There are various different methods to build applications for Android devices. However, the most advocated way for most developers is to write native apps with the help of Java and the Android SDK. Java for Android apps is both familiar as well as a little different in comparison with the other forms of Java applications.
Let’s say, you have an experience using Java or any other programming language which is similar to that of Java. Now in that case, then you will probably feel pretty congenial while you plunge right into the code. Also, you will learn how to use it.
However, if you are completely new to programming or object-oriented languages then you will probably want to know the syntax learning of the Java language. Also, you would want to get familiar with how to achieve basic programming tasks before learning how to use the Android SDK.
Java happened to be in the right place at the right time. Just as how Python now happens to be in the right place at the right time. Also, Python had the detonation of interest in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.
Rich Sharples, a senior director of product management at Red Hat, had a report in his mind. He said that when Java was designed years back, it was created with the network in mind. He also claimed that it also had a lot of elements for network communications.
It also took place around the time that multiprocessor systems were procuring traction. It was one of the first languages to employ those hardware advances without the developer having to pay too much of efforts.
Along with those components, it also had big support in the industry, from Sun Microsystems, IBM and Oracle, which ultimately purchased Sun. All of these factors infuse to create Java a highly successful language. And it is many developers have been making their priorities for decades.
As stated by Sharples, the reason that it has been so popular is that it meets the needs of working across networks. Of course, there is also the fact that it is an open-source. Almost anything interesting happening in tech these days is mostly related to open source.
Thus, Java was well adaptable to the environments of its time. Also, even with the changes in the technologies, it hasn’t really aged. Confirming to Sharples theory, Java does a lot of “cool dynamic stuff”.
However, those tendencies are not really required in technologies such as micro-services and without any server.
Java the Programming Language
The most elementary unit of Android development is the programming language Java. To become an accomplished Android developer, you will have to be comfortable with concepts of Java such as loops, lists, variables, and control structures.
Java is one of the most popular programming languages used by software developers in today’s scenario. Therefore, learning the ins and outs of Java will stand you in good aid for work even beyond the Android platform.
Programming languages, such as regular languages, vary in a different form. So in order to communicate to a computer, you will have to first know how you want it to act. Programming languages enable us to direct a computer gradual step by step basis.
It also allows us to understand how to manipulate data, collect input from users, and display things on a screen, along with the other things. Way down on a nanoscopic level, the processor of a computer redirects the electrical signals back and forth which can keep control of how it runs.
High-level programming languages such as object-oriented as Java means that we can write these instructions in a conceptual way using words and symbols. Also, it means that the computer will potentially take care of interpreting these instructions.
These translations are the ones that you can easily understand all the way down to electrical impulses that the processor knows. Now, let’s get an even clearer picture of Java by breaking it down into a statically-typed, object-oriented language.
Programming at its core is all about working using data. Pieces of data are collected and stored as variables that are generally containers. The containers here are the ones that hold data. Statically-typed languages such as Java needs us to state what type of data each variable or, let’s say the container will hold.
So for instance, if a variable is known to hold a number, we need to say so, or we will not be permitted to put something else like a letter in it that easily. Statically-typed also describes that all the variables will be verified before the program even operates.
And therefore, we will be shown with an error if we forget to state a type of data or state the wrong one.
An object-oriented language is one that is created encompassing the concept of objects. In the physical world, for example, take a snatch around the room and consider each thing as an object. Let’s say, a mug has been placed on your desk.
The name of the object here is “jar” and it has properties include the color it has and how much quantity of liquid it can hold. Object-oriented languages, thus, permits us to define objects just like jars and tell us about their properties in our code.
We can also direct messages to those objects. And so far object orientation is concerned; you might want to know for your jar is empty or filled. Thus, we can use our tendency to build and manipulate all sorts of objects to perform different jobs in our application.
For instance, we can use the Torch object to lighten up the surrounding. The torch here represents the physical torch on an Android phone, but in a way that we can interact with in code.
Components of the Java Programming Language
Now, let’s take a closer glimpse at how the language of Java is described in the code we write. The language itself is a gathered set of keywords. And symbols that we put together to express shows us how we want our code to operate.
Each line of code has some fixed rules about how it needs to be built and about which all things are permitted.
A Note to Remember
Programming languages are abstractions, which means that they conceptualize the true ground of how a computer runs into things we can more easily understand. We can think in these abstract terms to express our ideas as well as our commands. And these abstractions in turn are applied across all different forms of programming.
Basic Data Types
We would have to better make ourselves understand the basic data types employed in Java, if programming really is about working using data. These are some of the keywords which describe the type of data we will employ and store in variables.
- int – An ‘int’ basically describes integer value, that is, a whole number without any decimals. It includes zero and negative numbers.
- float – A floating point value comprises of as many decimal places as it can hold. It is of high importance to know that these values may technically be imprecise for the decimal place can change, or float. When precise decimals are required, such as for the purpose of currency, we should use the Big Decimal data type.
- boolean – A is a true or false value which can only be either in true or in false state. The Java keywords for the values are “true” and “false”, which represent 1 and 0, respectively.
- char – A single character, just like the letter “A” or the symbol “#”. It’s necessary to remember that lowercase and uppercase characters are different, so “a” and “A” are never the same characters.
- String – String data is a collective group of characters stretched along in order to create text, like a banner stretched up at a flux board.
The first four forms of data in the list above, int, float, boolea and char, are primitive data types, which means that they are relatively simple and straightforward.
The “S” in String is capital due to its complex nature in data type. Strings are actually objects, and the naming convention in Java is that object names should start with a capital letter. An object is said to be relatively different than that of an old data type.
That’s mainly due to its more complex properties and methods available to it. On the flip side, the old data types are finite and straightforward. For instance, the String object has a method called length(). So this describes to us how many characters are in the String. However, the int data type does not have any methods like such.
Thus, Java has been around for a really long time. Over the past few years, it has gone through remarkable changes to keep it relevant. And the report of JetBrains’ State of Developer Ecosystem in 2019 tells that it is still the most popular programming language among developers. And it might hold onto that title forever.
- Java Basics for Android Development – Part 1 – Treehouse
- Is Java still relevant? – SDTimes
- JAVA For Android – Tutorial, Examples And Programs – AbhiAndroid
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