Android is a software platform for mobile devices. It has its own operating system, middleware and applications. Other mobile platforms in the market today are Symbian, Apple iOS and Windows Phone 7. Among these platforms, Android received much attention due to its growing market of applications, like Angry Birds and Doodle Jump. So what are you waiting for? Learning Android Development is easy.
I wrote this article for people who already know programming, at least the basics. Android applications are written in Java programming language, so I strongly recommend picking up a few books on Java. So before we start, why Android?
Android offers a very nice application framework, allowing developers to build rich and innovative applications. This enables development to be reusable and enhancement of components. Running on a Dalvik virtual machine, it enables Android applications to be platform independent. Aside from having optimized graphics and database libraries, it also offers a rich development environment for device emulation and debugging.
The goal of this article is to give you a head start with Android application development. So, you can follow these steps and start creating applications right away!
Step 1: Install an IDE (Integrated Development Environment)
Like any other programming languages, you will need an IDE. An IDE is usually software that provides most of the tools necessary for coding programs, like editor, compiler, debugger, etc. I recommend using Eclipse IDE, mainly because it is a very powerful IDE for Java, and it is used everywhere. Another popular choice would be Netbeans.
Step 2: Install Android Development Tools
Developing applications for Android devices will need a specialized set of tools, which are provided by the Android SDK. If you are using Eclipse IDE, just install the Android Development Tools plug in. Using Eclipse is very much preferred for Android application development because of its ease of use.
Step 3: Set Up Android Devices
After developing android applications, you will want to install the application on a hardware device. A more popular choice is the use of virtual devices, so you no longer need to configure hardware devices, everything will be run on your computer. A simple emulation device will help you test your Android application.
Step 4: Create an Android Project
Android projects contain all source codes and resources needed for the application. The project is built into an.apk package that you install to your Android devices.
Step 5: Testing and Debugging
The Android SDK contains various tools for debugging your program, along with emulators that help test your applications with various virtual devices. The Eclipse IDE also comes with a compatible debugger.
For more info, visit the official Android website. Thank you for reading this article, I hope it has been useful.