You go to play store to download apps, but do you know that play store isn’t the owner of these apps? Yes, individuals and companies create these Android apps either for easy services or to solve problems or even for fun and they make money with it.
There are three types of apps on play store.
1. Paid apps. These are apps that you have to pay some money before you can install them. It is more or less like buying the app.
2. In app purchase. In app purchase app are free for download but to have access to some features in the app, you have to pay some money. They have internet services in them and at times ads.
3. Free apps. Free apps are completely free. They are neither paid nor in app purchase. But with ad units included in them, the developer can still make money from it.
Now let’s go straight to why we are here.
The app I’ll use for this course is Sketchware. You can get it from play store. Below is the icon of sketchware.
You can create different apps with sketchware, but I’ll teach you how to create a book app with sketchware here.
What is a book app? You may ask?
If you write books, like novels, short stories, tutorial books, how to books, poems and so on, you can convert them to app and include an ad unit to it and make money from ad. That is, you get paid in seconds. You can decide whether your app is paid or free. It’s your choice. Though, play store have a way of evaluating apps that are being sent to their platform.
Let’s create a book app.
Get the app from Google play store, install it then open it. You may want to create account with them. Of course before you can publish your app to play store and/or ad an ad unit to it through sketchware to start earning money, you must create a free account with them. The image below shows the home of the app.
As you can see from the image above, I have already saved projects. But since you don’t have any projects already, click on create new project or on the plus (+) icon as the case may be. The display on the image below is what you will see. Kindly enter the name of the app you want to create. Import the image you want to use as the app icon if you have and click on create app.
Haven done the above, the page on the image below is what you will see.
All you need to do here is hold and drag any icon you want to use from the layouts (Yellow circle) and widgets (green circle) into the screen (red circle).
Clicking on the small arrow ((blue circle) will open a page where you can add more activities in addition to main activity. For instance, you may want your books to have the following; About the author, About the book, Introduction, Chapter one, Chapter two, and so on. When you click on the arrow, click on the the plus icon, enter the name of the activity, like chapterone. Select whether you want a toolbar and other stuffs or not, then save. See the image below.
On that same page, you can select any activity to start creating.
Remember, we are creating a book app.
Depending on choice and how creative you are, you may want to make your app attractive by combing layouts, widgets and colours.
Layouts sets your screen for you. It determines how your screen will appear. Linear layouts keeps your screen fixed and non scrollable. Linear (H) stands for horizontal while (v) stands for vertical.
Note that your screen can also remain fixed without layouts. Also, you can add widgets to the screen with or without layouts on the screen.
Scroll makes your screen scrollable. You can scroll horizontally or vertically or both by using scroll(H), (v) or both respectively.
widgets are used for actions. For instance, when you click on button widget, it may open a new page or exit as the case may be.
You can start adding your widgets on the screen without adding your layouts as I did here on my main activity. (Note, for this course, I’ll only create only one additional activity, that is chapterone activity. But I am going to use layouts first on this activity before adding a widget. Continue reading, you will understand why).
On the main activity, hold and drag the text view widget as shown on the image below.
Click on any of the icons on red circle to edit the widget. You may want to make the width match parent and the height 60 to look smart. Add colours and background resource, edit the textview name, (chapter one for instance), add colours to the text as you want.
Haven done the above, create another activity by clicking on the small arrow next to RUN, click on the + icon and type in the name of the activity, (chapterone for instance). You can add as many activities as you want. (I used only chapter one here). Save it, click on the activity you want to start creating the activity proper.
If you click on that activity, it will take you to a fresh page where you will almost do what I did in the main activity. I want my chapter one text to be be scrollable vertically only, so I used scroll(v) layout on the vertical and linear(H) layout horizontally. Note: scroll(v) should be below or under the linear layout.
Do the editings as usual. Make the linear (H) weight to match parent, height should be about 60 or as you want. The scroll should be match parent(H and W).
Hold and drag button widget to linear(H). Change the text name to the tittle of the page or chapter, (chapter one), add colour if you want. Change the style and size. I used 20sp for the size and italicbold for the style. Also so make the width match parent and height 60 to conform with the linear layout.
Hold and drag textview widget to the scroll(v) layout. Make both the height and width match parent. Change the text size and style. Note: this is how the main text will appear when you install the app. I used 16sp for the size and bold for text style. We are good here. Now let’s go into programming proper.
Components. There are many components in sketchware. These components are used to execute many instructions. For book app, the component we need is intent. It is used to start a new activity.
Click on component, click on the plus button, select intent, enter the name, (I saved mine with intent), then click on add. See the images below.
Go back then click on event, select the activity by clicking on the small arrow next to RUN, then click on OnCreate. See image below.
When you click on OnCreate, the image below comes out. Click on the icon on red circle.
Click on variable, click on add variable, type in the title of the variable or activity, I saved mine as chapterone. Note: your variable should be in form of string. When saved, automatically, a set string instruction will be created. Hold and drag this set string instruction and drop it under the On activity create. Click on the small arrow on the set string instruction, select the string variable (chapterone). Type in the text you want to be in the page or chapter, then save it. See the images below.
Click on view, hold and drag the one that has text view, set text, drop it under the set string instruction. Click on the arrow and select the textview you have already created for this activity. Click on variable again, hold and drag the variable created previously, drop it on box or space on the text view, set text. Use it to cover the box and we are good here. See the image below.
Go back to event, select main activity by clicking on the small arrow next to RUN. Click on view icon by the left hand side, click on the textview you have created for chapterone activity. See image below.
Click on the icon as shown below.
Click on component, hold and drag the one that has intent, set screen and drop it under the ‘when textview clicked’, click on the small arrow close to intent, select the intent you saved earlier. ( Recall that I saved mine with intent). Click on the arrow close to set screen, select the screen, that is the activity. (Mine is chapterone activity). Hold and drag the start activity, intent, click on the small arrow, select intent. See the image below.
Now we are ready to run and install our book app. Go back to to home and click on RUN, allow it to run, it may take up to minutes or more depending on the size of the app. Install the app and test it by opening it. If you are comfortable with it, then you are ready to go, if not, you can go back to sketchware to make some changes and run again. You can then share the app with your friends and on Google play store.
More on how to make money from book app.
1. You may decide to sell your app to people if it is very useful.
2. if you have internet services in them, it may be a credit.
3. You may choose to publish your app as paid app on Google play store, that is to say, no one will have access to the app unless they paid a stipulated amount of money.
4. You can add an ad unit to your book app and earn from ads.
All you have to do is being creative, don’t rush to publish empty app to Google play store. Make sure your work is attractive and useful.