Android Application creation help

I’ve gotten the crazy idea that I want to create apps for mobile devices. Do I know what apps in particular? Nope. Do I have any coding experience whatsoever? None. But I’m willing to learn.

I’ve downloaded onto my Mac the Eclipse software which is the Android Application creation platform. I’ve run through a few tutorials online to set the system up and I’m still working out how to link it to an emulator so that it can run my creations.

In the meantime, what would be your recommendations? It appears that Java is the language behind the Android Apps. Do I need to know JavaScript in order to actually create anything of value? Would Ruby work well too? I’m looking at learning through Codecademy and they have a number of languages available.

Or is there a way to create apps on a higher level platform that doesn’t actually require coding? Like, for instance, I’ve created websites through Wix.Com which has an HTML base to it if you want to dig down, but is completely user friendly without ever coding a thing.

What good tutorials are online to learn? What advice can you give?

Mod note: It was a tossup between here and IMHO but I figured a lot of the answers here are fact based regardless of the opinions I may be seeking.

Thanks all!

The first thing to learn is: Java ≠ Javascript.

Keep an eye out and sign up for this course when it’s next offered: It will teach you everything you need to know about how to code an android application.

There is TONS of stuff out there all about this whole idea. If you Google “build android apps online” you will find places where you can do exactly that.

There are different levels of sophistication and “apps” covers a lot of territory. Some apps are little more than web pages, so while it’s possible to mess around and play with stuff, if you don’t have an idea of where you want to go, you’ll probably just end up wandering around aimlessly.


That is useful advice. I’m really not sure what the language is behind Android. It says Java though that’s probably short for JavaScript. Can anyone confirm?

As for what I want to do, I’m planning to start out small as I’m a realist and understand my skills at this point are limited. My wife is pregnant and so my first idea was to create a contraction timer with a few useful trackers/pop up information at various stages. So that wouldn’t have to be graphics heavy to be implemented.

Get yourself one of them app builders.

Learning to code may take a while, i think there a click and drag type app builder that exist nowadays

Actual coding knowledge is no longer mandatory for bulding apps, websites etc, theres software to help you out

No. Java != JavaScript

Java is a language, JavaScript is a language too.

I think you need to understand the coding first to develop any android app. If you get a bug how you going to deal with that.

To be clear, Java and JavaScript are two completely unrelated programming languages which have similar names due to stupid reasons of history.

Native Android apps are written in Java using the Android libraries and ecosystem. There are lots of tutorials and books available; grab one and jump in.

If you haven’t done any programming before, it would probably help to find a general Java book (there are millions) and learn the basics before doing mobile development, which is a fairly specialized field.

Andriod also runs on this. I have one. Very nice. To note, Android devices run a top Linux. There is a world of developer tools for Android, you just gotta dig around. Don’t get discouraged. And yeah, Java.


could you sugest a good basic Java book?

or would this work for someone with no programing experience?

Learning programming from a book can be a frustrating experience for a complete novice because simple things can and will trip you up and you are completely on your own. No book can hope to anticipate all the ways you can mess up. Having someone to turn to to spot silly errors will save you literally days of hair-puling.

That Udacity course looks to be a better option as they usually have lively student forums where you can get exactly that sort of help from your peers. If you are impatient to get straight to Android another option is this Coursera class: Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps. It uses the Processing platform (actually disguised Java) which is oriented towards graphical applications and you can often run the exact same code on a desktop, android device and in a web page. I did that class last year, it focusses on mixing visuals and audio and is great fun if a little disorganized. It claims that programming experience in not absolutely essential but that may be a little ambitious. Since both classes are free there is nothing to lose by signing up.

I explored the “build an app” apps but they aren’t really what I need for two reasons: I’d have to pay them a pretty hefty fee per month to keep an app going which I don’t want to do and they’re preformatted for specific purposes like “turn your restaurant into an app” which isn’t really the direction I’m going for.

I found a great YouTube webseries starting here

It’s a 200 part series to take me through the programming. I’m on part 12 and it’s been helpful so far at working through what everything does on the ADT site.

Thanks for the suggestions guys and keep them coming.

I just checked out the first few tutorials. You have no idea how fortunate you are to have this as a learning aid. Plow through it, even if you have to accept a lot on faith.

I know about a programming introduction course of Java. This is codegym. The advantage here is that you’ll have a Interactive walkthrough and buddies that will be able to help you.