In this post on Buzztouch forums I explained how I got to develop a system for turning large HTML files with images into working Android apps, automatically and automagically.
I am putting the site for this conversion as I write this, and in the meanwhile, I can do this as a service. I invite you and all others with “large HTML files and images” to contact me and send me material for one app. I will do it for FREE so that I can improve my software to be able to handle anything that can come up once the conversion site is up and running.
This offer may be over when you read this so contact me to see whether you can still apply.
I will also test the app on my device and — since I would be doing it manually — you would get a fully signed APK file with which you could go to Google Play and install it. (Fully signed app means that you are the actual owner of the app, that you could change it in the future regardles of me.)
No need for Eclipse nor for any kind of Android hardware at all, just an app published on Google Play from the book you already have.
What Kind Of HTML Files to Send Me?
Send me any kind of HTML file, provided that the chapters are delimited by H1 tags. If you have H2 tags, they are currently not being processed, but they will be in the next version of the software.
If you already have a book ready for Kindle (or already published on Kindle) that would be perfect, since the H1 and H2 tags would be naturally present exactly where they belong. If it is not formatted for Kindle, do not bother with that, just give me file or files and I’ll see what I can do — what should I add to my software in order to handle your case.
Given enough HTML files from “wild” sources, I hope to be able to automate the entire process and put up a site.
You can also submit a bunch of HTML files, provided that they are labeled 01, 02, 03 and so on in files names. If they are labeled so, my software will take them in the order indicated and present file names as options in the main menu of the application, automatically.
How the Images Are Processed
If there are images in the HTML file, I may or may not need them too.
There are two possible cases. If your HTML file contains absolute addresses of images, no further action need be taken on my side.
If the addresses are relative, my software will connect image’s file names with the IMG tags in the HTML file.
File names for images can be a problem. If you are on Windows, and your image is named something like
my image for you.png
Windows will not object, but the Internet will. There may be no spaces in file names for the Internet so the HTML editor would add codes for space and turn the file name into something like
These two are not identical but my software will handle that too by entering the absolute address of the image file in the IMG tag. The images themselves will need to be uploaded or re-uploaded to the server.
In short, my software will handle the images. A kind of an invisible problem that should best remain invisible to the end user, i.e. you.
Youv’e Sent Me the Files, Now What?
I’ll have a look at the file or files,
correct manually anything that needs to be corrected,
change the software so that I do not need to do that never again,
run the software on your files,
zip the files and
send them back to you.
In the zip file you get the following:
A file called read_json.txt which will contain the JSON codes for the main menu of the application. You will upload that file to your Buzztouch server and note the actual address of that file. That address you will later feed into the Buzztouch app. Currently, the menu will be of type Menu Simple, but in the latter versions of the software you will be able to choose from all other types of menus that are available within Buzztouch, regardless of being for Android or iOS.
Create a new app with your Buzztouch server, create a new Menu Simple, enter the address of the read_json.txt file into the Screen Data URL field, save it and that’s it. That is the only screen you need to open for the app. Then go to the Layout option and choose that single screen as the start of the Non-Tabbed Layout.
The app is ready to be downloaded with Application Home > Prepare Project Download. Then proceed as normal, choose your plugins and eventual SDKs, and use Prepare Android Project to download the app. (This will get you the code for Android 2.2 as I haven’t stepped up to the Buzztouch Android Core 3.0 as yet.) From then on, you use Eclipse to publish, or in this case, since I have offered it as a free service, I use Eclipse to publish your app. I do it as I would do that for myself, generating the images and promo material needed to actually publish on Google Store.
In that process, the APK file and the keystore file that are needed for publishing are generated. I return them both to you within the zip file. That is total freedom, you can later change the app on your own as you will have the keystore file for the app. That one thing creates such a huge difference!
Who Publishes the App?
If you do not have an account with Google Play, I could also publish the app on my own account. However, your app would need to behave according to the rules of Google Play, in order not to violate the entire account.
If I publish it on my own account, I put my own advertisements in the app in order to compensate for all this trouble. In addition to that, I must charge you $9 for hosting costs of one app, monthly. I actually do not want to host your app, therefore, I strongly recommend that you pay 25 USD to open your own Google Play account and publish it there on your own. That 25 bucks you pay only once, it is not even an annual fee as it would be with Apple.
Having your own account at Google Play and using any kind of low cost site hosting is much better than paying me, if you serious about creating apps at all.
However, I you need an app in a hurry, say, there is some kind of an event or a deadline that is approaching fast, I shall publish the app under the conditions stated above, on my account, and later you will be able to transfer your app to your own account, once you set it up.
Live Examples of Kindle Ebook To an Android App Coversion
Here are the examples of my Android apps that are converted from their Kindle equivalents:
There is a total of five such apps created in my account, Dusko Savic at Google Play.
With each app I perfected my system and now it takes me less than an hour and a quater from HTML files to an app actually being published in the Play store, with all the promo graphics being generated along the way.
Once again, contact me in you want to see your Kindle book or your entire site as an Android app, fast.