How to Create an Android app


6th December 2022


7 min


Antony Towle

How to Create an Android app

Learning how to create an Android app might seem daunting at first. There’s lots of jargon‚ different ways to code and almost endless features you could use. But that also brings a world of possibilities.

Android app development is an excellent way to bring your idea to millions of users worldwide. By learning how the development process works‚ you’ll gain new skills‚ look good to employers – and maybe create the next big app.

From hello world to full-functionality Android applications that appear on the Google Play Store‚ let’s learn all about Android mobile development.

Why develop an Android app?

Android is the most widely used mobile operating system in the world. Its user base is enormous – it’s estimated that over 2.5 billion active devices are built on the Android platform. While that’s a lot of potential users‚ there is also competition for their attention. The Google Play Store has around 3.3 million apps available to download – roughly 50 per cent more than the Apple app store.

Simply put: by creating an Android app‚ you’re opening your ideas up to the world’s largest mobile user base.

What coding languages are used for Android app development?

It’s possible to code Android apps in many languages‚ although Kotlin and Java are usually the most popular with developers. Which one you choose to learn first is a big decision.

Should you use Java or Kotlin for Android app development?

Java has been used for many years in Android app development. It’s one of the primary global programming languages with many different uses and applications. Due to this‚ Java skills are always in massive demand‚ so it may be a good choice if you’re looking for a career in general programming.

Kotlin is also an excellent choice. Its language and syntax can be a little more user-friendly than Java’s‚ although it has less robust online support (although it’s growing). Kotlin was also endorsed by Google as an official Android programming language.

According to the Stack Overflow 2022 Developer Survey‚ both Java and Kotlin are growing in demand and potential salaries across all industries. For mobile app development‚ many new programmers choose Kotlin for its growing popularity‚ Android specialisms‚ and ease of use.

How do you develop an app for Android?

So‚ once you’ve decided on your programming language and learned the basics‚ how can you develop an app for Android devices? To begin‚ you’ll need to download the essential tools‚ configure your environment and get to work.

Install Android Studio and Android SDK

Every Android mobile app development tutorial will begin with the basics. First‚ you’ll need to download‚ install and understand Android’s integrated development environment (IDE). This is called Android Studio. Advanced users might not use Android Studio‚ but it’s a great tool for newer Android developers.

Inside Studio‚ you’ll install the official software development kit – Android SDK. There are many other tools and resources to help you design your app‚ along with the Android Emulator to test your app across devices.

Get started with your new project

Next‚ it’s time to begin your new project. Android Studio gives you a step-by-step guide to getting started. You can select anything from a template‚ an empty screen or a completely blank canvas‚ depending on your plans.

During this stage‚ you’ll define your activity and choose your page layouts. You’ll also select which language you use and the minimum Android version you will support. This is an essential step if you’re using more advanced or innovative features‚ making sure the end product works across all mobile devices and versions.

Begin to design your app

Now for the fun part – designing your app. Here‚ you’ll consider things like the user interface‚ your end-user experience‚ and how to structure your app. You’ll tweak everything from high-level functionality to fonts and format. Remember that trial and error – and making mistakes – is a vital part of planning your new app.

A good way to keep things correct and consistent is to check the design for Android guidelines. Referring to these regularly will help you stay on track. Of course‚ if you’re planning to design a highly customised or innovative app‚ then you might need to stray from these guidelines for artistic reasons.

Code your app

Once you’ve got a plan in place and know your direction‚ you can begin the development process. Here’s where your new coding skills come in handy. More straightforward projects might make heavy use of Android Studio’s templates‚ while more bespoke tasks might require more complex coding. As with all coding‚ you’ll constantly review‚ improve and test your app.

Test and debug your app

Testing your prototype is the key to improvement. After all‚ how can you fix something if you don’t know it’s broken? Within Android Studio‚ you can use the emulator to test how your app works across a range of devices‚ versions and screen setups.

This is where you’ll probably need to be patient. Building a great Android app calls for coding skills – but it also requires fixing‚ debugging and problem-solving. If you’re also planning on launching your cross-platform app‚ you’ll continue that process here.

How to make Android apps without code

If you don’t have the time or will to learn to code‚ can you still make an Android app? Depending on how complex you want to make your app‚ the answer might be yes.

For example‚ you might decide to use an app builder to make a simple app. App builders offer a drag-and-drop approach to making apps‚ letting you design basic screen layouts and functionalities.

While an app builder is an accessible entry to app design‚ it’s also very limited. They only typically support more basic layouts and capabilities. If you’re looking to make a complex‚ custom or unique Android app‚ then proper mobile app development is the best way to make it work as intended.

How much does it cost to develop an app for Android?

Developing an Android app can massively vary in price. If you have the time and patience to create the app yourself‚ then you’ll only pay with your own time. Professional Android app development services costs also vary. For minor changes or functions‚ you might outsource to a single freelancer or start-up. For fully customised‚ bespoke app development‚ an established app development company can make sure your project is a success.

How do I make my own app for Android?

Building apps for your Android project requires a range of skills and tools. You’ll need to:

How hedgehog lab can help

Learning how to create an Android app is a challenging but ultimately rewarding process. To create a bespoke app that serves your end-users‚ you’ll need coding skills‚ patience and a keen eye for detail.

If you’re looking for help with your next Android application development project‚ get in touch with our experts today. You can also browse the latest industry insights on our blog.