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Android 4.4 KitKat app development is a hot skill to know right now. Google’s open source Android OS is absolutely crushing iOS (19.4% globally), Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry 10 with 52.3% of the lucrative US. smartphone market and a whopping 70% of the global market. It’s growth is also accelerating with mind boggling 1.3 million new Android devices activated each day and the number of Android devices in the world may hit 1 billion this year.
With such astounding growth, there is naturally a shortage of capable Android developers. In the past 5 years, the majority of developers favored Apple’s iOS because there was less fragmentation and Apple users spent much larger sums of money on apps since the the in-app purchasing system was much more robust. Fortunately for Android app developers, Google has put enormous resources in the last year into improving the Android user experience and improving the quality of it’s Google Play app and content marketplace.
The growth and mobile OS dominance of Android will continue for the foreseeable future Google, it is currently the #4 most sought-after digital skill on Indeed, which means plenty of opportunity for freelance Android app developers. The money is also very good, with an experience Android app developers making an average salary of $93,000 a year in the US.
How You Can Get Started Developing Android Apps:
Preferably you already you already have some experience with computer programming languages like C or C++. If not, the learning curve will much steeper but learning App Android Development is do-able with a lot of focus and determination (although, you may want to take a more introductory computer science course first to establish the fundamentals).
Android apps are written using the Java programming language. It is helpful to have a basic knowledge of Java programming before beginning the courses below but a few of the courses are specifically geared toward absolute beginners.
1. Download and install the free Android SDK (Software Development Kit), Android’s open-source IDE (Integrated Development Environment) Eclipse and the Google-supported ADT Plugin is also recommended for Eclipse. The combination of these three tools will give you the full integrated development environment you require to start building Android apps.
2. Create your first “Hello World” app with this easy-to-follow tutorial for beginners from Google.
3. Take an Android development course online. The best way to learn is by diving in and hacking together some basic apps. This help you get familiar with the
4.Android API (Application Programming Interface) and the possibilities of Android app development.
5. You can access more Android development tools by signing up as an Android Developer on Google Play (there’s a one-time $25 registration fee).
6.Subscribe and follow the Google Android Developers blog to learn about new developments in the Android app ecosystem.
7. Another essential resource is Google’s Training Resources For Android App Developers.
Google has created an Android Developer portal where you can get everything you need to start creating your first Android app. On this website, you can download the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), take Android video classes, read their blog and access extensive Android Development resources.
Android App Development Courses:
These are the most up-to-date Android courses that I’ve discovered online. You can find more Android-related courses on Google’s Android Course Catalog.
1. Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems (University of Maryland)
Part of a larger course on Mobile Cloud Computing with Android 4.4 KitKat. This course focuses on designing and building user-facing applications. The next part of this course will begin in June 2014 on Coursera so join this free course now.
2. Building Mobile Applications with iOS, Android and HTML5 (Harvard University)
An excellent course on mobile development from Spring 2012 that covers iOS development, Android Development and 5 lectures on HTML5 mobile development. This course has assignments and video lectures that will help you build your first mobile apps for either Android or the iPhone or iPad. You can take this course on the official website or through iTunes University. It’s a little dated but still relevant.
3. Creative, Serious and Playful Science of Android Apps (Coursera)
An introductory course directed at people with no previous programming experience. It teaches you fundamental computer science principles and how they apply to building Android smartphone and tablet apps. By the end of the course, you will have created your first Android app using Java and Google’s standard software development tools. Unfortunately, the next session of this 5-week long MOOC has yet to be announced.
4. Android 4 Video Bootcamp (Merkana)
The full screencasts from a 5-day on Android Development for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The course includes a good introductory slide presentation and 20 relatively easy-to-follow video tutorials.
5. Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps (Coursera)
Okay, I don’t think this online course focusing on Android Development specifically, but it looks really useful because it teaches beginners how to code your own creative projects. You also lach you the technical skills to write software that uses sophisticated graphics and audio with the focus on creating mobile applications that run on smartphones and tablets.
A comprehensive beginners course for learning Android App Development. Over 95 lectures and 7 hours of instructional content that will show you how to produce competent, quality, error-free Android applications. $99
7. Android App Development Track (Treehouse)
The Android Development track at Treehouse covers the latest app development skills for Android 4.4 KitKat. The basic plan costs $25 a month but they offer 14-day free trials to try it out.
Android Video Tutorials:
A collection of 35 (and counting) excellent videos that teaches you how to create Android Apps geared towards absolute beginners.
- App Inventor For Android (MIT)
If you have no programming knowledge and you still want to try your hand at creating an Android app, then MIT’s App Inventor is designed for you.
- Android Application Development (The New Boston)
The New Boston has a growing collection of 200+ well-structured Android development tutorial videos.
- Android Course (YouTube Playlist)
11 videos and over 11 hours of instruction from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology professor Dave Fisher on Android development.
- CS193a Android Programming (Stanford University)
The resources for a Android programming course taught at Stanford University (unfortunately the video lectures are not included).
Learn the basics of the Java programming language in an hour if you’re completely new to the programming language.
Excellent resources from experience Android developer, trainer and author Lars Vogel.
Mobile Development Frameworks:
There are 100s of Android development frameworks that can save you a huge chunk of time and make it easier to build basic Android apps.
Other Essential Android Resources:
1. Android Development Community – 45,000+ members on Google+ that covers the latest stuff for Android 4.4 KitKat.
2. #AndroidDev Weekly – One curated e-mail each week for Android developers.
4. The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development – One of the best Android development books.
The great image of the Android mascot at the top is from JD Hancock. I hope you’ve found these DIY Resources for learning Android App Development useful. Good luck!