Do you want to learn Android app development but have no idea where to start? We are writing this article with you in mind and anyone else interested in app development. Android is arguably the most popular platform. You must always have the user in mind when creating software.
The popularity of the Android platform means that the competition is high among app owners. However, it is good news to aspiring developers. If you perfect your skills, you will always have some work to do. Let us get right into the discussion
Learn the basics of Android development
The insights shared here will work for you whether you choose to learn on your own or enrol in a school. Our advice is that you enrol in a coding school in Kenya that offers personalised tutoring. You learn faster from a professional developer than when you learn on your own.
If you are reading this, you probably have heard about the Java programming language. Start by learning the basics of the language. You can get online tutorials on Java and follow each step at a time until you learn the basics.
The next step is to learn how to step up the Android Studio IDE on your computer or laptop. Most of the lessons on this come with addition tips on how to set up Kotlin and the user interface. Setting up the Studio IDE is not enough. You need to know how to use it. Again, learn the basics and master before proceeding to the next step.
Advanced lessons in Android app development
We are now at the next level on how to learn android app development where you may need to slow down. You need to create flexible UI designs by understanding how Android fragments and its lifecycle work. If you have ever listened to developers talk, they always mention bugs in apps.
Learning the basics of app development is easy if you set your mind to it. However, some lessons are not taught in any book or quick online course. For instance, you will learn the Activity Lifecycle that helps you create bug-free apps. What happens when you end up with a bug in your app? How do you proceed from there?
The Android Studio we mentioned about comes with a debugger. Take lessons on how to apply it to your unique app designs. Other advanced lessons at this stage include Context, Threading, Task, and Back Stack Navigations.
Devices and third parties
If you miss this lesson in development, you will always run into problems with your clients. Users have different devices and expect the same experience on all devices when using your app. Here you learn how to customise your design for different devices including smartphones and tablets.
Your app will need content from other apps and libraries. Some of the lessons to take on this include using SQL databases, content providers, and Android libraries. You will also need lessons in Services such as interacting with different networks and content providers.
The UI/UX designs are important as you learn Android app development. However, what matters most to users and your clients is the performance. For instance, you need to learn how to interpret metrics that shows its memory usage.
Learn how to follow and interpret Android performance patterns. One strategy that really works well in improving performance is reducing the APK size. A lesson Bitmaps is also important, especially if the app may attract large files.
Think about creating a social Android app where users can share large files such as videos. Such files do not only take up memory space but also slow down the app’s performance. You must anticipate such issues and learn how to optimise the performance each app that you develop.
Android Jetpack Components
We mentioned the Kotlin language at the beginning. Mastering Kotlin including Kotlin Coroutines is part of the process. The Android Jetpack components maximise the features of the Kotlin language.
Some of the basic Android Architecture Components that you should learn include LiveData, Paging, and Room. Others include Data Binding,ViewModel, Lifecycles, and WorkManager. Each of these components has a different contribution to the function of Android apps.
Other important lessons
Are the lessons too many? Well, we are not yet done. Consider other aspects of app development such as security. How do you ensure that users’ data is secure? Can hackers access and interfere with any function of your app?
If you are building for the Kenyan market, you must consider integration with different services. For instance, for e-commerce and finance apps, payment integration is mandatory. Other forms of integration that developers must learn include Maps and Bulk SMS integration.
When and how do you launch a new app? How do you test the app before handing it over to a client? What is GitHub? How do you contribute and access Open Source? Here is the point. App development goes beyond learning the languages and tools.
Additional Tips on learning Android app development
1. Choose the right tutors
If you plan to learn android app development through online tutorials, be careful with your choices. Some tutors use outdated tools and processes. Software development is dynamic. You need to learn the latest tools. Otherwise, you will spend hours trying to learn something that a new tool can do within seconds.
2. Learn to customise apps
App development languages and resources are universal. However, uses and needs differ across markets. Clients expect you to build apps that meet the specific needs of users. One template will not fit all, even if app functions are similar. Set your work apart by creating customized apps for all clients, even if it takes longer.
3. Test and build your skills
You do not get “there” as a developer. New tools and resources come up that simplify the development process. Learn continually and build your skills. Do not assume that you got it all after watching several videos. Test your skills with real projects.
By now, you know that app development is vast. It might take you years to master some of these lessons if you decide to do it alone. It is easier to learn from other professionals. Coding schools like Kwetu Hub teach you the important languages and tools for both Android and iOS app development. You test your skills in real projects before the course ends. In addition, you get important tips on how to handle clients and complaints from users.