Android Application Basics

Android Applications can be developed in a number of different environments. However, for the most part, they are developed in Eclipse. To help streamline Android-specific conventions, Google provides an Eclipse-based plugin. The development environment runs on several different platforms and is available as open source.

Android applications are written with a combination of Java and XML.

The basic steps to create an application are:

  • Launch Eclipse, and create a new project by selecting File->New->Android Application Project
  • A dialog box will appear. Specify an Application Name. (The Project Name will default to this value as well.) Enter a default package name for the application. For SDK details, the only change I made was to support Google-specific APIs. (See # 3 below.) When done, click next.

  • Accept the system defaults for the next screen. When done, click next.

  • When it comes to configuring the launcher icon, accept the system defaults again. Proceed by clicking next.

  • Create a blank activity as described below. Proceed by clicking next.

  • Accept the defaults for a new blank activity and click finish. (Actually, I changed the default "MainActivity" to "Main", because it seems cleaner.)

You now have an Android skeleton application. Next, I'll create a basic Java class and use it within the application.