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Android – friendly mobile applications platform

Android mobile app development is reaching new heights of success everyday and is becoming an integral part of the digital ecosystem. There’s a blueprint for app making which consists of the essentials for android app development.

We’ll discuss the steps towards making a successful android app one by one:

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Android Studio and latest SDK tools and platforms using SDK manager has to be downloaded.

  • Creating A New Project: In Android Studio a new project has to be created and corresponding Application name, Company domain, Package name and project location has to be filled in. The form factors on which the application will run has to be selected. After adding the activity name and a menu resource name a basic “Hello World” app will be obtained with some default files in it. IT must contain XML Layout file which has some default interface elements from the material design library, including theapp bar and a floating action button. It also includes a separate layout file with the main content. The manifest file describes the fundamental characteristics of the app and defines each of its components.
  • Running The App: The app is to be run in a real device (if available) from Android Studio and Command line.
    To run the app in an Emulator we have create an Android Virtual Device (AVD) f, and then run it from Android Studio. After selecting a device the emulator has to launched and “My first App” will appear on the screen. Then it has to be again run in the command line which will help us locate “MyfirstApp” file on the emulator.
  • Building A Simple Interface: A linear layout has to be created after which a text field and string resources has to be added. Once a button has been inserted the remaining part of the layout has to be filled with input box. This layout is applied by the default Activity class that the SDK tools should have generated while the project was created. After completion of these steps, app has to be run on Android studio.
  • Starting Another Activity: Responding to the send button and building an intent are the first steps to start other activities. The activity can be created with or without Android Studio. If a different IDE than Android Studio is being used, the app won’t yet compile. The activity has to be updated to display a custom text view. Every Activity is invoked by an Intent, regardless of how the user navigated there. The Intent that started the activity has to be called by getIntent() which retrieves the data contained within the intent. After displaying the message we can run the app.
    ( Wow, now I can actually make an app ! )
  • Supporting Different Devices: Android devices come in many shapes and sizes all around the world. With a wide range of device types, there’s an opportunity to reach a huge audience with apps. In order to be as successful as possible on Android, an app needs to adapt to various device configurations. Some of the important variations that should be considered include different languages, screen sizes, and versions of the Android platform.
  • Managing An Activity life-cycle: It circles around starting, pausing, resuming, stopping, restarting and recreating an activity. Android system calls a series of life-cycle methods on the activity in which the user interface and other components are set up.
  • Building A Dynamic User Interface With Fragments: To create a dynamic and multi-pane user interface on Android, UI components and activity behaviors has to be encapsulated into modules which can be swapped into and out of activities. These modules can be created with the Fragment class, which behaves somewhat like a nested activity that can define its own layout and manage its own life-cycle. The steps for this are to create a fragment, build a flexible User-Interface and to communicate with other fragments.
  • Saving Data: Most Android apps need to save data, even if only to save information about the app state during on Pause() so the user’s progress is not lost. Most non-trivial apps also need to save user settings, and some apps must manage large amounts of information in files and databases. Saving data can be categorized in Saving key-Value sets, saving files and Saving Data in SQL Databases.
  • Interfacing With Other Apps: An Android app typically has several activities. Each activity displays a user interface that allows the user to perform a specific task (such as view a map or take a photo). To take the user from one activity to another, the app must use an Intent to define app’s “intent” to do something. When an Intent to the system is passed with a method such as startActivity(), the system uses the Intent to identify and start the appropriate app component. Using intents even allows the app to start an activity that is contained in a separate app. An Intent can be explicit in order to start a specific component (a specific Activity instance) or implicit in order to start any component that can handle the intended action (such as “capture a photo”).
  • Working With System Permissions: To protect the system’s integrity and the user’s privacy, Android runs each app in a limited access sandbox. If the app wants to use resources or information outside of its sandbox, the app has to explicitly request permission. Depending on the type of permission the app requests, the system may grant the permission automatically, or the system may ask the user to grant the permission.

The other factors that are to be kept in mind to make an app successful are:

  • Market demand
  • App being User-friendly
  • Maintaining progressive disclosure pattern within the designs
  • Playing to the strengths of the mobile

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