Jan 5, 2011
I want to develop an app that will show available animals at a shelter. There would be three main pages for dogs, cats, and smallies. The app would just basically show what animals are available with their stats and pics. Clicking on each individual animal would bring up more info with a longer profile. This will be my first app and I think it's a small enough project that I won't get in over my head but then I don't know everything that I'll run into. I'm basically looking at this as a learning experience that will maybe lead to something more complex and useful down the road. So, does this sound like a good first project to anyone else?

Besides learning Java, I think my first major hurdle will be figuring out where to pull the data from. The shelter has a web site with the info but I'm not sure if I can just pull it all from the web pages or if there's a simpler way.

Since you're probably going to say it depends on what I know already, here's a little background. I work at an IT help desk, so I'm comfortable with terms and technology. I have taken basic classes in C and Perl. And I have at various points built and maintained a few small web sites as well as started a couple forums. I've started going through the info at the Android Developers web site (
I would recommend, for simplicity, that you take a look at PhoneGap.
I've just it for several apps that only needed to display web information.

But you do need access to the webpage backend in order to really customize your app and get the info you need.

But you could also go the "full android"-way. not that hard.

Create an http request to the page, parse the data and display it.

All ways have drawbacks when you want information "live" because users may not have internet access at all times so some sort of check would be necessary.