Here at Showmax, we are firm believers in the value of sharing knowledge and experiences. In that spirit, we regularly organize talks and how-to sessions run by Showmaxers, for Showmaxers. It’s not just about certain skills, tools, and methods — it’s also a great way for people to see what their colleagues on other teams are working on, how they approach their work, and provides a forum for us to share and discuss knowledge, both basic and advanced, across the organization.

We have decided to choose a few talks and make their recordings public. In this edition, senior Android developer Michal Ursiny shares a basic tutorial on how to develop an Android app. Why? Because Android rules! It’s by far the largest platform in the market, and it’s what the majority of our customers are using. Android gives developers the potential to reach a huge audience across nearly every possible device: phones, tablets, Wear OS (Android Smartwatch), Android TVs and Android Auto. Development is possible on any platform, be it Windows, Linux, MacOS, or ChromeOS.

Michal’s tutorial will come in handy if you have never developed for Android, or if you’re just getting started. Those experienced in Java can use it within the lesson, but beginners are recommended to start with Kotlin as it is much easier.

What you will learn and do

  • Introduction to Android development and what it takes to develop for Android - it’s actually pretty easy to start compared to other mobile platforms
  • Java vs Kotlin - you can use both, but we recommend Kotlin
  • How to create new project using Android Studio, the official IDE for Android development
  • How to choose the appropriate minimum SDK version
  • Understanding basic project structure:
    • sources
    • resources
    • AndroidManifest.xml
    • build.gradle
  • You will run the demo project generated by Android Studio and modify it
  • The basic building blocks:
    • Activity
    • Fragment
    • View
  • How to build basic layouts using resources and themes
  • The challenges - lifecycles and why to use viewmodels
  • Permissions - how to access REST APIs using Retrofit library and why using third party image libraries is a good idea

Getting started

Download Android Studio - the official IDE based on IntelliJ IDEA. Configure your emulator or enable developer mode on your device and connect to the computer. Get acquainted with Android Studio.

Originally, the sample project used below was targeting our internal Showmax Search API. It was changed to use GitHub Users Search API so it’s available and useful for everyone.

You can watch Michal’s easy-to-digest and comprehensive presentation on YouTube

Or just read the deck and learn the basics:

Try building the app yourself by following the shared sample project: https://github.com/Showmax/GithubUsersSearch

Please check the original version of this article at