Making Android apps with Python has come a long way in the past couple of years.
One new way is using the FireMonkey (FMX) framework for Python. FMX is a GUI framework for developing apps for many platforms, with Android being one of them.
You can use PythonFMXBuilder to build your Android App once you’re finished programming it.
As a Python lover and Android programmer, I’m sad to say this is not a good way to go. There are two problems:
One problem is that there is a lot more than just a programming language to the Android development tools. A lot of the Android graphics involve XML files to configure the display, similar to HTML. The built-in java objects are integrated with this XML layout, and it’s a lot easier than writing your code to go from logic to bitmap.
The other problem is that the G1 (and probably other Android devices for the near future) are not that fast. 200 MHz processors and RAM is very limited. Even in Java, you have to do a decent amount of rewriting-to-avoid-more-object-creation if you want to make your app perfectly smooth. Python is going to be too slow for a while still on mobile devices.
An example via Matt Cutts via SL4A — “here’s a barcode scanner written in six lines of Python code:
droid = android.Android()
code = droid.scanBarcode()
isbn = int(code['result']['SCAN_RESULT'])
url = "http://books.google.com?q=%d" % isbn
There is also the new Android Scripting Environment (ASE/SL4A) project. It looks awesome, and it has some integration with native Android components.
Note: no longer under “active development”, but some forks may be.
…a port of a subset of Pygame functionality to the Android platform. The goal of the project is to allow the creation of Android-specific games, and to ease the porting of games from PC-like platforms to Android.
The examples include a complete game packaged as an APK, which is pretty interesting.
My blog has instructions and a patch for cross compiling Python 2.7.2 for Android.
I’ve also open sourced Ignifuga, my 2D Game Engine. It’s Python/SDL based, and it cross compiles for Android. Even if you don’t use it for games, you might get useful ideas from the code or builder utility (named Schafer, after Tim… you know who).
Using SL4A (which has already been mentioned by itself in other answers) you can run a full-blown web2py instance (other python web frameworks are likely candidates as well). SL4A doesn’t allow you to do native UI components (buttons, scroll bars, and the like), but it does support WebViews. A WebView is basically nothing more than a striped down web browser pointed at a fixed address. I believe the native Gmail app uses a WebView instead of going the regular widget route.
This route would have some interesting features:
From the Python for android site:
Python for android is a project to create your own Python distribution including the modules you want, and create an apk including python, libs, and your application.
SL4A does what you want. You can easily install it directly onto your device from their site, and do not need root.
It supports a range of languages. Python is the most mature. By default, it uses Python 2.6, but there is a 3.2 port you can use instead. I have used that port for all kinds of things on a Galaxy S2 and it worked fine.
SL4A provides a port of their
android library for each supported language. The library provides an interface to the underlying Android API through a single
from android import Android
droid = Android()
droid.ttsSpeak('hello world') # example using the text to speech facade
let droid = new Android();
droid.ttsSpeak("hello from js");
For user interfaces, you have three options:
You can mix options, so you can have a webview for the main interface, and still use native dialogues.
There is a third party project named QPython. It builds on SL4A, and throws in some other useful stuff.
QPython gives you a nicer UI to manage your installation, and includes a little, touchscreen code editor, a Python shell, and a PIP shell for package management. They also have a Python 3 port. Both versions are available from the Play Store, free of charge. QPython also bundles libraries from a bunch of Python on Android projects, including Kivy, so it is not just SL4A.
Note that QPython still develop their fork of SL4A (though, not much to be honest). The main SL4A project itself is pretty much dead.
Yet another attempt: https://code.google.com/p/android-python27/
This one embed directly the Python interpretter in your app apk.
I use the QPython app. It’s free and includes a code editor, an interactive interpreter and a package manager, allowing you to create and execute Python programs directly on your device.
Didn’t see this posted here, but you can do it with Pyside and Qt now that Qt works on Android thanks to Necessitas.
It seems like quite a kludge at the moment but could be a viable route eventually…
I wanted to add to what @JohnMudd has written about Kivy. It has been years since the situation he described, and Kivy has evolved substantially.
The biggest selling point of Kivy, in my opinion, is its cross-platform compatibility. You can code and test everything using any desktop environment (Windows/*nix etc.), then package your app for a range of different platforms, including Android, iOS, MacOS and Windows (though apps often lack the native look and feel).
With Kivy’s own KV language, you can code and build the GUI interface easily (it’s just like Java XML, but rather than TextView etc., KV has its own
ui.widgets for a similar translation), which is in my opinion quite easy to adopt.
Currently Buildozer and python-for-android are the most recommended tools to build and package your apps. I have tried them both and can firmly say that they make building Android apps with Python a breeze. Their guides are well documented too.
iOS is another big selling point of Kivy. You can use the same code base with few changes required via kivy-ios Homebrew tools, although Xcode is required for the build, before running on their devices (AFAIK the iOS Simulator in Xcode currently doesn’t work for the x86-architecture build). There are also some dependency issues which must be manually compiled and fiddled around with in Xcode to have a successful build, but they wouldn’t be too difficult to resolve and people in Kivy Google Group are really helpful too.
With all that being said, users with good Python knowledge should have no problem picking up the basics quickly.
If you are using Kivy for more serious projects, you may find existing modules unsatisfactory. There are some workable solutions though. With the (work in progress) pyjnius for Android, and pyobjus, users can now access Java/Objective-C classes to control some of the native APIs.
Another option if you are looking for 3.4.2 or newer (3.9.6 as of this writing) is this archive on GitHub.
I believe the original archive supports Python 3.4.2, the latest GRRedwings branch support 3.9.6 and the 22b version of the NDK. Older branches support other versions, but are not as easy to compile with docker.
The older version you simply clone the archive, run make and you get the .so or the .a
The newer versions follow the ReadMe, but it uses docker for consistent builds.
I currently use this to run raw Python on android devices. With a couple modifications to the build files you can also make x86 and armeabi 64 bit
One more option seems to be pyqtdeploy which citing the docs is:
a tool that, in conjunction with other tools provided with Qt, enables
the deployment of PyQt4 and PyQt5 applications written with Python
v2.7 or Python v3.3 or later. It supports deployment to desktop
platforms (Linux, Windows and OS X) and to mobile platforms (iOS and
According to Deploying PyQt5 application to Android via pyqtdeploy and Qt5 it is actively developed, although it is difficult to find examples of working Android apps or tutorial on how to cross-compile all the required libraries to Android. It is an interesting project to keep in mind though!
You can use QPython:
It has a Python Console, Editor, as well as Package Management / Installers
It’s an open source project with both Python 2 and Python 3 implementations. You can download the source and the Android .apk files directly from github.
apt install python will install Python3 on Termux. For Python2, you need to use
apt install python2.
Here are some tools listed in official python website
There is an app called QPython3 in playstore which can be used for both editing and running python script.
Another app called Termux in which you can install python using command
pkg install python
If you want develop apps , there is Python Android Scripting Layer (SL4A) .
The Scripting Layer for Android, SL4A, is an open source application that allows programs written in a range of interpreted languages to run on Android. It also provides a high level API that allows these programs to interact with the Android device, making it easy to do stuff like accessing sensor data, sending an SMS, rendering user interfaces and so on.
You can also check PySide for Android, which is actually Python bindings for the Qt 4.
There’s a platform called PyMob where apps can be written purely in Python and the compiler tool-flow (PyMob) converts them in native source codes for various platforms.
Also check python-for-android
python-for-android is an open source build tool to let you package Python code into standalone android APKs. These can be passed around, installed, or uploaded to marketplaces such as the Play Store just like any other Android app. This tool was originally developed for the Kivy cross-platform graphical framework, but now supports multiple bootstraps and can be easily extended to package other types of Python apps for Android.
A Python SDK for Android
BeeWare allows you to write your app in Python and release it on multiple platforms. No need to rewrite the app in multiple programming languages. It means no issues with build tools, environments, compatibility, etc.
Take a look at BeeWare. It has grown significantly. It is awarded with PSF (Python Software Foundation) Education Grant.
Beeware’s aim is to be able to create native apps with Python for all supported operating systems, including Android.
Official Website: Beeware
Github Repo: https://github.com/beeware
Check out enaml-native which takes the react-native concept and applies it to python.
It lets users build apps with native Android widgets and provides APIs to use android and java libraries from python.
It also integrates with android-studio and shares a few of react’s nice dev features like code reloading and remote debugging.
It can automatically download PyPI packages and build them into an app, including selected native packages such as NumPy.
It enables full access to all Android APIs from Python, including the native user interface toolkit (example pure-Python activity).
This used to be a commercial product, but it’s now free and open-source.
(I am the creator of this product.)