Join David Gassner for an in-depth discussion in this video What you need to know before starting this course, part of Android App Development Essential Training (2015).
- Android is a complete software stack that includes the operating system and an application framework that lets you build apps that can be distributed through the Google Play store, the Amazon Appstore, and other channels. When you build Android apps, you'll be programming with Java and XML, and the more you know about these languages, the more effective you can be as an Android developer. Android has its own custom version of Java. With a few exceptions, its syntax is based on Java 6 and 7.
Advanced Java syntax is used such as inner and anonymous classes. If you're brand new to Java, I recommend watching the course, Java Essential Training. And to learn about some of the more advanced features of the language, watch Java Advanced Training. That course, in particular, covers some features that were brand new to Java 7 that are supported in the latest versions of the Android SDK. You'll also be working with XML files in Android. You'll use XML for application configuration, and for resource management.
If you're new to XML, I recommend XML Essential Training, and as you get deeper into Android, you can learn how to work with Java and XML together with the more advanced course, XML Integration with Java. You'll be working with Android Studio, the official IDE for Android development from Google. There's a complete course available on how to work with this product, Android Studio Essential Training. So, as you have questions about the IDE, I recommend looking back at that course.
The older version of the IDE, the Android Developer Tools, or ADT plugin for Eclipse, is no longer supported by Google. So I won't be doing any demonstrations with that software in this course. You'll need to set up some software on your system to follow along with the course's examples. First, you'll need the Java Developer Kit, or JDK, from Oracle. As of the time of this recording, that was Java 8. You can also use Java 7 if you prefer, but I always try to work with the most recent software.
You can download the JDK from java.oracle.com. And you'll need to install Android Studio from Google. All the software you need from Google is completely free and downloadable without registering with the software's creators. I'll be using Android Studio 1.4. It's based on JetBrain's product, IntelliJ IDEA, specifically version 14.1. And when you install Android Studio, you'll also be installing the Android SDK.
In this version of the course, I'm working with Android 6.0, Marshmallow, which equates to API level 23 for developers. Early in the course, I'll describe how Android versions and API levels map to each other. There are other components you'll need as well and I'll describe those early in the course. For testing your applications, you'll need at least one device. I recommend having a physical device around, and, specifically, a phone.
I'll be demonstrating everything on the most recent version of Android, Marshmallow, but if you only have a phone running some version of Android 4, such as Jelly Bean or KitKat, or Android 5 Lollipop, that's fine. Most of what I'll show in this course will work on those older versions of Android, as well. And, you can also test on any version of Android by creating virtual devices, or AVDs, for use with the Android emulator. You can create as many virtual devices as you need to represent the different versions of Android and screen sizes for the devices you want to target.
- Installing and configuring Android Studio
- Creating virtual devices and connecting physical devices for testing
- Working with project files such as the app manifest and Gradle scripts
- Defining the user interface
- Modifying material design themes and styles
- Adding views
- Displaying messages
- Handling events and changes in screen orientation
- Displaying images
- Managing navigation with activities and layouts
- Supporting different screen sizes
- Working with data