Android owes its popularity by and far to its extensive app ecosystem. App development for Android is really as simple as it gets. It’s just like making websites in Kotlin and XML, which also happens to be the main reason why app development in Android is so popular.
The barrier of entry is also really low. Basically all you need is a semi-decent laptop and the ability to pick up a programming language and you’re pretty much good to go.
But before that, there are a few important questions you need to ask yourself, namely:
- What language will you code your apps in?
- What IDE to use?
- What makes an app?
What language will you code your apps in?
There are two choices here, Java or Kotlin. Kotlin is the official language recommended by Android. Before Kotlin, Java was the go-to language for everyone looking to make Android apps and a lot of developers still do.
So which one should you pick? Well, we suggest you start with Kotlin. Java has been declared obsolete quite some time ago and Kotlin is the future of Android. However, if you’re more comfortable with coding in Java, it’s still a viable option. There are a lot of libraries that use it so that’s bound to make life easier for you.
Which IDE should you use?
Next up we’re going to have to install Android Studio, which is the go-to IDE for pros and beginners alike to make apps for Android. The Installation is actually quite simple. Go to the official Android Studio website, download the IDE and follow alongwith the instructions.
There are other alternatives to this too. Most popular ones being XCode, Adobe AIR, Corona SDK, Appcelerator and Xamarin but none make the development process as easy and fluid as Android Studio.
You can opt for said alternatives if you have any specific needs but for the most part, you’ll be pretty well off with Android Studio.
What makes an app, an ‘app’?
Lastly, before we get to creating an app, we need to know what it takes to create one. Essentially, there are two parts to an app, a Layout and a corresponding Activity.
A layout is essentially the front end of an app where the user will interact with the app. It is made by a view or a combination of views that enable you to customise your app in whichever way you want. This particular part is going to be in XML, a markup language very similar to HTML.
An Activity, on the other hand, is the code behind the layout that tells the layout what to do when a user interacts with it; what happens when you press a button, what to do if a certain gesture is detected, how the logic works behind the scenes and anything else relevant to the functionality of the app. This is the part you’re going to have to write in Kotlin, or Java if you prefer.
And from here on the world is your canvas. All you need to go is start turning your idea into reality.