Have you thought of building your own Android app? It’s not as insurmountable a challenge as you may think.
There are many online free resources to get you started with the world of code. Others will cost money, but the fees are generally less than what you would pay to enroll in a university course or program.
Better yet, most of these platforms offer an Android app to continue your work when away from the desktop.
While resources like Codecademy are built for teaching you programming languages, our selection focuses on Android-specific courses and workshops. So check out what we have compiled to start your journey to building your own apps.
To reduce your panic at taking on Android development, Google has partnered with online educational portal Udacity.
One option is for beginners - UX Design for Mobile Developers. This class focuses on the basics of mobile design, which is a good place to start for learning how to think about what makes a good Android app.
If you are a complete newbie and would rather learn the nuts and bolts of building an app before charging off to design, the best option is Intro to Java Programming, built by San Jose State.
Finally, Google’s most comprehensive option for those who already have the basics down is Developing Android Apps, which is taught by three of Google’s developer advocates. They use videos and programming exercises to walk you through the process of building a mock weather app.
The self-paced portions of the courses are free. These are ideal if you are just casually learning at your own pace and unsure how deep to go with all this new knowledge.
If you want real-life feedback from this course, or any others in the catalogue, it costs $150 per month. It sounds like a lot, but it includes real-world feedback and may be worthwhile to get an official-looking certificate to hang on your wall if you want to get serious about building Android apps.
Coursera is another popular online course provider offering several Android programming classes. You can even earn a certificate in Mobile cloud computing with Android.
If you just want to try out a specific course, consider the introductory Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems. This is an eight-week class that goes through all the key features of the platform, such as notifications, intents (how apps talk to one another) and data management.
Like Udacity, it has an Android app for extending your learning to a tablet or phone.
Udemy also has several different Android courses, though if you want something free that is better suited for the uninitiated, try out their Android for beginners class.
While it is designed for those brand-new to the green robot, the course description recommends experience building with Java. If that isn’t the case, head to Java Essentials for Android, which will cost you $89.
Treehouse offers an excellent Android selection, including a course that starts you out with building a simple Android app and showing you the ropes of Java.
Treehouse requires a monthly fee for its materials - you can choose from a $25 Basic or $50 Pro membership level. You probably can do fine with the former if you don’t need “exclusive” workshops, talks from industry professionals, and interviews.
Treehouse also just went mobile, releasing an app for Android.
Android Developer Training Site
Don’t overlook Google’s own tools, found on the Android developer resources site.
The assumption here is that you already have some coding experience under your belt, but if you’re a fast learner, charge ahead and see what makes sense.
The tutorials include the basics of getting started with Android Studio, design principles, using multimedia, and including support for wearables.
If some of it sounds like gibberish then it may be too much for now. Though it’s worth checking out to get a feel for what higher-level development will look like.
MIT App Inventor
If you don’t know the first thing about code and want to learn how to think like a programmer then try out MIT App Inventor. The visual programming software was originally built by Google, but now is housed and developed by MIT as an educational tool.
While you won’t be building anything that will make you rich, you can produce some rather clever apps, including games and GPS-enabled applications. You just need to sign in with a Google account to get started and save your work to the cloud.