site  contact  subhomenews

Appmethod saga coming to end?

September 14, 2015 — BarryK
The ongoing saga using Appmethod. You can follow the trail here:

I have been testing only on my phone that I carry with me, an Mlais M52, with Android 4.4.4.
No problems, the app I have been developing has worked well.

I have a collection of four smartphones, the oldest is a Sony Xperia C5303, with Android 4.1.2.

I decided that I should try my app on the Sony... at one stage of using the app, it crashed with an "access violation", then froze.
I uninstalled it, reinstalled again, ran it, this time it froze the entire phone. Nothing worked, not even holding down the power-button. Then all of a sudden the phone rebooted.

I have owned that Sony for a few years, but have hardly used it. It came with quite a lot of apps pre-installed, including MacAfee Antivirus, which I removed.

I tested my app on a OrientPhone 7inch, with Android 4.4.2. My apps works fine.

I tried to test on my Elephone P6000, with Android 5.0, but Appmethod would not recognise it.

I was warned about this by John Murga, who has also tested Appmethod. He found that apps created with Appmethod worked on one of his phones, crashed on another.

Appmethod is supposed to work on API-15 (Android 4.0.3) upward. Crashing on a mainstream brand such as the Sony Xperia is a worry.

I have enjoyed a few very intense weeks using Appmethod, and it is a great pity but I am starting to think that I may have to move onto a different app-creation tool.

First though, I will ask around, see if I can get hold of some more older phones, and test them.
Maybe need to test very recent phones with Android 5.x also!


I should mention that I did experience one crash with my Mlais M52.

When I connected a Bluetooth keyboard while my app was running, my app hung.

Connect the keyboard before the app is started, then the app is OK.

Not good enough. Apps should handle that kind of situation.

Appmethod only installed API-21 for the Android SDK, and I wondered about this. I studied the Appmethod docs very carefully, and it seems pretty definite that API-21 is all that is required, or supported, despite that being for Android 5.0.
The docs also state that Appmethod supports all Androids from 4.0.3 (API-15) upwards.

It also seems that Appmethod has some Java libraries that require Android SDK API-21.

Anyway, I conducted an experiment. I installed API-15 into the Android SDK, and changed Appmethod to use this when building my app.
No good, my app still crashed in the Sony Xperia, at the same place.

I then installed another package from the Appmethod download page, "source files", and ran my app on the Xperia with debugging. So, I can see where it crashes in the source, in function 'FSetExceptFlag.FGetExceptFlag.IntfClear', but this is of use only to an Embarcadero developer.

I have really like using the Appmethod IDE, but have decided, most reluctantly, to move onto another app-creation tool.

Appmethod 1.17 release is imminent, and I might try it. But, I am now having doubts about this whole concept of compiling right down to the machine code. For phones anyway. The iPhone might be a better situation, as the hardware and software is more defined, restricted.
Android though, that is another situation entirely, and Appmethod may not be the best tool.

I am speculating here. Perhaps 1.17 will fix my crash.

It should also be considered that other app-creation tools are far from perfect. For example, I am considering moving onto Smartface, well more than that, really like it and probably will, but reading the Smartface forum I do see reports of hangs and crashes on Android phones.

John Murga recently reported a good experience with NativeScript:

Today, "otto" recommended Meteor:

...Meteor, though, creates browser-based apps, and I am not ready to go down that path.
I do admit the attraction though, as they are potentially the most portable.

Otto apologised for giving the unsolicited advice, with this cartoon:

Tags: general