Android App in Chrome Store

Using ARC Welder, I put an Android App in the Chrome Store (limited to Chrome OS for now). Interestingly, Chrome OS specific replacements are already in place.

What works well:

  • UI input works nicely with touch or a mouse, and even the small trackpad of my Chromebook works OK (using the 2 finger swipe gesture).
  • Web-Links, including mailto
  • Notifications nicely translate to native Chrome OS notifications
  • Google Account is available

What does not work so well:

  • UI scaling seems not optimal, it looks too small.
  • Window size is fixed. Developers can only choose phone, tablet, or full screen. The user cannot change dimensions afterwards.

The user experience is not optimal yet, but let’s see what users come up with.

PS.: The app is only available in Germany and Austria.

Protocol Buffers Pitfall: Adding Enum Values

One of Protocol Buffers (aka protobuf) strengths is its backward and forward compatibility: following some common sense, old protobuf messages types can be read into newer versions of itself, and vice versa. With enums, however, you better be careful. They can break your logic in a surprising way.

Consider you publish an Android app version 1 using this protobuf enum to talk to the cloud:

enum Animal {
    MOUSE = 1;
    CAT = 2;

Continue reading Protocol Buffers Pitfall: Adding Enum Values