I am excited about teaching MIT's App Inventor to 7th and 8th graders this year and I need some Android phones that are version 3.2 or newer. They do not need to be connected to any cellular provider. They will be connected to computers via a cable or wifi. It would be great if they were all the same kind otherwise I will go crazy trouble shooting. The class will have 15 or more students so I need as many as I can get and obviously I have no budget for this so free or very cheap is what I am looking for. Does anyone have any ideas for me?
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Another option would be to use a program like bluestacks to emulate what the app may look like, then just have a couple devices on hand to load onto for a more "real world" test. I was also under the impressiong that built in to the SDK was an emulator for testing purposes (I could be totally wrong here) that could also be used while the apps are being built, then loaded onto a device when the final product is ready. That being said, you will probably have to check eBay, craig's list or swappa to get good deals on phones.
It probably won't be possible to get phones that aren't connected to a cellular provider from Verizon or any other cell service. As Demmo says, eBay, etc., is a possibility, though it might be a pain to buy in bulk that way. There are companies that buy and sell used phones on eBay. You might be able to identify a couple of them and contact them outside of eBay to talk about a bulk purchase. Used phones might be perfectly serviceable for this type of project.
Places like Best Buy do sell phones without cell service plans, I think. They might possibly have a bulk or educational discount program.
BTW, sounds like a great project!
Maybe you could consider the Galaxy Player devices. They are basically MP3 players with the Android OS and wifi radios and 5 to 6" screens. They don't have any cellular radios.
Or maybe smaller tablets around 7" in size that are wifi only devices.
I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.
Yes, with the new Nexus 7 coming very soon, the price of the old one may drop in the near future. And, for a tablet, those things are quite cheap anyway.
Thanks all for the above replies. In response to the first post, there is an emulator but it can't do everything that a real phone does. I will check eBay and Best Buy. As far as a tablet, I will check that out too, but even if I could get one for less than $50 each it would still be expensive. Good idea though.