What is required to create an app

Create your own Android app - that's how it works

For most of us, the smartphone is a constant companion - why not create your own Android app? We will show you various ways in which you can program your own application and, for example, use it to present your company.

The project of your own Android app

Creating even a less complex app is still a fair amount of programming work. But thanks to the general prevalence and importance of apps and smartphones, a few ways have developed to get results quickly - even without having to learn to program yourself.

Online construction kits - the quick way to make an app yourself

Writing a code yourself without prior knowledge is difficult - the only way left is a graphical user interface that independently writes the code behind it. You will find a few modular systems on the Internet in which you can easily put together graphic elements to create your own personal app.

  • The best providers include GoodBarber, Swiftic, AppYourself and Shoutem. The prices start at € 20 per month.
  • Once you have registered, you can start putting together your app straight away. This works quickly and easily with simple content such as representative offices for a company.
  • Take a close look at what is on offer: Often suggested web apps are little more than a mobile website. Only native apps are real applications that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, for example. These have more functions, can be accessed offline and, if implemented well, have a higher quality effect.
  • Pay attention to the costs and disadvantages: The construction kit providers may charge up to 500 euros for an app that you have put together yourself. In addition, there may be monthly costs for hosting. However, you usually do not have your app completely: Since the source code is often not visible, you cannot hand the app over to other experts.
  • In addition, the functionality of building block apps is reduced, which means that you would have to hire a team of developers to customize the app to your needs. Or you can program the app from scratch as soon as you want to add special features to the app.

App Inventor - Lego bricks for Android programming

If you want to get a taste of Android development out of private interest, the former Google project is more interesting and also free of charge. The "App Inventor" is similar to the online construction kits, a so-called "WYSIWYG editor" ("What you see is what you get"), which lets you put together an Android app with graphic modules.

  • The use of the software requires the installation of Java, which you can also download here. You can install App Inventor on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Then you still need an up-to-date browser and an Android phone or tablet, whereby an emulator is also suitable for testing the apps afterwards.
  • According to the Lego Mindstorms principle, you can playfully design simple applications and dare to work on increasingly complex apps. You can also find plenty of tutorials on the "App Inventor" homepage.

Develop Android apps using the languages ​​of the web

If you have already gained experience in web design, Apache Cordova could be something for you.

  • The fact that the app with HTML, CSS and Javascript is programmed, the code can also be used on other platforms such as a website for stationary computers. This means that there is code for multiple platforms. Cordova also offers the option of using apps offline.
  • Cordova runs on Windows, Mac and Linux and requires Node.js, Gradle and Java SDK 8 as well as Android Studio.
  • If you got Node.js up and running, you can use the tool npm Install Cordova on the command line. To install the other programs, proceed as described in the documentation.
  • Once the app has been compiled, it loads npm a local web server so that you can view the app in the browser.

Programming yourself - the long way to your own Android app

If you have previous knowledge, you can also dare to completely set up an app yourself. This is how you really get into the matter. Here, however, patience is required: Before you achieve satisfactory results, it will take many hours to read in, watch tutorials and try them out.

  • Android apps are based in principle on Java: So you have to first become familiar with this programming language. "Java is also an island" is recommended as a standard work for introduction and accompaniment. Of course, this also requires the download of the "Java development environment".
  • With this basic knowledge you can start the actual Android programming in "Android Studio". There are also numerous videos and texts on this.

CHIP job market

In our CHIP job market you will find thousands of current jobs in the digital world. Whether as a software developer or marketing expert, at Microsoft or Amazon - we cover the entire breadth of the German tech world. And if you want to start one of these jobs as a career changer, distance learning is worthwhile. Request an information brochure here about the current distance learning courses from ILS, Germany's largest distance learning school.

In the CHIP forum you can exchange ideas with experienced programmers and receive tips. Experts will also answer other questions about Android apps there.

(Original tip written by: Jakob Schwarz)