With the latest Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE) v2.4 it's now much easier to build native Android apps that can take data with them wherever they go. And there's no better place to host your backend service and store your data than Google's cloud service, App Engine.
Here're some of the features offered in GPE 2.4:
- Project Creation
With GPE 2.4, you now have the ability to create App Engine-connected Android projects. This new Eclipse project wizard generates fully functioning Android and GWT clients that're capable of talking to same App Engine backend using same RPC code and business logic.
- Cloud to Device Messaging Support
Polling for backend changes on a mobile device is inefficient and will result in poor app performance and battery drain. As a solution for Android developers, Android team built Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM), a service for sending lightweight pings to notify apps when they've pending data. With 2.4, when you create a new App Engine connected Android project, you'll get this code for free. All you've to do is hook up the app-specific code to customize the handling of the C2DM notification.
- RPC Generation and Tooling
Writing and maintaining RPC code is monotonous and error prone. GPE 2.4 introduces tooling that removes this task for you, and will generate all of the underlying RPC bolierplate code within a few clicks. You specify the model objects that'll be used between client and server, and GPE generates RPC service, DTOs, and client-side calling code. To make this even better, the generated code works across Android and GWT apps, so any future changes that you make will only need to be made once.
[Source: Google Web Toolkit Blog]