Are you an android enthusiast?
Do you like android apps and cool libraries or GitHub repositories that help make android development fun and amazing?
Are you passionate about android development and want to learn how to get into this, with a step by step approach?
Are you looking to expand your programming knowledge and want to try android development?
If yes, then you’re at the perfect place.
Let’s start with absolute basic questions.
What is Android?
Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google. It is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software, and is designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
But, why learn android?
There are more than 2.3 Billion devices which are powered by android and are used daily by users.
So it’s not going anywhere soon, and with the continuous updates from Google, Android is here to stay for sure.
So now when you know why learn android and what exactly is android, let’s start with actually learning it.
Which programming languages do you need to learn to start with android development?
The most widely used programming language for android is Java, followed by Kotlin. However you also can use C++.
But, I would suggest you to learn Java for this and that’s because most of the android libraries and apps are written in Java and C++ is least used for now.
Also learning Java would also give you an edge as it is one of the most widely spread programming language.
It is used everywhere from Machine Learning to databases and from simple programming to coding APIs.
For layout and UI (User Interface), you’d need to learn a bit of XML, which is similar to HTML.
For beginners, UI is the user interface of the app which lets people to interact with your app.
Everything that you can touch in an app, is part of UI, everything like buttons, menus, sliders, forms etc.
Where can I find resources to learn these languages?
Well, Google is your friend here. I can suggest you to go through android documentation here.
Otherwise, Googling things is the best way to start out with this. But focus on learning and not just copy pasting things.
We’re trying to learn first and build next, not build first, learn never.
Okay you started learning these things, cool. But what next?
Almost everybody that quits android development after starting is due to the reason of not getting enough idea what to build and learn next.
Android development is one of those fields that you can never completely master but you’d be learning a lot everywhere and everytime.
Also, cool projects and android apps go hand in hand. You have basically everything in a mobile to your disposal.
Say, now you can use your app to find how much the mobile holder travels, how fast they travel, to get idea about what kinds of vehicles they are using to find how much calories did they burn or how much CO2 did they emit.
Just about anything!
You can use the camera of the app to let user make cartoon of themselves, make an android chatting application, build a new Stack Overflow or Quora or maybe work and build something that never has been made before.
Sky is the limit here, for sure.
What tools do I need to use to make an android app or library?
Android Studio would be a great IDE to begin with. It’s backed by IntelliJ, and is very user friendly.
Also there are tons of resources to help you out in your jounery with Android Studio, so I believe that would be helpful.
I learned everything you just blabbered about, what next?
Well, now to the most difficult but rewarding part, Imagining and building. Now let you colours flow, your mind work and imagination touch skies.
You have every power in your hand that can make the coolest app every and be the next youngest billionaire or build the next Facebook.
But, I don’t know where to begin with…
Well, you can start with something trivial say, just a button which opens a new activity or shows a toast with message hello there.
Then you can move on to something with more features, maybe something like a simple calculator or note taking app.
Then you can move on to something better, say an android app that lets you share photos or videos.
And then maybe a communication app, and then you can really make everything more perfect and work on various new things side by side.
The key is, being persistent and being imaginative.
Want some inspiration to what can be done with Android?
Well, you know WhatsApp, Messenger, Quora, Google Assistant, Twitter. Don’t you?
But these are big MNCs with tons of engineers, and I am all alone..
Well then you can take a look at this GitHub link.
Or, you can also look at my open source android projects here.
So what do you do to learn android development, in nutshell steps:
- Learn Java/Kotlin or maybe C++ (not recommended)
- Download and install Android Studio.
- Practice by starting with a small demo project.
- Think, Imagine and Build !!
In case we’re meeting here for the first time, I am Pradyuman Dixit.
I usually write about android development, machine learning and sometimes about web development.
I have worked on quite some projects of my own and I continue to do so in search of the next big thing…
Read my previous post, How to Build a machine learning website from scratch.