Nowadays, you can find an Android app for almost anything: Calling a taxi cab, reminding you to take your medicine, counting your pulse, counting the number of steps you walk every day, managing your bank account, and even putting together a plan for a balanced diet.
Have you ever thought about how all these apps are created? Or even considered creating one yourself? Let’s look at how it’s done.
Android is an operating system, much like Windows or Apple’s iOS. So far there have been 10 versions of the Android operating system. You can find out the OS on your Android device by going to Settings>About Phone> (Tap continuously) Android Version.
The programs that run on the Android operating system are called apps. Some apps have helped develop entire industries. Let’s take a look at Uber. Business for the popular taxi service is conducted entirely via an app. Users place orders for taxis, pay for the ride with credit or debit cards, and are alerted that their ride has arrived, all by an app on their phone.
Android apps only run on the Android operating system. Android apps are available in the Google Play store. In fact, millions of apps are available there. So how are all these apps created?
Well, it is not that difficult. One could create an android app using any of the following applications.
- Android Studio and Java
- Appcelerator Titanium
- Rhomobile Suite and the Rhodes Framework
Those aren’t the only ways to develop an app. The most popular way to develop an Android App is through the Android Studio. Android Studio is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) from Google. To use Android Studio, you will need a basic understanding Java Technology and XML (Extensible Markup Language).
If you do have this basic knowledge, Android Studio is a great choice.
Why Choose Android Studio?
- It is free of cost with an easy learning curve.
- One can find numerous tutorials and articles on the web.
- Regular upgrades from Google make it more stable as an IDE for the development of software.
Some terms to understand before you get started are:
- Activity: A single screen that we see on our smartphone display is an activity. In other words, an Android app is a collection of correlated activities. Every page that appears on the screen while using an Android app is an activity.
- Emulator: A system that can behave like another system is an emulator. For example, using Bluestacks or AMIDuOS, you can run Android on a Windows system on your PC.
Are you ready to get started? In part 2 of this series, we’ll look at how to download and install Android Studio and the Java Development Kit.
~ Shobha Vats