Android Application development Basics

Fantastic! You have finally decided to jump into android development. Let’s face it, with the growth of droid devices and predictions of where it will be in the next couple of years and with google’s new announcements such as googletv, it is the perfect time to start off.

We have started on the same journey and as we go along, we will post tips and tricks that we have found useful. There are numerous articles online with detailed instructions on the “how to”s, but there is a lack of comprehensive lists, or index of tutorials if you will, to let developers know how they should dive deep into android development. Hence we decided to write this article in such a way that it will sort of serve a study plan for to-be android developers as well.

Prerequisites

  1. You are  a Java developer or you are very familiar with Java
  2. You know how to use the eclipse IDE

Setup instructions

  1. Get the android SDK
  2. Add android to your path
  3. Add software on Eclipse IDE
  4. Run the AVD ( Android Virtual Device) with some sample application to get a feel of it

Developer’s Notes

  1. Check out the application framework
  2. Memorize the following set of services that you can use in your application
    • Views ( All UIs, like buttons,grids)
    • Content providers ( Access the phone, like contacts)
    • Resource Managers (Provide access not non-code elements such as graphics fonts etc and things under the res/ folder )
    • Notification Managers (Used to create custom alerts that can pop up)
    • Activity Managers (  By definition: “An activity is a single, focused thing that the user can do”. This is what the user sees)
  3. There is no main() method. The application starts by loading components, namely
    • Activity ( Think of it as a screen that has views. In the WAP world, this will be similar to a “deck”)
    • Broadcast Receivers ( Receive and react to the notification manager)
    • Cotent providers ( Makes data available to other applications)
    • Services ( runs in the background and actually does the job)
  4. An example to put things in perspective
    An mp3 player applications has a list of songs, drawn by the Activity, The file list is retrieved by a service and the music is actually played by a service as well. While the music is playing a broadcast receiver can pop up a message saying the battery is low, while a content provider tells another application which song is currently being played so that it can tweet it
  5. The components are all defined on the Manifest file

Once you have finished reading this far, and all the related articles. Do the complete Notepad exercise