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Fundamentals of Android App Development

Applications,commonly acronymed as ‘apps’,make phones smart,and the benefits of apps have dramatically changed how we function today. Programmers work hard for designing and developing their own applications and integrating them with unique features.

Before beginning with Android App Development, it is important that you familiarize yourself with computer programming language, have a knowledge of the components of any application and the right tools for application development,among other things. Here is an overview of the fundamentals of Android App Development for Beginners.

Basics For Developing an Android App

1. Android App Development Languages

The two most common programming languages used in Android app development are Java and XML. As a result, knowledge and expertise in these programming languages are required before developing an Android app.

Some of the foundational principles of the Java programming language are- Packages,Classes and objects,Interfaces and inheritance, Strings and numbers, generics, collections and concurrency. A solid grasp of Java and XML can help you in developing a more powerful and attractive Android app.

2. Knowledge of the Right Application Development Tools

If you are just getting started with Android app development, it is essential that you become acquainted with the build automation tools as well as the integrated development environment before beginning to develop your app.

For the tools, you may use Android app studio IDE or Eclipse; these will help you understand the basics and many other things that will help you improve your coding skills. You can also use Apache Maven, Apache Ant, and Gradle since they offer a rich collection of tools for managing your projects.

It is also essential that you have knowledge about source control tools and concepts. Learn how to use git and then set up a git-source repository (by creating an account on Bitbucket or GitHub). The Git Pocket Guide can help you understand the fundamental principles and terminology that define how the platform works.

3. Understanding Application Components

The basic elements of Android app development are known as application components. Each component represents a different point by which the system can enter into your app. Although each component exists as a distinct entity and serves a specific purpose, there are some that rely on one another, and not all of them serve as actual entry points.

There are four main kinds of app components, each with its own function. They are as follows:

  • Activities- Activities are components that represent a single screen with a user interface (for example, an email app may have one activity tab showing a list of new emails, another activity tab for composing emails, and another one for reading emails).Activities in the app work together to offer a consistent experience to the user. However,each activity is independent.

  • Services- This is a background component that performs work for remote processes or long-running tasks.It does not provide a user interface (for instance it might play music in the background while the user is browsing a different app).

  • Content Providers- This is the component that is in charge of managing a common collection of app data.This component allows you to access or modify data stored in the file system,the web,or an SQLite database (as long as the content provider allows it). This component may also be used to write and read data that is not shared and is private to your app.

  • Broadcast Receivers- This component is responsible for responding to system-wide broadcast announcements.The majority of broadcast receivers are generated by the system, and while they do not have a user interface, they can generate a status bar message that notifies the user when a broadcast event happens. In general, it serves as a gateway to the other components and performs only minimal tasks.

4. Awareness About Fragmentation, Threads, Loaders, and Tasks

The Android market is a fragmented or scattered one with several devices and operating system versions. It should be noted that if your gadget supports additional devices and/or versions, it will require more maintenance and testing, as well as the associated expenses. The vice-versa is also true.

You will also need suitable fonts, assets, and layouts to ensure that the greatest possible experiences are provided to the user. You should also think about the array of Android-supported sensors and UI features. An application class, one or more activities, and one or more fragments are all part of any Android app.

Sometimes,you may have services for background activities that should run constantly. If you want to provide a smooth and efficient user interface, make sure the thread is never blocked. As a result, complex operations (computations, I/O, network,etc.) should all run asynchronously in the background.

5. Making the Best Decision Regarding Required Tools

You only need a Mac or Windows PC, any sort of Linux, Eclipse, the ADT Plugin, and the Android SDK,all of which are free. You may learn how to set up your development environment by following the installation guide on Google; it includes documentation on everything you need.

When developing an Android app, you need to keep specific characteristics in mind. Among them are the following:

  • Performance and Responsiveness: Always respond to user input within five seconds or the operating system will ANR you. (ANR-application not responding — your only choice would be to force close your app.)

  • Users will notice if there is a lag of more than 100 ms. As stated earlier, because there is only one UI thread, it should never be blocked.

  • Limited Resources: Wake-locks (the mechanism that forces the device to perform something against the battery manager’s advice to put the device to sleep) should be used sparingly. Do not poll unnecessary hardware (e.g. GPS or accelerometer) because it will drain the battery quickly.

The mobile economy is moving ahead at incredible speeds. The potential for the next application to revolutionize our lives is truly limitless. From the inception of an idea to a fully built-out product, a developer knows how to build the greatest possible product that earns praise. You can do the same. Work on your thoughts and build an incredibly great application which can be of great help to the world. Begin with these basics and keep moving ahead. Happy Developing!

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