I am currently researching the pros and cons about Basic4Android. I have a good list of pros (http://www.basic4ppc.com/android/why.html) but what are some disadvantages to using this? What limitations does this tool have?
Thank-you for the help!
There are many many pros to using Basic4android. Its a neat package and well supported by the author Erel.
+ Feature-rich in terms of settings
+ Intellisense editor
+ Many libraries
+ GUI designer
+ Plain and easy to pick up language
– lack of support for Object orientation
– No unique global variables within Subs
The only real down side I see is (potentially) wasting $49.00 😉
Frankly, I’d encourage anyone to download the Google SDK and become familiar with Android Studio and the Java API.
But this looks like it might be very easy to get started with, shouldn’t incur any runtime performance penalty, and allows you to create unencumbered (fully redistributable) APK’s.
So if you prefer Basic over Java, and have a spare $49 – sure, go for it!
After trying virtual every platform from Basic4Android, thru Eclips, RadStudio Xe2, and Windev Mobile which I had high hopes for, I can say I strongly prefer B4A. The easiest I found by far, and the most useful examples by far. As far as limitations, I have found only a few and those are easily gotten around since you can take any Java code and wrap it in a library that B4A can use quite easily. With that capability, I can go to Eclips if needed and generate code and use it in B4A. I am not a fan of Basic. But I also do not know Java. For me that was not the issue. It was the ease of using the interface without getting lost and most important, a solid example of damn near everything the phone can do.
The only disadvantage I see is that not everything from the whole Android Java API is supported. There are some things (like the MapView for example) that are (currently) not usable in B4A. The most important things are available but there are still parts which need some improvement (like the homescreen widgets).
If you want to get good results very quickly and don’t need to use every exotic Android feature, give it a try.
If you want access to every feature that is available in Android there is only the way to choose the Eclipse IDE and directly use Java. But you have to invest much more time for developing than you have to do with B4A.
Personally as a beginner to B4A and programming in general, my main hurdle is there seems to be a steep learning curve in the very beginning (which I’m still trying to ascend). I’m sure this holds true for any language/IDE. I just wish there were more tutorials geared towards users like me. The beginner’s guide is great but even in there there are things I don’t quite understand. I came from AppInventor in which I made 3 apps within a month. I wish Erel or some of the other users would make Youtube video tutorials!
As an accomplished
VB.NET programmer for me there were so many traps to just getting started with Eclipse, instructions weren’t clear, things just didn’t work for the beginner. Two weeks of installing this and that, and still could get Hello World to run.
I have a huge codebase of functions of have written with VB.NET in the last 10 years, and getting those functions ported across, while not trivial, happens quickly. With Basic4Android I ran the 3 installs in their list, and started coding. In minutes I had accomplished more than with weeks with Eclipse.
If you are exerienced in VB, unless you have a buddy that can get you going, you are way ahead with Basic4Android.
My opinion is if you are familiar with VB, better to go for b4a. It is not wasting of money. May be some limitation compared to Google SDK b4a is improving in every version. Insteading of learning java and do the exercises being a VB programmer I prefer b4a. As Markus stipp states that If Erel try to incorporate mapview that would be great for supporting many applications.
I hope Erel will do it shortly 🙂
I have used the software and created about three apps for industrial control system monitoring. B4A had it all as far as functionality is concerned. Where it finds its limitations are the graphical editing abilities avalible to the average user. It can be very difficult to have complete control over the graphical properties of a button for example. Once you have created you interface you still dont get to see the final product until you have loaded it into the emulator (or the device), and I think most of us know how slow it can be emulating HC 3.0. I understand that realtime rendering of the form/activity can be very difficult from the software programers point of view, but it will help B4A keep its edge as other programs similiar to B4A begin to pop up.
Despite my critisims above it is well worth the 50$
b4a uses a very “keep it simple” and easy to use interface
So does not have the incredibly complex .net wysiwyg interface.
There is a learning curve to the designer itself, but its easy to learn.
The other learning curve is learning the “keep it simple” consepts with android designs.
b4a has an abstract designer for control layouts that can also be viewed on a physical device or an emulator.
b4a now includes a wysiwyg visual designer that can be viewed on a physical device or an emulator.
Currently developers use a virtual box emulator that is very fast in comparison to the SDK and ADV Manager.
Using the virtual box emulator we can create emulators for all sized devices. Quickly and easily.
There are all kinds of step-be-step beginners guides and beginners tutorials and control tutorials with simple and advanced sample projects.
And a very active beginner, medium and advanced support developers forum.
Where just about everything you could think of has already been asked, discussed and answered.
Where beginners can feel safe in a supporting environment without the rude burntout bullies you get in other forums.
Where other rediculously overpriced products are still stuggling to come to grips with even the basic Android features, b4a already has the solutions. That are simple and easy to understand.
Have a look around for basic4android coupons to find a rediculously low price on a professional licence. WITHOUT the yearly overpriced upgrade fees.
All I can suggest is not to bring .net C++ OO mehodologies baggage mindset into the future.
And be prepared to enjoy producing real apps in a very short time.
(yeah ok, I didn’t want to mention is but b4a now has classes. jeez!)
I am a JAVA coder with OCJP.
I have done a university paper with native JAVA Android and have a game app on the playstore from that experience.
Right now I have to code an app for a client.
I am using B4A not native JAVA and eclipse because it is faster & easier
As many have said above the only disadvantage is that it may not have some features.