Android Development – A Quick Start-Guide

Google’s android technology is an interesting, thought-provoking one that has android development gaining momentum across the world. A simple search on android brings out thousands of pages all discussing the potential this new piece of technology is giving the android application developer.

There are tutorials and articles, even sample codes that all serve the purpose of empowering the android application developer and implement various features of their creative software works. On some specific websites , sample codes offered include those of real-world android platform applications, that one can make and deploy. These codes clearly show all the amazing techniques in use in the android development environment.

There are also numerous articles with loads of tips, optimization strategies and DIY / how-to pieces, that give you the knowledge-base to further understand this particular environment as an android app developer. Tutorials seek to take you through the basics of what an android app is to more advanced-level skills in application development using the technology on offer.

You could also download the android software development kit (SDK) that runs on Windows, Linux as well as Mac OS. It is pretty much easy to set up this SDK. First you need a PC with appropriate features. On Windows, you just install the SDK much the same way as you install any other software on a Windows-based system. After this, you will ready to explore what the android development kit contains. You will get to know the basics on what an android application developer needs to know, what the Android SDK offers and how to integrate whatever application you may have into the overall platform.

Another thing included in this SDK is what is known as the framework topics. These take you through all the baby steps through to internalizing what APIs you may need to advanced skills like user interface development and data manipulation on the android platform.

The android market topics aim at showing you how to not only publish your application as an android app developer, but also the steps to take to ensure you earn from your ideas.

It is important to note that like any other application development platform, android is also fast changing, with various versions out. So you need to appraise yourself on what is current and what may not necessarily work out well. At the present, an android application developer would require the all-new Android 3.2 platform.

In a nut-shell, android development is like a blank slate for an astute android application developer. You can turn nothing into something and earn from it!

Top 5 Android Development Tools

Android operating system has been designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

Developed Initially by Android, Inc., backed financially by Google (later bought by Google in 2005), Android was unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance ( a consortium of hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices).

Android is the buzz word in technology today with a market share of 42% across various devices worldwide. Android apps are open source unlike their competitors like iOS and Blackberry. The tools needed for their development are free and there is no need for purchase of a special developer phone or register your hardware as a development device.

Here are the Top5 Android Development tools currently trending in the market

  • Android SDK
  • Native Development Kit(NDK)
  • Titanium Mobile SDK
  • Hyper Next Android Creator
  • ADOBE AIR

1. Android SDK:

The Android Software Development Kit (SDK) provides you with the API libraries and developer tools necessary to build, test, and debug apps for Android. It is one of the most popular SDK used for Android.

Aspiring New Android developers can download the ADT Bundle to quickly start developing apps. It includes the essential Android SDK components and a version of the Eclipse IDE with built-in ADT (Android Developer Tools) to streamline your Android app development. These are some of the important components in ADT Bundle

  • Eclipse + ADT plugin
  • Android SDK Tools
  • Android Platform-tools
  • Current Version of the Android platform
  • Current Version of the Android system image for the emulatorMore

2. Native Development Kit(NDK):

The NDK is a toolset that allows android developers to implement parts of their app using native-code languages such as C and C++.NDK can be proved to be a lot of help for the developers as they can reuse existing code libraries written in these languages.

The most important point to be considered here is that NDK will not benefit most apps. Developer needs to balance its gains over draw-backs, as the native code may not always increase the performance, but generally increases the complexity. Prefer NDK only if it is essential to your app, never because you simply prefer to program in C/C++.

3. Titanium Mobile SDK:

The Titanium SDK provides community developers with an unmatched ability to create quality native, mobile web or rich hybrid applications to all platforms from a single code base, using JavaScript. With over 5,000 APIs, Titanium allows you to deliver an immersive user experience at a fraction of the time compared with traditional native platforms.

Although the Titanium suffers with some disadvantages like flexibility limitations, User Experience issues and complexity issues, Titanium still stands in the first place for Android and other cross platform apps development

4. Hyper Next Android Creator:

HyperNext Android Creator (HAC) is an easy to use software creation system that allows almost anyone to quickly start building their own Android apps that work. Apps developed on HAC enjoys good support on a wide range of devices.

HAC operation is based on HyperCard, which treats software as a stack of cards, where only one card is visible at a time and hence is quite well suited for mobile phone applications which allow single window operation.

The programming language used in HAC is “HyperNext” is much more similar to English, making it user friendly to learn and implement.

5. ADOBE AIR:

The Adobe® AIR® runtime enables developers to package the same code into native apps for iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, and other Android™ devices, reaching the mobile app stores for over 500 million devices.Running on Action Script,HTML,CSS AIR allows users mostly to develop cross platform mobile apps saving the time and minimising the development cost.

Along with these Tools there are some other tools like PhoneGap, BatteryTech SDK that should not be missed out.

Things An Android Developer Must Consider For Successful Android Apps Development

Android, an OS by Google, has become the favorite of both the developers and the consumers, due to its unparalleled flexibility. It even boost an array of features that greatly enhances end users smart phone experience.

Today, Android phones are being sold like hot cakes in the market, giving a stiff competition to iPhone’s. Android supports development of all sorts of applications ranging from business to health to travel to entertainment and such. This offers Android developers a lucrative opportunity to enrich their skills for Android apps development by developing apps for a range of categories.

Here is a list of things that every Android developer need to take into account to make sure that the app developed is best in terms of quality, functionality and utility.

Learning Fundamentals & Polishing Your Skills

It is very essential to have knowledge of SQL basics in order to develop robust and functional Android Apps. To become an Android app developer you need to keep yourself updated and aware about the latest trends as well as the tools and technologies and learn how to use them to create interactive Android apps. For this, you can refer to Android blogs, forums, online tutorials and more, to learn new tips and tricks.

Devise A Strategy Beforehand

Like any other platform Android also defines a clear life cycle that needs to be followed to develop quality Android Apps. Right from the beginning you should have a clear idea of what kind of app you want, how it should perform, the functionality it should incorporate etc. This will help you save time which you can effectively use for your apps marketing and promotion.

Rigorous Testing of Your Android Apps For Flaws

Testing is a very crucial step of Android apps development life cycle for an app, be it large or small. Google Play doesn’t have any stringent rules for apps submission, as its important for an Android developer to thoroughly test the app, as to ensure that they perform well on the Android devices and
doesn’t fail to meet the expectations of the users. A faulty app is sure to leave a bad impression on the minds of the users and will think twice before downloading and developed by you.

Breaking Down Large Applications into Small Chunks

As a programmer, you need to work on project of different industry verticals with varying degree of complexity. In such cases, it is always advisable to fragment the large applications into smaller and manageable pieces that can be handled with ease. This will make it easy for you to code the apps, fast loading of apps, consume minimum resources while saving your valuable time.

Last but not the least, never doubt your abilities. If you are confident enough of your capabilities, all you need is to put into work along with your creativity, to develop a unique, feature-rich and user-friendly app.

Sincere consideration of the above facts, will greatly enhance your chances of developing quality Android apps.