Android App Developers: Building Your First Application

Have an awesome app idea you can’t wait to turn into an engaging app and get it to the market? Our experienced app developers will help you with the venture, explaining how to get started designing an app. So prepare to listen, memorise and dive headfirst into the exciting world of mobile technologies.

Prepare the Development Environment

Learning mobile technologies and programming is not an easy task for a developer, especially if the platform you target is Android. First of all, you need to learn the basics of Java programming, but also get an understanding of the development environment, instruments and Android’s nuances. To build Android apps you will need the Software Development Kit (SDK), an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) such as Android Studio or Eclipse, the Java Software Development Kit (JDK) and a real or virtual device to deploy your apps to. This will take some time and effort to install and configure, so you should better start doing it now before you move to learning Java, reading Google developer guidelines, get familiar with UX/UI design (user experience and user interface design) and various APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

Hitting the Road to Your First Mobile App

Do not be scared of so many new words that a beginning developer may not understand - soon you'll be able to tell the difference between Java and Javascript and know how to use geolocation, QR scanner and the device’s hardware. With this article, our program developers are hoping to introduce you to the world of native app development and help you bring your amazing ideas to life, and maybe find your vacation. Magora developers will explain every step you will need to take to build your first app in great detail and lay the ground base for you to evolve as a developer. Now, gather yourself up, you need a lot of determination and patience.

Stage One: Download Android Studio and Other Tools

Regardless of the programming you are going to use, you will need to install a software program known as Integrated Development environment, or IDE. The most popular IDE typically used by developers is the Google’s official Android Studio. You can get it from the Android Developer website. An IDE provides developers with an interface for coding - yes, you cannot code in Microsoft Word is what you were going to do. Moreover, it highlights any errors and mistakes you make, corrects them and enables you to test your programs any time you want. There, you can create all the elements of the app, design layouts and get started building your app fast and easy.

Another great thing about Android Studio is that it is perfectly meets the needs of development, which its competitor, Eclipse, fails to do. In addition to the program, you will also need to download some other tools including the Android SDK (which includes the toolset and the operating system itself) and the Virtual Device, which you use as a virtual emulator to run tests. So when you start installing the Android Studio, do not forget to tick the boxes that list the components mentioned above. Of course, if you have forgotten to do so, you can download and install them separately, but it will take more time.

Most popular Android frameworks include: Ionic, jQuery Mobile, Kendo UI, Mobile Angular UI, NativeScript, Onsen UI, React Native, Sencha Touch, Titanium, ReactiveX, Realm, Retrofit, Butter knife, Android Data Binding, Crashlytics, Braintree, Stripe, Picasso, Fresco, Facebook SDK, Twitter SDK, Google play services, Google analytics, Google support library, Mixpanel analytics, Flurry analytics, uCrop, Horizon, Github, etc.

Tools and Resources:

  • IntelliJIDEA (see below).
  • Eclipse
  • DroidEdit
  • Android-IDE
  • Cordova
  • Corona
  • Titanium
  • Xamarin
  • CppDroid
  • NativeDevelopmentKit
  • Codecademy
  • Team treehouse
  • Udemy
  • New Boston

Libraries:

  • Universal Image Loader
  • GSon
  • Retrofit
  • Awesome Java
  • AndroidView Animations
  • EventBus
  • Awesome Android Libraries
  • Android Arsenal Libraries
  • Plugin collection for IntelliJ
  • Import Drawables
  • GenyMotion
  • Boilerplate Code Generation
  • Android Holo Colors
  • Butterknife Injections
  • H.A.X.M.
  • Robotium Recorder
  • ADB-IDEA
  • IDEA Vim
  • Folding plugin
  • CodeGlance
  • Android Material Design Icon
  • KeyPromoter
  • RIM
  • Symbian
  • Microsoft
  • Bada
  • Python
  • C++
  • Ruby
  • C#
  • C
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • Perl
  • Haskell
  • Go
  • Scala
  • TCL
  • Lua
  • Bash
  • Clojure
  • Objective-C
  • Swift
  • BuildFire.js

Other Environments

You are probably interested why our custom software experts mentioned Eclipse and are there any other alternatives for Android developers. Eclipse is a universal toolset, which can be used to develop Android apps and apps for any other system including iOS. We do not recommend you to start learning development with Eclipse because it is not so intuitive and user-friendly as Android Studio. There are also tools that allow you to build cross-platform apps. Digital agency will not discuss it in this article because hybrid apps are not as stable and functional as native apps, and you want to create first-class apps, do not you? So let us focus on quality environments and tools that are going to help you create outstanding experiences and stunning visuals.

Why Android Studio?

This is not the full list, for instance, there is also Unity3D and other app builders - some more powerful, others not so, but our app development firm will not dig into the matter. To make sure that you grasp the basics, we will concentrate on the official environment, Android Studio, a the most popular and easy to understand tool. This is the development environment you use if you will become a full-time developer who build top-notch apps that get to the top of Google Play and are loved by millions. Of course, in the future you will be able to expand your toolset and find the best environment for your professional needs, but for now let us proceed to dealing with Android Studio. Have it downloaded while we were talking? Great, just wait a little bit. Do not lunch it until you have read about the next stage. Are you already intrigued?

Stage Two: Set up the Environment

Now that you have Android Studio installed on your computer, you are closer to becoming a true developer as never before. Do not become on of those people who have installed the toolset and never opened it again - software creators guarantee you that developing mobile apps is fun and the results are rewarding. We will be extremely happy if after some years Android Studio will still be on our computer and you will openit regularly to write a couple of lines of code. So let us open the program and start setting it up.

To use Android studio you should also install Java on your computer. A developer will need the Java Development Kit (JDK), to be more specific. Our IT programmers have decided you are going to start learning programming using the Java programming language, so you need the JDK because without it Android Studio will not be able to read and compile the code (to compile the code means to turn it into a program that can be interpreted by the computer’s central processing unit (CPU). You can download the Java Development Kit following this link. To install it on your computer, just follow the instructions.

Finally, you can open Android Studio and start exploring. Once it is up and running, you will see a menu where you’ll be offered to configure your settings. However, you do not need to change anything because everything is set in the handiest way, although you may want to get an insight into how the SDK Manager works - it is important because the manager updates the SDK to newer versions and get many valuable assets from Google glass. Do not spend much time trying to figure it out now, just keep in mind that if you need to download some upgrade or a code sample, you are likely to find it there.

So let us summarize the main instruments you will use to develop native Android apps, which are:

  • Android Studio - an integrated development environment with an easy-to-understand interface for programming.
  • The code itself, which you are going to write in Java using the Java SDK.
  • The Android SDK which you will access through the code written in Java to make your app keep in line with the guidelines.

Coders and design specialists absolutely understand that now it all sounds too complicated, but soon you are going to get used to programmer vocabulary and learn your way around the tools. Take some time to explore things and do not forget to ask us if you have any questions. Magora’s developers will be glad to help you navigate through the world of Android development.

Stage 3: Starting a New Project

When you are done installing all these programs, it is time for you to return to the first page that appears on the screen when you launched Android Studio. Select the “Start a new Studio Project” option and proceed to actual programming! Enter the name of your future app and fill in the field called “company domain”. These elements combined will make the name of your project, which looks like this: com.companydomain.appname

Our team of app developers and other developer experts can offer you a wide range of services from native mobile app development to website design and enterprise software creation. Get in touch and we will find the solution that suit you or your business the best. What distinguishes us from other software development companies is the high level of trust and our excellent reputation. But do not take our word for it - check out our extensive portfolio of successful project we delivered over the years and read our client’s testimonials. Give us a call, write us a letter or pop in at our London developer office to discuss your project.

Still have questions? We are ready to help