Android Mobile Application Development

Android Application Development Seminar report

Android is a Linux based, open source and free operating system used mainly in mobile devices like smartphones. Developed by Android Inc and later in 2005 it was purchased by Google for enhancing mobile features. Google needs to release the Android code under the open source Apache License, which enable us to use Android by downloading the full Android source code. In 2008, the first android mobile was sold in the market.

Besides smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S II, the Motorola Atrix 4G, the HTC EVO 4G, other devices such as tablets, e-reader, netbooks, mp4 players, internet TV are also running on android. The advantage of android application is that it follows a unified approach to application development. Developers develop for android and their applications will workable on different android enabled devices. Android has gone through a number of versions.

The Android version, its release date and codename for various versions are:
Android version 1.1(9 February 2009)
Android version 1.5(30 April 2009)Cupcake
Android version 1.6(15 September 2009)Donut
Android version 2.0/2.1 ( 26 October 2009)Eclair
Android version 2.2 ( 20 May 2010 )Froyo
Android version 2.3 (6 December 2010 ) Gingerbread
Android version 3.0/3.1 /3.2 ( 22 February 2011 ) Honeycomb
Android version 4.0 ( 19 October 2011 ) Ice Cream Sandwich
Android version 4.2.2(11 February 2013 ) Jelly Bean

Android OS is made up of various layers. The kernel called Linux kernel contain all low level device drivers for various hardware components of an android device. Adjacent to Linux kernel, a layer with two sections android run time and libraries seen. All the code that provides the main features of an Android OS are contained in libraries. For example, the SQLite library provides database support so that an application can use it for data storage. Also the Web Kit library provides functionalities for web browsing. The android run time provides a set of core libraries and dalvik virtual machine. These core libraries enable developers to write Android applications using the Java programming language. The Dalvik virtual machine enables every Android application to run in its own process, with its own instance of the Dalvik virtual machine ie, Android applications are compiled into Dalvik executable. Dalvik is a specialized virtual machine designed for Android and for battery used mobile devices with limited memory and CPU. The next layer is the Application framework that exposes the various capabilities of the Android OS to application developers so that they can make use of them in their applications. The last layer called applications that ships the android device and applications downloaded or installed. Any applications that are written by developers are located at this layer.

Before writing android application, set up the required environment by obtaining required tools. For android application development one can use a Mac, Windows PC or a Linux machine. Since applications are written in Java programming, it is too necessary to install JDK at first. Download JDK from the oracle website and install it by following the instructions while installation is carried out. Then obtain Android SDK from the android developer site which contains a debugger, libraries, an emulator, documentation, sample code and tutorials. The SDK is in zip file,unzip it and extract to a folder. Then configure SDK manager by checking tools, documentation and platforms needed for the project. Each version of the android OS is identified by an API level number. For each level download two platforms SDK Platform and Google APIs by Google Inc. requires Google Maps to create an AVD using the Google APIs platform.

Download the Eclipse IDE for JavaEE Developers from the download link of eclipse.org site and extract zip file to a folder. When Eclipse is launched, set up android Development Tools ADT plug-in for Eclipse from Help, Install New Software and specify https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/ in the install dialog window that appears. The ADT is an extension to the Eclipse IDE that supports the creation and debugging of Android applications.

After checking Android DDMS, Android Development Tools, Android Hierarchy Viewer, and Android traceview, accept license agreement and restart eclipse once installation gets completed. For creating new android application projects, accessing tools for emulator and devices, compiling, debugging, exporting and creating digital certificates, ADT can be used. Test an application using android virtual device that model an actual device which contains hardware profile, a mapping to a system image, emulated storage, like secure digital card. To create an AVD, select window, AVD manager and click new button to create a new AVD.

After all installations, create first android application using eclipse by selecting new, Android project and name it HelloWorld. Then select the version and fill the information details. By expanding the helloworld project folder in the package explorer, double click the main.xml file in the res/layout folder. The main.xml file is the user interface of application. The default view is the Layout view, then to modify the UI view click the xml file and edit it.
for example edit main.xml as:
Code:
<?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”utf-8” ?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android=”http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android”
android:layout_width=”fill_parent”
android:layout_height=”fill_parent”
android:orientation=”vertical”>
<TextView
android:layout_width=”fill_parent”
android:layout_height=”wrap_content”
android:text=”@string/hello”/>
<TextView
android:layout_width=”fill_parent”
android:layout_height=”wrap_content”
android:text=”This is my first Android Application!”/>
<Button
android:layout_width=”fill_parent”
android:layout_height=”wrap_content”
android:text=”And this is a clickable button!”/>
</LinearLayout>

Save the changes made in the application. Test the application on the Android emulator by right clicking the project name in Eclipse and select Run As ,Android Application. If no mistakes occured in project, the application installed and will run on android emulator. To display the list of applications installed on the device click the application launcher icon, and the HelloWorld application is now installed in the application launcher.

Android mobile phones require simultaneous internet connection without any interruption. Only GPRS packet meet the required sufficiency. Free and easily obtained applications will always contains ads on display either at top or bottom of the application. The continuous internet connection requirement and the ads contents contributes to the disadvantages in the android application development.

Android applications can be acquired by the users from app store such as Google Play or Amazon app store or download and install from a third party site. In order to browse, download and update applications published by Google and third party developers, increased the usage of play store a lot. Android devices have a better memory management to keep power consumption at a minimum. When an application is not in use, the system will suspend it in memory automatically and suspended apps consume no resources and sit idly in the background until needs again. It leads in dual benefit of increasing the general responsiveness of Android devices. Applications need not to be closed and reopened from scratch each time, but ensure background applications don't waste power needlessly. Access permissions are granted by the user at the installation time.

"Android@Home" is demonstrated by Google in 2011 which is a new home automaton technology that uses Android to control a range of household devices including light switches, power sockets and thermostats. Android head Andy Rubin said, Google think more ambitiously and the intention was to use their position as a cloud services and expect that providers will bring Google products into customers home purposes.

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Updating this for Official Android Studio. All android developers are recommended to use Android Studio form Google for development.

Android Studio Overview
#Project and File Structure
#Android Build System
#Debug and Performance
#Installation, Setup, and Update Management

Other Highlights
Android Studio is the official IDE for Android application development, based on IntelliJ IDEA. On top of the capabilities you expect from IntelliJ, Android Studio offers:
Flexible Gradle-based build system
#Build variants and multiple apk file generation
#Code templates to help you build common app features
#Rich layout editor with support for drag and drop theme editing
#Lint tools to catch performance, usability, version compatibility, and other problems
#ProGuard and app-signing capabilities
#Built-in support for Google Cloud Platform, making it easy to integrate Google Cloud Messaging and App Engine
#And much more

Read more and Download Android Studio: http://developer.android.com/tools/studio/index.html