Smartphone apps, like other online platforms and software, are based on programming languages. To program your own app, you should be familiar with at least one of these languages. While Android apps are based on Java, iOS apps are written in Objective-C or Swift.
If you want to code an Android app and only have rudimentary knowledge of Java, you should try an app builder first. Even without any knowledge of a programming language, you can achieve good results, as the program takes over the coding for you.
However, such tools are not in vain: If you want to use an app builder, you usually have to pay a monthly fee. The level of this is different from provider to provider and the type of app you want to program.
The classic apps you know them from your phone are called Native Apps. They can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play and often offer a much wider range of features than Progressive Web Apps (PWA), which is mobile-friendly apps that only run through the browser.
PWas can't be downloaded, but there are many things in common with native apps in terms of structure and functionality. Note: If you want to program a native app with a modular kit, you can quickly cost hundreds of dollars — anything but a bargain.
And yet, app builders are the best way to learn how to code apps. They are intuitive to use and the functions build on each other. From a wide range of app elements, you'll gradually build your desired app.
The design is completely in your hand. You can assemble text, images, videos and graphics on the interface the way you want. You decide where they are and see what the app interface will look like in its final state.
According to a similar principle, Google's free development environment Android Studio also works. However, you'd better have some knowledge of Java if you want to use it to code an app yourself.
But let's get started from scratch: Before you can code your own Android apps with Android Studio, you'll need the latest version of the Java Development Kit. Install this and Android Studio on your PC and you're ready to go.
First, create a new project (“Empty Activity”), give it a name, choose the devices you want the app to run on, and select the Android version you want to program the app for.
Now the interface opens where you can design your app. On the left are the files that make up your app at the end. All together form a project.
To design a layout, you can use the toolbar. It is located between the file list and the simulated interface and provides you with numerous elements to design the interface of your app.
If you already know how to develop an app or have previous knowledge of Java, you can go directly to the Java menu at the top bar and access the code.
You can use an emulator to test what your app looks like on different phone models.
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Apple also offers its own free development environment that lets you code an iOS app yourself. The way Xcode works is not very different from other programming tools. However, you should be familiar with Objective-C and Swift if you want to write in Xcode.
To get Xcode to work, you need to have Apple's proprietary SDK (Software Development Kit) installed on your computer. It works only on Apple devices. So an Apple calculator is mandatory if you want to learn how to code iOS apps in Xcode to use them on your iPhone. Visit the Apple Developer page for more information and a good introduction to the tool.