What is it?

The purpose of this blog is to form a kind of running tutorial on developing an Android application that makes use of some cool features that smartphones connected to the internet can provide, such as

  • Location services
  • Google maps API
  • Connectivity to a remote database

As I progress in the development of this app I’ll develop this blog alongside to form a fully cohesive tutorial, complete with access to all source code, project files and other resources necessary to build the project. Hopefully this will become a useful learning resource, for me if no one else.

The application that we will be developing is a scaled down version of an app that I will be developing in tandem to this one, basically a simple geo-tagging application.

A user will be able to grab their location using their device’s hardware and the Google Android  APIs, add some info to the location and save that location on a remote database which can be later retrieved and used to create a map using the Google maps API.

As I’m writing this blog as I develop, the tutorial will be incomplete for a while so please keep checking in to see how we’re doing.

All of the code will be available as a public Mercurial repository hosted on Bitbucket, you can clone it like so:

hg clone https://sdass@bitbucket.org/sdass/zoobreak

The intended audience is mostly me but anyone else who is interested, the content is pretty technical, most of the implementation description will just be the commented source code – good code should be self describing anyway.


Good question. I’d like to say that the main purpose of this blog was for me to make a contribution to the online development community, to give something back, as it were to that pool that I’ve taken so much from on such a regular basis.

In reality however my reasons are far less noble, I wanted a place where I could save my thoughts and experiences regarding a small software development project that I’d decided to undertake as a bit of a personal geeky thing to do. I wanted somewhere that I could access and add to universally, something fairly freeform but with at least some semblance of structure, some chronological ordering, something that I could use as a hub for this project, and being lazy it seemed that setting this up as a blog was a way I could fulfill these needs with the minimum of effort on my part.

However if anyone is interested it would be fantastic if people could learn something, give feedback and maybe teach me something.

My main purpose for developing the application itself is, well, because I’m a bit of a geek I guess, and being a bit of a geek I like to play with technologies and a smartphone is a great piece of technology to play with (actually I lost my smartphone at a Machine Head gig a while back but I’m in the process of getting a new one). I wanted to write an Android app that would do something vaguely interesting that would tie in with various disparate technologies and I that could learn something from.


As well as documenting the development process itself I also want to document some of the software development practices I’ll be putting into use and to discuss my thinking and reasoning behind some of these methods as well as throwing in the occasional rant.

Who are you?

My name is Simon Dass, I’m a 33 yo Software Developer from Cornwall, UK.

I develop mostly desktop applications in C++, C# and Java professionally (one of my reasons for building this app was to do something non-desktop related using a different technology stack that I’m used to at work, something a bit different).

I play the guitar and like Rock and Metal of various varieties, ok, happy? Good, right, now can started with  this thing.

Get started developing the app ->here<-.


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