Android Development Part 1 - Building a skeleton app

This is the first post, in what I intend to be a series of posts, documenting my attempt at developing a simple mobile game for Android. This post describes the steps required to create and run a skeleton app from scratch using Android Studio.

First, download and install Android Studio which includes an Andriod IDE, SDK, and various tools from http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html

When Android Studio starts, follow these steps:

  1. Select ‘Start a new Android Studio project’ from the Quick Start dialog.
  2. Fill in your domain and application name.
  3. Leave the default target platform of phones and tablets with a minimum Android 4.0.3 (IceCreamSandwich). According to the dialog this will allow your app to run on over 87% of the active devices on the Google Play store.
  4. Select an Activity to add to your project. In this case I’m attempting to build a fullscreen game so I selected ‘Fullscreen Activity’.
  5. Leave the default options on the next screen and click finish to create your project.

To verify you have a working project click the run icon, choose a device or the emulator, and click OK. With some luck and a bit of patience your new app should be up and running. Here is an image of the skeleton app for my game,Striver, running on the Android emulator with a Nexus 5 image:

The new project wizard, bundled emulator system image, and faster emulator make it quick and easy to build a skeleton app using Android Studio. If you’ve only ever tried Android development on Eclipse with a painfully slow emulator it may be time to give it another try with the latest version of Android Studio.