Gray Matter


An Android Phone for Web Development?

RT Cunningham | August 21, 2020 (UTC) | Web Development

android phone web developmentOut of curiosity, I wanted to see what it would take to use an Android phone for web development. Unlike my curiosity of using a tablet that way and having to use BlueStacks for testing, I actually possess an Android cell phone (even though I really don’t need one).

My former phone, a Samsung Galaxy S4, wouldn’t work as well as my current Samsung Galaxy S10e but it would still work.

Necessary Hardware

A portable keyboard and mouse combination is a must. There’s no way I can tolerate typing on a keyboard display for longer than a couple of minutes. It may not bother a hunt-and-peck keyboard user but it really bothers me. I’ve been a touch typist since 1975. That’s why I prefer using social media applications on my laptop computer.

Whether I use a wired or wireless combination, I need the correct USB connectors or adapters. My phone came with a USB Type A to USB Type C adapter. Unfortunately, it was too wide to fit once I put a case on the phone. The ring on the back of the case doubles as a stand for the phone, which would be the correct angle.

Necessary Software

I would need the same software I would need for an Android tablet. One item I didn’t realize I would need until I started working with my phone is a file manager. Specifically, a file manager that supports WebDAV. Cx File Explorer fits that bill quite nicely. The password manager on my phone is Keepass2Android Password Safe and it already connects to a KeePass compatible database on my server using a WebDAV connection.

Using WebDAV, I edit my Nginx configuration files directly on the server. Cx File Explorer alone would be too cumbersome. I would need the “pro” version of QuickEdit Text Editor, appropriately named QuickEdit Text Editor Pro. At $2.99, it isn’t expensive.

My website doesn’t use a database, so I don’t need to install MySQL or MariaDB. I doubt I’ll use FTP for anything I can’t do with a WebDAV connection, so I probably won’t need an FTP client. In fact, other than using Termux for SSH and Nginx (for testing), I don’t think I’ll need any other clients at all.

Phones vs. Tablets vs. Laptop Computers

I’m intentionally ignoring desktop computers that aren’t laptop computers. As far as capabilities, I would probably be repeating myself. Besides, they’re not portable like the rest.

I hope laptop computers continue to be sold at a reasonable until I’m old enough not to care. They’ve been my computing devices of choice for more than five years now, and they will remain so until I can’t replace the last of a broken one with a new one.

It’s amazing that Android phones and laptops can do most of the work that laptops can do, even if it’s at a slower pace. I’m sure cell phones and Android tablets will only get more powerful and easier to use with time. I certainly hope I will never have to resort to using either for web development anytime soon. Honestly, I don’t think I could handle it.

Photo Attribution: ABDUL HAKEEM from Pixabay

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