When you go online to research Android app development you encounter a vast collection of blogs on the subject. Some of these blogs are simple guides, others are firm opinion article from both camps. Needless to say, a lot has already been said on the subject, so why does this matter?

The truth is, when people talk about creating an app, they usually mean iPhone app development. There is still a penchant to associate apps with Apple and iPhones, not Google and Android devices. However, Android app development is becoming a more popular option for businesses looking to create a competitive advantage.

With this in mind, we are going to give you a brief overview on everything you need to know about Android app development. It is our hope that if you have been considering developing an app that you will not look past the Android market. Who knows? Maybe this article is exactly what you are looking for. Let’s get started.

android app development

Benefits of Android app development

Although it isn’t often publicized, Android app development does in fact have distinct benefits and advantages over their iPhone counterparts. Part of the development journey is understanding these distinctions and which one will work better for you. Such benefits include:

  •      Low investment cost, high ROI: Android app development has a low barrier of entry when it comes to getting an app in the Google Play store. Along with that, they provide you with a toolkit to get started, which we will talk more about later.
  •      Open source: From the very beginning, everything you do on Android is open source. Everything you need to know about updates, user interfaces, and app technology frameworks are offered by the Android community.
  •      Simple integration: Android makes integration with other apps and business processes simple and easy. By allowing the entire platform to be customizable, Android helps you integrate your apps with ease.
  •      Multiple sales channels: Since Android applications can be deployed in multiple different ways, you don’t have to rely on a single marketplace. Instead, you can sell through a third party or simple on your own website. The choice is yours.
  •      Easy adoption: Android app development primarily runs on the scripting language Java, which is widely used by most programmers. Java programmers also say that Android was very easy to adopt.

As you can see, there are numerous benefits to working with Android for your app development needs. Now that we have laid these out, let’s take a look at exactly how to get an Android app created and the tools you will need to do so.

software development kit

Android Software Development Kit (or SDK)

While not all of the tools you will need are included in the Android Software Development Kit, there are a few you should know about. Before we move on to outside tools, let’s first take a look at some within SDK you can take advantage of.

Android Studio

Android Studio is the official IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for Android app development. This IDE is recommended by Google and built off of the IntelliJ’s powerful code, combined with the increased flexibility and productivity of Android Studio’s platform.

While there are a lot of IDEs out there and their different uses will better suit certain developers than others, Android Studio is made by Google specifically for designing apps for their service. Going straight to the source is a surefire way to make sure your app will work on their platform.

Keep in mind as well that IDEs for developing are kind of like Photoshop. Like with Photoshop, there are countless features, but you will probably only need to learn them as you need them. Android Studio is a good way to gain a ground level knowledge of exactly how to work within their system.

Android development guidelines

Whether you are learning how to code for the very first time or have already built multiple apps, Android and their development guidelines are an invaluable resource for making your project a success. Use these guidelines in the way they are intended, to guide you on your app development process.

However, we do understand that without a proper starting place, it can be overwhelming. For developers looking to learn more, we recommend starting in one of the following sections.

  •     Google Services: This area of the guidelines lets you get a peek at what is going on underneath the hood. Google also offers a wide variety of services so that you won’t have to build them out yourself, such as map and location features, cloud backups, sign-in services and more.
  •     API Guides: The guides found here range from code creation to basic animations to connecting to the internet. Use the info found here to add to the functionality of your app.
  •     Sample Code: Sometimes it is easier to figure something out you when you have seen it done by someone else. This sample code library not only can show you how someone else has done something, but it also allows you to use their code so you don’t have to reinvent every feature you want in your app.

Like most resources, you will get out of the Android development guidelines library what you put in. We highly recommend taking advantage of this free resource when you get involved with Android app developments.

Android design guidelines

Working alongside the developer guidelines Android also offers a library of design guidelines to help developers with the look and feel of their apps. Google really wants their developers to design good looking apps, so they make this available to everyone for free.

If you already know how you want your app to look, you may not need these. However, if you are looking for tips, here are a few places to get started for your Android app development.

  •     Devices: Android apps don’t exist just within Android phones. This section will help you design for phones, tablets, TVs, and anywhere else your app might appear.
  •     Patterns: Since Android is built on a series of frameworks, in order for you to build an app for them you need to understand how your app will work within these structures. Use this section to understand the building blocks you will use to create your app.
  •     Material Design: Google has created their own visual language for developers to utilize in order to understand what good design looks like. Take advantage of this advantage that Android offers you and read up on the latest in Material Design.

Having a well-design app is becoming more and more important. Use what Google has laid out for you to make sure that your design is intuitive, clean, and aesthetically pleasing.

file management

File management

When you are developing your Android app you are likely to create a lot of files and need somewhere to store them. Thankfully, there are a few different options for you to choose from.

  •     GitHub: GitHub allows you to keep all of your files on their service for free. However, you will need to be okay with either paying for a private library or allowing the world to see your files. If you are into the whole open-source part of Android, GitHub is probably the right choice for you.
  •     BitBucket: Bitbucket is built within the same protocol as GitHub, but without the cost for privacy. Both of these services integrate with Android Studio for increased efficiency.

Choosing where to store your files will be different depending upon your needs, but we recommend one of these two vendors. It’s up to you which one you end up using.

Onward!

Now that you have a surface level understand of everything involved in Android app development, the question becomes what will you do next? We encourage you to take any Android app ideas that you have and get developing!

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