Getting Started with Android Development

 Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system with more than 80% market share. If you are a developer then developing for this platform can be greatly beneficial for you. Google provides various tools for android development. Before starting your journey as an android developer, you need to be familiar with certain technologies and tools. Here I have mentioned the tools required to get started with android development.

Android SDK

Google provides the android SDK to developers for developing android apps. You need to install the SDK and set it up with your preferred IDE to get started. The most popular way before Android Studio came into existence was to set up android SDK with Eclipse IDE.
SDK stands for Software Development Kit and contains all the required tools for development.
IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment and is a software with great capabilities which help in easy development of software.

Android Studio

Android Studio is the official IDE for Android Development. It comes with all the tools required for developing android apps. If you install Android Studio, you won’t need to install the android SDK separately as Android Studio has it by default.
To get started, visit the link below to install the standalone SDK or Android Studio.

XML

XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. The layouts in android are developed using XML. In android studio, every design page will have its corresponding XML layout file. You can design the page by writing code or using drag and drop.

Java or Kotlin

To write the logic for the app, you will need a programming language. Android supports Java and Kotlin for development. You can write code in any one of the two languages. Lately, Google has been promoting Kotlin as the preferred language for android development. As expected, a java file will have .java extension and a kotlin file will have .kt extension. Its purely your choice which language you choose as long as you are comfortable with it.

Android Emulator

While designing your app, its necessary to see what it looks like on a real device. There are two ways. 
1. Connecting a real android device to android studio
2. Using the Android Emulator
You can create a virtual device in android studio by going to AVD Manager. Emulator will simulate a real android device and you can see what your app looks like.

Project Structure

An android project will consist of many files and directories. One will contain all java or kotlin files which define the logic of the app. Another will contain xml files which contains the designs. There will be files for colors, styles, themes, labels etc. The most important file, ofcourse, is the manifest file. It will contain all important data regarding your app. It will contain tags that define your activities, permissions,etc. And there will be gradle files which are used to build your project.

Publishing your app

After you are finished developing your android app, its time to publish it. Though you can share the apk file manually to people, but distributing through google play gives your app authenticity and huge audience. In order to publish your app to google play store, you will have to create a developer account.
Google charges a $25 one time fee for creating your account. After you create your account, there are some necessary steps to complete before your app is published. All these tasks are held in the google play console. I have mentioned the link to google play console below.
Developing android apps can help you immensely. You can create great solutions and provide people with great experiences. You can also earn revenue through ads and in-app purchases. Hope that you liked the post. Wish you all the best for your journey as an android developer.

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