Scripting Comes to Android

ase logo

Google is bringing scripts to Android. The Android Scripting Environment (ASE) will make development accessible and easy for devs who don’t want to build a full-fledge application. As Google provides these details:

Scripts can be run interactively in a terminal, started as a long running service, or started via Locale. Python, Lua and BeanShell are currently supported, and we’re planning to add Ruby and JavaScript support, as well.

These scripts can:

Handle intents

Start activities

Make phone calls

Send text messages

Scan bar codes

Poll location and sensor data

Use text-to-speech (TTS)

And more

The ASE will greatly increase the customizability of Android phones. This is one of the more interesting developments I have seen for mobile apps. I hope that the Market supports trading scripts. The ASE is not in the Market yet, but you can download it from its project page.

ase screen

Via Hacker News

Update: Via Matt Cutts, a 6 line Python script that scans book barcodes:

import android

droid = android.Android()

code = droid.scanBarcode()

isbn = int(code[‘result’][‘SCAN_RESULT’])

url = “” % isbn

droid.startActivity(’android.intent.action.VIEW’, url)

ASE is going to be very powerful.

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  • HereAndNow

    Cool! Android seems to be getting more powerful, by the minute. Now, all Android needs is for vendors to start offering Android on some beautiful handset designs.

  • Scott

    Very NIICCEE!!! “You say you want a revolution!”

  • monks

    Where is Perl?

  • @nyet

    yes – where is Perl?

  • Anonymous

    Why is perl the red headed step child to Google?

  • What about mIRC-Script too, guys? lol

  • Kai Tamkun

    But what about PHP?

  • To the “where is Perl?” folks, is there a Perl clone written for the JVM?

    If yes, then there is a fighting chance it can work with ASE, as ASE appears aimed at languages that can run on the Android Dalvik VM.

    If not, I’d start there.

  • monks

    @Mark Murphy
    What is ??

    Perl on Android is already accepted. :b

    Don’t think your programming language only can do something.


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  • I’m looking forward to see how all of these will work. I trust google and I’m sure they will do a great job implementing these scripts. This also is going to make things even simpler for those who want to take some programming and have no knowledge of all languages supported by Android.

  • Bala

    I am looking for Perl interpreter as well – Any ideas about that?

  • John
  • Jester

    As a PHP dev, I was heartbroken to find out that a PHP interpreter for Android is hard to come by. Hopefully ASE is a milestone for getting there. Most of my apps are aimed at the Linux shell rather than web interfaces anyways.

  • sfh

    Hopefully Groovy support as well.

  • just visited the link to the ase. lots of languages avail!! looking forward to an update.

    john d