Wednesday, 3 January 2018

How to Start Building a Mobile App - The Tools You Need

Hello! Good to see your interest in learning! I am sure that with the effor you put, you will do great thing!
Building a mobile app is not really as tough as some may think. The fact is:





"if you can build a desktop app, then you can also build a mobile app" - Kindson The Genius


So, I am going to teach you how to get started so that today, you could build start developing. Take note of these 5 steps listed below. At the end of the 5th step, I would personally like to find and download your app, from the store!

STEPS
STEP 1: GET YOUR COMPUTER UP TO SPEC.
STEP 2: CHOOSE A PLATFORM
STEP 3: INSTALL THE NECESSARY TOOLS
STEP 4: START BUILDING AND TESTING
STEP 5: GET YOUR APP INTO A STORE
STEP 6: FINAL NOTES

STEP 1: GET YOUR COMPUTER UP TO SPEC


Now, this is the first step. The reason you need to consider this is not just for the fact that you will install some memory/processor-sapping applications but you need to test the application before deploying it to a mobile device.
To test mobile apps on a computer, you need an emulator. This actually bundles with the software your are going to use for your development. These emulators (which are actually virtual machines) really require much processor power and memory to work and so you need to ensure your system is up to spec. I would recommend the following as minimum:
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Processor: 2.6MHz
  • Hard Disk: 500GB
In these list, the first two items are actually the most important.



STEP 2: CHOOSE A PLATFORM


First you need to know what platforms are there for development:

Android: This of course is the most common and I think should be your starting point. The tools are free and readily available

Apple IOS: These are for apple devices. Apple's uniqueness, as you can see touches all aspects.  The challenge here, is that if you must develop for IOS, then you need an IOS device. You can't build an Iphone app on a Windows or Linux system.

Windows: Mobile devices running on windows has been around for a while. Years back it was Windows Mobile which has now been replaced with Windows Phone. There has been a decline in demand for Windows mostly due to the flexibility of the Android system. While I recommend you start with Android, after some time you can try your hands on Windows Phone. Now, if you are a .Net developer, the challenge becomes a bit easier.

RIM (BlackBerry): This is BlackBerry platform. I don't think we need spend much time here. While we know that blackberry have improved a bit recently, especially  with the Blackberry passport released in October 2014, the user base of Blackberry devices has continued to dwindle. This is particularly due to proliferation of chat applications like Whatsapp, Viber, Hangout etc. that are freely available for mobile users. So let's leave Blackberry out of this (you can try if you want anyway, for me I've not really worked on any blackberry app). An it seems Blackberry apps are developed by Blackberry.

STEP 3: INSTALL THE NECESSARY TOOLS


The good thing here is that most of the mobile application development tools in use today are free. You don't have to pay a dime.



For Android development:
Download and install Android Studio. You can get it from this link: https://developer.android.com/studio/index.html

For Apple IOS development
Buy and Apple Macbook. Install XCode from the Apple Store.

For Windows Phone development
Install Microsoft Visual Studio. Then install the Windows Phone sdk from withing Visual Studio.

STEP 4: START BUILDING AND TESTING


Build and test your application. For Android, you can copy the apk file to your phone and run it to see how it works.

STEP 5: GET YOUR APP INTO A STORE


Of course, you cannot upload a Hello World application into the store just to see how it works there. It doesn't work that way. The store is a production environment where user would actually use your app to solve their problems. You need to build an enterprise mobile app that would meet the demands of many users. They you can enroll as a developer following the necessary procedures. You also get to pay some amount to get your app up there.

FINAL NOTES
What I need you to do now is to take the initial steps. Start improving your skills and by next month, I would start publishing a series of simple mobile application development lessons designed for absolute beginners. Best wishes!

If you have any observation, you can let me know in the comment box below.