Introduction to Android Developers for Beginners
Technology can be nerve-wracking but then ultimately it is a soothing balm for all your painstaking efforts. So, however, stifling technology can get, you have to at the end of the day make an easy way to get your work done out of it. Technology has invaded all streams of our life and being handicapped in its use will take you nowhere. I am myself a little (yes… little) scared of technology and more scared of how it works but I am determined to overcome my fear, in order to make the most out of it.
Cellphones-their usage is probably a piece of cake but the Android Developers tools of the various apps, I would completely steer away from it. However, oft and times I have realized never say no to anything. And perhaps that is why I have decided to get a comprehensive idea about the working of the Android developers for beginners app development software. I have realized that a rudimentary knowledge is a must and therefore in this article, I have actually put down things that I was an Android developer for beginners must know.
Guide to Android Developers for Beginners
What is a smartphone?
(I told you I am going to take you the basic level to make sure you are well versed with ideas at every level)
A smartphone is a mobile that is actually of performing the functions of a phone as well as of the computer. In a nutshell, we can say that a smartphone is a combination of two devices, a mobile (helps in making calls, messages) and a computer (e-mail, internet surfing, office documents, records and etc. This is the most simplified definition I could render for the Android Developers for beginners.
There are a few smartphone features which make it extremely unique in terms of its usage. A smartphone is run by an operating system just like a computer. Now the operating system for the computer was Windows, Ubuntu, DOS, for the mobile phones we have iOS, Android, BlackberryOS, HP’s WebOS, and Windows.
iOS runs the Apple’s iPhone, BlackberryOS runs the Blackberry phones, Windows operates the Microsoft Phones and the rest are run by Google’s Android OS and HP’s WebOS, Smartphones running on these operating system allows you to run apps, access directions through GPS, play a variety of music, take photographs and edit them with graphics, download documents and work on them while you are on the run. In short, your smartphone is a highly capable digital assistant helping you in running your errands as and when it suits your whim.
All of the above would not be possible without the web access or simply put the internet. With the advent of 3G and now 4G networks, accessing the internet is very easy with your smartphone. Plus there is the additional support for the Wifi access at almost all the places; your home, office, airport to the mall you go shopping.
Since the basics about our smartphone are clear, lets now discuss our Android operating system which is going to be our main focus.
What is Android?
Android is the operating software for our mobile phones which is based on Linux. Android has been developed by Open Handset Alliance, led by Google and other companies. It is an open source software where users are allowed to download the source code and are permitted to tweak it to evolve it into an application for their use. Google has been publishing the source code under the Apache License version 2.0. The Linux kernel changes have been published under the GNU General Public License version 2.
To create Android run application a pre-requisite knowledge of the Java Programming language ensures a basic level of comprehension about Android programming and makes work a relatively fun thing.
What is Jelly Bean, KitKat?
Though at first instance when you hear their name, it sounds like candies and chocolates for children, they are not far from candies for mobile users. To put it simply, KitKat and Jelly Bean are software versions of the Android OS (operating software). While KitKat is the latest technology, Jelly Bean is still running in the market despite the launch of upgraded software. Jelly Bean 4.3 is was upgraded from the Jelly Bean 4.1 version and after a lot of additional features and rectification from the previous version; Kitkat 4.4 became the latest version to be launched.
KitKat is definitely an advanced version and runs more efficiently on the hardware of your same phone. A lot of features have been added to enjoy better functionality for Android developers for beginners. KitKat is lighter and therefore works on 512 MB of RAM.
The latest to join this team is Android Lollipop which is available in the version of 5.0 and 5.1.1. The lollipop has been launched with changes in the interface concentrating on the design language known as “Material Design”. Lollipop was followed by a 6.0 version of Android Marshmallow.
What is Android SDK?
Software development for Android takes place in order to create new android developers for beginners and run them efficiently on the latest interfaces or the Android OS. Applications for Android can be built using the Android software development kit (SDK). The Android SDK comprises of development android developers tools such as da bugger, libraries, a handset emulator based on QEMU, tutorials, sample code, and documentation. SDK can be used on platforms like Linux, Mac OS X 10.5.8 and its upgraded versions and Windows XP and the latest offerings by Windows in its upgraded versions.
Android Studio made by Google and powered by IntelliJ, is an IDE (integrated development environment) which is the officially developed IDE, however, Google allows the android developers tools the freedom to use others. The SDK supports older versions of the interface hence making it easy for the Android developers for beginners to market their application to a wide range of users. The Android developers for beginners are available in the .apk format.
Getting Started with Android Developers Tools for Beginners
Considering our very basics have been cleared, now let’s move on to the more difficult part of the Android developers for beginners and how to use it to create our very own Android developers tools.
Life has become much easier post-Google. It’s a true fact and downloading Android SDK has become a cakewalk thanks to our very own Google who has launched a new package, according to which one download makes you ready to use android developers tools like ADB and fastboot.
Download SDK from Google. The file downloaded is compressed and needs to be extracted into
- Windows: C: drive
- OS X: home folder and
- Linux: home folder
The SDK components require a working version of the Sun Java from Oracle. If you don’t have Java installed it and if you can’t do that I am sorry I cannot go back to the roots. You are not ready for this. To run a command from the terminal or command line the PATH variable in your computer’s OS is necessary. You would not be able to set the PATH in the autoexec.bat file or autoexec.nt file, thus you need to update your system to add the full path to the Android SDK tools and folders in the edit box, separated by a semi-colon. Now you just have to save the file and reboot your computer. The file has been installed.
Setting the Playground
Before we jumped into the android developers for beginners design and interface and the long list of heavy doses, let’s make sure that you have got your rudimentary things ready to play to the next level. In a more simpler manner let me tell you,
- Download Android Studio
- Download the latest SDK tools and platforms using the SDK Manager
Creating the Project
Create a new project from the Welcome Screen and fill in the fields to go to the next step. Fill in the Application Name, Company domain, and Package Name and save it on a location of your choice.
An option called Select the form factors your app will run on needs to be checked. Wherever you want to run your android developers for beginners, for example, phone and tablet, select them.
To ensure that your android developers for beginners is supported by the maximum number of devices select the lowest level available for SDK- API 8: Android 2.2 (Froyo).
Since we are creating a very basic android developers for beginners options such as TV, Wear, and Glass need not be selected.
Select Blank Activity and click Next. Change the Activity name under the customize option.
Click on Finish to complete the process of creating a project.
This project is the most basic of all and contains default files.
Developing the App
You need to create a layout of your Android developers app in XML which includes a text field and button. The app responds when the button is pressed and the content of the text field is sent to another activity.
- Create a Linear Layout
When you open a layout file, you are first directed to see the Preview Pane. Clicking on this page leads you to the WYSIWYG android developers tools in the Design pane.
Linear Layout lays out a vertical or horizontal layout as specified by the Android developer tools. The layout should fill the entire screen area.
- Adding a Text Field
To identify the project with certain XML properties a unique identifier for the reference code for your app code is necessary.
- Add String Resources
A string resource file exists by default with your Android developers for beginners project. String resources allow you to handle the UI text in a single location, thus enabling you to find it and work on it easily.
- Add a button
This is actually a part of the layout process. Buttons are added as widgets to ensure that the content in the Android developer’s tools is fitted and wrapped with the Android developers for beginners design.
- Make the Input Box, Fill in the Screen Width
It is necessary to ensure that your Android developers for beginners look aesthetic with the Android developer’s app design, thus ensuring the height and width of the screen in proportion to the content is worked out at this stage.
Running the App…
The running of your android developer’s app is dependent on two factors.
- Are you using Android Studio?
- Do you have a real device running Android?
Considering the above two as the main ways to check your Android developers for beginners lets learn both.
Running the Android developers app from Android Studio
Select your project’s file and click Run from the toolbar.
A Choose Device window appears where you need to select the running device and click OK. Android studio will install the app and you can run your basic check.
Running the android developers app through a command line
You would need to open a command line and go to the root of the project directory. You would have to use Gradle to build your project in the debug mode. After you are finished with creating your project, the output APK in the module is located.
On the device locate the app and open it.
This is a comprehensive guide to Android developers for beginners and if you don’t feel comfortable with it, a word of caution for you. You may also have a look at the following courses to learn Android developers for beginners