Learning Android with RubyMotion - Introduction

RubyMotion for Android is here. Now you can use your Ruby skills to create native apps for Android as well as iOS. It’s a good time to be a Ruby developer!

I’m new to both RubyMotion and Android, so I’m working my way through an Android book, and coding all the examples in RubyMotion rather than Java. I decided to blog about it as I go, hoping that the things that I learn will be useful to someone else.

The book I’ve chosen is Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, by Bill Phillips and Brian Hardy. It’s not the most recent book you can get on the subject, but it’s recent enough to cover the most important aspects of Android programming, and is highly rated on Amazon. I also like that it’s very hands-on: each chapter introduces new material, then immediately drops you into writing code, which I think is the best way to learn.

I won’t be spending much time on the basic concepts of Android development. The book already handles that beautifully. This series will be more like a companion to the book, aimed at aspiring Android developers who want to focus on RubyMotion. I’ll mainly focus on the code examples, and explain what changes I needed to make to get the code working in Ruby. All the code will be available in the Github repo for the project.


If you’d like to follow along with the examples, make sure:

(note: if you don’t own an Android device, you can run the examples on the Genymotion emulator. Gant Laborde has a nice write-up on how to get this set up.)


As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m new to both RubyMotion and Android. In this series, I’ll be documenting a learning process, not the authoritative wisdom of a seasoned Android expert.

Plus, Android support for RubyMotion is still very new, and best practices and idioms are still being worked out by the community. So things may be a little rough, and I’m sure to get some things wrong, particularly at first, but I’ll do my best to correct myself as I go.

I welcome any and all feedback you might have, so feel free to leave comments here, on Twitter, or in the repo itself: pull requests are always welcome!

With that out the way, let’s get started with Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide and RubyMotion.

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