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Updated by Hemendra Singh on Mar 02, 2019
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7 Steps to Get Started with Android App Development

Well, there is no best day to start today, if you are waiting for some motivation and guidelines as to how you should learn developing Android apps, then this article will help you.
Developing an Android application requires, knowing a lot of technicality and knowledge of programming. It looks quite complex as a beginner because you might not be from the computer background or may be entirely new to the specific programming language but a step by step guide will help you to make your journey to become an Android app developer easier.
In this article, we are going to cover all the basic to advance functionalities that will be required before you start working on your first application.
Here are the few steps to get started your initial interaction with the Android:


Step1: Learn Coding

The most basic and the fundamental aspect of developing aAndroid application is learning basics of programming language especially "Java". Start learning Java today if you are not familiar with the language. It is recommended that you should start with the basics and gradually dive little deep into the concept of Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and Garbage Collection (GC).
However, don't try to excel all the concepts of Java otherwise you won't be able to start building your Android app. Furthermore, you don't need a base of C or C++ to start learning Java. You can directly start learning and practicing Java.


Step 2: Understand Android Internals

When we talk about the internals of Android it means the knowledge of creating high-quality UX for your apps. Learn about the life-cycle of an Android app, performance criteria, etc. Apart from this, get a knowledge of the platform you are working on.


Step 3: Download and Install Your Android Studio

Step 3: Download and Install Your Android Studio

For coding, you will be needing an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Software. Google provides Android Studio for Android App Development. In general, an IDE is a Software application that facilitates a platform to develop and program. It consists of source code editor, debugger, and automation tool. Apart from this, IDE helps you to correct your code by making suggestions, highlighting wrong things, etc.
While in the market there are many IDE available but the best suited for Android development is the Android Studio. As it offers multiple features which are specifically designed for Android app development. Examples like Android SDK and Android Virtual Device. You can select more components while downloading Android Studio from the Google.


Step 4: Configure Your Android Studio

To configure Android Studio onto your platform, you need to launch it first. After it gets open, go to the menu and start configuring the studio according to your requirements. Go to SDK Manager to manage and update to the latest version of Android SDK. You will also get your all downloaded code samples in here. Make sure to fix the memory for the Android Emulator.
You need to download Java Development Kit too before you start coding your application idea. Download the right JDK according to the compatibility of your PC (whether 32 bit or 64 bit).
The other IDE you might also download for your Android app development is "Eclipse" which is an older IDE software. This platform is for developing iOS apps as well as Android apps. Thus, if you are passionate and planning to learn iOS app development after Android app development then it is a good choice for you.


Step 5: Go Start Your First Project

Well, this step surely comes after you have not mastered but at least know the intermediate level of coding and put your logical mind together to see your idea running practically in front of your eyes.
So in this step, you are finally going to code your logic. Enter the name of the project and company domain, this will create your package name in the following format:
“ name”
This package is the Android Package File (APK), which is ready to upload to the Google Play Store.
When you will start with your very first code, try to go for a simple program and try to understand all the features of the Android Studio. The key points you need to remember are: choose a destination location like DropBox where you want to save your code, decide the type of platforms or devices you would like to run your code, and decide the SDK you want to support that is Android version for which your application can run successfully. At first, try a simpler Android version so that complexity level is low and you can learn easily.
The next comes 'Activity Module' which is the reflection of your main page of the application. Try to make it as simple and easy as possible, considering it as your first test application.


Step 6: Create Real-Time App:

The most basic code that any Android App developer makes is the “Hello World” irrespective of the language type. Unfortunately, Android studio already has this pre-built code. In this section, you can design layouts with the help of the visual editor similar to Dreamweaver.
While getting started if you see an error message like 'Rendering Error' then just click the 'Rebuild' link.
There are many more features and widgets that you might add to your application to beautify it.


Step 7: Create Layout:

To create a layout, Android studio provides a built-in UI design for making it easy for the developers to design. As you change element on UI by using the designer, it automatically creates its XML file. Now moving forward, if you want to change the string at multiple places then;

  • Go to the 'string.xml' under the 'values', in this string values are stored and you can change the string which you need to modify and then it will be changed at multiple places.

To summarize this:

  • – You need to modify to add some java code.
  • *activity_main.xml *– Modify activity_main.xml because we need to change or modify UI
  • string.xml – We need to modify string.xml because we need to add some coding string or change string at multiple locations.

Now to start with the simple layout, we will create the main page of the application. For this follow the following steps.

Step 1: *At the bottom of the design window there are two tabs: Design and Text. Click on 'Design' tab.
Step 2:
Click on the text 'Hello World' shown in the mobile screen displayed on the window.
Step 3: In the 'Properties' window go to the 'Layout:centerInParent' and select 'horizontal'. It will make the 'Hello World' text into the middle of the screen.
Step 4: Now go to the 'string.xml' to change the string name. Enter the name you want to show on the mobile screen. Ex: 'Tap Me'.
Step 5: Click on the Palette button on the left side of the phone rendering. And choose 'Button', this will give you a clickable button on which you can add text.
Step 6: Now to add a 'Toast' (i.e. a pop message that appears and then automatically disappears after some time) you need to define a Java code.
Step 7: Now click on the 'Tap Me' from the mobile screen and go to the properties and select 'onClick'. Now select “onButtonTap”, this will add Java code and then this code will be called by the Toast myToast.
Step 8: *Now you can test your application by using Android Virtual Device Manager. You need to click the 'Play' button under the 'Action' column. This will make 'Emulator' run.
Step 9:
After emulator starts running, go to the Tools and click 'Run app'. This will show a window to select emulator and click 'Ok'.
*Step 10: *Now you can test your app by clicking on the 'Tap Me' button and see if it is working and whether toast is appearing or not.
Well, this is how you should start working on developing your own application and make your idea more realistic. As you will start practicing, you can start making more complex programming and add new features to your application.


Key Take-Away Notes:

• The first and the most important point is, never give up, because initially everything is tough and seems complicated to establish.
• Every problem has a solution and Google has an answer for all of them. So try to google it and learn from the tutorial in the initial level of learning.
• Follow the step by step guide and you will be able to master Android development in no time.

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