How I learned to make an Android app from Scratch
Creating an application for Android is simple. It does require some coding knowledge but the UI elements are XML based and is easier than it looks. The first thing I did was get on Google's development website and following the steps to get theirdevelopment kit. I used the Eclipse IDE to help me program, it is the one that Google recommends on their site when describing how to install the SDK. Eclipse is very useful and if you are new to programming then I would suggest using it. The UI is easy to understand and I haven't had much trouble other than the basic learning curve for picking up shortcuts and just learning where everything is located.
First things first, you will need to download the Android SDK to develop for Android. In order to install the Android SDK, you will need to download JDK which is the resource for programming in Java. Android uses Java and if you are familiar with coding in Java then coding in Android won't be much different. When I started developing, I had problems when I downloaded the 64-bit version of the JDK so for beginners I would recommend getting the 32-bit JDK, even if you are on a 64-bit OS, just to make the installation process easier.
After the Android SDK is installed, download and install Eclipse. If you follow the link from Google's installation guide: http://developer.android.com/sdk/installing.html. It will take you through the process of downloading eclipse and installing the Android plugins. There are several different versions of eclipse depending on the coding language you will use. It is recommended to get the Java version of eclipse although I do think any version will work.
Continuing to follow the tutorial will help you to install the ADT plugins which contains each API for the different versions of Android. You only need to download all of these if you plan to make an App for the older versions of Android. If you are not short on hard drive space then it wouldn't hurt to just download all of them. After that the tutorial will take you through create an Android emulator. This tool was the best tool I had when developing. It is basically an Android phone on your computer so you can see the results of you work in the time it takes to compile and run your program. It is easier than having to send the program to your phone each time you want to test.
Once you have downloaded the ADT plugins and created an Emulator then you are ready to start coding. The tutorials were a big help in getting me acquainted with the different aspects of App development and I was able to publish my first app without owning an Android phone. I own one now and am hoping to have my second app out soon.