So, you are new to Android? Awsome, welcome, we hope you have a lot of fun programming, experimenting and having with it.
Oh, you don't know how to get started? Well, no problem, that's what we are here for. We'll help you a little on the way to some awsome multi million Euro/dollar/yen/yuan/rupi/golden coin/... selling application for your favorite platform.
First of all: Do you know java?
No? Well no problem!
The first thing you want to do to know how to develop Android applications (well actually they are called task in Android, but you'll learn more about that later, and well, nobody calls them tasks anyway
), is learning Java. Sun, the company behind Java, has some awsome tutorials on their site. I'll give you the links to the tutorials you really should go through:
Learning the Java language
Essential Java classes
(mostly the part about exceptions, you are going to need this!)
And for last mandatory tutorial there's the tutorial about event handling
, because without events, there's no GUI!
If you are really serious about Android (and thus Java) development, you should really go through all tutorials there are on the Sun site. This doesn't mean you are going to need every tutorial for android (Like the Swing and AWT), but they teach you a lot of usefull stuff for Java desktop development and good coding practises.
This may seem a lot to read, and well it kinda is, but you should not forget, you are learning how to use a brand new platform here!
As you know Java now, you can read the next section too!
Yes you say?
Awsome, then let's go over to the android developers website
. First you need to download the SDK
. Then when it's done, I have some more stuff to read for you. It's the Android documentation
or the "docs
". Why should you read them? Well fairly simple, do you still know when you learned to drive? Didn't you have to learn the Traffic laws of your country? And didn't you have to do some exam before you got your drivers licence? This is the same, except there isn't a certificate for Android (yet?), though there are for Java. You can't just start developing Android applications before knowing what Android is or how it works. You should have some basic knowledge of what you're dealing with.
I'll specifically say what you need to read:
What is android?
(You don't need to know this in depth, but if you have read this, you have some knowledge about how Android came together.)
(This is VERY imporatant. It goes over the basic aspects of Android development. Be sure to read this, and also be sure to do the Notepad tutorial, it might be one of the most important pieces of tutorial there are on Android!)
(Also very important as it explains how to implement User Interfaces, storing/retrieving data and internationalisation)
As with the Java turorials, if you are really serious about developing for Android you should read everything, though I understand if you first want to develop some simple things first, before really diving in to the deep.
Then if you have all this, I have 1 last thing you should do: Start up the emulator (you should have read about this in the gettings started), and start the "Api demo". Then try every single app there is in this api demo, as it has a lot of example applications about basic android stuff, and the best thing: The source of the api demos are in the SDK you downloaded before! This "samples" directory in the SDK is one of the most valuable resources the SDK delivers, as it has hands on examples of a lot of features the SDK delivers to you.
K, so you did everything I sugested? Awsome, then I have a tip for you. As you are developing, you are probably going to need a lot of help using specific features about the SDK. So, one thing almost every developer does, is opening a browser window and leave it open for the duration of your coding time on one of the Reference Information
So now you are almost set. Yes almost, there's a couple more things before you are a real Android Pro, but most of them, you'll learn in the process, but the one I'm going to describe now, is the single most important thing to learn when developing any application for any platform: debugging. Android has pretty good debugging system. When developing an application, you are going to see a lot of these error messages: "The application <task name> has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again." This message doesn't say anything about the error which caused the application to to "stop unexpectedly". That's where the Android Log comes in. This log holds information about every thing in the system that logs messages to the log. To see the log, open up a command line window and go to the android sdk's directory and then to tools. Then type in "adb logcat". And you'll see a LOT of text scrolling by. Now, as you should have developed some Java applications before, you'd probably seen Java stackdumps before, so that's what you'll be looking for, to determine what caused the "unexpected stop" of your application.
I hope you are rolling now on this great platform, and I hope to see you on the forums, I'll be glad to help you out when you have some problems. But be sure to search the forums before posting a question and try to help out others with their problems, as that's what forums are all about: helping eachother out.
Have a lot of fun coding!