Android development in Visual Studio
I'm sure a lot of you have heard of the MonoDroid product by Xamarin which allows .NET developers to write android applications using your favorite .NET tools. I find this option awesome because I'm a .NET developer and because I find native android development tedious. It's not that Java is difficult, especially when compared to iOS development using objective-C (ughh). My main problem with android development in Java is once you use Visual Studio for a few years, it's really hard to use anything else.
Enter Xamarin's MonoDroid
I was really excited when MonoDroid was released. That excitement faded quickly when I learned that i couldn't deploy my applications to my Android phone for testing without a license. Instead, you are forced you use the Android emulator. I've tried many times with many configurations to use the emulator. It's simply not feasible for me. The emulator is INCREDIBLY slow, when it works. Other times I would wait for 20+ mins before giving up. I'm not the only developer to express disdain for the Android emulator. Just google Android emulator slow and you will find a lot of people have this problem.
dot42: An alternative
Let me start by saying that I ran across dot42 http://www.dot42.com/ only 10 minutes ago, so I don't claim to have experience with the product. What I can say is that like MonoDroid, they offer a free version of their product for personal (no commercial development). Unlike MonoDroid, I see no news on their site to suggest that you can't deploy your application on your phone for testing with the free version. If this is in fact true, this makes all the difference to me as a developer. (Update: I've verified that dot42 does NOT restrict deployment to your device of choice. They even allow you to publish free applications to the Android app market! Be on the look out for a follow up article dedicated 100% to dot42 very soon!)
I think MonoDroid is a great product and it is certainly a much more mature product that dot42. I will be sure to write a follow up to this article once I've tested the product.
What about you? Anyone out there want to speak out about their problems with the android emulator? Does anyone else wish that MonoDroid would allow us to test the product on our own devices? Please feel free to comment and let us know what you think!