Sunday, June 2, 2013

Make an Android App

3:20 PM

Android is among the most popular operating systems (OS) in the world today because it offers millions of interesting apps. Today, majority of smartphones are running on this OS. Tabs and mini laptops also have these features. It’s user-friendly and intriguing. According to an estimate, there are about 450,000 apps in Google Play Store for Android based devices. Everyone can find an app for themselves from a number of categories, be it games, books, notes editing apps, communication, tutorials, cook books, yoga training, health & nutrition, Art & crafts, home d├ęcor, photo editing, music, beauty, makeup and so on. There is no category left untouched in android apps. Since there is a lot of categories and fields to cover, the room for improvement always exists.

If you are a tech savvy person and love android apps, why not develop one on your own. You can add your favorite features into it and are not bound to use others’ apps as they have made them to work.

Android is written in java code, and because of this java programmers have an edge over others. They can make Android apps easily.

How to make an android app

  • Install plugins
If you want to make an android app, the basic thing is to install the desired Android programming plugin. There are several available online. One of the easiest is NetBeans. The NetBeans plugin will let you install the Android development environment and you will be able to come up with something unique and useful.
  • Downloading plugin
To get the plug-in, go to netbeans.org and download NetBeans from there.
  • Install
After you have completely downloaded the plug in, it’s time to install it on your PC. Go to ‘Tools’ in menu bar and then “Plugins”. There you will have to select “Add” and then type in this URL:http://kenai.com/downloads/nbandroid/updatecetner/updates.xml. When you have added this, click “ok”. It will start installing the plugin. When the procedure is done, click on the “Available Plugins” tab and select the new Android plugin to install it.
  • Java platform
You have to include Java android platform in the NetBeans. To do that, click on ‘tools’ in the menu bar and select the option ‘Android SDK and AVD manager’. You will be navigated to another screen. On that screen, select the package for the latest version of the Android SDK. When it is selected, install it. That’s it.

Now you have finally installed all the plugins and required features too .It’s time to develop an app of your choice. You can do it easily step-by-step.

Briefly the procedure consists of three main steps:

  • Downloading the Android SDK
  • Installing required plugins
  • Downloading the latest SDK tools and platforms with the help of SDK manger.
  • Activity
Android app is a collection of tasks. Each task is known as ‘activity’. Each activity has a unique purpose and also a user interface.
  • Try small app
If you are a newbie and have never been into programming sort of things, it is recommended to begin with rather a small-scale app that doesn’t involve any complex type of coding and programming. Keep things simple and easy at first.
  • To create a project with Eclipse
First of all, click, ‘New’ in the toolbar. A window will appear. Open ‘Android’ folder and select ‘Android Application Project’ from there. Now click ‘Next’.
  • You will see a form. Fill it carefully.
‘Application Name’ is the name of the app you are making. This name appears to users.

‘Project Name’ is the name of project directory and it is the name that is visible in Eclipse.

‘Package Name’ is the namespace of package for your app. It has the same rules as in Java programming language. Make sure you have a unique package name from all other installed in the Android system. It is better to use a name that begins with reverse domain name of your organization or publisher entity. For example you can type ‘com.skincare’. This way, it will be unique and different from all other packages on the Android. But remember, it is not possible to publish your app in the Google Play store using ’com.skincare’ namespace.

‘Minimum Required SDK’: It is the lowest version of Android that your app will support using API level. To support maximum type of devices, you must set this to the lowest version available that allows your app to give its core feature set. If your app’s feature supports only newer Android versions, it will not be critical to core features of your app. Leave it set to the default value.

As newer Android versions are launched, you must test your app on them and update this value to support the latest API level. It will enable you to take advantage of new platform features.

‘Compile with’ is the platform version. You will develop your app against it. It is set to the latest version of Android available in your SDK by default. It should be Android 4.1 or better version. Setting your app to support latest Android versions will allow you to make apps that are more user-friendly and attractive. It will also let you have additional newer features in it that are valuable and different than the old ones.

‘Theme’ has a specific Android UI style that will be applied for your app. You can leave it alone. Now click’ Next’.

In the next screen, you can create a launcher icon for your app. There are many options to customize the icon. Tools generate icon for all screen types. Before finally publishing your app on Google Play Store, make sure your app icon is compatible with Iconography design guide.  Now click ’Next’.

It is time to select an activity template from which you will begin creating your app. Select ’BlankActivity’ and click ’Next’.

Keep all the details for the activity set to their default state. Then click ‘Finish’.

Congrats! Your Android project is now set up with some default files. You can now build the app as you like.

Note: If this Tutorial and News worked for you (and it should work), please leave a comment below. Thanks.

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