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Firstly, for you to develop apps for android, we need to explain, what does the verb application mean?
A mobile application is a program that works on tablet PCs and smartphones. With the help of programs, the device owner solves practical problems: connects to the Internet, publishes photos in social networks, edits text or images, destroys virtual orcs, listens to music etc. With the help of this article you will be able to build first android app at once!
The application consists of front- and back-end. Front-end are the components of the program with which the client interacts. Back-end or server part are components with which the developer interacts. Conventionally, the front-end is on the user's device, and back-end on the personal or leased server of the program owner.
To describe application components every platform technology uses different terminology. Android platform includes three key components that form building blocks for application – Context, Activity and Intent. How do they relate? To understand it let's discuss how to create an app step by step generally and in details.
Creation of a simple android app concept, selection of drawings, menu icons.
Choosing a platform for creating code.
Exploring the capabilities of the program.
Opening a new file - creating the code.
Adding different control buttons.
Saving the created file to a folder.
Primary application check in the android system. You can send the work for verification directly from the site that you choose to build an android app.
Testing by potential users.
1 Designing application features and determining activity requirements
Usually, each mobile application has the prototype screens designed. Sure thing, you are free to create any kind of user interface, because, there are no requirements of how to develop an android app and how to design it. When you work on designing an application, first of all be sure it is stable, responsive and plays nice with rest of the Android system. Experience has shown that the most popular mobile applications win user’s hearts with user interfaces. Remember, that it is easier to improve already existed features rather than reinvent them – you will not make users spend time and effort to learn the applications proper usage. Note, that each application feature needs activity classes to be implemented. All of them should have their own layout that corresponds to already created design.
Next steps shed the light on implementing application functionality. You will learn how to make android apps and design them step by step, control their state, save settings and launch specific activities.
2 Working with the application context
It is the central location for all top-level application functionality and necessary for accessing settings and resources shared across multiple activity instances. To retrieve the app context developers use getApplicationContext method. Be tempted to just use Activity context in all cases — in this way it will lead to memory leaks, though.
To retrieve application resource you should use not only best tools for android development, but also unique resource identifier as defined in the automatically generated R.java class. But the getResources () method of the application context is usually used.
Shared application preferences are usually retrieved by using the getSharedPreferences() method of the app context. This class is also handy to save configuration settings or other simple data. You can give names to preferences to organize them into categories or in one large set.
If you are figuring out how to create an android app make sure to learn more about context. Also it allows access to different application features. With its help you can manage private files, directories and databases and also inspect or enforce app permissions. Though, launching Activity instances is the most common reason of using app context.
3 Working with Activities
Before you learn how to start an android app development, you must know what is the Application Activity. It is the very same function you define and introduce to the screen. There are three ways of launching activities. We will study the most common – launching an activity using the application context by startActivity() method with an explicit intent. In this way you launch the target activity, but pay attention – the class for launching activity has to be already implemented anywhere within the package and be registered as an activity within the Android manifest file.
Another common question while you start to develop an android app is what if application is interrupted by higher-priority event, for example, phone call? As usual, Android operating system closes up activities that has been paused, stopped or interrupted by another activity, that's why be ready to be shut down at any time.
Also, there is a number of callbacks, that give a user an opportunity to quickly respond to suspending or resuming an application. For example, using callback methods in app development is especially important for a user to respond quickly if another higher-priority task is entering the foreground.
The right advice for those who are interested in building android application: if you need to implement app preferences, use the getPreferences() method of the activity. This may be useful for saving the current state of application (if it is a game – use it to keep level or track score). To make user able to leave application or one of its activities implement the finish() method. How you are to do this depends on the character of activity shutting – whether it is closing up itself or this makes another activity.
There are situations when creating a new activity can be changed on creating an activity dialog. It is handy for developing simple user interfaces that don't need new screen or activity to function.
4 Working with Intents
We have talked about how to build android application, but, actually, what is an Intent? It is so called task request that is sent by user to Android system. Intent parameter calls startActivity() method. This action is matched with activity on the Android system, what makes the last launched. Essentially, they are used to send data to other app activities, but it is also possible to launch distant activity classes in other applications. Also, applications are able to create their own intent types and allow other apps to tightly integrate with them.
It is already out of the question how to build android app - you already know what the three pillars of building a mobile application are. Let's recap on what are they. The mechanism of Android application consists of one or more activities, that have unique functions and own layouts. To launch an activity, Android system matches an intent object with the most suitable application activity, and we can play, text or watch something – do things, application is created for. Stay with us and learn more about how to build an app for android, its step-by-step development and debugging.