The downside of purchasing standard Android apps is that they may not perform the specific tasks you need. What can you do in situations in which you need an app to perform a specific task and there isn’t a suitable app available? You can design and create your own Android app.
The first step in creating your own Android app is to download the correct software. There are two main software packages that are used to create Android apps. The first software uses the Android Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK allows the user to design the app using software codes. This offers the user an immense amount of freedom and creativity in designing his or her app. The downside of SDK is that coding can be extremely complicated for novice computer users. It can be quite difficult to create the correct code for those who are not familiar with computer codes, so the easier approach is to use the App Inventor. The user can simply choose the features he or she wants by pointing and clicking the components you want.
The App Inventor Line
The App Inventor has three main parts: the App Inventor Designer, the App Inventor Blocks Editor, and the emulator. The App Inventor Designer is used for the visual component of your app. Basically the buttons, the labels, the background, and the colors. The App Inventor Blocks Editor is used for the processing of your app. You can simply drag and drop component parts that you need in an extremely easy and user friendly fashion. An emulator is a virtual phone that you can use to try out the app to see if it works.
Step One: Download Java
The first step in creating your own Android app with App Inventor is to download the latest version of Java. It is critical that your browser uses the Java code before you actually download the App Inventor. Once you have the latest version of Java installed onto your computer, you can then download the App Inventor. Next, make sure you have a Google account if you do not already have one. App Inventor is a Google program, and all data that you create related to App Inventor will be stored there.
Step Two: Compatibility Check
Next, you need to run a few tests in order to make sure that your system can use the App Inventor. This is done with a Java test. Once you have a successful Java test, you can launch the application through your browser.
To start a new project, go to the App Inventor at Google Labs page and click on “New” to start a new app. For example, you can name the App “Hit,” and have a photograph of your child in his or her little league uniform hitting a baseball. You can link this with an mp3 of a batted ball. You can also use the media files located on the “Building Your First App” page in order learn the process of creating your app.
Once the designer is opened, you can see available components in the left-hand pane. To use any of those components, simply drag them from the left pane to the right pane, which lists all the elements that are currently being used.
Step 3: Configuration
Next, you need to configure the app in the Blocks Editor. Open the blocks editor in a new window. Next choose the “Connect to Device” option to select your phone from the list. Once you are connected properly, you will see the photograph on your phone.
Then, go back to the designer window and drag your label to the viewer, so it appears just below your photograph. If we stick with the baseball example, your label can state, “Touch the photograph.” Here, you could add the batted ball sound when you touch the picture.
To do this, you need to click Palette >Media > Player in the designer window. Then drag this to screen one in the viewer. Next, select Components > Player1 > Source and add. Then select the mp3 file of the batted ball and choose “OK.” Once this is done the application needs to know to play the batted ball sound when the picture is touched.
Go back to the Blocks Editor and select “My blocks” and click “Button 1.” Next, drag the element “when button 1” and click the main editor screen. The next step is to click “Player 1” and to drag the element “call Player1.” Start into space within the existing element. Then just click on the batted ball sound to play. The last step is to choose the “package for phone and download to this computer” option, and you are done.
With all of these tools, building your own Android app is relatively simple. What apps would you like to put into use?