Android Studio Tutorial 2: Understanding the IDE
In our last article about Android Development we have discussed how to install android studio in any PC and setup its component. Today before jumping into our first android application development we will learn about certain components and options available in android studio IDE. This information is really important to a new comer as in every tutorial you will find people guiding you to develop first android application without making you aware about the options and methods you implement in your project. We will not do the same, we will understand some basic components and the user interface to start with developing our first android application.
First when you launch android studio you will be prompted with a screen shown below:
Here on the left panel you can see the projects you are working on like in the above screenshot I have 3 projects on which I am working. To the right panel you can see some options.
First option is “Start a new Android Studio project” which is used when you need to start a new android application development. We will discuss about it in detail later.
Second option is “Open an existing Android Studio project” which is used when you need to work on or modify a previously made project. In the above screenshot you can see my 3 projects are available to resume. I can open them by double clicking on them. If you have a project in your drive whose location you know but that project is not listed on left panel then you can use “Open an existing Android Studio project” option and navigate to the location in the drive.
Third option is “Check out project from Version Control” is used when you have you project saved in any version control sites like GitHub, Google Cloud, CVS etc. You need not to download the files from those platforms, you can easily use this option and import your project.
The fourth option is “Profile or debug APK” is used when you need to modify or debug a completely built apk file. A completely built apk file is one that is generated when you finish writing your code and it is all set to publish this application. You already know about it as in your smartphones you install apk file of any application which is basically a package that is built with all the codes contained in it.
Fifth option is “Import project (Gradle, Eclipse ADT, etc.)” which is used when you have some parts of project written in Eclipse or you just have the Gradle file and want to merge with your project. For those who don’t know about Eclipse, it is an older IDE used for writing and building android applications. It is rarely used nowadays after android studio was launched.
Sixth option is “Import an Android Code Sample” is used when you need to view some demo android studio projects, how they are written and what’s the syntax etc. When you click on this option android studio will open its website on you default browser and show some sample code you can download and use.
Now at the bottom you can see two more options one is “Configure” and other is “Get Help”. “Configure” option is used to change the settings of your android studio. It has features to open SDK Manager and change or download new SDK files, change the settings, add new plugins, export settings etc. Plugin are additional features used to help you in your android development. One of the plugin is very famous that is used to compress and combine all your development files into a .zip file. “Help” is used to get online support and know more details about android studio.
In our next article we will learn basic options and buttons provided in the main Android Studio IDE and start developing first application with above grabbed knowledge.