This article will be your guide in learning Android development. You will learn about the eligibility, programming languages and tools that are required for the development process.
Table of Contents
- About Android development
- Programming languages to build Android apps
- How to start Android development using different tools?
- Resources to learn Android development
What is Android development?
Android is a popular platform which is based on Linux operating system. It is a layered environment built on the foundation of the Linux kernel. The Android software layers include applications, application frameworks, android runtime, libraries, etc.
Before we move further, you must be aware of the fundamentals to learn how to start Android development. An Android app has one or more of the four classifications:
- Activities: An application with a visible user interface is implemented through an activity. An activity is started when you select an application from the home screen or the application launcher.
- Services: You use a service for applications that require to persist for a longer time, such as an update-checking application.
- Content providers: These can be viewed as a database server. A content provider manages access to the persisted data, such as contacts on your phone. You may not require to create a content provider if you have a simple app. A content provider is required for larger applications that make data available to multiple activities and applications.
- Broadcast receivers: You can launch Android applications to process specific elements of the data or respond to an event such as getting a text message.
Who can learn Android development?
Those who want to start android development should have a working knowledge of programming languages such as Java or Kotlin that are used on Android. The basic knowledge of software development is expected from someone who wants to develop Android apps. To build Android apps, you can follow the below-given steps:
Programming Languages To Build Android Apps
One of the most important steps in Android application development is to have knowledge of programming languages. These include the following:
For Native Android Apps
These are the apps that are solely built for Android devices. To build such apps, you will need to know the following programming languages:
It is one of the best programming languages for android app development. Java offers Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME) is used for this purpose due to the following reasons:
- Provides a secure environment to build and execute mobile applications.
- Supported by smartphones and tablets.
- Overcomes challenges in the execution on devices having low memory and low power.
- Leverages the native capabilities of a device.
- Addresses the constraints involved in app development.
- Gives a boost to android applications through its extensive set of libraries.
Check out online Java courses.
Kotlin is an open-source, statically typed and general-purpose programming language that has type interference. It focuses on clarity, safety and interoperability. It is considered to be the supported android programming language that resolves issues that developers face with Java. the Following are the benefits of Kotlin:
- Easy syntax and reduced code length
- Compatibility with the Java ecosystem
- Cross-platform layer for the native apps
- Extensive resources
- Wide range of community libraries
- Direct support of the Kotlin team
For Hybrid Apps
- Faster process of app development
- Better maintenance segment of the app development
- Responsive web design
- Better UI/UX experience
- Useful in developing beautiful UI components
- Easier in comparison to other languages
- Useful in building multi-platform applications
Know more about programming languages for android app development
How to start Android development using tools?
To build the development environment, your desktop must support the Android app development. For this purpose, you will require Android SDK and Android Studio.
1. Android SDK
Android Software Development Kit(SDK) is developed by Google for Android. It is a collection of Software development tools and libraries that are required for building Android apps. The tools in Android SDK provide a smooth flow of the development process.
From developing the app to debugging it. Every process becomes smoother. It is compatible with all operating systems. Android SDK tool is an important component that consists of development and debugging tools such as:
- Android SDK Build tool: To build actual binaries of the Android Apps. They build, run, test and debug the Android applications.
- Android Emulator: It is a simulation device that creates a virtual Android device on your system.
- Android SDK Platform-tools: It is used for testing. It includes Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to communicate with the device, Fastboot to flash a new system image and Systrace tools for collecting and inspecting timing information.
2. Android Studio IDE
When you are programming in any language, you will need an entity called IDE to write code and perform different functions. Android Studio is one of the most preferred IDEs for Android development. Android Studio provides an interface for creating apps and handling complicated file management. In the Android studio, you write, edit and save projects and files of the projects. Android Studio allows you to run the code through an emulator or a piece of hardware.
It is a very powerful tool that offers live hints and suggestions to fix errors so that you can make your code more efficient. It offers a list of auto-complete suggestions so that you can complete your code with the correct syntax. To start with Android Studio IDE, follow the below -given instructions:
Step 1: Download the Android Studio
In order to start using the Android Studio, you will need to first download it.
Step 2: Setting up Android Studio
Download Java to use the Android Studio. Once the app programming in Java is completed, install the Java Development Kit (JDK). Open the Android Studio where you will see the menu to start the project or for configuring some options.
Step 3: Start a new project
After installing all the components, go back to the page that you see on opening the Android Studio. Choose Starting a New Android Studio Project. Enter the name of your application and company domain’(com.companyname.appname.) The package include the compiled file or APK that you can upload on Google Play Store.
Now, you need to enter the directory where you want to save all the files of your app. After this, determine the type of device for which you want to develop the app. After you have followed the instructions, select Basic Activity to ensure that you are building a simple app as a beginner. Select a name and the layout for your application to determine the layout of an activity.
Resources to Learn Android Development
There are various resources that can help you to start your Android development journey.
- Android Weekly: It is a free newsletter that provides tutorials, screencasts and topics related to Android development. The newsletter comes once a week.
- Kotlin Weekly: It is another newsletter that provides insights on Kotlin every week. The newsletter discusses various issues with language, bug fixes, updates, releases and expert opinions.
- Android Authority: is a newsletter that features news, deals, reviews and expert opinions. You can choose from its daily, weekly and monthly newsletters to improve your knowledge.
- Fragmented Podcast: It is a podcast which is useful for those who want to learn about Android development. Android experts discuss their experiences, opinions and ideas with listeners.
- Android Developers Backstage: This is another podcast that includes podcasts to discuss the functionalities, updates and releases in the Android. The podcast starts with Android 4.4.
- Now in Android: This is a podcast that provides you with updates from the Android team. You can follow this podcast to know more about platform and library releases and other updates.
- Android Development for Beginners: This is a beginner level course by freeCodeCamp.org for those who want to learn android development from scratch. If you do not have any programming experience, then this course will be very useful for you. This video tutorial helps learners to build Android applications using Java.
- Android Development Tutorial For Beginners In Hindi (With Notes): CodeWithHarry offers a complete android development tutorial in Hindi. This video tutorial not only teaches you to build apps but also helps you in publishing these apps on Google play.
- Android App Development Tutorial for Beginners – Your First App: This is yet another tutorial by freeCodeCamp.org that teaches Android development to those who have no experience in using it. Through this tutorial, you will learn to code logic using Kotlin and create a user interface.
4. Online Courses
One of the best ways to learn is Android development certifications. These online courses are based on industry guidelines. You will be able to learn Android development from beginner to advanced level through the guidance of experts. These are self-paced courses that you can finish in your own timeline. At the end of these courses, you will get a certificate that will validate your skillset as an Android developer.
Android development requires technical skillsets and efficient tools. While having resources will benefit you to learn this skill, you must practice these skills and put them to practical application. Hope this article on How to start android development has been able to answer your queries as a beginner.
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What are the requirements for Android app development?
In order to start building the app, you will need a Linux, ADT plugin, Android SDK and Eclipse. If you need support, you can use Android Studio for the same.
Can I develop an app without coding?
Yes, it is possible to develop an application without coding. You will need an app builder that is suitable for your requirements.
Which language is best for app development?
Kotlin is the most efficient language that is used for app development these days. It reduces the efforts in coding and has better error handling.