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Intro to Android Development. Written by Keren Kalif, Edited by Liron Blecher Contains slides from Google I/O presentation. Content. Android development environment Android project structure Example with threads Example with networking. Android Development Tools.

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Intro to android development

Intro to Android Development

Written by Keren Kalif, Edited by Liron Blecher

Contains slides from Google I/O presentation


  • Android development environment

  • Android project structure

  • Example with threads

  • Example with networking

Android development tools
Android Development Tools

  • The Android Development Tools (ADT) is a collection of classes and utilities needed to develop for Android

  • It’s basically Eclipse + Android SDK + Android Plugin for Eclipse

  • Download the SDK from:

  • Extract the zip file into a folder on your hard drive

Android emulator
Android Emulator

  • The Android emulator is a software that runs the Android OS on your local (Windows) OS.

  • Go into the Android SDK directory and run the program Manager.exe

  • The Manager will enable you to create Android Virtual Devices on your system.

Android virtual device manager cont
Android Virtual Device Manager – cont.

Name of the device

Android Version

Memory on the device

Screen Type (affects resolution)

Additional Hardware

Create a new android project
Create a new Android Project

  • Go toFile  New  Project  Android Project

Project Name

Android OS Version

Application Name

Package Name (must have at least two levels)

Startup Activity

The created project
The created project

This is the top “frame” of the project

What is an android application
What is an Android Application

  • An Android application is actually a collection of several components, each defined in AndroidManifest.xml

Anatomy of an app
Anatomy of an App

Anatomy of an App

  • Activity

  • Service

  • Content Provider

  • Broadcast Receiver

  • Intents

  • Manifest

Anatomy of an app activity
Anatomy of an App - Activity

  • A single screen with a user interface

  • Independent but work together to form a cohesive whole

  • Possible to invoke from other applications

  • Extends the Activity class

Anatomy of an app service
Anatomy of an App - Service

  • Perform long-running operations in the background

  • Does not provide a user interface

  • Other components can bind/interact

  • Extends the Service class

Anatomy of an app content provider
Anatomy of an App - Content provider

  • Manages a shared set of application data

  • Consistent interface to retrieve/store data

    • RESTful model

    • CRUD operations

  • Can be backed by different stores

    • e.g. File System, SQLite DB, Web

  • Can expose your data to other applications

  • Can consumer data from other Content Providers

    • e.g. Contacts or Call Log

  • Extend the ContentProvider class

Anatomy of an app broadcast receiver
Anatomy of an App - Broadcast receiver

  • Respond to system wide messages

  • Messages can be initiated by the system or an app

  • 2 type of broadcast:

    • Normal - delivered async to all receivers

    • Ordered - delivered in priority order & can be aborted

  • Can programatically register or statically register via the manifest

  • Should be very light, pass any work onto a Service

  • Extend the BroadcastReceiver class

Anatomy of an app intents
Anatomy of an App - Intents

  • Intents are the messages that link app components together

  • Explicit / implicit

  • An abstract description of an operation to be performed

    • An Action to be performed

    • The Data to operate upon

    • Extra metadata

  • Standardise on a common vocabulary of Actions

    • e.g. 'View', 'Edit', 'Send'

  • Apps register their ability to handle Actions for a given data type via IntentFilter

Anatomy of an app intents1
Anatomy of an App - Intents

  • Publish an 'Intent API'

    • Specify Action & Extras to invoke your component

Anatomy of an app intents2
Anatomy of an App - Intents

  • Achieve complex tasks by calling other Application's Intents, e.g. scanning a barcode

Anatomy of an app activity lifecycle
Anatomy of an App - Activity lifecycle

  • Running in a multitasking environment

  • Users switch apps, calls come in, system runs low on memory

  • System invokes callbacks in your app

  • The system will kill your app

  • Be sure to save state!

Anatomy of an app activity lifecycle2
Anatomy of an App - Activity lifecycle

Activity created



Activity running

Anatomy of an app activity lifecycle3
Anatomy of an App - Activity lifecycle


Activity running

Call comes in


Anatomy of an app activity lifecycle4
Anatomy of an App - Activity lifecycle


Activity running

Return to app

Call comes in


Anatomy of an app activity lifecycle5
Anatomy of an App - Activity lifecycle


Activity running

Return to app

Activity destroyed

Call comes in

Low Memory



  • In Android, anything that is not pure code is written in a separate resource file (not a java file), for example strings, images, etc.

  • This separation enables easier multi-language support since only the resource file needs to be changed – not the code itself

  • Resource files are saved as XML file and the Resource Complier generates a Java file which reference the data in these XML files.

  • The generated Java file is called

  • Using this file you can access the data in java code

Resources cont
Resources – cont.

  • Resources live in the res folder

  • Qualifiers provide specific resources for different device configuration

  • e.g. layout-land, drawable-hdpi

  • Resources IDs automatically generated in

  • e.g. R.layout.main

Resources cont1
Resources – cont.

  • When creating UI elements in Android, the components and their layout are saved in an XML file

  • The Android compiler generates the file under the “gen” folder

  • Whenever a new resource is changed, the R file will be re-generted

משאבים (Resources)

Main xml

  • main.xml contains the layout in a form of XML declaration.

  • It will be used in setContentView

Resources cont3
Resources – cont.

  • main.xml defines all the components that will be displayed in the activity

  • Each view will have its own ID in order to be able to access it directly

  • strings.xml defines all the strings in the system


  • In Android, all UI elements are Views (or inherit from the View class) – it’s kind of like JComponent in Swing.

  • The Activity class has a method called setContentView which sets the View that will be displayed in the Activity.

  • The XML file is translated into a View instance


  • Each Android application must declare what external actions/resources its going to access (GPS, address book, phone, etc)

  • Required permissions are declared in the manifest.xml file.

  • To be able to access the internet:

  • AndroidManifest.xml:

    • To allow an Android application access to the internet, add the following tag under the permissions tag:

      <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />

Default activity
Default Activity

  • You can define the default Activity in the manifest.xml file

Accessing localhost of the host machine
Accessing localhost of the host machine

  • Since the Android emulator runs as a virtual machine, trying to access localhost or will direct you to the Android VM, and not your host machine (your computer)

  • To access your host machine from within the Android VM, use the IP address: (example:

Toast popups replacement
Toast - Popups replacement

To show a popup use: Toast.makeToast(…).show()

Switching to another activity
Switching to another Activity

  • Each Activity is like a card with a specific logic to handle.

  • To switch to another Activity (for example, when a user click a login screen):

Intent myIntent = new Intent(view.getContext(), Activity2.class);

startActivityForResult(myIntent, 0);

Installing an android application
Installing an Android Application

  • Under the “dist” directory in your project there will be a *.apk file (which is like a war file or jar file = zip file with a different extension)

  • Send this file as an email attachment and that’s it!


  • Intro:







  • Last thing
    Last Thing…