Terms you Need to Know

Software Terms

  1. IDE - Integrated Development Environment.  This is where you will do all of your programming, debugging, editing, and publishing.  Basically, it is the piece of software that takes you from the very beginning of your project to the very end.  Android Studio is the IDE we will be using for Android apps.
  2. SDK - Software Development Kit.  This is the set of tools you will use to design your software for a specific platform.  We will be using the Android SDK which is included with Android Studio.  This will allow us to build Android apps, but unlike an IDE, cannot be used to build apps for other platforms.
  3. API - Application Program Interface.  These are sets of tools used to build specific more software.  Say you wanted to write an app that included a way to post to Facebook.  You would have to use one of Facebook's API's to interact with their platform.
  4. AVD - Android Virtual Device.  This is the emulator, a piece of software that will replicate the physical device you want to test your app on.  If you have an Android device, and its recommended that you have one if not more, you can use that too.  But an emulator allows you to set up different screen sizes, memory capabilities, pixel densities and much more.  You can test your app on a wide variety of different devices without having to shell out the money for them.

Android Terms

  1. Activity - An activity is just one page in an app.  The name Activity might lead you to believe that it is an action, or some sort of logic/system that gets performed but it is not.  It is just one page.  So an app can be made of several activities.  There are all sorts of derivatives of Activities but in the most basic sense, just remember that every page is it's own Activity
  2. View - This is any item on screen that either let's the user know some information about the page or let's the user interact with the app.  Examples of Views are check boxes, buttons, text views, and images.   So an Activity is comprised of one or more views and the views allow the user to make the app do what it is intended to do.
  3. Fragment - A fragment is a set of views that can be reused or moved around the app.  It is contained within an Activity just like a view but unlike a view, it can contain child elements inside of it that the user can interact with.