Did you know that you can create an Android app? You don’t even have to write a line of Java code in order to do it, all you need is a web browser, an Andromo.com account, and you can start creating apps. If you haven’t already heard of Andromo.com, it is an online service that lets anyone create native Android apps using its website. I will explain more about it later in the article.
If you do know how to program you can still use Andromo for certain projects because (and as one of the programmers who wrote Andromo I know firsthand) using Andromo is a lot faster than writing an app from scratch. But if you are looking for a Java tutorial this isn’t the blog post for you. Your best bet for that is main Android developers website it has a lot of great content for new and experienced programmers that will get you where you need to go.
Note: While it is free to sign up and create a trial app, you do need a paid subscription to get the most out of Andromo.
But why Create an App?
Before we go any further you might be wondering why you should create an app and perhaps whether or not you have the content for an app. The answer to the content question is yes, there is more than enough content available for you to create an app about any subject you like, and you can always easily create your own.
The why is a bit more of a subtle question but I would probably answer that question with another question: why create a blog? If you can think of a reason to create a blog, you can probably use the same reason create an app. Or create the blog first, and then use it to power your app!
Here are four or the most common reasons for creating apps that we have seen in our Andromo users:
- Money: Monetize your apps with ads or sell them on Google Play. We have lots of users making over 1000USD a month on their apps.
- Promotion: Promote your business, your blog, website, e-book, your hockey team, whatever it is you want to promote the extra exposure in Google Play is great.
- Passion: Do you have a passion for, or are you a fan of, a certain subject and want to share it with other fans? An Android app is a great way to do that.
- Fun: Making apps and watching your downloads grow can be a lot of fun. If you have never released a piece of software into the world publishing your first app can be quite a thrill.
Of course the reasons for creating an app do not stop there, as with any creative endeavor some of the reasons may be personal. If you are curious in any way I suggest you give it a try, after all what do you have to lose?
The 10,000 Foot View of Andromo.com
Andromo.com is a website that makes it possible for you transform ideas into native Android app in three easy steps (not one of which is programming):
- Create a project: Each project you create within your Andromo account represents one Android app. To create an Android app using Andromo, you need to create a project.
- Add activities to your project: Activities are what give your app functionality. In order for your app to do anything you must add activities to it.
- Build your Project: Building will compile your Andromo project into the native Android app format (an APK file) which you can then test on your Android device or upload to an Android app store. When you are done, or when you want to test, you will need to build your project via the Build tab.
We also have a short video on YouTube that walks you through this process:
Note: In order to create an app you need to first sign up for an Andromo account. It’s free and it only takes a few seconds.
The 1000 Foot View
Now let’s take a look at the three steps listed above in a little but more detail.
As mentioned in the 1000 foot view, a project within Andromo represents a single Android app. If you want to create an Android app will need to create a project first.
To create a project, log into your account and visit your projects page. There you will see a green button labeled “New Project” that you can click to create a new project:
After you clicking this button you will need to name your new project. The name of your project will be what your end user later sees on their Android device when they install your app. Don’t be too concerned with your project name at first as you can change it later.
Activities are what give your Android app functionality. The name Activity comes from a standard Android building block and the meaning is much the same within Andromo. If you do not add any activities your Android app won’t do anything. So the first thing that you want to do after creating your project is go to the Activities tab and add an Activity.
To add an activity, just click the Add an Activity button. There are a total of 19 different activity types currently available on Andromo that you can use to add functionality to your app. The activity types range from the About Activity to the YouTube Activity. These different activities are the main tools that you have at your disposal when creating your app. You can add as few or as many activities to your app as you want, but you’ll probably want at least four.
Visit the Activities Knowledge Base section on the Andromo support site for more information on the different activity types available to you and how you can make use of them. Some of the most common activity types that you will want to focus on when creating your first apps are: Twitter, Facebook, RSS, and YouTube. These four activity types are good staring points for beginners because they make use of content that most people and businesses already have at their disposal.
Building is what transforms your Andromo project into an Android APK. An Android APK is a single file that represents your Android app. The APK is the file that your end user will install onto their Android device from their favourite Android store and then launch in order to use your app. When you are satisfied with your app, or if you want to test what you have done so far, you need to visit the build tab to build your Android APK.
Building your project is a simple process like everything else on Andromo. Simply visit the build tab and then click the green `Build My App` button and Andromo will start building your app.
When the build process has finished you will be emailed a link to your Android APK file that you can use to easily test your app on your device. A download link will also be made available on your My Projects page.
While your app is building, the Action button in the project list will look like this:
If you refresh your browser after once app is done building, you can download the APK using the Action button:
Once you have your Android APK you can install your app on your Android device and publish your app to Google Play and other compatible app stores.
As you can see creating an Android App using Andromo is quite easy. Anyone that can navigate the web and knows how to use an Android Smartphone can start creating apps today. And not just about creating apps, anyone can then upload those apps to Google Play and other compatible apps stores to start monetizing them.
If this is your first time creating an app it’s important to not get too caught up in what your app looks like or its contents before you are ready to take it public. When you are first creating your app the only person who will see it is you, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas that you think might work. If you test something and it doesn’t work, no big deal, change the setting or remove the activity and keep creating.
If you have any questions please leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer them, or reach out to me on twitter or Google+ and I will be happy to answer your questions. Good luck with your apps. Mark Mruss
If you have any questions simply leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer them.