Where do I begin?


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  1. parlayguy

    parlayguy Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    I would like to try my hand at developing Android apps. I used to be a great software developer. But that was many years ago and in the C language. So there's a lot I have to learn. Can someone point me to a good reference on courses or training tools I can use to get started.

    I probably need to learn Java programming.

    BTW, I have an Apple iMAC. Is that good for developing Android apps?

    Thanks.
     

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  2. andywhoa

    andywhoa Well-Known Member

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    OS X will work just fine. I develop on my MacBook Pro.

    Assuming you haven't set up the SDK:
    - Download Eclipse 3.5 (the latest version, 3.6, does not play with with the Android plugin). You can get it here: Eclipse Galileo Downloads - Fast, Reliable, Customizable - EclipseSource
    - Download the Android SDK and install it in the directory you want it to permanently live: Android SDK | Android Developers
    - Precisely follow these instructions to install the Android plugin for Eclipse and point it at the SDK directory you downloaded in the previous step: ADT Plugin for Eclipse | Android Developers
    - Open the Android SDK & AVD manager (the "android" executable in the Tools directory of the SDK directory you downloaded)
    - Go to the Available Packages panel and download everything
    - Go to the Virtual Devices panel and create a virtual Android phone for the emulator

    I didn't go into detail (if you can't figure it out, use Google to find a more in-depth tutorial).

    Once you've done this and have it working, go to YouTube and finding a simple tutorial to follow for making your first Android app. I recommend the O'Reilly tutorial for making a simple flashlight application. The instructor runs into some technically difficulties, but you should be able to figure out what to do (being a great developer and all :)). The tutorial is here: YouTube - Developing Android Applications, Workshop One

    Since ListViews are fairly common, I suggest following this tutorial for your second Android app: Android Series: Custom ListView items and adapters | Software Passion

    Leverage these forums and others (sorry mods?). There are people willing to assist so long as you don't expect them to do all your work for you. There are also plenty of tutorials on the web for simpler stuff. If you were a good C programmer, you shouldn't have any trouble with Java. It's just syntax (and some of it, especially if you've also programmed C++, is quite similar).

    Good luck!
     
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  3. Surfside

    Surfside New Member

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    Thanks for asking this question, parlayguy. And thanks to andywhoa for giving us a good tutorial resource!

    I am also wanting to dive into app development, but I don't have the C language experience that you have. I am coming into this about as "green" as they come!

    I read a lot of posts by current developers that are griping about new developers coming on the scene and flooding the Android Market with crappy apps. I have to agree with them that there are a bunch of failed apps out there. I am also a consumer of apps & I have a graphic design background, so I am confident on my ability to create a UI that is pleasing to the eye and professional, since I know what crappy apps look like & I know what the apps look like that someone put the necessary time into. I will just need MAJOR help on the coding to make sure it does what it is supposed to do.

    Best of luck to you, and if you come across anything else that you think may be helpful, please let me know!!

    -S
     
  4. Surfside

    Surfside New Member

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    Also, andywhoa, what do you think of using the Flash Mobile Platform with Adobe Air to develop apps, instead of Eclipse. I know that Google App Inventor is coming out soon, too. I thought I also heard that Adobe was going to add Android development tools to the Dreamweaver CS5 software. What are your thoughts on all of these options?
     
  5. andywhoa

    andywhoa Well-Known Member

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    If you're going to develop for a particular device (read: OS), you should just program with its native tools and in its native language. That's what I do, even if it requires me to learn something new. Aside from the obvious benefits, it also expands your knowledge and makes you a more valuable person to employ.

    If you don't have any development experience, I would recommend writing a few small Java applications for a desktop to learn some syntax; and then read up on some development concepts. Singletons, strong OOP, data synchronization, resource management, abstraction and inheritance are particularly important concepts for mobile development. If your application is going to have more than 1 screen, you're likely going to have to end up learning how to build a database, too.

    If all of that is unappealing, and you know Flash, go ahead and give it a try, but you're not really expanding yourself and people probably won't be too interested in your application.
     
  6. parlayguy

    parlayguy Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    andywhoa,

    Thanks for the great information. I've listened to the the youtube Orielly video and it is a good intro. I see they also sell a two part course. Not sure I want to go that route.

    I was looking at some books, but have no idea which is good and which not.

    I think the only thing to do at this point is jump on and see if I can swim.

    Thanks.
     
  7. obviam

    obviam New Member

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    I have started to document the process of building a game for android.
    It starts from almost 0 and you could learn something if you're interested in game development.
    Against the Grain – Game Development
     
  8. andywhoa

    andywhoa Well-Known Member

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    Very nice site obviam. I'm really interested in developing a game for Android some day, but I'm much too busy at the moment.

    I've began posting interesting tidbits of Android code on my own blog as well.
     

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