• Create Android Application on Android studio

    The first step is to create a simple Android Application using Android Studio. Follow the option File -> New project ->Configure your new project -> selct factor your application is run on -> add activity ->Customise your activity -> and finally select finish wizard from the wizard list. Now name your application as HelloWorld using the wizard window as follows:
    Setup Wizard

    Select start a new application project

    New Application

    Enter an application name

    Application Name

    Select min-Sdk version

    Next, follow the instructions provided and keep all other entries as default till the final step. Once your project is created successfully, you will have following project screen:
    MIN-SDK Version

    Anatomy of Android Application

    Before you run your app, you should be aware of a few directories and files in the Android project:
    Android Directory Structure
    Sr.No Folder, File & Description
    1 build This contains the auto generated file which are as Aidl,Build configuration, and R(R.JAVA)
    2 Libs This is a directory to add the libraries to develop the android applications
    3 src This contains the .java source files for your project. By default, it includes an MainActivity.java source file having an activity class that runs when your app is launched using the app icon.
    4 res This is a directory,which is having drawable,layout,values,and android manifest file
    5 res/drawable-hdpi This is a directory for drawable objects that are designed for high-density screens.
    6 res/layout This is a directory for files that define your app's user interface.
    7 res/menu This is a directory for menu objects that are designed to make menu in android applications
    8 res/values This is a directory for other various XML files that contain a collection of resources, such as strings and colors definitions.
    9 AndroidManifest.xml This is the manifest file which describes the fundamental characteristics of the app and defines each of its components.
    Following section will give a brief overview few of the important application files.

    The Main Activity File

    The main activity code is a Java file MainActivity.java. This is the actual application file which ultimately gets converted to a Dalvik executable and runs your application. Following is the default code generated by the application wizard for Hello World! application:
    package com.example.helloworld;
    
    import android.os.Bundle;
    import android.app.Activity;
    import android.view.Menu;
    import android.view.MenuItem;
    import android.support.v4.app.NavUtils;
    
    public class MainActivity extends Activity {
       @Override
       public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
          super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
          setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);
       }
       
       @Override
       public boolean onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu) {
          getMenuInflater().inflate(R.menu.activity_main, menu);
          return true;
       }
    }
    
    Here, R.layout.activity_main refers to the activity_main.xml file located in the res/layout folder. The onCreate() method is one of many methods that are fi red when an activity is loaded.

    The Manifest File

    Whatever component you develop as a part of your application, you must declare all its components in a manifest.xml which resides at the root of the application project directory. This file works as an interface between Android OS and your application, so if you do not declare your component in this file, then it will not be considered by the OS. For example, a default manifest file will look like as following file:
    <manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
       package="com.example.helloworld"
       android:versionCode="1"
       android:versionName="1.0" >
       
       <uses-sdk
          android:minSdkVersion="8"
          android:targetSdkVersion="22" />
       
       <application
          android:icon="@drawable/ic_launcher"
          android:label="@string/app_name"
          android:theme="@style/AppTheme" >
          <activity
             android:name=".MainActivity"
             android:label="@string/title_activity_main" >
          
             <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER"/>
             </intent-filter>
          
          </activity>
          
       </application>
    </manifest>
    
    Here <application>...</application> tags enclosed the components related to the application. Attribute android:icon will point to the application icon available under res/drawable-hdpi. The application uses the image named ic_launcher.png located in the drawable folders
    The <activity> tag is used to specify an activity and android:name attribute specifies the fully qualified class name of the Activity subclass and the android:label attributes specifies a string to use as the label for the activity. You can specify multiple activities using <activity> tags.
    The action for the intent filter is named android.intent.action.MAIN to indicate that this activity serves as the entry point for the application. The category for the intent-filter is named android.intent.category.LAUNCHER to indicate that the application can be launched from the device's launcher icon.
    The @string refers to the strings.xml file explained below. Hence, @string/app_name refers to the app_name string defined in the strings.xml fi le, which is "HelloWorld". Similar way, other strings get populated in the application.
    Following is the list of tags which you will use in your manifest file to specify different Android application components −
    • <activity>elements for activities
    • <service> elements for services
    • <receiver> elements for broadcast receivers
    • <provider> elements for content providers

    The Strings File

    The strings.xml file is located in the res/values folder and it contains all the text that your application uses. For example, the names of buttons, labels, default text, and similar types of strings go into this file. This file is responsible for their textual content. For example, a default strings file will look like as following file −
    <resources>
       <string name="app_name">HelloWorld</string>
       <string name="hello_world">Hello world!</string>
       <string name="menu_settings">Settings</string>
       <string name="title_activity_main">MainActivity</string>
    </resources>
    

    The Layout File

    The activity_main.xml is a layout file available in res/layout directory, that is referenced by your application when building its interface. You will modify this file very frequently to change the layout of your application. For your "Hello World!" application, this file will have following content related to default layout −
    <RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
       xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
       android:layout_width="match_parent"
       android:layout_height="match_parent" >
    
       <TextView
          android:layout_width="wrap_content"
          android:layout_height="wrap_content"
          android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
          android:layout_centerVertical="true"
          android:padding="@dimen/padding_medium"
          android:text="@string/hello_world"
          tools:context=".MainActivity" />
    
    </RelativeLayout>
    
    This is an example of simple RelativeLayout which we will study in a separate chapter. The TextView is an Android control used to build the GUI and it have various attribuites like android:layout_width, android:layout_height etc which are being used to set its width and height etc. The @string refers to the strings.xml file located in the res/values folder. Hence, @string/hello_world refers to the hello string defined in the strings.xml fi le, which is "Hello World!".

    Running the Application

    Let's try to run our Hello World! application we just created. I assume you had created your AVD while doing environment setup. To run the app from Android studio, open one of your project's activity files and click Run Eclipse Run Icon icon from the toolbar. android studio installs the app on your AVD and starts it and if everything is fine with your setup and application, it will display following Emulator window −
    Android Hello World Congratulations!!! you have developed your first Android Application and now just keep following rest of the tutorial step by step to become a great Android Developer. All the very best.
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