Create Android Client For Website

| | August 6, 2015

As a beginner wanting to become more familiar with the android platform, I wanted to create a web client for a website.

Something similar to https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.krinsen.javadocreader&hl=en

However, I am confused about how the author created the custom UI for the java docs.

To my understanding, there are 2 ways to do this.

One approach is with WebViews. I quickly prototyped a sample of this but I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) that I can’t change the UI of the WebView and will have to view the page from the perspective of a browser. Unfortunately, this does not look very well as the website was not mobile optimized and there are inconsistent spacings and odd whitespace.

The second approach is to manually create each View using the different layouts provided by android (LinearLayout, TableLayout, etc). This should create a more custom mobile experience as I can manually construct how each page will look. However, this seems time-consuming as I will need to manually create a different UI page for each page of the website. Also I am confused as to how to pull the data from the website as each new view in the new UI will need the content from the website. Do I need to do HTML parsing to pull the content or is there a better way in the android sdk? What is a good approach that android developers take to extract the different forms of content from a website to redisplay on a android client?

Finally, since I have a very beginner understanding of this situation, am I correct in assuming that most likely the creator of the application mentioned above did something similar to the second approach I mentioned?

One Response to “Create Android Client For Website”

  1. What is a good approach that android developers take to extract the different forms of content from a website to redisplay on a android client?

    I think the best way is to provide an API for native application. Parsing HTML might look nice untill you need to suppport every change in your HTML page. But if you are not the owner of web-site there is no other choise if only you don’t contact owners and ask for an API.

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