There are many people out there with excellent app ideas. However they often encounter the same problem: they don’t know where to start! If you have found yourself in this situation, here is some good news: you’re not the only one. Even better, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve made this noob-friendly guide that can come in handy ?
Tip 1: Learn the basics of coding
The truth is hard to accept, but if you want to dive into Android app development you’ll have to learn the basics of coding . There is indeed a bunch of code-free mobile app development solutions around but you’ll quickly figure out that, sooner or later, you’ll have to get your hands dirty to make your app behave the way you want it to behave.
Java is a key pillar of Android and is used by the SDK (Software Development Kit) for every single application. You simply cannot miss that step (life ain’t easy) but there are many platforms that can help you get going! Codecademy or Sololearn are good places to start.
“Well… Obviously! Duh!” Hold on, we’re talking about Android core app concepts here: activities, services, providers, receivers, intents… Not so smart now huh? ? Take a look at “Application Fundamentals” from the official Android documentation to get started.
Be a sponge
The more you learn, the easier it becomes. Whether you’d like to know the basics of a new language or to dive into a very specific concept of Android, we recommend following this path: YouTube tutorials → books → conferences. Start with the Android Dev official channel, you won’t regret it.
Tip 2: Thinking smart to make things smooth
If you’re reading this guide, you probably already have an idea of what your Android app will be about. But don’t rush to creation too early! Be sure your idea is the right one and above all that it’s feasible considering you have few to no skills or experiences in Android app development.
A cool app doesn’t have to be complicated. Apps that get most of the downloads are not necessarily the most intricate. Also, going with a clean and simple user interface which requires very little input from your users will make things much easier when it comes to code. Start here or take a look Android’s official samples.
Draw what you’d like to see
Remember that thing called “pen”? Grab it! All along your Android app project you’ll quickly find that putting things on paper first will help, whether you go for wireframes or simple UI ideas. Draw every single step to remember it and to make sure each one makes sense overall.
Tip 3: Success relies on good organization
For more convenience, we recommend you tear down basic Android application development projects according to a pre-defined timeline. In this case, we’re talking about a 30-day project. But no matter how much time it is, it usually goes by these 5 steps:
Ideation (Day 1 – 2)
Remember “Tip 2” right above? This is where you put it to work ! Take as much time as necessary to find the perfect idea. We recommend 2 days. Don’t rush as it will define your whole project!
Preparation (Day 3)
This is where you choose your IDE (Integrated Development Environment), in other words the all-in-one software that will provide everything you need to develop your app. We recommend using Android Studio.
This is where you’ll also gather what we call “media assets”. Simply put, they are all the files that will be found in your app: images, logos, audio files, video files… anything! The good news is you don’t necessary have to create these from scratch! There are already awesome ones existing at Android development resources.
Creation (Day 4 – 21)
We’re not going to lie. This step is the toughest, especially if you’re new to Android development. Here you have to build your app layout and most particularly write the code that will bring it to life. If you choose to implement specific design elements, make sure it is compliant with Google’s Material Design guidelines.
Once you’re done, compile your source code into an APK file.
Testing & adjustments (Day 22 – 28)
Don’t consider your project over until you’ve personally tried and tested every single part of it! As a first step, install your APK file and run it on your own Android hardware device. Then include an Android emulator in your mobile testing strategy and perform advanced tests targeted on specific devices and Android versions.
Publication (Day 29 – 30)
After you are done, you can ship your app to Google’s Play Store! This step is optional but recommended: it allows you to deliver your app through a reliable source visited by a good amount of people. Head up to “Get Started with Publishing” from the official Android documentation for more info on this.
Tip 4: Patience is the name of the game
During your Android app development project, don’t be too harsh on yourself, whatever the problem is. Being an Android developer is a full-time job that requires a lot of hard and soft skills. By the way, patience and dedication are definitely part of them ?
Don’t fear failure
Failure is good. Failure is what will make you learn and evolve all along your project. Don’t reject it, embrace it and accept it to finally witness how much wiser you become when your app is done.
Building an app is time-consuming. As explained above being an Android developer is a full-time job, so don’t expect it to happen overnight. If you’re looking for fast positive results then you might want to consider something else.
Android app development is not for the lazy ones. It takes time and dedication! Don’t panic, as in every recipe, you won’t encounter too much difficulty if you follow the proper steps. In the end, it’s all about common sense. For your first app, make it relatively small and simple so you can focus on your main objective: understanding how Android app development works.