How to Create Your Own Android Application
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Posted by: Paul Bihn, Twin City Chapter
Developing Android applications can be easy and fun. There is a whole website devoted to teaching
you how to get the free tools, how to setup the environment, how to program,
how to run and test, and finally how to publish your app. Hopefully this article will help you navigate
thru the website by keeping a few basic concepts in mind. I even give you more specific instructions on
how to publish to an actual device!
First of all the website is http://developer.android.com/index.html.
Feel free to browse around, but to make it simple for you, I
will give you the links you need for each concept I present, so you can quickly
get started and have a reference to come back to.
1. Download and
Install the Free Tools
This link will walk you thru how to download the free bundle
file, and how to install it.
2. Setup the
These links help you setup two major tools you need before you
Each tool can be invoked from the menu at the top as follows:
The Android SDK Manager is indicated below.
And the Android Virtual Device Manager.
3. Create the
I would just follow the instructions for Eclipse and ignore
the ones for the command line :)
4. Run the
For now, just skip the 'Run on Real Device' unless you want
to do that. The 'Run on the Emulator'
section will show you how to create a new emulator if you haven't already – for
more details see this link I already included earlier – http://developer.android.com/tools/devices/managing-avds.html. For the most part, to run an application, you
just right click on the project, choose 'run', then choose 'Android Application'. Usually it chooses the correct emulator
depending on the type of project, but sometimes it may ask which one.
5. Develop the
This link gets you started with the basics such as text
boxes, strings, buttons, etc.
This link continues with more advanced topics such as
events, activities, etc.
You may have noticed at the bottom of the pages, there is a
'next' link, you can click to get to more concepts.
You can also look at the left-hand side to jump to a
6. Publish your application
This link discusses the various options of publishing
Don't forget to allow installation of 'unknown sources'
On my Android 2.3 phone, this setting is found in Settings,
On my Android 4.0 Ice Cream sandwich tablet, this setting is
found in Settings, Security.
Your device may vary from the above 2 :)
However, if you just want to quickly publish to an actual
First, use the Eclipse wizard to compile, sign, and create
Follow the instructions to choose 'Export Android
Application', then this will appear:
Now click next.
location to store your keystore, and enter a password for it (twice).
time, you can just choose 'use existing keystore'.
Now click next.
fields shown above, but with your own values (these are only suggested).
must enter alias, password, confirm (same
as password) and validity. Then enter at
least one of the other fields (e.g. 'First and Last Name').
Now click next.
and enter the name you want to store the .apk file as (which is the final
Then email the .apk file to your Google account.
Use the native Gmail application on your Android device so
that it recognizes the .apk file.
Now pull up the email and click on the install button.
After you click on install, you may need to click another
button to verify, then it will install the app!