Android, Windows, and iOS support are all required for a successful product. This course, revised for 2015, is one in a series that will demonstrate the platforms’ similarities and differences via the development of a complete note-taking app. This installment uses Android Studio to get the job done. Author David Gassner shows you how to create a new project in Android Studio, customize its material design themes, and create a data management layer that allows users to create, read, update, and delete notes. He also demonstrates how to build a rich user interface, create activities (aka screens), and enable action icons to control navigation.
Building a Note-Taking App for iOS 8 and Building a Note-Taking App for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Store use the same assets to develop a similar app. Compare and contrast the steps and discover the similarities and differences between the three platforms. See more about this course: Building a Note-Taking App for Android.
- Understanding Android UI and data management patterns
- Creating an Android Studio project
- Customizing material design theme colors
- Defining an SQLite database structure
- Managing data with ContentProvider and Loader classes
- Retrieving and displaying data
- Customizing data display with a CursorAdapter
- Creating, updating, and deleting notes
- Preparing the app for deployment
Material Design (codenamed Quantum Paper) is a design language developed by Google. Expanding upon the “card” motifs that debuted in Google Now, Material Design makes more liberal use of grid-based layouts, responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects such as lighting and shadows. Designer Matías Duarte explained that, “unlike real paper, our digital material can expand and reform intelligently. Material has physical surfaces and edges. Seams and shadows provide meaning about what you can touch.” Google states that their new design language is based on paper and ink.
Material Design can be used in Android version 2.1 and up via the v7 appcompat library, which is used on virtually all Android devices that were made after 2009. Material Design will gradually be extended throughout Google’s array of web and mobile products, providing a consistent experience across all platforms and applications. Google has also released application programming interfaces (APIs) for third-party developers to incorporate the design language into their applications.
Google announced Material Design on June 25, 2014, at the 2014 Google I/O conference. As of 2015, most of Google’s mobile applications for Android have applied the new design language, including Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, Google Maps, Inbox, all of the Google Play-branded applications, and to a smaller extent the Chrome browser and Google Keep. The desktop web interfaces of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Inbox have incorporated it as well.
The canonical implementation of Material Design for web application user interfaces is called polymer paper elements. It consists of the Polymer library, a shim that provides a Web Components API for browsers that do not implement the standard natively, and the so-called “paper elements collection”.
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