Let’s say you have a stunning idea for an application. You cannot wait to see everyone using it and just the idea of downloads, reviews and comments gets you excited. You’re ready to build the greatest app ever but there’s just one tiny problem: You don’t know where to start Android Development!
Learning to code is easy, it’s the mastery that takes intense practice and experience. Android development can be a bit more complicated. Not only do you need to understand Java, you also need to install all the Android-specific software and learn all of the unique features of Android app development.
In general, creating an Android app requires the SDK (Software Development Kit), an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) like Android Studio or Eclipse, the JDK (Java Software Development Kit) and a virtual device to test on.
Now we know that this may seem a little unnerving at first glance. Our objective is to provide you with a clear guide and to try and make your learning experience simple. And by the end of this article, you should have a basic app that you can start experimenting with. Here at Learn2Create, we will take the Android Studio approach.
You should grab a coffee first though, this may take a while!
Step 1: Download Android Studio
Before you get to that, first you need to install Java on your device. You will find the necessary documents and download links here.
Linux users can check official documentation – Instructions to download and Install Java
To program in most languages, you need a piece of software called an IDE or ‘Integrated Development Environment’. The most common IDE for Android development is Android Studio, which comes direct from Google itself. You can get it here.
What’s great about Android Studio is that it is designed specifically for Android development (unlike the second most popular option, Eclipse). This means that when you download the software, you’ll also get a lot of the other bits you need including the Android SDK and the Android Virtual Device, which is an emulator you can test your apps on.
As mentioned, there are some alternatives to Android Studio. Eclipse is an older IDE that can be used for Android Development and developing other things too (such as iOS apps) and that is a bit more flexible overall. It’s also a much more fiddly to get started with though and not nearly as beginner-friendly.
Another great alternative for Android Development is Basic4Android. Basic4Android is an IDE that lets you code Android apps with the BASIC programming language. It simplifies many things and is mainly focused on ‘rapid development’. There are other options too, such as Unity3D and numerous app builders, each of which has specific strengths and weaknesses depending on what you’re planning on building.
Step 2: Set Up Android Studio for Android Development
Now that you have Android Studio installed, you are well on your way to Android Development. Before we begin, you need to install Java on your machine to use Android Studio. To be specific, you have to install the Java Development Kit (JDK). Java is the programming language you’re going to be using to build your apps in this instance and you need to install the JDK in order for Android Studio to be able to interpret and compile your code. You’ll find the JDK here. Just download and follow the instructions to install.
Click on Android Studio to begin. A menu with some configurations comes up and select as you wish.
There are three vital things interacting when you use Android Studio to create your apps.
- Android Studio itself, which is an IDE that provides you with a nice interface for coding.
- The code you write in Java, which you installed a moment ago…
- And the Android SDK which you’ll access through your Java code in order to do Android-type things
Step 3: Starting a New Project
Once you’ve installed your samples, you can go back to the first page you saw when you loaded up Android Studio. Now you want to choose Start a new Android Studio Project – excited?
Enter the name you want for your application and your ‘company domain’. Together these elements will be used to create your package name with the following format:
Eventually, the package will be the APK (‘Android Package File’) that will be compiled. It is this APK that you will later upload to the Google Play Store. There are ways that people can see this, so if you’re planning on making something you’ll eventually release, try to avoid using weird words.
Also, enter the directory where you want to save all the files related to your app. Click Next and yay! More options! Don’t worry, we’re almost there… Next you need to decide what type of device you’re going to be developing for and in this case we’ll start with the Phone and Tablet option. Other options are TV, Wear and Glass.
Step 4: Almost there!
The other choice you have to make at this stage is the ‘Minimum SDK’. This is the lowest version of Android you want to support. Why not just enter the latest version of Android in here? The best bet at this stage is to go with the default option, so just leave this field as it is.
On the next page, you’ll be given the option to pick the way you want your app to look at the start. This will be the look of your main ‘Activity Module’ which is basically the main page of your app. Think of these like templates; do you want to have the title of your app along the top of the screen, or do you want your UI to fill the whole display?
For your first creation, you’ll probably make something really simple that just displays a single, basic activity. Select ‘Basic Activity’ to keep things simple at the moment and for all practical purposes, this will now be your app. Click Next again you get the last options.
Now you get to pick the name for your activity and the layout name (if you chose ‘Basic Activity’ you’ll also have the title option and the ‘menu_resource’ name). The activity name is how you’ll refer to your activities in your code, so call it something logical like ‘MainActivity’. Can’t screw that up eh?
Lastly, choose a name for the menu and for the title. Pick something neat for the title, as your users will be able to see this at some point. Click next and finally you can see the app you created!
Basic Steps to start Android Development:
- Download and install Android Studio, making sure to include the Android SDK
- Install Java SDK
- Start a new project and select the basic details
Just a reminder: When you’ve done all this once, you can forget about it forever and focus on the cool stuff: creating apps!
That’s it from us at Learn2Create! We will provide you with further reference links that we found to be great resources to learn Android Development. Adios!
YouTube Channel : Android Developers
Tutorials : Tutorials point
Official Documentation: Getting Started: Android Studio
Read More News on Learn2Create – News Category