Google hopes to boost army of Android developers with free online course

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If you have a modicum of programming experience and are interested in taking your first step in app development, Google wants you to know it’s just launched a free online training course for folk like yourself.

In an effort to bring even more developers to its Android platform and boost the number of quality apps available to smartphone and tablet owners, the Mountain View company on Tuesday announced details of its latest resource for software designers, called Developing Android Apps: Android Fundamentals.

While plenty of tools already exist for novice developers, this particular one features input from Google Developer Advocates Reto Meier, Dan Galpin, and Katherine Kuan.

Operating through educational website Udacity, the course offers step-by-step training to help you build your first Android app from scratch.

“The full course materials – all the videos, quizzes, and forums – are available for free for all students by selecting ‘View Courseware’,” Meier explained in a post on the Android Developers Blog. “Personalized ongoing feedback and guidance from Coaches is also available to anyone who chooses to enroll in Udacity’s guided program.”

With the next five billion people coming online via mobile, it’s vitally important for Google to make it as straightforward as possible for developers to build attractive and innovative apps for its platform in a highly competitive space where it’s up against the likes of iOS, Apple’s mobile platform.

In his blog post, Meier puts app development in human terms, saying, “With Android expanding rapidly into emerging markets, and growing beyond phones and tablets into wearables, auto, and TV, learning the fundamentals behind Android development represents an opportunity to affect and improve the lives of billions of people.”

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