Introduction to Corona

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Welcome to Corona! Before creating an actual app, we'll provide some basic information about Corona and discuss how to get started.

What is Corona?

Corona is a cross-platform framework used to rapidly create games and apps. That means you can create your project once and publish it to multiple types of devices, including Apple iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets, Amazon Fire, Mac desktop, Windows Desktop, and connected TVs such as Apple TV, Fire TV, and Android TV.

Why Choose Corona?

Corona is used by professional programmers, mobile app developers, schools, colleges, and universities to develop and teach app development — and don't forget people who just want to learn how to make an app or game. Corona is easy enough to learn for those who are just starting, yet powerful enough for the experienced developer. With Corona, you are joining a large and friendly community of app developers!

With Corona you get all of these benefits:

How Corona Works

Corona is a Lua-based framework that provides a large set of APIs and plugins, allowing developers to quickly and easily make apps that can run on multiple types of devices.

With the built-in Corona Simulator, you can preview how your app will look on many types of devices and how it will respond, all without having to deploy it to a device for testing. Once your app is ready for true device-side testing, you can build/compile it and install it on actual devices for the final testing before submitting it to various app marketplaces.

In addition to the core framework, Corona includes many plugins which add specific functionality and help speed up the development of your app. Want to include in-app advertising? See our Monetization Guide for options. Want to connect to Facebook? Simply use the convenient Facebook plugin. By using a plugin, you are able to focus on building your app and while leveraging stable add-ons. Corona plugins are a vibrant part of the Corona ecosystem and new plugins are released on a consistent basis.

Essentially, Corona focuses on helping you make your app quickly! Most developers report that they're able to complete apps much faster using Corona versus other systems. With the added benefit of writing just one codebase that can be deployed to multiple platforms, choosing Corona is a natural choice!

The Corona Suite

Corona Labs offers three variants of Corona so that you can get the toolset which is best for you:

Where to Begin?

If you are new to app development or are just getting started, you'll want to download Corona SDK. Simply visit www.coronalabs.com and then and click on the DOWNLOAD button in the upper-right corner.

If you are a native app developer who wants to streamline and accelerate your development, you should explore Corona Enterprise and CoronaCards as solutions for bridging Corona's speed and ease-of-use with the code/functionality you're already accustomed to.

System Requirements

What do you need to get started? In addition to Corona, you will need an IDE or a text editor (we'll discuss this further in Chapter 1).

The specific system requirements depend on whether you are developing on a Mac or Windows system:

Mac OS X

Corona for Mac OS X supports building for iOS, Android, and OS X desktop. It requires the following basic system requirements:

  • OS X 10.10 or later
  • Xcode 7.0 or later

For detailed information, please see our comprehensive System Requirements guide or, if you're ready to install Corona now, please proceed to Installing Corona SDK — OS X.

Windows

Corona for Windows supports building for Android and Win32 desktop. It requires the following basic system requirements:

  • Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, or XP Service Pack 3
  • 1 GHz processor (recommended)
  • 1 GB of RAM (recommended)
  • OpenGL 2.1 or higher (available in most modern Windows systems)

For detailed information, please see our comprehensive System Requirements guide or, if you're ready to install Corona now, please proceed to Installing Corona SDK — Windows.

Getting Started

Create an App!

We understand – you're ready to get started! The most fun way to learn Corona is to create a sample game. Don't worry if you've never created a mobile app or programmed before — the chapters in this guide will walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

Learning Resources

There are many places where you can learn more about Corona:

Corona Community

Want to connect with others who are developing with Corona or help us tell others about it?

Getting Help

As we mentioned earlier, the Corona community is friendly and helpful. You can interact with other Corona developers in various ways:

  • Corona Forums — Get help from Corona developers and staff, or see how others tackled similar challenges.
  • Corona Blog — See the latest announcements, updates, and news pertaining to Corona.
  • IRC#corona on irc.freenode.net.