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I wanted to know that if all the devices that support Android OS can be manually reprogrammed or do they allow to make own apps and load in them, just in case I want to program an app for myself, or it's restricted to specific devices. How shall I know?

Update: For example, I want to program a personal app to prepare notes in handwritten mode using a stylus and integrate other mathematical instruments in it. Expecting features like adding space in case I want to add notes somewhere at later point of time or completely erase some specific portion of page.

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closed as off topic by Sachin Shekhar, Zuul, Flow, Chahk, Lie Ryan Nov 3 '12 at 7:16

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How to develop for Android is beyond the scope of this site. There are whole sites devoted to the topic, however, including an official one. –  Al E. Oct 9 '12 at 13:18
my question is not on how to develop...I just wanted to know if the all android based devices allow it or not...I don't want to buy a tablet that I can't program ! –  Rorschach Oct 9 '12 at 13:42
Since Android is an open-source OS that anyone can use, I suppose someone could throw together a cheap tablet that wouldn't allow adding apps to it. That really defeats one of the main selling points, though. If you stay even close to the mainstream you should be fine. Your question is still not a good fit for this site. –  Al E. Oct 9 '12 at 13:46
The question is from developer's point of view. So, its off-topic. Voting to close... –  Sachin Shekhar Nov 2 '12 at 16:54
closing questions helps how ? They stay in list and responded to after a long period of time. They solve someone's problem and they don't crash website.... –  Rorschach Nov 2 '12 at 19:35

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can create an application for any device that runs the Android OS, this is not restricted to specific device manufacturers.
Restrictions in the execution are caused mainly because of the version of the Android OS that runs on the device (the differtent API's) or the difference in hardware capabilities between devices.

If you are planning to make an application you should by all means have some programming experience. With the use of some very helpful software development tools you could create personal application like suggested. Be sure to check out the documentation provided on Androids official website to get a solid introduction on this topic.

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thanks for this sound suggestion, but I am a software engineer by profession, I have programmed for hardware and other platforms but yet not on android and mobile platform. I just want to make sure if it can be done, then I can go ahead with buying a tablet for myself. –  Rorschach Oct 9 '12 at 11:34
Allright, no problem then. The tools included in the SDK that has been made available make it easy to install and run your application on the device each time you compile. You can install your application on the device directly from any IDE like Eclipse. –  Kiwi1 Oct 9 '12 at 13:48

While any Android device can be programmed, there are some caveats you should be aware of.

First, what features are available to you as a developer depend very much on what version of Android is installed on your tablet. Very importantly, a tablet that is running a version of Android below 3.0 Honeycomb (or ideally 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich) will not have any of Android's tablet-specific features accessible to it.

Second, an app you develop will not necessarily run on all Android devices (or even all Android tablets). Obviously tablets that run a version of Android lower than what you have targeted with your app won't run it (though there are ways to make such apps run with some features missing). But also, Android device manufacturers often add a layer on top of Android (for example, Samsung adds a layer called TouchWiz and HTC adds Sense). If your app uses any of these added features, it won't run on devices that don't have it.

Lastly, I don't know where you are, but in India, where I live, there are a ton of cheap unlicensed Android tablets. If you buy one of these, all bets are off, since these manufacturers have not committed to rigourously testing their devices for full compatibility, which is one of the conditions required to be an Android licensee. In general, stuff will probably work on these tablets (provided the above criteria are met), but you can't count on it. Since these tablets don't have access to the Google Play store, so you're going to have to sideload any apps you install on them.

Despite these exceptions, the majority of applications will run flawlessly on most Android devices. The Android development tools are pretty good at warning you about API incompatibilities and it's pretty difficult to accidentally use a device/manufacturer specific API.

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