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What is Android Studio? Things You Should Know

There’s quite a number of methods on how to approach Android Development. However, Android Studio has by far exceeded the expectations of its users. If you are looking for a platform that can help you accelerate your development and give you the leverage to build high-quality apps, then learn more about what it is.

What is Android Studio?

It is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that Android use to develop applications. It incorporates with the IntelliJ IDEA, a Java Integrated Development Environment when you edit codes and develop tools.

There are four components that the Studio uses to support developing in applications within the Android operating system:

  • code templates
  • emulator
  • Github integration
  • Gradle-based build system

Moreover, you can utilize it with the following available OS like Linux, Mac, and Windows platform.

Android Studio Tutorial

Step 1: Set Up Android Studio

In setting up, you only have to download Android Studio and Java Development Kit.

Android Studio:

Java Development Kit:

You only have to follow the simple instructions during the installation. Remember not to forget to tick the checkbox that includes the Android SDK.

Note: Make sure to have a large free space on your C:\ drive before you download the needed software. Choose a directory that has ample space for the Android SDK. Also, the AppData folder of Android Studio is in a hidden folder.

Step 2: Create a new project

Create New Project - What is Android Studio
  1. After Android Studio is successfully downloaded, launch the application.
  2. Select New Project.
  3. Choose the type of activity you want to perform. You can also choose to add no activity, with this you are given a blank template for you to start with.
  4. Click “basic activity” to have the default look for a new Android app. It has a menu and floating action button.
  5. Choose the activity option that perfectly fits for the app that you have in mind.
  6. Think of your app’s name. The package name is the name of your app along with the developer’s name. It will appear in the Google Play Store.
Activity - What is Android Studio

Step 3: Files Involved

Instead of typing and running scripts, there are various resources and files that need to be structured in a specific method.

There is the main code, MainActivity.Java which you can rename after you have started the project. By then, you will enter your Javascript and define the behavior of your app.

If you wish to customize the layout of your app, you have to create it with activity_main.xml. XML files define the layout of the document.

XML file - What Is Android Studio

Step 4: Connect Multiple Files

MainActivity - What is Android Studio

There are multiple files in a single Android app. The right portion of the main window allows you to view individual files and scripts.

There is a file hierarchy placed on the left portion of the main window. To open the Java file, double click on MainActivity.Java.

You might notice that there are two views — text view and design view. In the text view, you can add and edit lines. While in the design view, you can add, remove and drag elements. Both views have a preview window to visualize the app you are creating.

Design View - What is Android Studio

Step 5: Important Folders

Important Folders - What Is Android Studio

Res Folder

“Res” is the shortcut for resources wherein drawables or images and layouts are found. You have to remember that all files in the res folder are in lower case, and each term must be separated with an underscore.

Values Folder

This folder contains the important variables including the colors and names of the app used.

Manifest Folder

You can find the AndroidManifest.xml in this folder. It defines the important and foundational facts of the app.

Step 6: Gradle – Build Automation Tool

Gradle - What is Android Studio

Android Studio does not want its users to go through such hassle, they provide you Gradle. It is a build automation tool that assists Android Studio to convert the files into one single APK. You do not need to wait on Gradle, leave it and it will do its job. However, you can go back to build.gradle files to add a new dependency which allows advanced features for your app.

If an instance it stops working, select Build and then click on Clean Project to reaffirm the files and its roles. There will be two Gradle files, one for the whole app project and one for the module (or the app).

Step 7: Connect: Android (Smartphone) Device to Android Studio

This is the method when you will test your app in your Android device. Just follow the steps below to spring to life the app you have created with Android Studio.

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 1 of Method 2 Clear Downloads from the Apps Tray

Step 2: Look for the “About Phone” menu.

Run Your App - Step 2 - What is Android Studio

Step 3:  Tap the Build Number section 7 times until a prompt appears.

Run Your App - Step 1 - What is Android Studio

Step 4: Go to Developer Option.

Run Your App - Step 4 - What is Android

Step 5: Enable USB Debugging.

Run Your App - Step 5 - What is Android Studio

Allow it by confirming. Tap OK.

Run Your App - Step 6 - What is Android Studio

Step 6: Install USB Driver

Download the USB Driver of your Android device from their official website. If your device uses Google USB Driver, then you can download it from the link below. You have two things to make sure of, that your device is connected through a USB cable and it is not sleeping.

Note: Update the USB Driver after it is installed. Go to Control Panel, look for Device Manager, and then right-click on the Android device and click Update Driver Software.

Step 7: Run the App

You can run the app simply through right-click and click on Run. However, you can also do this step by clicking on the Run option from the toolbar menu.

Run Your App - Step 7 - What is Android Studio

Step 8: Select Deployment Target

There will be a prompt window of Deployment Target will appear for you to select. Choose the device you would like to deploy below the Connected Device. When you have chosen a device click on OK. By then, Android Studio will run the application.

For future references, you can tick on “use the same selection for future launches”.

Run Your App - Step 8 - What is Android Studio

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To Wrap Things Up

Android Studio enables users to edit codes, debug, and test tools through a drag and drop interface. Remember that it is FREE to download, and is not only supported by Google but by a large and active community of Android developers.

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