One of the driving forces behind my switch from the iPhone to Android was the ease and openness of the development platform and that development didn’t require a Mac. It didn’t take me long to get stuck into the SDK and I am pleased to say that my first Android app has been published onto the Android Market today. “Sniper SelfTrack” is an application to control and handle responses from the Sniper SelfTrack GPS vehicle tracking device.
The SelfTrack app allows the user to easily control all the functions of the Sniper SelfTrack tracking system from the main screen and will display user friendly messages on receipt of a message from the tracker and shows the vehicles position using the Google Maps API. Context sensitive help is available by pressing and holding each button and the user can select the sound played on receipt of an alert as well as if they want haptic feedback (vibrate on button presses) and whether to load the basic map only or the full aerial photograph view (slower on a mobile connection).
- Show current location of vehicle with map only or aerial view
- User friendly display of messages from the tracker
- Customisable alert sounds
- Listen in to the vehicle
- Turn AutoTrack on/off
- Turn immobiliser on/off
- Turn Tow Alert on/off
- Turn Alarm Alert on/off
- Turn Overspeed Alert on/off
- Change Overspeed setting
- Get a status report from the tracker including battery voltage, GPS status, GSM signal
You can find the application by searching for Sniper SelfTrack in the Android Market app or by clicking here on your phone . You can also find it on AppBrain here. Obviously it is only going to be of any use if you have one of the Sniper trackers in your car.
I’ve really enjoyed getting back into some non web based coding. I’ve never seriously programmed in Java before but it’s sufficiently C like that it didn’t take me long to get to grips with it along with the Android specific things like the BroadcastReceivers, Intents, SmsManager and the Google Maps API. Everything is so well structured and documented that anyone with a rudimentary background in programming shouldn’t have any problem getting started.
An application like this that only works with a specific device is going to have a limited market admittedly so I’m hoping I can come up with something with a wider appeal for my next project – let me know in the comments if you have any ideas for apps you would like to see available on Android.