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Topic: Arduino IDE on usb android devices (Read 9 times) previous topic - next topic


Has anyone heard of any projects porting the arduino IDE to android tablets. I would try to develop a solution myself and share with everyone but I have no knowledge of Java and I have no idea how to make a USB driver for my android tablet (Acer Iconia Tab) because it has a USB port and android apps are written in Java so shouldn't it be possible to port the arduino IDE for use with the android operating system?

Jeff K

I haven't seen any projects for an IDE.  I have seen some projects that allow you to program an Arduino.  I think the problem with an IDE it needs to be able to compile the code.  I think getting the compiler to work on Android is where the problem lies.

I have been thinking about this since I picked up a Asus Transformer, which is an android tablet that also has an optional docking keyboard.

Personally I think the best approach would be some sort of cloud platform.  The code would either reside on or be uploaded to a Linux server which would compile it and then return the resulting files.  If the app were actually a 100% cloud app, then it would work on anything with a web browser as long as there was a way to program the Arduino.  Programming the Arduino could be as simple as playing an audio file.  There is at least one bootloader out there that supports this.  Which implies any device with an audio jack and a web browser could then be an Arduino development platform.

I like this approach because it eliminates all compatibility issues.  I can use not only Android, but an iPhone  or even a smart tv.

I often find myself going to a clients or friends house where the proper development environment does not exist.  So I end up bringing my laptop which is not my main development platform.  If everything were available from a cloud like platform, then I wouldn't have to worry in these cases.  I could log in, my code would be up-to-date and I could program the Arduino from almost any internet connected device.

This approach also opens up a lot more doors.  Library repositories could be included as well as seamless versioning for source code and the ability to make your source code publicly available at the push of a button.

This could easily exist as a self hosted platform.  Someone could download the files and put them on any server for their private Arduino hosted IDE.  Or it could also be available as a ready-to-go service.

I am seriously considering starting work on something like this but would love to hear the feedback of you and others to help put it in the right direction.
Jeff K - JKDevices.com - home of the MegaMini


A cloud system is genius! I just thought I would make some use for this USB port on my device but this sounds much simpler and much more compatable and open for everyone to use! I'm thinking about a Java applet  to compile it in an HTML page since most devices have JavaScript enabled for web browsing but an HTML version might be possible

Jeff K

I think using the USB port would be important too.  But that would obviously require some sort of driver and also a program program the Arduino.  For older Arduinos and most Freeduinos which use the FTDI chip will need a driver to recognize that chip as a serial port.  But it looks like FTDI has already started working on that... http://www.ftdichip.com/Android.htm

I would think the newer Arduinos should be recognized without a driver.

As far as the actual online app... There seem to be several readily available online IDE's.  Maybe nothing that is perfect, but definitely enough to get some ideas from or to even port over to a compatible environment.  I'll do some more research on this and let you know of my findings and what I see as +'s and -'s.
Jeff K - JKDevices.com - home of the MegaMini

Jeff K

I've decided to go ahead and start working on a cloud IDE and compiler. It will be fairly basic to start and we'll see how it progresses.

I am going to use http://codemirror.net/ as the core for the IDE syntax highlighting and code hints. I will also make use of one of the readily available Make files to compile the code without the IDE.  Overall it will be fairly simple, you create or upload your code to the online IDE.  When you are ready to compile it, the server passes it off to a project directory where it compiles it with an Arduino stand-alone makefile.  The server then either combines the necessary files into an archive for download or gives the links to the individual files unarchived.

I'm thinking there can be a lot of features added as it progresses.  Initially I would like to find someone to help write an app for Android devices that have a USB port.  The app will associate itself with the downloaded file and automatically open and upload it to a compatible Arduino device.  The app could also be stand-alone, with it's own IDE and would use an API to upload the code to the cloud server where it would be compiled and then given the resulting files.

I'm hoping to have an alpha release of the online IDE this weekend (Arduino version 1.0 compatible).  Then start working on an API and hopefully getting someone to work on an Android (tablet) App.
Jeff K - JKDevices.com - home of the MegaMini

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