This course is designed for software developers who want to build Android apps using Google's Android SDK. You don't have to use a development environment to build Android apps. You could do everything from the command-line. But most developers find it a lot faster and easier to use an IDE. Android Studio is the official IDE for Android development, created by Google and given away for free to the development community.
- [Voiceover] This course is designed for software developers who want to build Android apps using Java and the Android SDK. I'll be describing how to use Android Studio, the official IDE from Google, and specifically Android Studio 2, which was in public beta when I recorded the course. In order to work with Android apps, you'll need to know some Java. Which version of Java you work with depends on which version of Android you're targeting. For Android 6.0 Marshmallow and earlier, Java 7 syntax is mostly supported, but in the next version of Android, which at the time of this recording, was simply known as Android N, Java 8 syntax will be supported, and that's because in Android N, Google is moving from its own proprietary implementation of Java to the open JDK.
To get started with Java programming, watch the courses, Java Essential Training, and Java Advanced Training, and there's even a course available on the features that were introduced in Java 8 if you want to work with that next version of Android. This course assumes that you're new to Android development, but you'll want to learn the basics before you get too deeply into working with Android Studio. You can watch the course, Android App Development Essential Training, and then as I'll describe at the end of this course, we have many courses available that offer deep dives into various aspects of the Android SDK.
In order to follow along with the course, you'll need to have installed the Java Development Kit from Oracle. You can always use the most recent version, which as of the time of this recording, was Java 8. You can download that software from java.oracle.com, and I'll describe the steps early in the course. As you test your applications, you'll need to work with Android devices. You can use the virtual devices that are made possible in Android Studio, but I always recommend having at least one physical Android device to test on, and that's because you simply get more reliable results from them.
I mostly use Nexus devices from Google. They offer a pure Android experience, and you always get the most recent updates. On the other hand, devices from Samsung, such as the Galaxy and Note lines, have the largest single share of the device market, and Kindle Fire devices from Amazon have their own audience. If you're able to, I recommend testing your apps on all three styles of devices, and also on different screen sizes. Phones and tablets offer completely different sizes and pixel densities.
Now, this isn't always possible, and I encourage you to learn how to use the Android emulator and virtual devices to fill in the testing gaps. In this course on Android Studio 2, I'll be focusing on the use of Google Nexus devices, but if you're building applications for production, that is, for sharing with the public market, it's a good idea to test on as many physical devices as possible.
- Installing Android Studio on Mac and Windows
- Creating Android Studio projects
- Setting up the development environment, including HAXM and the new Android emulator
- Importing existing code into Android Studio projects
- Exploring the interface, including the editor and project windows
- Managing project builds and dependencies
- Creating new Java classes
- Refactoring code
- Using templates
- Using breakpoints and watch expressions
- Updating apps with Instant Run
- Using Git for version control