Android App Development
Smartphones have revolutionized our daily lives. These devices run on different operating systems, yet they allow us to communicate, increase productivity and manage several business and personal tasks. Smartphones powered by Android are common across the world. There is a huge market for Android app development, given the growing number of smartphone users globally. Android apps are available on Google Play Store. We download these apps at the tap of a button, but what goes into developing these apps? How does Android programming Look?
Here is a complete guide to building a functional mobile app with tips on streamlining the android app development process and selecting a reliable Android App Development Company.
Mimic of Android Logo
What is an Android App?
An Android app is native to mobile devices, smartphones or tablets running on the Android Operating System. These applications can be games, entertainment, productivity or standalone apps. The android app development process utilizes several tools and programming languages to guarantee their stability and reliability when used on different devices.
Several types of Android apps are available for download on the App Store. Generally, these apps are categorized as:
Standalone android apps
These applications operate independently. They do not require the installation of other complementary apps. Additionally, the apps can perform their intended functions without an internet connection. It implies the end user can gain value from these apps without an active phone network connection. Think of an app that allows you to run errands without connecting to the Wi-Fi network, 3G/4G/5G data or mobile phone networks.
Standalone apps have limited features and functionalities. The android app development process for this category is simple since the final products do not require additional dependencies. They also take up small storage space in your device.
Users can install these apps directly from the play store using file management tools provided by Google and phone manufacturers. Additionally, these applications can work well over time without updates.
We have mentioned that mobile devices have changed our daily ways of life. Android app development seeks to address productivity needs among individuals and businesses. Google Play Store is home to millions of applications that help people to become more productive and manage their time and resources effectively. The android app development platform allows developers and software design agencies to customize applications to suit personal and business productivity goals for diverse target markets.
There is a growing number of android game development companies tapping into the growing mobile gaming market. Phone owners have different gaming preferences, providing an opportunity for developers to create games bearing unique complexities, intentions and structures. Some people download games for entertainment, while others opt for educational, networking or health games. Smartphone owners can download different categories of Android games which can be:
- Action games
- Card games
- Sports, etc.
People may own phones from the same manufacturer, but everyone has preferences regarding phone appearances and what tools to install. Android app development caters to the personalization of smartphones and other handheld devices. Personalization apps allow users to customize phone functionality, appearance and responsiveness. Phone owners can alter display settings and fonts and organize widgets on the home screen or lock screen.
Personalization apps allow users to customize home screen appearance
In a dynamic world, people must learn new concepts daily. The android app development platform is a superb resource for creating multiple learning tools to facilitate remote learning and acquiring new skills without stepping into a classroom. Educational apps can equip smartphone owners with various skills. Want to learn a new language? Pop into the app store and download the appropriate app. These apps are tailored to meet skill gaps in different facets of life. Individuals can access learning tools on these apps to improve their technical, language, business, and communication skills.
The primary function of mobile phones is communication. Android phone users combine voice, text and video to communicate with others. Each of these communication styles requires specific android apps. Android app development allows agencies and individual designers to create similar yet unique communication apps with several features to improve the quality and speed of communication among people.
Social media apps, which are the most popular among android phone users, are categorized as communication apps. The Android app development process for social media apps is a bit challenging since the developer has to consider various languages, firmware and cultural differences before creating a holistic application.
There are millions of android apps available for download. Some fit into more than one category. For instance, content creators can utilize photo or video editing apps with a plugin that allows live communication. Some apps are categorized as:
- Financial apps
- Fitness apps
- Ecommerce apps
Recently, there has been a growing demand for android applications that can be synchronized across different devices (or screens). These applications are known as cross-platform android apps. The development process of these apps is similar to that of standalone android apps. However, the developers must learn the ins and outs of Google Flutter. It is an open-source UI kit used to design, code and test cross-platform apps that are functional on Android, iOS, Windows and web platforms.
Developing an Android app – Step by step
Stoke Ventures is a recognized as a top Android App Development Company with a proven history in Android App Development. As a reputable android development company, we understand that android app development is challenging and demands the involvement of a diverse team. The app development process is a series of iterative stages critical for validating, testing and refining mobile apps before uploading them to the Google App store. This section highlights how android apps are developed.
The goal is to streamline the development process and ensure the released app meets user expectations and stands out among competing alternatives. Experienced and first-time app developers must understand that creating an app that users love takes time, patience, and strategic planning.
Android App Development Covers UX/UI and API
TThat being said, designing android apps is not as difficult as it sounds. The key is creating a solid android app development plan before you start. Prioritize tasks and establish team management measures to allow developers to transition smoothly from one step to another. Android app development begins with understanding your user needs before creating practical user flows and visual designs.
It is critical to understand that every android app development project is different. The scope of activities determines the kind of approach that the designer or agency should adopt. This guide should help you get started with your first project. Android app development is an innovative process. Developers can adjust development processes, designs and codes over time to meet user expectations.
Define the purpose of the android app
Know what the app should do before factoring in the business model and how to generate revenue from it. Defining android app purpose (functionality) helps developers to structure the entire project and allocate roles to diverse teams. Usually, the customer or innovator provides a problem statement depending on the difficulties that potential target markets experience.
The developer uses the problem statement to define the project scope and begin brainstorming on potential mobile application design ideas and functionality features. The designer must define the target audience to enable them to customize android apps. Who will use the android app? How experienced are the target audiences?
As part of the planning phase, the android app development team should highlight all critical features to be included in the app. The developer must define how the design features will contribute to the uniqueness, functionality and software reliability.
Conduct a market analysis
After defining the purpose of the android app, the android app development team must perform market research to analyze the penetration and pricing models adopted by competitors. How are competitors marketing their apps? Which customers are they targeting? App developers can gain inspiration from competitors. Identify the shortcomings of existing apps and leverage innovation to develop apps with better features and functionalities.
Map the user flows
The next step in the android app development process is mapping user flows. A user flow defines a sequence of steps or activities users take to complete tasks using the app or ways to interact with the android app.
The golden rule for mapping user flows; is keeping them simple. They should be easily understood by anyone viewing them—including the app development teams! The developer needs to know how to explain each step before building out any designs for app features or updates. If the user flows have too much information, making it difficult for users to know what they’re doing on the app, then it won’t make sense.
A good starting point when mapping user flows is using wireframes. Wireframes help android app development teams to visualize app designs. Everyone involved in the development process gets an idea about the appearance and organization of features in the final software product before kickstarting the coding process.
Create Android Project
Once the planning phase is complete, the android app development team initiates the design stage. Everything moves from conceptualization to implementation. The development work shifts to Android Studio, an integrated development environment (IDE) vital for building different types of apps. Developers can use Android Studio 3.0 or later to convert ideas into mobile apps. Android Studio has several tools for designing user interfaces (UI) and streamlining user experiences (UX). UI design in android app development involves building mockups by dragging and dropping UI elements to the visual editor integrated into Android Studio. The developer can design menus, screens and navigation tools to ensure the users can exploit all the features provided by the app.
Some android app development teams will conduct UX design concurrently with UI designs. In some projects, these teams work independently. UX design is developing the backend of the android app.
The backend development activities handle technical details around android databases and server-side objects that complement app functionality. It includes designing Application Programming Interfaces (API) which facilitate communication between the android app and the server or database.
Develop and test prototype
In android app development, prototypes are used to test the functionality of apps. The android studio allows developers to simulate the app before release. Android Studio has a feature called Fast Emulator where app prototypes can be installed and run, similar to how the app performs on a physical device. This feature enables android app developers to test prototypes faster. This particular feature is crucial when handling android game development as it facilitates the simulation of multiple app configurations and features.
The prototype helps app developers to understand user needs better. The team identifies design flaws and potential usability challenges. The development team iterates concepts and designs before embarking on the final build, which will be tested and released for public use.
After testing prototypes, the app development team refines the final product. Testing can be conducted externally to gather feedback from real users. Upon building the final version, the developer uploads it to Google Play Store. The app is reviewed for compliance with Google terms and regulations before publishing for users to download.
Resources for building Android apps
There are several resources for android app development. The Android platform provides all the requisite tools for developing diverse applications. The android software development kit (SDK) contains command line tools and debugging utilities – Android Debug Bridge (ADB) and Fastboot, a tool for flashing android filesystems. Let us explore android app development tools further.
The Android Software Development Kit provides all the tools that an android app developer tools require to package apps into executable files. The executable files are the ones the end user downloads on the App Store to install and run on mobile devices, wearables or tablets. SDK tools include code libraries for programming languages like Kotlin or Java, XML files for designing user interfaces and mock objects for simulating network connections, remote procedure calls (RPCs) and database access classes like SQLite3, among other crucial android app development resources.
Android Open Accessory Development Kit
The Android Open Accessory Development Kit (AODK) is an easy way for manufacturers to build android-enabled accessories. It contains source codes and hardware specifications, making it easy for app developers to create and test new android-enabled accessories.
Android Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for Android software development based on the IntelliJ IDEA software. The IDE works on Windows, macOS and Linux computers. Android Studio supports multiple programming languages critical for developing different categories of mobile applications. Android Studio supports:
Android Studio has several tools and features to expedite android app development processes. These include:
- Compose design tools
Software development is dynamic. It explains why android app development must adopt proactive measures from design to implementation. The compose design feature of Android studio helps app developers to maintain focus when handling complex projects. It encourages productivity by embracing a coding-first approach.
Developers can use this feature to preview app layouts, animations and their appearance on different screen sizes.
- APK analyzer
The APK analyzer is a vital feature for monitoring the composition of the APK upon finalizing android app development. This feature reduces project turnaround times as developers spend less time debugging app development files and related resources.
APK analyzer also allows android app development teams to inspect apps that were not built using Android Studio. They can also compare the sizes of different APK versions.
- Real-Time profiler
The profiler provides real-time insights regarding resource utilization by the android app. How much device memory does the app use? What are the impacts of the app on device battery and network? The profiler monitors actual app performance over time to identify bottlenecks
- Flexible build system
Some android app development projects require the developers to create several builds of the same application. It will be necessary if the intended app is expected to work on different devices or various Android versions. The flexible build system provides requisite tools for customizing app builds. The developer can generate multiple build variants from the same code.
- Intelligent code editor
Android app development utilizes multiple programming languages. Android Studio has an intelligent code editor capable of completing app codes written using Kotlin, Java or C++. It enables developers to complete coding faster and accurately, ensuring they complete projects in good time.
It is an android feature for simulating android apps. It enables app development teams to run and test mobile apps in a virtual environment providing insights into the usability and functionality of the app.
We mentioned that android app development can be demanding. When developing new software products, it is crucial to keep everything required for the project in one location. Android libraries contain codes, files and android manifest to simplify the development process.
The contents of an android library are compiled into an android archive (AAR) instead of the device (the same way the APK compiles). AAR files are vital since they:
- Allows developers to bundle shared resources during the android app development process.
- Contain C/C++ libraries required to create codes for the android app module.
Android library modules are beneficial if the android app development team works on several components sharing similar components. The developers can create apps sharing similar UI layouts or offering similar services. In some cases, developers build apps having more than one variation. An example is; a productivity app that is available on the Play Store as a free and paid version. The paid app version offers more advanced features than the free version. Both apps share core components.
Choosing A Reliable Software Development Company
Developing a revolutionary android app requires time and a skilled team. Sometimes, it is practical to engage a software development company. Stoke Ventures has been in the software development field for some time and has handled various projects. Businesses and individuals looking to build their first app or upgrade their existing products can contact our team, who will deliver the project within the shortest possible time.
What should you consider when outsourcing android app development to a third-party service provider?
Agencies design apps on behalf of clients
How long has the company engaged in android app development? Evaluate the company’s portfolio and identify the scope of its previous projects. Some companies might be relatively new in the market but can prove to have completed several projects. The number and type of clients an android app development company has served in the past provide insights into their reliability.
Transparency of the company
Does the company have verifiable communication channels? Where are their offices located? The client must confirm the presence of a team to handle the project. The android app development company must provide legal credentials to validate the existence of the company. The agency must also provide proof of processes and methodologies they leverage to complete software development projects.
How much is the software development company charging for the project? The quoted prices should be in line with your budget, complexity of the app and desired functionalities. Ensure the android app developer is familiar with agile methodologies to ensure they deliver high-quality products at reasonable prices and within agreed timelines.
Check reviews and industry endorsements
Previous clients post unbiased reviews on the transparency, cost and reliability of companies. They indicate if the agency provided satisfactory services or they delayed the project. These reviews are available on the company’s websites and community forums.
Additionally, clients should confirm if the company has received any endorsements from peers or regulators of software development. Stoke Ventures is listed as one of the best Enterprise Software Development companies serving global clients.
Android app development enables companies to extend their business reach and streamline customer relations. The development process goes through several stages that refine app features to guarantee usability, scalability and functionality across devices. Google provides several tools for creating android apps. Leveraging these tools expedites app development and deployment processes.
When searching for a software development company, ensure they have a dedicated team of developers and are open for scrutiny to validate the transparency of their processes and android app development methodologies.