First thing’s first: You need a good foundation in the tool set of modern web development. There are a variety of web resources where you learn this stuff, from paid (Lynda.com) to free. We recommend W3Schools.com as a good, free resource. You can learn at your own pace, test your code in the Tryit Editor, take quizzes, and earn certificates.
Design with jQuery Mobile
After you polish your skills in the aforementioned languages, you’ll need to put it together and actually design something that looks nice and functions well. Many developers are more adept in coding than designing. Luckily, there are many frameworks out there that help. Our favorite is jQuery Mobile. It’s open-source, constantly evolving, and gives great results. Use it to quickly code headers, tool tips, buttons with icons, and much more.
Using Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition
The last piece of the puzzle is to use a tool that lets you write code, debug it, and deploy it to real or virtual devices. Microsoft has stepped up to the plate and brought with it the complete package: Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition. It’s free, it’s full-featured, and it has everything you need to create apps for Android, and every platform (including Windows 10, Mac OSX, and iOS). It’s a huge undertaking, however. So watch how to set up Visual Studio in 5 minutes by our colleagues, PmD Interactive, to get started.
Putting it all together
It may seem like there are a lot of things involved when you want to build an Android app with HTML5. Honestly, there are. But the tools are free and and all you need is time and a good idea. Who knows? Your app may be a best-seller some day!
- Get started with Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova – A great example app project from Microsoft
- Instructor Victor on YouTube – Victor Campos teaches a three-month sequence of classes in Android app dev. Check out the class lectures.
- Motorola Moto E – A great, budget Android phone. Use it to test on real hardware. Get the prepaid (a.k.a No-contract) version to save money.