Posts tagged "android"

I replaced Google Analytics with a web server running on my phone

TLDR I built android-analytics, a web analytics tracker running on my phone.

Say you run a blog, personal website, small-time business page or something of the sorts. Say you also want to keep an eye on how many visitors you鈥檙e getting.

The first thing that most people think at this point is 鈥淕oogle Analytics鈥. It mostly works and is free. Its also hosted by Google, which makes it very easy to start using. There aren鈥檛 many competitors that bring those points to the table, so Google Analytics usually wins by WO at this point.

I used to use Google Analytics to track this blog for those same reasons. But after finding out about Termux and writing this post about installing a web server on an Android phone, I started toying with the idea that I had this ARM-based, 2GB RAM, Linux-like device with Internet connectivity which must be more than enough for a simple webcounter-like application. After a few weeks of tinkering, here it is!

Repurposing an old Android phone as a Ruby web server

CC-BY Carlos Varela, https://www.flickr.com/photos/c32/7755470064

Do you have an old Android phone? Sure you do! There鈥檚 a mind-blowing amount of electronic waste of all kinds, and with the average person in developed countries discarding their phones every couple of years, discarded smartphones are probably one of the most common forms of e-waste.

I had an old Motorola G5 Cedric gathering dust, so I decided to do something with it 鈥 it is now running a Puma web server with a simple Sinatra webapp.

Now, before going any further, you might be thinking: what is the real, practical use of all this? An old Android phone probably isn鈥檛 going to have a stellar performance, but neither do those t2.nanos, honestly. I鈥檓 yet to deploy any 鈥渞eal鈥 code on an Android, but even the cheaper and older phones do commonly have quad-core or even octa-core CPUs, and at least 2GB RAM, so at least in theory a phone should be close 鈥 ballpark, at least 鈥 to the most modest cloud IaaS offers our there (t2.nano has 512MB for instance). Of course, a phone has an ARM processor while IaaS usually are x86; memory management is entirely different as well, but still 鈥 we鈥檙e talking ballpark estimates here.

Anyway, this is a short tutorial on how to repurpose an Android device as a web server 鈥 or any number of different things, really.