Android Applications have become one of the most essential parts of our lives. The cool features that come along with these apps are what draw the interests of users and the use of these applications to them. Apps make phones “smart” and through their benefits, apps have drastically transformed how we function today. There are approx 2.6 million android applications on the Google Play Store, and almost 100 applications are uploaded to the Google Play Store every hour.
Many programmers are getting busy, designing and building apps of their own and embedding them with favorable features. Have you ever wondered how these applications are created which you use in your day to day life? Creating an application is not a big task as it seems to be but if you want to become a professional in Android Development you should give time to it and learn every topic in detail. The main thing that Android Development requires is patience.
There are many developers who had started Android Development but had not learnt the things correctly. Many of them have either left Android Development and others don’t know the implementation of many things in it. If you’re one of those enthusiasts, here are some Android fundamentals that you should know before you begin programming an Android app.
Getting started with the Android Development
First of all, you must have a basic knowledge of the Java or Kotlin language for Android Development. You can learn either of one language to start the Android Development. As time is changing the companies are shifting to Kotlin but still, all the old applications are built on Java so if you want to work on some existing application you must be having knowledge of Java.
Set up Android Studio IDE of Android Development on your PC or Laptop. You can download the Android Studio IDE from Android Developers page there you can find the latest version of Android Studio for any of your Operating system for free.
Take a course or any book on Android app development with which you think you are comfortable. Being comfortable with the course or the book is very important. When you take the course or read the book, always apply that on a sample app. I mean to say that build something on whatever you read. Also, try to make applications on your own with your idea. You can also refer to the internet if you got stuck at some point or not understanding any topic.
Visit the official Android Developers website. To be honest, it is really important to read the whole website to understand the ecosystem and a variety of solutions, ideas, and technologies linked with Android. The website contains all the important things you require while making apps for android. Obviously, you won’t understand and remember everything, but you will know where to look for in the future and refer them from the developers page.
Understand Material Designs
Material design is a comprehensive guide for visual, motion, and interaction design across platforms and devices. To use material design in your Android apps, follow the guidelines defined in the material design specifications and use the new components and styles available in the material design support library. Material Design provides an overview of the patterns and APIs one should use while creating an android application.
Understand the basic lifecycle of Android
As a user navigates through, out of, and back to your app, the Activity instances in your app transition through different states in their lifecycle. The Activity class provides a number of callbacks that allow the activity to know that a state has changed: that the system is creating, stopping, or resuming an activity, or destroying the process in which the activity resides.
An Android Developer should have knowledge of Life Cycle in Android. The basic idea of life cycle is very important. Without knowledge of lifecycle, one can’t tell the behavior of any activity in the app when it is created for the first time or when it is resumed or deleted. There are life cycles defined for every such case in android.
Gradle is another build system that takes the best features from other build systems and combines them into one. It is improved based off of their shortcomings. It is a JVM based build system, what that means is that you can write your own script in Java, which Android Studio makes use of.
One cool thing about Gradle is that it is a plugin-based system. This means if you have your own programming language and you want to automate the task of building some package (output like a JAR for Java) from sources then you can write a complete plugin in Java or Kotlin, and distribute it to rest of world.
A simple example is that you have to copy some files from one directory to another before the actual build process happens. A Gradle build script can do this.
If you start Android Development then one of the best habits you can make is that start reading articles regarding the application development. This helps a lot in learning android development. People often post the problems they faced in the journey of android development and you can learn from them and make yourself not to repeat those mistakes.
There are many more benefits of reading articles like they contain the latest designs for android, also they contains the layouts which will look good for applications for a different purpose. You can find these articles on the Android Developers website or also you can refer to Medium for these articles.
Read others code
When you start coding, you write what you think is correct. But there can be a case that your code can be improved a lot. Start reading others code to learn the best practices. Believe me, reading and learning from others code is the best way of improving yourself as a software developer. You should read the open-source projects. You can also refer to some of the projects your seniors are working on, this can help a lot. They can tell the best practices you can do in improving your code quality.
Before you start Android Development you should keep one thing in mind that if you are taking reference from anywhere it must be best. You should take some courses for development or find some good videos on YouTube. There are plenty of videos available on YouTube which can help you in making an android application but you should refer only to those in which you are learning something. Don’t copy others code while developing apps instead learn from them and understand the proper use of it.