I'm starting a new thread instead of continuing to hijack the iPhone/Android NetRemote discussion.

Several years ago I put a Girder web interface together for a Nokia n800 tablet which worked nicely for simple home control. I became a fan of Android devices when I bought Hero and Evo phones, but my web interface didn't port as well as I would like. The experience was slow, the browser's own features get in the way, and I was frustrated that cool stuff like physical buttons, gestures, voice recognition, etc. would be hard if not impossible to leverage.

So I started writing a native Android app called "Andre". It's a server-agnostic client control interface that works with anything addressable through a web service (my focus being on Girder). I'd like to share what I've got so far and get some feedback from other Girder/Android users.

Here's some highlights:
- Totally customizable interface with advanced layout capabilities
- Works over WiFi or Cell network (with appropriate port forwarding)
- Fast, responsive control
- Physical button support
- Gestures
- Page & Button animation (transparency, scale & movement)
- Flexible screen size support
- Embeddable browser windows & Android widgets
- Haptic & audio/visual feedback
- Server-hosted, device-cached config and image files

Coming soon:
- Voice recognition
- HTTPS/secure communication
- Sprite animations
- State variables & tokens
- Two-way data communication
- Expanded control options (sliders, toggles, multi-choice)
- PC-assisted layout tools


A few things to know:

For the time being, layout is done by editing an XML file. There are some good examples packaged with the app and a fairly comprehensive reference manual. There's also a feature called Layout Mode that uses the device itself to display changes in real-time (edit the XML on your server and it instantly appears on the device screen). Mac/Win based config/layout editing tools are in progress. The XML format is pretty easy to understand, and there's a DTD included so if you use a decent XML editor (XML Spy is nice), it'll warn you if the syntax is wrong.

Also there are no media management capabilities built-in. There are two-way data capabilities coming but probably not to the extent of full media catalog browsing (a la MediaBridge). Instead, Andre can embed browser windows into any of its pages. This way, any of the really cool media interfaces people (Tim in particular) have been writing can be seamlessly included right in a layout.



This is a beta, so there will be bugs and rough edges. I've run it on four different types of Android devices and none of them have started smoking or anything, nevertheless use at your own risk, etc.

Check the included manual for quick-start instructions and a guide to some good example/tutorial layouts that are also included. Also check for tips in the original thread above (though please post any new questions there, I don't want to further pollute that thread) or ask questions in this thread.

The file can be downloaded here: Andre 1.0.3b

Thanks for giving Andre a try! I welcome any comments and suggestions. I'm adding features and fixing bugs pretty fast, and will update this post as they're available.

Luke