Hello Everyone, Today we are here with a new helpful post for you guys. This post will introduce you on how to get started with Android App Development. I hope this will help you get all the tools and information needed for getting your hands dirty.
Android is in much hype these days. There’s a silent battle going on between iOS & Android. Android, being open source is prone to a lot of bug fixes and improvements by millions of users worldwide. If you have happened to bump into websites like http://www.xda-developers.com then you already know how much modding and theming as well as performance optimization/improvement is going on across various Android devices. Not only the developers but newbie users are also trying to make their phone look/perform better than how it already does.
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Thus, android development is one of the most sought fields for those who want to get into app / software development. In the following post based on a quora answer by Pintu Singha here. <Content taken with permission>
I will be guiding on the most basic steps and tools needed to get you started with Android App Development. Let’s start :
Tools & Softwares Needed
- You need to get Eclipse[NOTE : You can choose any IDE but this is the most widely used one for Android development. Android Studio and IntelliJ are another two IDE you could try.]
- Install ADT (Android Development Tools) plugin for eclipse (assuming that you did choose to go with eclipse).This provides you with some other tools to help you throughout.
- Update your android tools by using the Android SDK Manager.It is always better to keep the latest changes,Android gets lots of changes every single day.
- This step is optional but it is better to get an Android device for testing your applications as it is not advisable to rely totally on the emulator because it works slower than device and it won’t help you tackle speed/efficiency issues.
FYI, Emulator: is a virtual mobile device that runs on your computer. The emulator lets you test Android applications without using a physical device.
So, the hard-work starts here.Yes ! but do look at the videos. Those will surely update/or teach you something new for sure.
Step One-Learn Java:
But you’ll have to know more than that to have a good understanding of Java, so I highly recommend just watching and trying to understand these videos/tutorials until you understand how Java work (If Statements, Variables, Returning Variables, For statements, basic syntax, Basic math operations): This starting point is really helpful, read each page from here and try and understand what is being explained: http://www.tutorialspoint.com/ja.
Whilst that read-through has all you need to know to start, these videos may help.You could also simply goto YouTube and search for comprehensive Java tuts.
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Pro-tips before getting started with Android App Development (From Pintu Singha) :
- Don’t give up because it’s initially hard, there is always a big cliff where you suddenly just understand what is happening, for me it happened a few weeks after starting my app.
- Google everything, If you have a problem someone else probably has, just Google your question and look for answers, /r/androiddev is another great resource.Also you can head over to Stack Overflow’s helpful community.
- Follow Android Design Guidelines, it’s much easier.
Design Resources for starters:
- Icons and Buttons
- General Android Design Resources
- Design Inspiration – This is a big one
- Google’s Design Philosophies
- Android Holo yolo Design Index/Info
The Android Studio has a drag and drop editor for the design part of an app, but you’ll have to learn the XML part as well in basic (spoiler: It’s quite straightforward): Layouts | Android Developers
Android Development: The Basics
So you might have gathered that Android Development is not exactly the same as Java development, so I highly recommend watching this: (Just to get started).
This one might seem silly at first, but as someone who forgot to do this and has to redo it all now: DO NOT AVOID THIS. A string is a sentence, character, word, numbers and a combo of them all. They are used all the time: for dialogs, debugging, text-boxes, UI and more. The problem is that if you have 700 lines of code and you want to find 1 string to change it in the future (or translate it), it becomes extremely fiddly.
So Google created a solution, a single file that stores all of your Strings in one place, so you can get that one file translated and refer to those strings in tons of different parts of the code. So if you had a standard string for dialog like: “This feature is not available in the Free version, would you like to purchase the pro version? (Don’t do this to often!!)” which you use several times, all you’ll have to do is change the String in the Strings.xml file and it will affect all the dialogs. Google have a more thorough breakdown here, and as a heads up, there are equivalents for this method for numbers and other variables! :
Comment and Document:
Try and comment and document everything you do, want to do and have done. (even just a dot point with a feature). Eg: //Scan for video files insert code here...
Some more Basics and how to start:
Open Android Studio and create a new project, following all the prompts. Then it will create all the main files and folders necessary automatically.
With what you have learnt use these resources, your ideas, what you have learnt and any other tutorials to start making a basic, then more complex app.
Think of libraries like pre-made code that make completing a task in code much easier.
For example, my favorite library: ‘IO Commons’ . It shortens all File manipulation tasks into one line bits of codes, where they sometimes might be 10+ lines .
There are specifically made Android libraries from Google that allow you to use newer Android features. For eg. the Action Bar on older devices.
Libraries differ in how to add them to Android Studio . So you might have to research how to add them to Android Studio.
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More advanced Pro-Tips by Pintu Singha:
- Just like the String resources method, don’t hard code anything . Workout out how to most simplify and make adaptable your code for future changes. (especially translation and when you become much better at development)
- Stack Overflow and YouTube (and /r/androiddev) are your friends.
- Follow Google Guidelines.
- If you don’t really understand some code or how to do a particular task, Google it.You can also comment what you are trying to do and ask around.
- Use libraries wherever you can.
- Here are a lot of awesome Android feature breakdowns and how to implement them: http://www.vogella.com/tutorials…
- Bookmark the Android developer website and never hesitate to check up the documentation when in doubt.
Other Useful Resources :
- [ Note: This is the one of the best series of Android video tutorials that I have even found, so don’t hesitate to download all 200 of the videos. They are really very helpful! ]
- Answers on
Some lines by the hero of this post :
I may not have been as specific as I could, but the gist of it is that the more you pursue and the more you give it a shot it will begin to make more and more sense until you understand it like a language. I have followed above resources about 6 months and I have successfully created an android app calledwill help find your lost or stolen smartphone and protect your personal information from unwelcome intruders.
We hope you understood and learned a learned a lot about getting into Android App Development. What was you first app ? Let us know in the comments below.
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