How to create an Android app
Mobile development is developing at a rapid pace, but despite more than a decade of development, it is safe to say that the development of mobile applications and the entire industry as a whole are at the very beginning of their journey. Not everyone in the world has smartphones, not all areas of application and use have been researched and disclosed. In the future, new areas of development will surely appear, the industry will grow along with the demand for mobile developers.
For several years now, demand has exceeded supply in the Android application development market, and this market state will continue in the coming years. If we talk about the specifics of development, then we are talking here not only about smartphones and tablets. Everyone can find a direction to their liking: wearable electronics, Android TV, Android in the auto industry, augmented and virtual reality, the Internet of Things …
But the most urgent and in demand today is the development of mobile applications for Android. In this article I will tell you how to create an Android application from scratch and what tools you will need in general for this.
Development of android applications: a minimum set of knowledge
In fact, there are few requirements here, but the depth of knowledge in the required areas should constantly grow. Here”s what it really does not hurt to master:
Java or Kotlin programming languages;
Android Studio platform for Android development;
The main libraries that will make your life much easier: Retrofit (for receiving data from the Internet), Glide (for downloading images)
Android architectural components (to write clean and reliable code);
Ability to write an application in MVP or MVVM architecture (for the reliability of the application, its support and development).
How to write Android apps
In principle, development requires only Android Studio, which can be downloaded for free from the official website. This is the best Android application development environment on the market. Any operating system (Mac OS, Windows, Linux) will do. As for the hardware, it is advisable to have a processor not older than five years and 8 gigabytes of RAM (+ 1.5 GB of free disk space).
If you don”t know anything about programming and have only a burning desire to create, first you need to learn at least one programming language. At the moment, you can write an application for Android using Java or Kotlin. The preferred language is Kotlin, but if you plan to become a professional developer, then Java you need to at least be able to “read” (and better write in it). These languages are very similar, work on the same principles, and have very similar syntax. At our Android development department, we start learning Java, and in the middle of our studies we switch to Kotlin. Thus, the graduate is fully prepared for the profession of an android developer in terms of programming languages.
To learn Java with ease, install the Java development environment – IntelliJ Idea Community Edition. This is the best free software on the market. Installation instructions can be found at the end of this article, in the supplementary materials.
Development environment for android applications
If you are already comfortable with Java or Kotlin, you can proceed directly to developing android applications. For this we need Android Studio. If you already have Git, then you can connect to it as shown in the screenshot above.
If for some reason you do not like Android Studio, then you can install Eclipse as the development environment for android applications. But Eclipse is rather an exception to the rule. The vast majority of developers work in the Studio.
Also, if you have an AMD processor, it is recommended to install Genymotion as a smartphone emulator. If you have an Intel processor, the emulator built into Android Studio will be more than enough.
How to prepare a release version of the application
You have created an application for Android, and now, in order to publish it, you need to take the following steps:
Prepare application signature. The application is signed with a unique cryptographic key.
Prepare an application icon.
Prepare screenshots (screenshots) of the application. You can separately prepare screenshots for tablets, TVs and other devices.
Check the application manifest. Rights and application version are checked. The SDK versions are checked for which the application is being prepared. Application logging is removed. Application resources are checked.
Build the release version of the project and sign it with a unique key.
Prepare remote servers if the application works with such servers.
Test the release version of the signed application.
After the release of the application in the store, it is advisable to download and make sure that everything went smoothly. Remember, users will be very unhappy and will start to minus your application if a new version crashes or something happens during the deployment of the application and it becomes unusable.