldn’t inflate the desktop report database with OpenGL ES versions and extensions.

It’s not quite ready yet, but expect an Android version of the glCapsViwer in the near future. And also expect to read lots of postings on Android and Java. Once the glESCapsViewer ist done, I plan on creating my first mobile game, and it may be a port of Trugbild, as the gameplay itself is perfect for touch based devices. I’m even thinking about using the motion sensors to move along the scenery ;)