Is it worth purchasing Google Android Dev phone? [closed]

I've been intrigued by all the android world since I first learned about it and would like to get my hands dirty developing for it. The question that comes to mind is if it's worth buying the unlocked phones that Android sells directly or not.

Those phones (link) quoting the Android page:

Run and debug your Androidâ„¢ applications directly on a device. Modify and rebuild the Android operating system, and flash it onto a phone. The Android Dev Phone 1 is carrier independent, and available for purchase by any developer registered with Android Marketâ„¢.

Please note that this device is intended for development purposes, and may not include certain features found on consumer Android devices.

So will it be worth it to purchase one of those as a tool for app testing as opposed to developing and testing just on Eclipse or one of the other IDEs and emulators.

-Have you tried it, do you own one? I'm assuming they have the same specs as the HTC Dream and the HTC Magic, since they look exactly the same although they have a 'developers edition' custom black design not that I really care about the design for this particular item.

All comments are welcomed, Thanks in advance.


I'll leave it open until tomorrow to see if there are any more answers, then I'll just pick the most voted since it's really a subjective question with no good or bad answer.

Asked by: Marcus282 | Posted: 20-01-2022

Answer 1

It depends what sort of applications you wish to develop. I find that the emulators very accurately reflect how things work on genuine devices; you can seamlessly connect to either an emulator or a dev phone using the command line tools, the Eclipse tools, the debugger etc. Also, while you can flash your dev phone to a new OS version, HTC often lag behind (e.g. there's still no 2.0 image available) and it's much easier and faster to just use the emulators. The emulators also allow you to create and test with different screen resolutions, whereas the two dev phones available are only "standard" resolution.

I find it's quite rare that I need to use my ADP1 dev phone for development -- my rooted consumer HTC Hero works fine for most of the development I do.. allowing me to pull files from the device etc. Though the only reason I use my Hero rather than an emulator is because I've been working on an app that uses audio recording functionality.

However, where having a physical device would help is where you need to do specific stuff regarding the camera, audio hardware, orientation and compass sensors, GPS, wireless network access and so on. Should you need to connect a debugger to work on hardware-related issues like the above, then you would definitely need a dev phone.

Overall, it's definitely worth buying an Android phone for testing and demonstration purposes, but whether it's a development phone is up to your requirements.

Answered by: Kellan459 | Posted: 21-02-2022

Answer 2

If you plan on developing apps that you intend to put on the Android marketplace, it's absolutely critical to test on real hardware. You can get away with developing on the emulator for quite a while, but at some point, you'll want to use a real device.

That being said, you can use any android phone for development. There are some restrictions on locked devices, but if you're simply developing against the SDK, any phone will work. With android, you can install an apk directly on the phone without special permissions, so the only real advantage to a dev phone is that you can install new roms without having to root the phone.

Personally, I'd hold off on purchasing one of the older dev phones. From what I understand, they only support up to SDK 1.6, whereas the Droid and some of the other new phones are supporting SDK 2.0 ++.

Answered by: Ada440 | Posted: 21-02-2022

Answer 3

Wait for the release of the Nexus One from G. The latest rumors are that it'll be released on Jan 5th. So it's just a week or so.

Answered by: Ryan383 | Posted: 21-02-2022

Answer 4

I think that you need a real android device whether it's the dev phone or another handset but a real phone is primordial. The emulator is great but you can't get an idea about the execution speed of your app until you use it on a real phone.

As said before there are a lot of rumors about the nexus one so wait and see!

Answered by: Fenton376 | Posted: 21-02-2022

Answer 5

As for which phone to buy (assuming you're going to get one) I think ablerman is right. I'd wait until January to see if there is going to be some new hardware available.

With regards to the more general question of should you buy one, I think it depends on what you're doing. For the most part, the emulators are fine. They can emulate GPS (you can even load KML to simulate a path), SMS, phone calls, etc. They cannot however emulate acclerometer/compass/orientation sensor data and actually will crash (actually I believe it hangs...) if you try to run code that relies on it. Also, it's difficult to actually debug phone-call related functionality without the dev phone.

They're good phones, I've used the Dev phone 1 (the G1/Dream) and it's nice. It also is a bit faster than the emulators and if you're writing something like a game, it would be really good to test it on the actual hardware.

All in all, it just depends on what you're writing. They're definitely fun to play with regardless as you can do pretty much ANYTHING you want on them.

Good luck with the decision!

Answered by: Rebecca803 | Posted: 21-02-2022

Answer 6

I've been developing with the emulator since June. I've found it to be a very near substitute for the real deal, and it's easier to switch between handset configurations/versions. However, not knowing how quickly my apps will run is a concern for me.

The reason I've personally held off buying a handset is that 2009 was the wrong year to buy one. I have a feeling 2010 will very much be the long-awaited "Year of the Android".

Answered by: Hailey293 | Posted: 21-02-2022

Answer 7

+1 to Christopher and I will add - the emulators are great but having a physical phone will give you instant access to the Android Market to verify publishing, statistics and user comments. I also believe using your own app on a physical phone will help you to develop a better app. You do not need a development phone - but at least one physical phone - absolutly.

Answered by: Chelsea503 | Posted: 21-02-2022

Answer 8

FYI. Belgium is one of the few countries where it is possible to buy any mobile unlocked. Indeed, the Belgian regulators forbid the forced bundling.

Answered by: Miranda289 | Posted: 21-02-2022

Answer 9

One more Pros for buying a real developer phone :

HierarchyViewer does not work on user builds (i.e. with devices available in stores.) This is for security reasons.

See the original thread

Hierarchy viewer can be very useful if you have problems with layout being slow, although I don't think it would worth buying a real Developer phone only for this.

As some people made workaround for that problem :

Answered by: Melissa829 | Posted: 21-02-2022

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