In the last post, I discussed the basics of why RecyclerView exists and what it improves over its predecessor the ListView. Before we do all of that fun stuff, lets first get setup to start using Android Studio, the tool of choice of for Android developers and also lets create a project for us to start doing some fun stuff.
- Android Studio (Always keep updated to the latest version)
- Android Studio is a customized IntelliJ IDE by google made just for Android developers.
- To install Android Studio head on to https://developer.android.com/studio/index.html and install for your operating system. It supports Windows, Linux and MacOS.
- Before you can start using Android Studio, don’t forget to download JDK from http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk8-downloads-2133151.html
- Some coffee
First lets create a new project on Android Studio. choose Start a new Android Studio project,
You will now a screen similar to the one below,
Select an application name and company domain. Android studio generates a package name for you but I highly recommend using your own. Next you will a screen like the one below,
Here you can select the platforms you would like to target with your app and also the minimum Android version you would like to support. The features you can use in the app is subject to the minimum sdk version of your app, Make sure to check https://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html before you decide.
Every major Android version that is released has its own API number. Thats why you might see documentation where Android versions are sometimes referred to by their API number.
To keep things simple, lets just go with a phone app that supports API 21 (Lollipop) for now.
Google has been working very hard on the preconfigured project templates. There is a good chance for you to find what you are looking to create in one of these templates. For the purpose of our discussion, lets choose Empty Activity. You will then be asked to give a name for your activity,
Android studio will create a layout file for the activity automatically. A layout file is the UI presentation of an Activity. By Selecting Backwards Compatibility, you let Android Studio use the AppCompatActivity, this allows backwards compatibility across older versions of Android. We will discuss the Android support library structure and its uses in a future post.
For now you click on finish and thats it. Android Studio will create a project for you to get started developing for the largest open source OS in the world 🙂
Welcome to Android Development.