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Which one of these is the easiest/fastest choice for developing simple Android apps/games? I'm familiar with all this technologies.

   • Android SDK or NDK
   • C# on MonoDroid platform
   • Adobe Flash & Adobe AIR
   • Corona SDK
   • Converting tools like PhoneGap

Fundamentally, Could you explain adventages and disadventages of this methods.

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This should probably be community wiki. –  jhocking Jun 20 '11 at 19:12

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

For simple apps/games? I suggest you use what you're familiar with. Since you said you're familiar with all of those technologies, I would suggest the Android SDK in Java. Here's why:

  • C# for Monodroid is a pay-for product and the future of Mono is currently unstable for a bit. Although this would be the fastest if you're a C# developer, you don't give enough info to say you're better at C# than Java, so stick with Java.
  • Phonegap and Appcelerator don't give you total control over everything. If you're writing games you know how important it is to have as much control as possible.
  • Adobe Air is in the same boat as Mono, except much worse. Adobe air requires your user to download Adobe Air as a separate application, and keep it updated. Using the native SDK gives your user an overall best experience, and you'll have much more community support as a developer, not to mention the treasure trove of resources at http://developer.android.com
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Thank you very much. Well, what about NDK? –  John Arthur Jun 20 '11 at 19:38
    
Its main purpose is for native development in C/C++, but according to them, most developers really shouldn't use it, and doesn't guarantee a performance boost. Here's what they say about it: developer.android.com/sdk/ndk/overview.html –  Ryan Hayes Jun 20 '11 at 19:41
    
Thanks. So what about Corona SDK? It looks cool. –  John Arthur Jun 20 '11 at 21:11
    
Looks pretty good. It seems to be neither in C# nor Java, so you'd be learning a new language to use use, but it does do an iOS build as well. At 350 bucks it's up to if you have the money to put down on it, but it seems to tout Amazon and Barnes and Noble as their clients, so that's a plus. I've never used it, though. –  Ryan Hayes Jun 21 '11 at 19:29

Despite the Android ecosystem accepts other frameworks and embrace that(the Android market doesn't forbide the use of other API's), i suggest you use the native SDK/NDK for Android, not just because they're the original tools, but for the power to develop easily anything you need. For example: using RhoStudio allows you build iOS, Android, WP7 and BlackBerry apps using the same source code, however, you are so tightly constrained to use the UI the framework generates.

In the case of Adobe Air, i think you're adding an extra layer of complexity and moreover, their performance is something we should really consider to bring a better experience.

If you are proficient using Java, you should give a try. There are a strong Android community of developers looking to help.

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I would say that the Android Java SDK would be the best choice for you for the following reasons.

  1. It's free
  2. It's preloaded on the phone (using external libraries generally requires you to package it in with your application, which can bloat the size of the app)
  3. It has access to most of the phones' hardware (calls, GPS, sensors, etc.)
  4. It's the simplest way (Android Developer Tools plugin for Eclipse makes it easy to get started)
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