Recently I have spent a bit of time using Appcelerator’s Titanium to prototype an Android app. I thought I would put up some first impressions.

Setting Up My Environment

Installing the Android SDK takes ages. Then I had some problems with the latest (R12) release on Windows which took up a lot of my time. In the end, I decided to install it all on a Ubuntu VM, which worked fine.

Installing Titanium was easy enough, so no problems there. Setting it up with the Android SDK was as easy as browsing to the directory where I extracted it.

Developing With Titanium

Developing with Titanium is brilliant. The API’s are well documented, while the IDE has a clean interface and IntelliSense. Writing an app in JavaScript just feels natural.

Loading the Android emulator takes quite a long time, even longer if you are loading Android 3.0 (upto 15 mins). However, once its loaded you can develop and run your app again without having to restart the emulator, so its not too bad. Ideally you will want a machine with plenty of RAM, but it worked OK in a VM with just 1GB.

Conclusion

Overall I enjoyed my little foray into Android development with Titanium. I would definitely recommend it, based on my very limited experience. If only I could think of a real-world app to write, so I could truly kick its tyres…