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Basics of Android Scripting Environment

written by: Om Thoke•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 12/28/2009

Chances are high that you may have heard of the android scripting environment announced off-late. However, you may not yet be aware of its specifics. So, for all the beginners who wish to understand more about the Android Scripting Environment, here’s an insight to the ASE.

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    Overview of Android Scripting Environment

    Well, to start off, the Android Scripting Environment (often abbreviated as ASE) facilitates usage of scripting languages like Python, Perl and the likes of them with Android. By making use of the Android Scripting Environment, one can edit, execute scripts and interactive interpreters on any compatible Android device.

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    Uses of the Android Scripting Environment

    Having known the basics of the Android Scripting Environment, the most obvious question that’s bound to come to your mind is of course its utility. So, here’s what you can do, by making appropriate use of the Android Scripting Environment.

    Basically, the scripts can interact with anything from the available APIs down to full-fledged Android applications. More so, ASE greatly simplifies the interface making it a snap to:

    • Start activities
    • Make phone calls
    • Use text-to-speech
    • Handle intents
    • Scan bar codes
    • Send text messages
    • Poll location and sensor data

    And do much more!

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    Getting Started With the ASE

    Android Scripting Environment (ASE) provides a plethora of options including script editing, execution for a number of scripting languages, interactive interpreters, and much more. Getting started with the ASE is equally easy too. All you need to do is take a look at the example scripts, which get automatically installed with the ASE.

    Having done that, you should be good to go. Also, be sure to glance through the Javadoc for the AndroidFacade API as well as the AndroidProxy API.

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    Using the ASE

    In order to use the ASE effectively you need to know the following functionalities -

    Home Screen

    Home Screen of the ASE is similar to the home screen of any application. It is possible to create a short cut to an existing script on home screen merely by long clicking.

    Script Manager

    Soon after launching the Android Scripting Environment, you'll be able to find the script manager, with the help of which, you will be able to create new scripts, launch or edit the existing scripts, create shortcuts on home screen, and even launch scripts as services.

    To add a new script > press menu button > choose "New."

    To edit an existing script launch it as a service and create a shortcut > long click on the respective script.

    Script Editor

    Script Editor is used for creating new scripts, and/or editing existing ones. The top box of Script Editor displays filename, and the bottom one displays its content.

    For the beginner level users, the following basic commands can come in handy, in getting started with the ASE.

    To direct the ASE to know as to what interpreter to launch your script with, use the .lua command for LUA file extensions.

    For the BeanShell file extension use .bsh command

    Locale Plugin

    The Locale Plugin is a handy option to let ASE execute scripts via Locales situation engine. It is one of the most impressive options because you can launch a script when a particular WiFi network is in range, or at a particular time, or specific event.

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    In a Nutshell

    With the ASE, you can even write scripts on your PC and run them on phone. You can also make phone calls, send text messages, scan bar codes, and do a lot more.The Android Scripting Environment has massive potential, and in upcoming times, its true power will be definitely unveiled. So, keep an eye on the latest developments. If you're a developer, ASE can be your lottery ticket, provided that you succeed in making a valuable discovery, before others do.

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    Need More Help?

    Aside from the Android Scripting Environment, Google has been really striving hard towards building some serious apps for users as well as the developer community. To know what's new in Google labs, follow this link