Feeds

Google lets you code for Googlephones on Googlephones

Android's mobile scripting kit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Google has introduced an Android scripting environment that lets you code stuff for the Googlephone on the Googlephone.

It's called, well, the Android Scripting Environment. ASE, for short. It sits on the Android handset itself, giving coders the power to write and run scripts in Python, Lua, and BeanShell - without help from a PC. Google thinks that coding full-fledged Android apps on a PC is like heaven on earth, but it's still interested in giving developers the power to code on the run.

"Android's development environment makes life pretty easy, but you're tied to a computer to do your work," reads a blog post from Googler Damon Kohler. "ASE lets you develop on the device itself using high-level scripting languages to try out your idea now, in the situation where you need it, quickly."

The new scripting environment gives you access to many - but not all - of the APIs available to full-fledged Android apps. Scripts can make phone calls, send text messages, scan bar codes, poll location and sensor data, use text-to-speech, and more. As an example, Kohler shows off a script designed to prevent an Android phone from running when it's placed face-down.

Google Android Scripting Environment

Android scripting on Android

You can run scripts interactively in a terminal, launch them as long-running background services, or run them via Locale, a third-party Android app and developer platform that changes the Googlephone's behavior depending on where it's, yes, located.

With BeanShell, you can access Android's Java API directly. With Lua and Python, you tap the API via JSON RPC calls to a proxy. At some point, Google will also offer scripting with Ruby and Javascript as well.

The environment has not been published to the Android Market, Google's answer to the iPhone App Store, but the company says it will be soon. In the meantime, you can download an alpha here. The open-source project page also includes sample scripts and documentation. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.