How to Build Awesome Android Apps

Posted by jun auza On 11/17/2014
Over the years, Android has grown from a simple mobile operating system to a highly profitable ecosystem. Among the people to benefit from this growth are Google, gadget manufacturers (Samsung, HTC, Motorola), and millions of app developers from around the world. With multiple ways to monetize applications, Android has been responsible for turning many small-time developers into the "rich geeks" who have made quite a following for themselves in the pop culture.

What makes Android app development so appealing is that it is based on Java, which is a language pretty much every guy or girl with a computer science degree knows. Secondly, Android being open-source and free to develop with, anyone can start making apps right away without spending a single buck. All you need is an Internet connection and some coding skills. This is a far cry from Apple's model wherein you have to pay Apple to become a developer.

Making apps on Android can be fun, informative, as well as monetarily rewarding. If you are willing to put in some time and effort into learning the basics of Android app development, you will be making good apps very quickly. If your idea is unique enough and the app is relatively bug free, you can release it in the Google Play Store and watch it become popular. You can also monetize it by enabling in-app payments, ads, and even putting a small price for your app.

So, if you are excited about learning how to develop Android apps, read on as we have links to some of the best tutorials out there for getting started.


Official Android Tutorials

Google offers a lot of official tutorials that can help you learn Android from the guys who made it. These go a lot in depth and are easy and fun to follow along. A great place to start is the Android Training Guide that starts off by helping you create your first Android project. Then, as the course moves forward, you'll learn to deal with various elements of the development process thus helping you create solid, well-designed apps that look exactly the way Google intended them to. If you are starting off, take some time and read through all of the notes. These will help you with everything be it security, notifications, or even monetization. For additional help you can check out the Android Developers YouTube channel which has a lot of hands-on examples on the development process.


Vogella

Vogella is a training and consulting website that has a lot of free tutorials. One of them is Android Development by Lars Vogel. This tutorial takes you from the very basics like "What is Android" to advanced stuff like modifying XML files. Complete in itself, Vogella takes you from the basic steps of downloading the SDK to the more advanced steps of emulating the app, testing it, and finally deploying it. The whole tutorial can be read from the single web page and is full of useful diagrams and images. If you are following it, make sure you keep it bookmarked.


Android Fundamentals/Udacity Free Course (By Google)

Google wants to make sure that more and more people start taking advantage of its huge ecosystem. That's why, partnering with Udacity, the search giant has created a full course that combines both practice and theory. The course starts right away with the UI then moves to more advanced topics like responsive layouts, background services, and third-party integration. This course, unlike others on the list, requires you to have at least 3 years of programming experience in Java or any other programming language.


Android Application Development Tutorials (by thenewboston)

Thenewboston is a popular YouTube channel that has a fantastic set of tutorials on various tech skills. One of them is its playlist on Android application development. The tutorial covers pretty much all basics of Android app development with most of the concepts neatly explained by the narrator. Instead of talking to the screen, the host demonstrates the coding process in action thus helping you learn a lot.


Android Development for Beginners by Derek Banas (YouTube)

This playlist by Derek Banas on YouTube is great for someone who wants to make a simple Android app in a week or so. It focuses mainly on App Inventor, which is a WYSIWYG tool for creating simple Android apps. While this tutorial won't help you build the next WhatsApp or Snapchat, it will definitely give you some head start in creating some simple apps.


Android Training Tutorials by Lynda.com

Lynda.com is a popular subscription-based website that gives you access to hundreds of great online tutorials. Android Training tutorial is one of their courses which is quite useful if you are a complete beginner and are looking for something that's both easy-to-follow and useful. In the course, you'll be creating an Android app from scratch as you build it with Java. Though a paid course, it's not a bad investment for someone who is looking for something comprehensive and beginner-friendly.


Android Design Guidelines

This is not a tutorial but a set of principles and guidelines that will help you make your app look like the way it’s meant to be on Android. Many rookie developers -- and some big ones too -- make the mistake of creating apps that look and feel completely out of place. They go in with the thinking that they'll create two apps, one for Android and one for iOS while keeping the design same for both of them. This not only makes the apps you have look weird and clunky, it also shies many customers away from your app. A great way to remedy this problem is study the guidelines first, make a blueprint for the app, and then start creating it.


Learn by Doing - Android for Beginners

This is a great free course with more than seven hours of content that teaches you Android programming in a more practical way. Learn by Doing teaches exactly the way you want it to -- in practical hands-on videos aided by elaborate videos. Accompanying the instructions are exercises to test and hone your skills. Overall, the course is targeted towards helping you get an app running as quickly and as efficiently as possible. If you are looking for something in-depth, make sure you go through Android's official guide, which is quite exhaustive and covers a lot of important concepts. That being said, you'll definitely end up learning a lot of stuff about Android development thus helping you springboard to more complex development topics.


Creative, Serious and Playful Science of Android Apps by Coursera

If you are excited about creating your first Android app but also want to learn more about the science of what goes behind building it, this next course is just for you. Created by University of Illinois, this is an 8-week course that will take you through creating your Android app, working with various libraries, and yes, along with that you get to learn all the computer science fundamentals. If you are planning to take this course, expect investing around 7 hours a week in it. This is a great starting off point for anyone who wants to get into Android development, as it requires no prior experience in computing. Passing all the tests and completing the course diligently will earn you a verified certificate from the University of Illinois.

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