Saturday, June 15, 2013

Open Source Development with App Inventor: Part 5 : Your own Personal Companion

Show all videos of this series.
In this part of the video series we are going to see how to package our own Companion app. This is the app that can be used with wifi for development purposes (no USB cable needed).

As explained in the video, the reason why you would want to create your own app is that the Companion contains a copy of each of the Components available in the system. If you develop a new component, this new guys and its blocks will not be available in an app distributed by MIT. You can create your own app by using an ant target available in the main build script:

ant PlayApp

Make sure that you manually uninstall any other Companion apps before installing the newly created one, especially if you have installed an app distributed by MIT. The reason is that the apps, even though they can have the same name, are going to be signed with different keys, and the phone might get a bit confused.

If for any reason you need a Companion app for an older version of App Inventor, you can create one using the MIT repo git tags. One thing I forgot to mention in the video is that to update the tags from the repo, you have to fetch them. This can be done by executing (assuming you have called the remote 'upstream'):

git fetch upstream

These are the steps to move to a different commit (in this case we use a tag, but a commit would work too), and create the new-old Companion app:

0. make sure you are in clean state, in master, and with all the latest from upstream (mit-cml)
1. sync with upstream to grab all the tags: git fetch upstream
2. checkout the tag you want to build the companion for: git checkout v133
  - this will put you in detached head mode
3. ant clean; ant; ant PlayApp
 - this creates: MIT Companion app.apk
4. git co master to go back to master.

 And that is all for this video, catch you in the next one!

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