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[GUIDE] How To Make An Android App

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Angry [GUIDE] How To Make An Android App

Introduction

Quote:
Hello and Welcome to android app development guide. In this [guide] i will teachyou how to develop applications for the android platform using java and some simple tools. I will also teach you to add audio/video to your apps and also teach how to make them location aware by adding gps function to it
What You Should Know

Quote:
Here I am just letting you all Know the pre-requisites of making an app. But then if you dont match the pre-requisites..... its OKAY !! I started it without this xD

  • Some Experience Of Object Oriented Programming
  • Some Experience of JAVA
  • Experience of Using ECLIPSE
  • Have An ANDROID phone so that you know the capabilities of Android

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Default Setting Up the System

Setting Up the System
 

Quote:
Now, I recommend using Windows. however, all other OS are Just as Similar but you shall Download the required Stuff According to your OS

ANDROID SDK:

Quote:
Quote:
Now, When it comes to Testing The Application During the Development, You are definitely want a Virtual Device... or an emulator. This Allows Us to test the app on the Computer instead of going to an actual device.

Note:::
It is Definitely FINAL LEVEL of testing the app on an ACTUAL device


Quote:
From The Android SDK manager that you have downloaded.
  • Go To Virtual Devices
  • Select " Create A New Virtual Device"
  • Give it a name.
  • Under Target. Chose The Android version You want.
    NOTE::::
    DOWNLOAD THE PACKAGES FOR THE ANDROID VERSIONS. WHEN YOU START THE SDK MANAGER, IT ASKS YOU TO DOWNLOAD IT
  • Click Next
  • Enable the Snapshot
  • Choose The Suitable Resolution of the Device in the "Skin" Section
  • Click " Create AVD"
  • Click on "OK" When Finished Creating the Device
  • Select the new Virtual Device that you Just Made and click Start from the Left Pane
  • Click Launch
  • Wait till the device boots up.
  • Now Close the device. It will create the snapshot
  • When You start up the device again, just enable the "start from the screenshot " check box and launch it so that it wont have to boot up again !!


SETTING UP ECLIPSE:

Quote:

These Are My Recommended Settings. But You can customize the Eclipse You like you want and are comfortable with !
  • Close The task window on the right side.
  • go to Windows >> Show View >> Other. Come to Android, now, in General, click on properties and click okay
  • Now, drag that to the right side where the task manager was
  • Go to Windows >> Prefrences >>Android
  • Click on Browse. navigate to where you have installed the Android SDK, now choose the Android SDK Folder
  • Click Apply

Quote:
Now That Your System Has SDK, ADT, Eclipse. YoU ArE OffICiallY QualLiFiEd TO Start MaKinG AnDrOid ApPs !!


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Default Overview

Android Architecture
 

Quote:
  • Runs on Linux 2.6
  • Dalvik Virtual Machine, Which Is optimised for mobiles
  • Integrated Browser, based On Webkit Engine
  • Optimized Graphics with Open GL ES
  • SQLite Database for Data storage
Android Application Fundamentals
Quote:
Quote:
  • Applications are written in JAVA programming Language
  • Compiled Into Android Package file (.apk)
  • Each Application runs in its own sandbox and linux processes
  • Applications consists of Components, Resources and a Manifest file
Components:
  • Activities
    Quote:
    • Single Screen with a UI [a screen seen by a user, it is an activity. basically a single screen, seen by the user IS an ACTIVITY ]
    • Multiple Activities are required to make a user friendly application
    • When a new activity starts, old activity is pushed on to the Back Stack [ it becomes handy and fast if you press the back button on the phone. the activity on the back stack is not needed to be loaded again ! ]
    • UI can be built with either by XML ( recommended) or in Java ( I hate doing that :P )
    • You can manipulate the lifetime of the activities by certain call back methods. such as onStart[], onPause[], etc.
  • Services

    Quote:
    • They perform long-running operations in the background.
    • Doesn't contain ANY user interface
    • Useful for network operations, playing music, etc.
    • Runs independently of the component that created it ! --> [ say a service that launches a Service is closed. the service is still running ]
    • They can be bound to other application components. [ IF allowed ]
  • Content Providers
    Quote:
    • Used to store and retrieve data and make it accessible to any application.
    • Since, there is no way to share data across the applications, it is the only way !
    • Exposes a public URI that identifies the data set with some unique method or codes.
    • The data is exposed by a simple table on a database model concept.
    • Android contains many providers for things like contacts, media, etc.
  • Broadcast Recievers
    Quote:
    • A component that responds to system-wide broadcast announcement.
    • For Example, if the battery is low, Android Sends a system-wide broadcast, and the application that is listening to it, is responded by a Broadcast Reciever.
    • Applications can also initiate a broadcast that different applications can respond to ! example --> if an application, app1, is dependent on another application, app2, it can start a broadcast for app2. if the app2 exists, it can proceed else it will pop up a message like --- "app2 doesn't exist. plz download it from the market"
    • They, like services, contain no UI
    • Can be used to create Status Bar Notifications
  • Android Manifest File
    Quote:
    • All applications MUST have an AndroidManifest.xml in its root directory.
    • Presents the information about the application to the Android System.
    • Declares the Components used in the application
    • Also Declares the permissions required from the user to run the application.
    • Declares the Minimum Android API level to run that application. [ eg: GingerBread, HoneyComb, IceCreamSandwich, etc. ]



Details About Some Folders
Quote:

Have You ever Decompiled any apk file ?? If not, do it, cuz it is really important part of app making. since there are many relative things to this.
In here I will
Explain about some folders you get to see in a folder named "res" when you decompile.
  • layout
    Quote:
    In This Folder, You will find some xmls, which looks more like a web page source :P
    And Gibberish until you take a CLOSE LOOK !
    It actually stores in the Layout of your activity. You will get to be familiar with this as we are going to use this
  • drawable
    Quote:
    In this folder, You will get the things that makes the app look beautiful !
    Ha! This contains "pngs" that are used in themes. We Will come to this as time passes
  • xml
    Quote:
    In here, Again, XMLs with someting Gibberish till you get a closer Look ! These xmls store your preference activities.
  • anim
    Quote:
    This folder, again xmls, which seem more unreadable. This folder, as the name says, it stores the anim files that has instructions for your animations that you (will) use in the app.
  • values
    Quote:
    This folder, again xmls, which seem even more unreadable. This folder, stores the values for different stuff, like ids, integers color hex's, etc (we will get to this later) .
  • colors
    Quote:
    This folder, again xmls, as the name says, stores the colors that you (will be) using in the app (we will get to this later) .
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Default Activities And Explicit Intents

Activities & Explicit Intents
 

Quote:
As I've already told you that Activities are one of the primary building blocks of your app. here, we will learn how to create actiities, declare them in AndroidManifest.xml and We will also learn How to go to another activity from one activity. Okay. So now open up Eclipse. and sart a new Android Project.
  • Click on File >> New >> Android Project


  • Fill in the details as you wish.... and click finish.

  • After you make a Project. You will get A full working Hello world Application. now, modify the MainActivity.xml in the graphical part like this

  • make a new xml file by clicking . Give a file name like... SecondActivity.xml or something you like Note: This Will be your Second Activity. and now click Finish
  • Now drag the " TextView " from the " form widgets" tab from the left side panel to the graphical editor of your second activity.

Now, Basically what i want to teach is Explicit Intents. Now what we want our app to do is the text written in the MainActivity should be shown to the user when he clicks the "go to second activity" button. So to do this, we need to declare and do something with JAVA !

  • navigate to the .java files -->


  • Double click the java file and you will et something like this ( gibberish... if you dont like java like me )



    since we need to define the "EditText" field and the "Button" from the first activity !

    Now, find this

    Code:
    setContentView(R.layout.main);

    after that start typing

    final EditText et = findView

    now press ctrl+space (windows)
    it will show you a list of commands. choose findViewById(id)
    now it will automatically place you along the (id). now start typing ---> R.id.
    and press ctrl+space (windows).
    chose the EditText Value..... Now as you see, it will show an error there. press ctrl+1 to show quick fixes. Add a cast to EditText. Final text will be Like this

    Code:
    final EditText et = (EditText) findViewById(R.id.editText1);

    Now do the same with the "Button"


    Code:
    Button b = (Button) findViewById(R.id.button1);
    Now that you have defined the button. Now you will have to set an OnClickListener for that button. so the it allows User to go to the second activity.

    now start typing

    b.setOnclick... press ctrl+space and choose onClickListener. It will automatically place you in the "()" type there --> new OnClickListener press ctrl+space. you will get something like this



    you will get an error. so go to the place ( marked red in the pic and put a semi-colon )

    now, in the following method,

    Code:
    public void onClick(View arg0) {
    				// TODO Auto-generated method stub
    				
    				
    			}
    start typing the following

    Code:
    Intent intent = newInt
    press ctrl+space and choose this




    It will automatically place you in packageContext.

    NOTE:

    packageContext == "The java file that is creating the Intent";
    cls == " The java file to whom the Intent Should be passed";



    so, edit it this way

    Code:
    Intent intent = new Intent(MainActivity.this, SecondActivity.class);
    NOTE:

    MainActivity == "The java file that you are editing";
    SecondActivity == " The java file That WILL represent the the SecondActivity.xml";



    It will give you an error. press ctrl+1 and select--> create class "SecondActivity"
    Fill in the details of the new java file and click finish. Now go back to previous java file.

    Now, you have created an intent. But its not defined that what will that intent do !
    So, now, Lets define that

    start typing--> intent.putExtra and press ctrl+space. choose this.



    now, you will be automatically placed in the "key". now for the key, you will have to type a string. i would like to call it "thetext". Now, Make sure you type the string WITHIN THE DOUBLE QUOTES..

    For the value, you will have to give the reference of the "EditText" Field. here, i have given it as "et", i will type it this way.

    Quote:
    intent.putExtra("thetext", et.getText().toString());
    Now, you have successfully DEFINED what the intent does. but if you check the coding..... you will notice that the intent is never initialised ! now, to initialise it, type in this -->
    Quote:
    startActivity(intent);
the final MainActivity.java should look like this.





Now, its almost done..... BUT.... ! what the hell is the use of the secondActivity.java o.O ! ?
It is to be edited. only then the text written in the first activity by the user will be shown in the second activity. to do that, go to second activity. Now,

Quote:


EASY PART
  • Find this in the first java file:

  • Copy all that stuff to the SecondActivity.java
  • Change the blue highlited text ( in eclipse ) to the name of the second xml file. (just dont add the extension)


Hard PART

Now, you gotta define the "TextView" on the SecondActivity.xml Since you have given the reference to the SecondActivity.xml by copying all that stuff.

so, start typing,

Code:
TextView tv = findView

NOTE: Here "tv" is the name you have assigned to the "TextView". You can change it if you want. BUT makesure you do the cahnges accordingly in the next steps.

hit ctrl + space. choose >> findViewById(id);

now again, as we already did that before, in the place of "id" just type in "R.id." hit ctrl+space and chose the "TextView"

Now, that You have defined it here, dosent mean that It will give you desired output....
You just have created an intent and have defined it and initialised it in the last java file.
But there is no-one to recieve that intent ! so, start typing the following:



And, in place of text, start typing "getI" and press ctrl+space. put a fullstop, type "getE" hit ctrl+space, put a fullstop again, start typing "getS", ctrl+space again now in the "()" put the string that you have defined in the last java file. since I have defined it as "thetext" i will type that in the "()" like this:

Code:
tv.setText(getIntent().getExtras().getString("thetext"));


Now, its done..... BUT.... ! .... AndroidManifest.xml
you didnt touch it till now. we have to register every activity there. or else, the app will cause a FC error. (Force Closes)


Quote:
Now, open up the Androidmanifest.xml



go to the text editor :




and in the end before--> "</application>" add this
Code:
<activity
            android:name="com.blksyn.explicitintents.SecondActivity">
</activity>


Now, its done. Lets start the emulator and Check this if it works !
  • Go to AVD Manager like this:
  • Start the AVD emulator.
  • click on run: and click on run again xD. Click on okay.

Bingo ! you have created an app which declares Explicit Intents and added a function to activities to catch that intent !





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Default Implicit Intents

Implicit Intents
 


Now, you must have seen some applications with a "share" button. By clicking on this button, you can share a particular image/video/audio/etc....
What does that application actually do is send a message to other applications to search for the applications capable of handling such type of job. Then it pops up the list of such apps to the user. Now we can also have that list contain our app too !
Here is how.



Quote:

  • Create a blank project. I gave it the name as "Implicit_intents". But you can choose whatever you want
  • Open up the "AndroidManifest.xml" file. (plz dont expect me to show how, cuz i have already shown that earlier and you should know that by now)
    You will see something like this


  • Copy this from the main activity
    Code:
    	<intent-filter>
                    <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
                    <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
        	</intent-filter>
    paste it again after the </intent-filter>
    and change it to this

    Code:
    	<intent-filter>
                    <action android:name="android.intent.action.SEND" />
                    <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
                    <data android:mimeType="image/*" />
        	</intent-filter>

    Quote:
    NOTE:
    Quote:
    Code:
    		<action android:name="android.intent.action.SEND" />
    (self explainatory)
    Quote:

    Code:
     <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
    This tells the android system waht the category of the intent is. If you dont know what the category really is, you should keep it DEAFAULT.
    Quote:
    Code:
     <data android:mimeType="image/*" />
    This tells the Android system, What type of data can the application "SEND" (* reference to the first one). and "data/*" means that the application can handle any type of imge. Jpeg, png, bmp, etc....
    Quote:

So, this is how your AndroidManifest.xml should look like.



Quote:
  • Now, go to the xml of your main activity and get rid of that text view. and add an "ImageView" from "Images and media" tab on the left


  • Now, go to your main java file and give a refernece to that ImageView




    NOTE: "iv" is just a name given to the ImageView. so, you can change it if you want. But you will have to adapt to it and make changes in the steps accordingly.

    Import the image view thing and add a cast by hitting ctrl+space
  • Now that you have specified the ImageView, you now have to set the ImageView to show the image the user wanna send. so, start typing in "iv.setImage" and press ctrl+space.



    Now, since the image is IN the intent sent by the gallery after the user clicks the share button, we have to "get" the "EXTRAS" from the intent. So, start typing in in the "()". "getInt" press ctrl+space put a "." again type "getExt" choose the only option available, put a "." again and type "get" choose the first option. now, for the key, we are gonna use a constant from the INTENT class, that is called "EXTRA_STREAM". So ,just start typing in "Intent", put a ".", type "extra_" and choose "EXTRA_STREAM".


    This "EXTRA_STREAM" is nothing but the "URI" to the image the user wants to send. You will have an error now in the line even after putting a ";" in the end. so press the quick fix combo "ctrl+1" and add a cast to (URI).




Now, you have successfully built an application that can handle the "share" kind of intent. now if you run this app in the emulator, you will probably have an FC. Since the app does not have any intent to process during the launch, it will FC. but if you go to gallery and click on share, you will get this app in the list. And also, if you click on this app, you will see the image you wanted to share.


So, this ends our chapter of Implicit Intents. You can now use your imaginations and use the combos of the previous and this chapter to build a pretty good basic app ! and the credit will be yours ! But dont forget to thank me for my efforts. haha... and also if i help you in some place.

And last but not the least in this chapter, If you have any questions, post a reply in this thread you will surely be answered
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Widgets
 

Quote:
I am going to teach you how to make a widget.
This widget will go to a specified site !

So , make a new android application in eclipse
name it whatever you like !
  • Click on File >> New >> Android Project


  • Fill in the details as you wish.... and click finish.

  • After you make a Project. You will get A full working Hello world Application. Now, modify the activity_main.xml in the graphical part like this


    You will get something like this:

  • Now Open Up the AndroidManifest.xml. and remove this part:


    And add this part:


  • make a new xml file by clicking . and change Resource type from Layout to "AppWidget Provider" and now click Finish

    Note: This Will be your android:resource file. highlighted in the previous image.
  • Now Open up that xml. You will find it in the /res/xml directory. you will get something like this:


    Now click on the "red" underlined part. you will get something like this:

Now, Basically we are making a 2x2 widget. You need to specify that somewhere right ? That is the place. but how do you specify ?? It can be calculated using this formula:
Code:
the min width =

[(number_of_cells) * 74] - 2

2x2

min widht = [2*74]-2 = 144
min height = 144 ! :)
so, fill in the details like this:



Now, the layout part of the widget is complete. What we want to do is the JAVA thing now. So, open up the MainActivity.java



  • Double click the java file and you will et something like this



    since we Are making a widget, We cannot have Much functions in here. Unlike activities(which have loads of functions in it) widget restricts us to very few. So, we are not going to need all the stuff You are seeing in java file. so do one thing. delete all the things. Here is how it shoud look like:


    Now, Since We are not making a regular activity, We are not going to extend activity. Now we are going to extend the "AppWidgetProvider"


    Code:
    public class MainActivity extends AppWidgetProvider {
    Now "AppWidgetProvider" Does not allow "OnCreate" Methods. what we are allowed is onUpdate Method, Since this is going to be called every single time our widget updates (N/A in this widget, but still you have to write it)
    In that method, start typing

    Code:
    onUpdate
    now press ctrl+space (windows only)

    You will have something like this:
    Code:
    public void onUpdate(Context context, AppWidgetManager appWidgetManager,
    		int[] appWidgetIds) {
    	// TODO Auto-generated method stub
    	super.onUpdate(context, appWidgetManager, appWidgetIds);
    	}
    In this class you have to define everything. Now what we are going to do is we will have to define a for loop:
    Code:
    for(int i = 0; i<appWidgetIds.length; i++){
    
    	}
    Now first thing in this for loop, we are gonna have to refer to our current appWidgetID. so,
    Code:
    int ID = appWidgetIds[i];
    Done! now wahat we are goingg to do with this widget ??
    ANS: We are going to launch a web site b opening our browser.

    Okay, so how are we going to do it ??
    Yes, exactly. like we did it before, we are going define an intent, like this:
    Code:
    Intent in = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW, Uri.parse("URL_OF_YOUR_WEBSITE"));
    Now, It still isnt going to launch anything. What we have to do, is, set a "PendingIntent".
    A pending intent is actually an intent which gives access to, um, ur app (widget, in this case,). so, start typing in
    Code:
    Pending
    press ctrl+space. name it what you want. then put " = " . again type "PendingIntent." and press ctrl+space and select this:
    Code:
    getActivity(context, requestCode, intent, flags)

    Now, for context, it has olready defined in your context (onUpdate method).

    requestCode = flags 0 (we aren't using them here)
    and for intent, put your intents name like I've put in "in". it will look something like this:
    Code:
    PendingIntent pen =  PendingIntent.getActivity(context, 0, in, 0);
    NOW, SINCE THIS IS A WIDGET AND NOT A SIMPLE, REGULAR ACTIVITY, WE CAN'T USE THE "findViewById(id)" THING HERE, WE HAVE TO USE "RemoteViews" since these views are
    in the widget and not public.
    So, we are going to create new instance of this
    type in,
    Code:
    RemoteViews view = new Re
    and press ctrl+space an choose this:
    Code:
    RemoteViews(packageName, layoutId)
    for package name:


    for layoutId:
    Code:
    R.layout.activity_main
    now, after this, like we set onClickListener, We have to set onClickPendingIntent
    like this:


    Now, give respective arguments in the brackets. The final thing should look like this:
    Code:
    view.setOnClickPendingIntent(R.id.imageButton1, pen);
    NOW, Last thing. it is to set up an "appWidgetManager"
    so, Start typing:

    and give the respective arguments.
    final MainActivity.java should look like this


    It wil Never launch a browser yet,, think why ???

    We havent yet given up the permissions yet !!!

    So, open up the AndroidManifest.xml
    Go to permissions tab, youll see something like this:

    click on Add.
    edit like this.







  • Now, its done. Lets start the emulator and Check this if it works !
    • Go to AVD Manager like this:
    • Start the AVD emulator.
    • click on run: and click on run again xD. Click on okay.

    Bingo ! you have created aWidget !!



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Default Audio/Video and multimedia

Audio
 

[quote][b]In this one, i will tell you how to use the "raw" folder to play audio(s) from the folder using MediaPlayer thingy. Okay. So now open up Eclipse. and start a new Android Project.
  • Click on File >> New >> Android Project


  • Fill in the details as you wish.... and click finish.

  • After you make a Project. You will get A full working Hello world Application. now, modify the MainActivity.xml in the graphical part by adding a button to it and save it.

  • Now, in the project, right click on res folder, new>>folder. name the folder as "raw". THEY ALL SHOULD BE IN SMALLS. NONE OF THE LETTER SHOULD BE IN CAPS

  • Now, have a short mp3 file like the one in attachments, and drag it to the newly created folder.

Now, its all set, what our app will do is it will play that short mp3 file i the "raw" folder as soon as we press that button. Now, for that sake we are going to use MediaPlayer class. Open up the MainActivity.java fir this.

  • navigate to the .java files -->


  • Double click the java file and you will et something like this ( gibberish... if you dont like java like me )



    we need to define the field and the "Button" from the first activity !
    NOTE: as we advance in the tutorial, i will assume that you have done it from the start, hence i will not show such small things everytime, to make the tut short, sweet and simple. refer the first tutorial for this step.
    It should look like this:

    Code:
    Button b = (Button) findViewById(R.id.button1);
    Now that you have defined the button. Now you will have to set an OnClickListener for that button. so the it allows User to go to the second activity.

    now start typing

    b.setOnclick... press ctrl+space and choose onClickListener. It will automatically place you in the "()" type there --> new OnClickListener press ctrl+space. you will get something like this



    you will get an error. so go to the place ( marked red in the pic and put a semi-colon )

    now, in the following method,

    Code:
    public void onClick(View arg0) {
    				// TODO Auto-generated method stub
    				
    				
    			}
    start typing the following

    Code:
    MediaPlayer mp = MediaPlayer.
    press ctrl+space and choose this




    It will automatically place you in "context".

    NOTE:

    context == "The java file that is creating the Intent";
    resid == " The id of the resource (here, id of the mp3 file in the folder"raw")";



    so, edit it this way

    Code:
    MediaPlayer mp = MediaPlayer.create(MainActivity.this, R.raw.beep);
    NOTE:

    MainActivity == "The java file that you are editing";
    R.raw.beep == "Here , the name of the mp3 file in my "raw" folder is beep, it can be according to you";

So, we have just defined the mp class.
BUT, who is invoking it ?
Nobody, we need to invoke it ourselves. here, there is no relation or job to be done by "intent" like we did in earlier tutorials MediaPlayer class is totally different....
We need to do this in order to invoke.

Code:
mp.start();
Quote:
NOTE:
mp == "the name that i gave to MediaPlayer object";
Code:
MediaPlayer mp = MediaPlayer.create(MainActivity.this, R.raw.beep);
.
Save it and run it on your AVD

Now, its done. Lets start the emulator and Check this if it works !
  • Go to AVD Manager like this:
  • Start the AVD emulator.
  • click on run: and click on run again xD. Click on okay.

YAY ! it works !! click on that button





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Nachiket.Namjoshi
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Thank you all of you for your support... will be updating this guide every sunday... cuz i really dont get time nowadays... exams and i am in very crucial years of student life... so hope you all understand..


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Thumbs up Love the start!!!

This is lookin like its gonna be a real hit!!!!


Thanks in advance for the work your doin! I cant wait to get started with my first app!


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Reserved for audio video support

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