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It seems like every day I meet people who want to get involved with the mobile app industry.

They’ve got a cool idea for something that they want to develop, but they just don’t know where to get started.

I even talk to some people who don’t have an idea but want to start developing apps regardless.

They recognize the trends in the mobile industry and are drooling at the mouth for an opportunity to get involved.

So if you fall into one of these categories, you’re the inspiration behind this article.

As an expert in this space, I wanted to provide an informative guide on the best app for you to build as a first-timer.

I remember what it was like to be in your position.

Like anything else, it’s intimidating to dive headfirst into something that you’ve never done before.

But you’ve got to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run.

Here’s my best advice.

Start small.

You’re not going to develop the next Snapchat or Uber overnight.

The Android platform is a good place to learn development skills because of its dominant global market share.

So now that you’ve chosen your platform, now comes the question, “What kind of app should you build?”

Build something that you would want to use yourself.

Think of a problem that you encounter in your daily life. How can an app resolve that problem or make something more efficient?

That’s the best place to start. Play around with those ideas until you can come up with some basic concepts and ideas.

This will help you learn the craft of app building.

You’re definitely going to make mistakes and encounter some speed bumps along the way.

That’s OK – it happens. What’s important is that you don’t let these obstacles discourage you. Recognize that anyone who has seen success in this industry has started where you are today.

You can apply this new-found knowledge later in your career to more complex and polished projects.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Basic apps

I don’t recommend trying to jump into complex development.
It would be like trying to run a marathon without ever jogging a mile before in your life.
Or imagine trying to do calculus equations if you never learned basic algebra.
It’s just unrealistic.
So start by building a basic app that simply takes advantage of the features or hardware on the device.
This is a great technique for self validation. That way you can have instant proof if your coding and app building is good enough to just function on its own.
So think about some basic features that are already on the hardware of Android devices.
What can you write a code for that will tap into those hardware features?
Here’s an idea.
All Android phones have a universal flashlight.

It comes standard with the phone and doesn’t need to be installed by the users.
So you know that these devices have the capability to turn on a flashlight. Now it’s just a matter of writing your own code to activate it.
The experts over at AndroidHive have a great tutorial that shows you the in-depth steps for coding an app that does this.
Here are some of the highlights of the steps that you need to take.

  • Design basic images for the app and flashlight button (a simple ON and OFF switch)
  • Verify that the device can support a flashlight
  • Write code to turn the flashlight on and off
  • Add sounds for toggling the switch
  • Create an app icon
  • Review the final code

Those are just a few of the basics. It’s a great way for you to get started building something that’s simple.

You’ll get used to the coding process with terminology that’s simple to write and understand.

Think back to the root of what we’re doing. We just need to control a light turning on and off. It’s super simple.

Look for other components that are already built into Android devices.

Write code and develop an app that accesses the calculator or the alarm functions on the phone.

Then you can try messing around with different sound effects as well.

Remember, we’re just trying to crawl here. It may sound simple, but I promise that you’re going to struggle through this.

It will get easier and easier with each simple app that you build.