Welcome to getting started with your mobile adventure! If you are interested in building mobile apps, then you've come to the right place. Whether you are interested in building the next Angry Birds, building an educational app that helps children learn while playing, or building an app for a local business, this book will help you from start to finish. In this first chapter, we will be covering the following topics:
What is Corona SDK?
The prerequisites for Corona SDK
Downloading, installing, and using Corona SDK
If you are already working with Corona SDK and have experience with the Lua programming language, feel free to skip to Chapter 3, Creating Your First App. For everyone else, let's get started!
Corona SDK is a mobile development platform that allows you to create cross-browser games, apps, and e-books. This platform utilizes a scripting language called Lua, which is an easy-to-learn programming language.
Not only will Corona SDK help you develop your app faster than by using traditional means, but you will also be able to easily incorporate Box2D physics, Game Center, sprite sheets, social media, and a whole lot more into your app. You can also monetize your apps with advertising options and in-app purchases.
At the time of writing this book, Corona SDK offers a free and paid structure of their product. The free structure, known as Starter, allows you to build and publish apps to iOS, Android, Kindle, and the Nook. However, you will not have access to premium features such as in-app purchases unless you upgrade to the paid product, known as Pro. The Pro version also allows you to download the latest Daily Builds.
Corona Labs, the company behind Corona SDK, is continuously adding new features to their mobile development platform. Even as this book is being written, Corona Labs is adding more features to give you a better product.
The Corona SDK product is available for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. Just like any software product, there are system requirements when running the product, as well as slight differences depending on which operating system you use.
Mac OS X
Mac OS X 10.7 or later
Allows you to publish for iOS 4.5 or greater and Android OS 2.2 or greater (with ARMv7)
Windows XP or later
Minimum of 1 GHz processor
Only capable of publishing for Android OS 2.2 or greater (with ARMv7)
With Microsoft Windows, you are not able to publish for iOS due to restrictions placed by Apple.
Both products include the Corona SDK simulator, sample code, and a demo account for an affiliate product. You will also need a text editor such as Notepad++ and Sublime Text 2 to edit the source code of your app. However, we will be learning more about text editors in Chapter 3, Creating Your First App.
Our first real step in our mobile adventure is to head over to www.coronalabs.com and download the free trial product. Once you are on this page, you will have to register for an account with Corona Labs.
After you register, you will have the option to download for Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows. Choose the appropriate operating system and click on the download link.
If you've downloaded Corona for Mac OS X, you will receive an Apple disk image archive (
.dmg) file. To install Corona, open the
.dmg file and follow the on-screen instructions. Once installed, you will be presented with the Corona Developer Login screen with the option to sign in or register as follows:
If you've downloaded Corona for Microsoft Windows, you will receive a Windows installer file. Open the installer file and follow the on screen steps to install Corona. Similar to the Mac OS X install process, you will have to sign in to the Corona Developer Login before you can start using the product.
Corona SDK has one extra requirement for the Microsoft Windows platform. In order to create device builds, you need to have Java 6 SDK installed. To install it, head over to www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/.
At this time, Corona SDK does not support JDK7. For any issues or more information on the installat ion of Corona SDK, head over to http://docs.coronalabs.com/guide/.
When Corona is installed, you are provided with sample code sets and limited trials to third-party products. The sample code is especially helpful for individuals just starting with Corona SDK:
The welcome screen contains links to Sample Apps, APIs, Forums, Share Code, and more tutorials. Besides the Sample Apps, one of the best features of the welcome screen is the ability to demo features. By clicking on Demo, Corona shows you how to incorporate some of their top features into your next app.
In this chapter, we were introduced to Corona SDK and learned what this product can offer us. We also learned more about the requirements of Corona, how to install Corona, and the tools that come with Corona SDK. In the next chapter, we will dive into Lua to give us a good starting foundation of the programming language.