Are you planning to develop an Android application but you don’t know where to start? follow the leader !
In this article, we’ll explore the fundamentals of developing an Android application: the time required for the project, the prerequisites to learn, programming languages to master, and the specific environment for Android.
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android application development time
It may take an average of 3 to 9 months to develop an Android application. It depends on the complexity and structure of your project, but also on your knowledge of the programming language.
Each step of the process takes more or less time, but the longest are:
- Writing Specifications: 1 or 2 weeks
- Researching and optimizing your ideas with developers: 4 to 5 weeks
- Conception: 6 to 12 weeks
- Development and Prototyping: 6 to 12 weeks
- Deployment on Google Play Store: Between 2 days and 1 week
Following these steps, you should ensure continuous improvement and continuous maintenance of your app.
If you want to develop your Android application smoothly, you have to do a retro-planning including all these steps.
Know the components of an Android application
In the fundamentals of Android application development, we find true mastery of the components of the app. These are the elements that ensure the connection between the operating system of the smartphone and the applications.
There are five different types of components, each serving a different purpose:
These components are integrated directly into the user experience. As soon as a screen is displayed, it is an “Activity”. For example, a messaging application might have one activity that displays a list of new emails, another activity for composing them, another that reads them…
The activities work together to create a consistent user experience across the app. In short, they are what allow the internet user to take full advantage of your app.
Services run in the background to perform long running operations. They do not provide a user interface.
For example, a service may play music in the background while the user is in another application.
Thanks to content providers, data you store in the file system, on the web, or in an SQLite database can be queried or even modified. This component is also useful for writing and reading non-shared and private data.
Broadcast receivers help the app to communicate with the Android system. Most of them come from the system and although they do not show the front office interface, they can create a notification that notifies the user when an event occurs.
In general, they are gateways to other components and do minimal work.
As its name suggests, it is responsible for activating the components. A synchronous message called “intent” activates services, activities, and broadcast receivers.
Intent also binds components together at runtime, whether the component belongs to your application or not.
use programming language
Android application development requires the use of a programming language. You have to choose the language best suited to your needs in order to build a powerful app that serves your purposes.
Several programming languages can be used, among others:
Developing an Android Application in Java
Before being replaced by Kotlin, Java was the official language for Android application development. It’s still very popular, many of the apps available on Google Play are built with Java.
advantage of this language? As well as getting help from Google, you can take advantage of a large online community for support if you have any problems or questions.
However, Java is a complex language to use for a beginner. It includes complex features like constructor, null pointer exception, concurrency, checked exception, etc.
Develop an Android Application in Kotlin
Since 2019, Kotlin has become the official Android application development language. If you are used to working on the Java Virtual Machine, you will not be out of place! Especially since Kotlin removes unnecessary Java features like null pointer exceptions or the need to end each line with a semicolon.
For a beginner, mastering this language is easy.
Developing an Android Application in Python
Python is an easy to learn and understand language, which allows you to develop an Android application. However, app development using Python will not be as efficient as using Java. Actually, if you select this language, you will have to go through a tool that will convert your app into an Android package. A conversion that can cause errors in the code and hinder the functionality of your product…
Developing Android Applications in C++
C++ is considered one of the best programming languages for Android application development. The Reason? Its speed and its simplicity of syntax.
This programming language is also used in other fields such as game development, machine learning and office applications.
However, you cannot build an Android app entirely in C++. You need the Native Android Development Kit (NDK).
Developing an Android Application in C#
C# is similar to Java. It also implements a garbage collector, which reduces the chances of memory leaks. Additionally, C# has a cleaner and simpler syntax than Java, which makes coding easier.
C# is more about classes and objects than functions or procedures. Advantages of this approach? There is no undefined value, which simplifies code debugging. Programmers have accurate information to find their errors easily.
Dart. Develop Android Apps in
Dart is a new open-source programming language that powers the Flutter framework. Very popular with developers, it stands out for its ability to deliver attractive and high-performance applications in a short amount of time.
The main purpose of Dart is to ease UI development through features like hot-reloading. It allows developers to see changes in real time as they develop applications, reducing the risk of error while increasing their productivity.
Familiarize yourself with the development tools or environment (IDE)
If you are getting into Android app development, then you must be familiar with the integrated development environment along with the build tools.
As the name suggests, App Builder helps you to develop Android apps. These tools are aimed at beginners as well as experienced developers. Generally, they provide an intuitive build interface, which works with a “drag and drop” option. You can easily organize and structure your application.
All you have to do is validate it as soon as your project is finished. The App Builder turns this into an .apk file, ready to be uploaded to the Google Play Store.
Among the most popular app builders, we can mention Android Studio, Eclipse or DroidScript.
Do you want to develop a game for Android? You have to use Game Maker. These tools are specifically designed to help you present an interactive app to your customers and prospects.
Among the most famous game makers, we find Unity, GameSalad or GDevelop.
Consider the specifications of Android application development
Android is a fragmented market with multiple devices and operating system versions. To develop a successful Android application that promotes user experience, you need to keep this aspect in mind.
This includes choosing the right fonts, assets and layouts to ensure the best experience on different screens. You should also consider any sensors or UI feature sets supported by Android.
All Android apps contain one or more activities and one or more fragments. To provide a nice and intuitive user interface, always make sure that the thread never gets blocked.
Therefore, long operations must be executed asynchronously in the background, mostly on another thread of execution. When developing an Android app, consider:
- Performance and response: You must always respond to user input within five seconds or the operating system will send an ANR (Application Not Responding), causing your application to shut down.
- Intervals of more than 100ms, as they will be seen by users.
- Wakelock: This is a mechanism that forces the phone to operate despite additional recommendations by the battery manager. To protect the battery of users’ smartphone, you should use them sparingly.
Publish your app on Google Play
After developing your Android app, all you have to do is publish it on the Google Play store so that users can access it.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Create a developer account (it costs $25).
- Upload the APK of your application.
- Filling out product sheets with information about your product: Motivate people to download your app by highlighting its key features.
- Launch an open test to detect any bugs or inconsistencies.
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