Android Tablet Plus Cloud

Jan Martin Borgersen
May 21st, 2020 · 1 min read

Well that was surprisingly easy.

I’m setting up a new Android tablet that I need for testing, and I’m cautiously excited about retiring my 7th gen iPad, which has been gradually replacing my personal laptop in most of my non-work situations. We’re mostly an iOS house for phones and tablets, but we’re not partisan. The rest of the family runs Windows, and I love how hackable Android is.

So I found an open-box Galaxy Tab S4 on eBay for about the price of an entry-level current iPad. I have a spare bluetooth keyboard and comfy lapdesk. So …

Get a local terminal and make keys

Install Termux, open a shell, and:

1apt update
2apt upgrade
3apt install git openssh
5ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "youremail@example.com"

Now you can ssh to other machines, and if you copy your public key to your Github account, you can clone repos locally.

Google Cloud CLI

1apt install python

Then follow the directions for installing the CLI from here: https://cloud.google.com/sdk/docs/quickstart-linux

AWS, Azure, and any other platform with a Linux CLI should be just as simple.

Create a dev environment in the Cloud

Personally I’m pretty excited about what Microsoft is doing with Visual Studio Codespaces and Github Codespaces.

But at the time of this writing, Visual Studio Codespaces is still clunky (I’m having issues with port mapping and running gatsby develop) and I haven’t gotten into the Github preview yet.

But it’s super easy to set up your own dev server in the cloud.

Check out:

code-server Setup Guide

Once you have that up, hit the URL, “Add to Home Screen,” and now you have a local VS Code IDE on Android. (Okay, it’s really a PWA served from your dev server, but it feels like a local IDE.) You even have terminal access through the editor, and as long as you open the right ports (and maybe use caddy to do some remote-proxy work and get you SSL) you can run npx serve and gatsby develop or whatever hot reloading development script you need to run.

Happy hacking!

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