Good news! We’ve added support for developing native Android apps! We’re starting off by releasing an API, an updated mobile SAFE Authenticator (POC) to use this new API, and a tutorial that will allow you to carry out native Android development. We’re pretty excited about this, and hope you are too, because for the first time, everyone now has the ability to develop DApps for mobile devices! And if you’re a developer in the decentralised scene today, you’ll know that this isn’t something that’s available in many other places.
So what does this release give you?
SAFE Authenticator for Android
First things first - anything you develop will need to get authorisation to access the SAFE Network so we developed a SAFE Authenticator app for Android. The SAFE Authenticator acts as a gateway to the SAFE Network by enabling users to create an account & authenticate themselves. It ensures users have full control over the permissions they grant to SAFE apps on their mobile device. Currently it’s a proof-of-concept (POC) we have on GitHub but after a few changes it will be downloadable from the Google Play Store in the near future.
You can get the SAFE Authenticator App (POC) from the GitHub Repository.
A quick word on installing the APK
- If you have the previous Authenticator POC installed on your device you’ll need to remove that first.
- You’ll need to make sure that your phone/device has permission to install third-party apps.
You can make sure this is checked under the “Security” tab within your Settings menu.
Normally it’ll say allow third-party installations or install from unknown sources. Then you can download and install the SAFE Authenticator App (POC) on the device.
Getting connected to the Network
Just in case you need to register (or update) your IP address to access the SAFE Network then here’s a quick reminder:
- Log in to the forum on your normal browser (you’ll need to have Basic Trust Level 1).
- Visit https://invite.maidsafe.net.
- Click on the SAFE Network logo.
- Select the
- Click on the button to register or update your IP address - if the IPs are the same then ignore this step.
- Click on the clipboard icon to copy the invitation token.
- Paste the invite code into the Invitation field on the Authenticator.
Building an Android application for the SAFE Network
You can now learn how to build a native Android application for the SAFE Network. For this you’ll need Android 7.0 Nougat (API 24) as a minimum. To help you along the way, we’ve also added a tutorial that walks you through the process of building a simple to-do list application.
See the tutorial on DevHub
If you’re looking to build quality mobile applications then having good documentation is a must to guide you along the way. So, in addition to the existing Node.js API documentation, we’ve released a new Java API for developing on Android.
DevHub - Docs page
Finally, all the main documentation can be accessed from a new ‘Docs’ page on DevHub so you’ll always have a central point of reference that you can return to.
Currently this contains links that will help you learn more about:
- Platform Development:
- Java (Android)
- Core Development:
If you’re not a developer, it’s probably worth restating - this is another significant step forwards for the SAFE Network community. Everyone knows how much of the world accesses the internet using a mobile device as the primary platform - and that percentage is only growing over time. With these first releases, we’re taking some early steps toward enabling developers around the world to build distributed apps that are mobile-first and ready for the future. We can’t wait to see what you build!