How To Start Android App Development [Basic Guidelines]

In this article, I will describe how you can start Android app development, you could say it is a basic guideline for Android development. Unfortunately, I will not describe it in detail but I will tell you how easily you can start with Android App Development. I will try to give you the best tutorial links where you can find the proper documentation and learning tools. Mostly, I will try to refer to the official Android link.

Let’s start.

  1. Environment set up

    At first, you need an IDE and Android development kit which is SDK. There are several IDEs to develop Android apps but you can use Eclipse and Android Studio. Unfortunately, developers will not encourage you to use Eclipse because Google has declared their official IDE, that is, Android Studio and they are working very hard to develop and update Android Studio. Now, in 2017, Android Studio is much smarter than other IDEs. When you download and install the Android Studio, the IDE will automatically include the Android SDK if you haven’t.

    At this link, you will find how to download and Install Android Studio. Here, you will find the basic details of Android Studio and project structure.
  1. Component of an Android Application

    You have to know about the components of Android first, which are -

    1. Activity
    2. Service
    3. Broadcast receiver
    4. Content provider

      Your task is to learn the basic concept of these. Like what is Activity and how it works? In this article, I will not tell you the description of these because that you will find on various websites about their details. Here is the link.
  1. Activity Lifecycle

    Before you start or create an activity, you have to know about the Activity lifecycle. Lifecycle means the total life of an activity and how it starts and stops. In the whole life, an Activity goes several states or cycles which are,

    1. On Create
    2. On Start
    3. On Resume
    4. On Pause
    5. On Restart
    6. On Stop
    7. On Destroy

Your task is to learn about the whole lifecycle, how an Activity starts, and when it goes to resume and pause state. Then gradually, how activity is destroyed. From here, you will find the sweet description of the lifecycle.

After you learn about the lifecycle, your task is to create an application where you will write all of the lifecycles and show messages where the activity goes. If you will not able to do, then see how I createed and try yourself.

  1. Layout Design

    Android follows MVC pattern by default so that the design and code are separate. In res folder, there is another folder named ‘layout’ where you have to create your design layout in XML form. There are various layouts in Android.

    1. Linear Layout
    2. Relative layout
    3. Frame layout
    4. Table layout
    5. Constraint layout

Here, you will find the description of various layouts.

After layout completes, there are various view widgets like TextView, EditText, Button, Spinner etc. You have to understand these widgets and how to create their various listeners, like: Click listeners, State change listener etc.

Here are some useful links.

  1. Intent

    Android Intent is an abstract description of an operation to be performed. It can be used with startActivity to launch an Activity, "broadcastIntent" to send it to any interested BroadcastReceiver components, and startService(Intent) or bindService(Intent, ServiceConnection, int) to communicate with a background service.

    Here, you will find the whole description of Intent.
  1. Storage

    When you create and application, one of the essential things is to store your application data. There are many ways to store the data according to your needs. If your data is application-based and too small, you can use shared preference and your data is big but want to store it locally, then you can go to SQLite. There are five types of storage in Android.

    1. Shared Preference
    2. SQLite
    3. Internal Storage
    4. External Storage
    5. Network connection

From here, when you learn one storage option, create the Application one by one.

  1. Fragment

    Fragment is a dynamic UI of an activity. It has its own lifecycle also. Sometimes, you need to create a dynamic UI under the tabs and list details concept. Fragment will increase the re-usability. Example: You need to create an application in Tab and Mobile so that you need to design separately. But using Fragment, you can reuse your layout in tab and mobile also. You need to deep study and deeply understand how to use Fragment. There are also Child and Parent concepts in a fragment.

Here are the links you have to study deeply.

    1. https://developer.android.com/guide/components/fragments.html
    2. https://www.androidhive.info/tag/fragments/
  1. Service

    Service is a kind of background activity that is not visible and works with activity lifecycle. Sometimes, you need to perform a task in the background when the application closes. Also, then you can use Service. Service is a very sensitive thing so you should use it smartly and in an optimized way. Otherwise, you will face several issues like Battery Drain, ANR, and also it may crash your application. Here also, you need to deep study and understand from these links.

    1. https://developer.android.com/guide/components/services.html
    2. https://developer.android.com/training/run-background-service/create-service.html
    3. http://www.vogella.com/tutorials/AndroidServices/article.html
  1. Broadcast receiver

    broadcast receiver (receiver) is an Android component which allows you to register for system or application events. All registered receivers for an event are notified by the Android runtime once this event happens. Using this, you can fetch the device activities, like Call information, SMS information etc.

Tutorial links

    1. https://developer.android.com/reference/android/content/BroadcastReceiver.html
    2. http://www.vogella.com/tutorials/AndroidBroadcastReceiver/article.html
  1. API call

    Another kind of storage is a network connection where databases are on the remote server. Using URL connection, the application will perform CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) operation. To call the API, you can use several techniques like using an asynchronous request or using the library. There are two popular libraries to call an API - Retrofit and Volley.

    1. Retrofit: http://square.github.io/retrofit/
    2. Volley: https://developer.android.com/training/volley/index.html

This article will not make you an Android Developer but you can find the proper guidelines to start. So, if you understand the basic concepts of Android development, create your own applications and start developing.