How to Code an App for Android [A Beginner’s Guide]

It is projected that 196 billion mobile apps will be downloaded from the Google Play Store in 2021. This ensures that the career for Android developers is stable and comes with many growth opportunities.

However, beginners would want to learn how to code an app for Android if they aspire to become an Android app developer. So if you are sailing in the same boat, do not worry. With the help of our app development expert, we have addressed prerequisites to start your career and the essential information to make an Android mobile app.

Prerequisites to Start Android App Development

We have mentioned some of the essential prerequisites for learning Android development to create apps. Let’s check the basic requirements.

  1. Basics of Programming Language

  2. You must learn Java or Kotlin if you want to develop Android apps. Developers generate build apps using Java or Kotlin. You will need these languages to communicate with Android Studio (a primary IDE) while developing an app. Java and Kotlin are object-oriented programming languages.

    On the other hand, XML is a structured markup programming language that helps to encode data for internet-based applications. It shares many common and new features with HTML, making it easy for beginners to learn.

    Android developers use XML to create layouts that serve as the foundational user interface (UI) for Android applications. In addition, XML helps developers to write Java code even when the application is already running.

    Let’s have a quick comparison between these languages:

    FactorJavaKotlinXML
    Developed In199520111998
    Developed ByJames GoslingJetBrainsW3C
    TypeObject-orientedGeneral PurposeMarkup Language
    Active Developers9.1 million4 million
    Latest VersionJava SE 16.0.1Kotlin 1.5.0XML 1.1
    Famous AppTwitterPinterestWhatsApp
    DownloadJavaKotlinXML
  3. Familiarity with Right Tools and Environment

  4. Having the right knowledge of Android tools and an integrated development environment is also necessary, along with programming languages.

    With the right tools and development environment, you will learn the basics of mobile application development and other essential things that will help to improve the code.

    You can use the tools like Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, and Android SDK. To know more about them in detail, please refer to this exclusive guide.

    image
    Know More About the Best Android App Development Tools
    • Detailed analysis of the native app development tools
    • Check best cross-platform app development tools
    • Know various tools to develop apps with less code

Now let’s understand the importance of Android Studio that helps to create an Android app.

Importance of Android Studio to Build Android Apps

If you are building your first app, it is recommended to use Android Studio. Let’s check its benefits and understand why it is a better choice.

  1. Gradle Build System

    • Useful in automating the tasks such as building, testing, and deployment
    • Helps in generating an apk from the .java and .xml files in the project
    • dx tool will help to convert the java files into dex files and compresses them into a single file
  2. Drag-and-drop Option

    • Offers a graphical user interface that is not available with Eclipse
    • Drag the object to the desired location by moving the pointer and drop it by releasing the button
  3. Best User Interface

    • The interface compared to Eclipse is small and makes the whole development process smoother
    • Intelligent code editor tool can be easily used and is more prompt than Eclipse
    • Android Studio is specifically built for Android, therefore, it increases work efficiency
  4. Fast and Feature-rich Emulator

    • Allows to prototype and test app on various Android devices, such as phones, tablets, wearables, and TV devices
    • Easy to simulate hardware features such as GPS location, motion sensors, and multi-touch input
  5. Java Code Auto-completion

    • The code completion feature is better on Android Studio because it provides precise solutions most of the time
    • Helps to remove bugs and offers a stable performance than Eclipse

Android Studio is a blessing for Android developers. As it provides a number of features, like the Android studio window which is used to create more windows. it is recommended to first install Android Studio so that you can create your first app.

Want to Build Your First Android App?

Discuss your app idea with us to turn it into reality. Get a free consultation with our experts.

Create Your First Android App

Here are the 5 steps to create a very simple app that displays a message ‘Hello World. Check all the 5 steps to run your Android app initially.

  1. Create a New Android Studio Project

  2. Create new android studio project

    • Click on ‘Create New Project’
  3. Select Empty Activity

  4. Select Empty Activity

    • Once you select ‘Empty Activity’, click ‘Next’
  5. Configure Your Project

  6. Configure Your Project

    • Enter “MyFirstApplication” in the ‘Name’ field
    • Enter “com.myfirstapplication” in the ‘Package name’ field
    • Enter the ‘Save location’
    • Select Kotlin from the ‘Language’ drop-down menu
    • Go for the lowest version of Android in the ‘Minimum SDK’ field
    • Now, click ‘Finish’
  7. Add AppCompatTextView to XML File in Split Window

  8. Add AppCompatTextView

    1. Steps to open “activity_main.xml” File
      • Click on “app ”(display in left side windows)
      • Click on “res”
      • Click on the “layout” file
      • Click on “activity_main.xml” file
    2. Add below XML code in XML file between tag
    3. <androidx.appcompat.widget.AppCompatTextView
      android:id=”@+id/tvHelloWord”
      android:layout_width=”wrap_content”
      android:layout_height=”wrap_content”
      android:text=”@string/lbl_hello_world”
      android:textColor=”@color/black”
      android:textSize=”24sp”
      app:layout_constraintBottom_toBottomOf=”parent”
      app:layout_constraintLeft_toLeftOf=”parent”
      app:layout_constraintRight_toRightOf=”parent”
      app:layout_constraintTop_toTopOf=”parent” />

    4. Steps to open strings.xml file
      • Click on “app”
      • Click on “res” folder
      • Click on “values”

      Click on the “strings.xml” file

    5. “Add following code in string file between tag”
    6. Hello World

    7. Run App in Emulator

    8. Run App in Emulator

      If this message is visible on the screen, then you have successfully developed your own app. To develop Android apps efficiently, we have mentioned some of the tips for beginners in the next section.

    If you are a complete beginner, these tips will help.

    Tips for Beginners to Make an Android App

    1. Start With a Good Online Course: There is a truckload of information available on the internet, so choosing the right course that actually suits your requirements is a daunting process. Please refer to this blog to check the best Android application development courses for beginners.

    And once you have mastered the first course, move to the next course. Get to know various advanced app development processes for Android to build complex Android applications with all the features. This way, you can increase your chances of getting selected for an Android app project.

    2. Learn to Code: If you have decided to become an Android app developer, you have to learn to code. To start coding, you will require practice in real-time.

    Therefore, it is recommended to visit the official Android Developer website and download Android Studio. Then, learn how to use Android Studio and start to code apps with basic functionality. Later, you will be able to develop more complex applications.

    3. Learn to Beat Fragmentation: You can install and keep any Android OS version as long as it supports the Android device hardware. However, it becomes challenging when compatibility and user experiences are priorities for the clients or businesses.

    Therefore, you need to learn the tricks and techniques to beat the high fragmentation issues during the Android development process. Here are some of the tips:

    • Identify the minimum set of devices you must support
    • Use the cloud to minimize the number of devices you need to test in-house
    • Use responsive design to limit testing to a representative subset of devices

    4. Learn New Programming Language: Once you master any programming language, be open and transparent to learn new languages that can help you in your career.

    Moreover, having knowledge of different languages will open doors for multiple opportunities. Either you can work in an organization or work as a freelance Android app developer.

    5. Optimize Application: This is the best practice that you can follow to maintain the performance of the app on different devices and OS version environments. This includes optimization of graphics, multimedia content, code, and animations.

    If you are targeting speed for loading, you must look after the size of the app and its loading approaches. And if it is user experience, various factors need to be considered, such as UI designing, smart UI elements, interaction architectures, information architecture, and navigation.

    Want to Discuss Your Android App Idea?

    Our expert Android developers have built custom Android apps for startups, enterprises, and leading brands worldwide.

    Let’s discuss some of the most asked questions that you still might have in your mind.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which are the best online courses to learn Android app development?

    How much time does it take to become an app developer?

    Either you can opt for the traditional route that may take up to 6 years for you to become an Android developer. This would involve getting a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering.

    Or you can choose degree programs with online app development courses. This will not take more than 3 years for you to learn the core concepts of the software development process.

    Conclusion

    If you ever had thought that coding Android apps are challenging, your perception would have been changed with this article. Precisely because now you know the prerequisites and steps to build Android apps.

    We would recommend you start building your Android app with the help of the mentioned steps. Also, going through all the tips will help you in the process of developing apps.

    If you still need assistance developing an Android app or publishing the app on Google Play Store, contact our expert team of Android developers. Get to know more about the app making process and share your basic idea to build an Android app.

    Our professional team of app developers has hands-on experience in developing more than 1500 apps for Android which includes enterprises, medium-sized businesses, and startups. One of our developed apps, Glovo has secured the total funding of $513.2 million by 28 investors and over 30 million installs.

    If you also have a great app idea that can help you make money, connect with us. Get a free consultation to discuss it, and we will assist you further.

Author Bio
Amit Patolia
Amit Patolia
Designation: Android Team Lead

Amit Patolia is an Android Team Lead at Space-O Technologies. He has over 9+ years of experience in Android app development. He has guided to develop over 100 Android apps with unique features and functionalities. He also has expertise in Kotlin-based apps.