Getting Started With Android Development
Nowadays, a lot of students get attracted towards Android Development, some for fun and others for making a career in this field. If you are one of them then you may get this post helpful. I have divided this post into two parts depending upon your intention towards learning Android Application Development :
- You want develop Android Application for fun.
- You want make a career in Android Development field.
1.You want develop Android Application for fun : This approach is suitable for beginners with no prior experience or little experience with coding. There are some tool available in market which can generate code for your application. One such tool is the MIT App Inventor. This software will help you create great application by simply dragging and dropping code blocks.
From their site :
“MIT App Inventor is an innovative beginner’s introduction to programming and app creation that transforms the complex language of text-based coding into visual, drag-and-drop building blocks. The simple graphical interface grants even an inexperienced novice the ability to create a basic, fully functional app within an hour or less.”
You can start learning developing application with this tool from here
Note this tool comes with its own limitation. You can read about these at https://sites.google.com/site/appinventor/capabilities-limitations
2.You want make a career in Android Development field : In this approach you should focus on Android Native Application Development. To get started with Android Development, you can follow the steps :
(Note : Here I am not going to talk about DBMS, Data Structure, Design Pattern etc which are building block of every Software, if you want to read about these you can follow this GETTING STARTED WITH SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT)
Learning Programming Language :
First of all you need an IDE for development. Android Studio is the official IDE for Android Development (Here I am not going to mention Eclipse because it is almost dead for Android Development). You can download it from http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html and can learn about it from https://developer.android.com/develop/index.html Android need Java SDK to run and same can be downloaded from here http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk8-downloads-2133151.html .
You need emulator/real device to test your android application. The Android emulator is very slow. So you can use Genymotion which is fast as compare to Android emulator. To use Genymotion follow the steps :
- You need Virtualbox to run Genymotion. You can download it from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads .
- Go to https://www.genymotion.com and sign-in/sign-up.
- Click the “Get Genymotion” button and download the appropriate version for your OS.
Run “Hello World” Application :
1) If you have successfully install the Android Studio then you will see this window when you open the Android Studio.
2) Click on Start a new Android Studio project.
Give a name to your application, say Hello World, and Company Domain, you can use whatever name you want.
3) Select minimum Android OS version on which you want run your application.
4) Now Select Empty Activity (for simplicity)
Give your Activity Name as MainActivity and Layout Name as activity_main. Now click on Finish. After that Android Studio will create necessary files for your project.
and a XML file. Android use xml for designing purpose.
6) You you can run the application either by using Shift+F10 or button shown in above image. Your application will show something similar to bellow image.
Learning Android Basic :
To understand what happen when you run your “Hello World” app, you should learn android basics.
1) Android Architecture : It will be good to have some knowledge of OS for which you are going to develop the application. You can google or visit the following links to know about Android Architecture.
2) Android Application Basic Components : You must know about the Android Basic Components.
3) Activity Life-cycle : After reading activity life-cycle you will be able to get an idea about how your “Hello World” application run.
Further reading :
Android is an open source OS, so you will get a lot of resources on internet which can help you to getting started with Android Development. Some of resources I have listed here :
- https://www.udacity.com/course/android-developer-nanodegree–nd801 ( Google is teamed up Udecity to provide the course for Android Development. The full course materials are available for free for all students, you can also enroll for course.)