Monday, September 16, 2013

Developing Android apps with Delphi XE5 on an ancient Nook Color

With this release I thought I would play around with some of the new android support available. Of course its much more fun if you have a device to play around with, but I wasn't about to run out and get one since I already have an IPad that I switched to after almost two years with my nook color. Which got me thinking, the nook color runs would it be a viable option for development? The answer is yes! Well in a way.

Exploring the forums at xda-dev found that I could boot 4.3.x jellybean on my nook using the SD expansion card. So I figured, what can I loose? So I spent a few hours installing my nook and figuring out the magic trick for enabling developer mode (go to about and click the build number several times...eventually it will tell you 3 more taps away from enabling developer mode..keep tapping).

Once this was done and the developer mode enabled, I hooked it up via USB cable and it showed up in the IDE as a viable target. I grabbed the 3d firemonkey demo and compiled it to the device and it ran flawlessly. Of course the nook color doesn't have a camera, or some other hardware, but for general GUI or 3d programs, it appears to run very well in this mode.

One thing I haven't yet been able to do is get a program running in debug mode, it always times out (even with a simple hello world app), but so far it runs well with everything else I have thrown at it. I really enjoy the easier path to deployment from my laptop (windows). It really is easy.