About this book

Corona SDK is a software development kit, which allows programmers to build mobile applications on iOS and Android devices. It is used by developers to build, both business and gaming apps at record speeds.

"Corona SDK Application Design" will show you the power behind Corona SDK and how to make best use of its features to create your own apps. Learn to create apps using your unique ideas quickly and easily.'

You will start with a quick introduction to Corona SDK and the Lua programming language. Follow examples for creating a business as well as a gaming app to help you learn how to utilize Corona’s built-in features effectively to develop professional-looking apps with excellent functionality. Soon you will be confident enough to create your own apps and publish them on popular app stores. Towards the end of the book the author shares some of his own tried and tested marketing techniques to help you get your app seen and downloaded by as many people as possible.

Publication date:
June 2013


Chapter 1. Getting Started with Your Mobile Adventure

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!


What is Corona SDK?

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.


Prerequisites for Corona SDK

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

    • Intel Mac

    • Allows you to publish for iOS 4.5 or greater and Android OS 2.2 or greater (with ARMv7)

  • Microsoft Windows

    • 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.


Downloading, installing, and using Corona SDK

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.

Installing for Mac OS X

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:

Since we've already registered, enter the e-mail address and your password into the sign-in screen. Once you've signed in, you are ready to move on to the next steps of your mobile adventure!

Installing for Microsoft Windows

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/.

Using Corona SDK

Now that you have the Corona SDK product installed on your computer, let's review the pieces that come with the product.

The Corona Simulator is the core product of Corona SDK. The simulator allows for the running of apps from your computer and allows you to preview how your app will look on a device:

Corona Terminal launches the simulator, but with an added feature. The terminal will display errors and warning messages that will help you debug your app:

Corona also offers a debugger that will run your app in the simulator. The debugger helps you troubleshoot by allowing you to specify events, create breakpoints, and much more:

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:

Once you've opened the Corona Simulator, you will be presented with the Welcome to Corona screen as follows:

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.

About the Author

  • Daniel Williams

    Daniel Williams is a web developer, mobile game developer, online specialist, and founder of That's So Panda (www.thatssopanda.com). Since starting his own mobile adventure with Corona SDK a couple of years ago, Daniel has released several app titles and has written several tutorials on www.thatssopanda.com for individuals just starting with Corona SDK. When he's not busy reading about the latest technology news or working on his latest app title, he can be found watching the latest movies, discovering new local restaurants, or playing video games.

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Latest Reviews

(1 reviews total)
A good introductory book on the argument