This article is submitted by victoria Brinsley, a veteran developer who works for one of the leading Android development companies-Appsted. She’s open to provide best advices on android app development. You may contact her if you need any help regarding the same.
Android app development has always been an enticing experience for individuals with a creative bend of mind. If you too are soon going to work on a new Android app development project, it's high time for you to explore the varied components of an app that's specially been designed to run on all Android powered devices. Eclipse can serve as the perfect environment for developing Android applications. Through this blog, I'll be offering you a comprehensive guideline on the steps that are involved in using Eclipse for development of outstanding Android applications.
Step 1: Initiating a new Android App Development Project
For creating a new project, just go to Eclipse's main menu and choose File > New > Android Application Project. On this screen, fill out all the fields including package name, application name etc.
Once you're done with the same, click on 'Minimum Required SDK' drop-down and choose a suitable value. The value you choose here will determine the kind of features that you'll be able to program within your Android application.
Step 2: Use the Package Explorer judiciouslyIf you look towards the left side of Eclipse IDE, you'll notice Package Explorer feature which displays the basic structure of the Android application. While a majority of Package Explorer items are pre-generated for you, there are many others that you'll need to work as you create the Android application. Here, just double-click the src folder and its sub-folders to view the HelloWorldActivity.java file which contains the code that's used for creating activity's functionality.
Step 3: Configure the emulator
You can either opt for testing the Android app using the emulator that's provided by Eclipse IDE or you may choose an entirely different Android device. If you're opting for the former testing method, then make sure to test the Android application on a variety of real device prior to publishing the same on different mobile app stores. The reason for this being that real devices usually perform differently when compared to an emulator.
Hence, if you ignore testing your Android app on a real device, you'll likely have to face an unpleasant feedback from the app users. Just follow the below mentioned steps for configuring the emulator:
- Set up an Android Virtual Device(AVD) which serves as a software replication of multiple Android devices. For this, you may use the AVD Manager by selecting Window > Android Device Manager which will display different Virtual Devices tab. Now, simply click on 'Device Definitions' tab and scroll through the device configurations to check the number of devices your app could run on. Finally, press the Device Definitions tab and hit the 'New' button. A 'Create New Android Virtual Device(AVD)' window will be displayed. Just fill in the fields, followed by clicking on the Device drop-down.
- Check the Wipe User Data box - This needs to be done for wiping out any data that has already been created in a previous app testing session. I would recommend you to leave all the entered data intact as this would prevent you from re-entering the data each time you intend to test a specific aspect of the respective Android application.
- Click 'Launch' to open the Start Android Emulator window - On hitting the 'Launch' button, the Start Android Emulator window will be displayed on your screen and it will start loading the Android Virtual Device(AVD). This loading speed will be determined by the speed of your computer system. Once the AVD has been displayed, you can choose to close the Start Android Emulator and AVD(Android Virtual Device) Manager windows, with the AVD still running in the background.