How We Support Native Android Development on SAFE

Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

Last week we announced support for SAFE development on the Android platform with the release of a new Java API, updated mobile SAFE Authenticator and an Android App tutorial. You’ll find more detailed information on the forum post here.

Today we’re releasing a video run-through by one of the team, Lionel Faber, to give you a better feel for what you can do. Lionel was also interviewed on the most recent edition of the SAFE Crossroads Podcast.

The video shows how to build native Android applications for the SAFE Network using Java. You can do this by working locally initially on a ‘mock network’ in order to develop and test your new app. Once you’re happy, then it’s straightforward to migrate this to the live Alpha-2 Network.

Self-authentication is a crucial part of the SAFE Network. It’s the way individuals connect to the Network without requiring the permission of any third party. This is where the updated mobile SAFE Authenticator comes in — because if you’re building a SAFE app (or decentralised application) you’re going to need a way for the user to authorise your DApp in the first place.

There are two types of data on the SAFE Network — Immutable Data (where the data’s hash is used as its storage address) and Mutable Data (where data can be either public or private and also modified by an owner — which gives a user the ability to choose which DApps can access which data). In other words, the individual remains as always in control of his or her data. By running the tutorial, you’ll be able to see basic Mutable Data operations being carried out.

The release also uses product flavours to switch between mock and non-mock versions of the Application. In addition it has been built to enable the DApp’s own container to be used (meaning that the DApp remembers where to find the encrypted, stored information about the data (Name, type-tag etc) each time it’s launched).

It’s a big step forwards. This gives mobile Android Developers the tools to build the next generation of decentralised applications on the SAFE Network. That should appeal to anyone who’s focused on ensuring privacy, security and freedom for a global network of users. It’s an opportunity to build mobile applications whilst avoiding the pain of server setup and leaving behind the usual worries about securing users’ sensitive personal data yourself. And, once the Network’s currency is released, SAFE apps will provide a built-in revenue stream for developers, paid to them by the Network based on the popularity of their application.

So if the thought of building decentralised applications on the world’s first autonomous, permissionless and censorship-resistant network is something you want to learn more about, hopefully you’ve got the detail to get started. But if you do have any questions, please jump into the Forum thread and the Community will be keen to give you a hand!