By Michael Burton

First things first: Start Android Studio. You should see a screen that looks similar to the one shown here. Now you’re ready to start cooking with Android.

The Android Studio welcome page.

Follow these steps to create your first Android application project:

  1. In Android Studio, choose File→New Project.

    The Create New Project Wizard opens.

    The Create New Project Wizard in Android Studio

  2. Enter Hello Android as the application name.

    The application name is the name of the application as it pertains to Android. When the application is installed on the emulator or physical device, this name appears in the application launcher.

  3. Enter dummies.com as the Company Domain.

    Your Package name should autocomplete to com.dummies.helloandroid. This is the name of the application ID, which will generally be the same as your Java package.

  4. Choose a location for your project.

    The default location will probably be fine. Click Next.

  5. Select Phone and Tablet, choose a Minimum SDK version of API 21: Android 5.0 Lollipop, and click Next.

    The Minimum SDK drop-down list identifies which application programming interface (API) you want to develop for this project. Always set the Build Target SDK to the latest version that you’ve tested your app on. When you select Lollipop, you build and test your app on devices going up to Lollipop. Doing so allows you to develop with the Lollipop APIs, which include new features such as the Material Design look and feel. If you had selected Android 2.2 as the target, for example, you wouldn’t be able to use any features introduced in Lollipop (or 2.3, 3.1, and so on).

  6. In the Create Activity box, choose Blank Activity and click Next.

    The Add an Activity screen appears.

    Creating a new activity for the app.

  7. Enter MainActivity in the Activity Name box, activity_main in the Layout name, MainActivity in the Title, and menu_main as the Menu Resource Name.

    The New Blank Activity screen defines what the initial activity is called — the entry point to your application. When Android runs your application, this activity is the first one to be accessed.

    The Layout name is the name of the file that will contain the layout of your activity’s user interface.

  8. Click the Finish button.

    You’re done! You should see Android Studio think for a few moments, and then create a new project with your new blank activity, ready for you to populate).

    The Android Studio workspace.