There is a wide range of methods to create applications for Android devices. However, the process which is most trusted by the majority of the developers is writing native apps by using Java in tandem with Android SDK. While there are some similarities between using Java for Android devices and other types of Java application, there also exist many significant differences.
If you have prior experience of working with Java or other similar languages, then it becomes slightly easier to jump right into the coding aspects and acquiring knowledge about the ways to use Android SDK to make the app run. On the other hand, if you are new to the world of programming or any other language that is object-oriented, then it is best to be aware of the syntax of Java language and the basic programming tasks before delving deeper and trying to learn how to use Android SDK.
Java as a Programming Language
Java, simply put is a language through which we communicate with the computers and give them commands. It gives you the freedom to instruct the computer to collect input from the user, manipulate data and display specific things on the screen among others. Java is a statistical language that is primarily object-oriented. To learn more about Java, one can always opt for several java tutorials online.
Different components of Java
The Java programming language is a collection of symbols and keywords that users put together to express exactly how the user wants to run the code. Every line that you code in this language has some construction rules, while also stating what is not allowed.
Basic types of data
Programming primarily comes down to working with data. The following are some of the basic data types that are used in Java programming language.
- int: It has the value of an integer (whole number) which includes negative numbers and zero.
- boolean: It is a one bit true or false value which can only be in either of the two states. These keywords for the values are either true or false, which are represented by the numbers one and zero respectively.
- float: It is a floating point value which includes decimal places. The number of decimal values can be as many as it can hold. As the decimal place is variable, or it can float, it is important to remember that the values are imprecise. A big decimal data type is popularly used when there is a need for precise decimals, as in the case of currency.
- String: This is a collection of characters which are strung together to make the text complete.
- char: It is a single character such as the letter X or the symbol *. You must remember that uppercase and lowercase are two different characters altogether.
Data types like int, boolean, char and float are primitive data types. Thus they are somewhat straightforward and similar. Some of the other types of primitive data types include short, long and byte. You can easily find more information regarding different primitive data types on the internet.
However, String is a more complex type of data. These are objects and as a result out of the five mentioned above only this starts with a capital letter, as objects always start with capital letter. The primary difference between an object and a primitive data type is that objects have comparatively more sophisticated properties and methods, while the primitive data type as mentioned before is simple.
Variable is used as a container to hold different types of data ranging from a number, location on the map to URL etc. It is crucial that you understand that as Java is a statistically typed language, there is a need to declare the type of data a variable should hold clearly.
A method is a critical section of code which performs some actions or returns results that you can use. You can use them to organize your code into reusable chunks, which can help save a lot of your time and energy.
To use a method, you need to call it from your code. If it returns a value, then you should always store the value somewhere, so that you have access to it later.
Advantages of using methods
This is very helpful in situations when you have to deal with different string variables. In the absence of it knowing the lengths of multiple string variables would be very difficult and time-consuming. With the help of length method, all this time and energy can be saved and utilized better. By creating a reusable method, all you need is a line of code for knowing the length of a string value. Programming is essentially about efficiency and using methods whenever possible can help you be more efficient in case of organizing your code.
There are many other aspects which are key to Android development. Things such as Classes and Objects, conditionals and loops also play a very important role. However, the information mentioned above should be the primary things that you need to get a grip on before delving deeper into the subject. Once you are clear on these part the rest of it should not be very difficult for you to grasp.