Your Introductory Guide to Android App Development

by | Nov 26, 2018

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Google’s Android mobile operating system is an exciting, highly robust platform with a strong market position. It’s supported by a wide range of hardware including smartphones and tablets, and according to market research firm IDC, will maintain 85% of the global smartphone market over the next decade. The impressive rise of Android in the smartphone market and its flexible capabilities have led to the publication of more than 2.6 million apps on the Google Play store alone; however, Android allows for the publication and use of apps not listed on the Play store fairly easily therefore that number can be presumed to be much higher. When deciding which operating system to launch your app on, it’s critical to consider android app development and what it means for your business.


Factors to consider when selecting iOS vs Android app development


Selecting the right hardware platform is one of the first steps when deciding to build an app. You might choose to build responsive web apps, which can run in a browser on any device, native applications built specifically for Android or Apple’s iOS, or cross-platform mobile apps. Important considerations include hardware details – for example, some apps may benefit from hardware and features particular to iOS, such as fingerprint scanning, while other projects might require the platform flexibility of a web app.


Android applications fall somewhere in the middle – it’s a great platform for reaching a large audience, and it can be easier to find highly qualified developers at competitive prices given the large market share. Pricing for native mobile apps is generally consistent between platforms and depends heavily on project specifications, but cross-platform development is more expensive. Another relatively minor fee to considers is that publication on the iOS app store requires a fee of $99 a year, a larger commitment than Google Play’s one-time fee of $25.


Technical Specs of iOS and Android application development

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In terms of technical specifications, Android application development offers more freedom than iOS and cross-platform. Apple requires that apps published on their store follow a strict set of compatibility and functionality standards, while the diversity of the Android market allows for more variability in the development process.


Apps for the Apple iOS are written in Apple’s proprietary Swift programming language, which is far less common than Android’s key languages and development kits. Android app development is almost universally written in Java, and Google’s Native Development Kit enables programming with C and C++. Android developers can choose from a wide range of development environments, including Google’s Android Studio, and can build apps on Windows, Linux, and macOS machines. While the variation in devices can make testing more complex for Android apps, improvements in automation have minimized the challenge this poses to developers. The distinctions between Android and iOS are complex and impactful – this analysis from software house RubyGarage goes into more detail.


You’ve Decided on Android – Now What?


There are several different ways to build your app, which are explored in detail in the Hatch Apps guide to building apps without coding. Large firms will generally maintain in-house IT teams for app development, but this isn’t a very accessible option for quick builds and deployment. That being said, hiring full-time developers can be critical to maintaining complex databases or building specialized products. If you don’t have the resources or technology requirements to hire IT professionals, there’s a broad base of software development agencies that offer design and development services at hourly rates.


Do agencies know how to develop android apps?

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Agency options range in size and sophistication – some are international firms with thousands of employees, while others consist of small teams and may focus exclusively on Android app development, for example. Onshore agencies, a term usually used to describe software firms in the United States, are generally relatively expensive, but are favored for easier communication and, often, more advanced development skills.


Depending on the project, however, offshoring development for an Android app can be viable. Many offshore agencies in regions like Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe offer a high degree of coding expertise at affordable rates, though language and time differences have been known to cause development hiccups. Instead of going through established agencies, you can also choose to hire freelance developers through platforms like Upwork, many of whom offer competitive rates and strong communication, though there is a great deal of variance in the freelance market.


Android app development software


Relatively recent technology improvements have made android app development software more accessible to non-developers. No-code and Low-code platforms automate the development process and significantly reduce the coding abilities and time required to build an app on the Android platform. Using a no-code tool allows professionals and tech novices to use visual logic and drag-and-drop interfaces to create their own apps.The app’s source code is automatically generated according to premade templates.


Low-code app builders follow a similar process, but also enable developers to import custom scripts, which can be written by a freelance developer much more affordably and quickly than an entire application. No-code and Low-code tools usually include features like automated testing, making it easier to build a compatible Android app. Some projects will require hand coding, but many common business and consumer application formats can be built quickly and affordably with rapid app development tools.


Building an app with a low-code platform allows for a comparable level of complexity to traditional programming, so your Android app could integrate with web services, in-house databases, or other features you’d want in a conventional development process. If the project is suitable, which many are, no-code and low-code platforms enable you to leverage IT at a lower cost and quicker pace than an entirely hand-coded development cycle.


Benefits of rapid Android app development


In addition to savings on time, cost, and technical debt, rapid app development can streamline the process of maintaining and improving an app after launch. Android applications need to be continuously improved to meet testing standards, work with multiple versions of the operating system, and defend against heightened security threats. Because many no-code and low-code tools automate back-end procedures, it’s not always as crucial to retain an IT professional for improvements on a rapid app development project. Similarly, many rapid app tools include hosting services within their platform, eliminating a challenging part of the IT lifecycle.


Hatch Apps – Your Platform for Android App Development Online


The Hatch Apps platform provides non-technical individuals and businesses with the accessibility of no-code rapid development and the power of low-code. Our team of experienced developers builds out bespoke features for users, and the Hatch integrated CMS and hosting services provide a more completely integrated approach than many rapid development tools. To learn more about the Hatch Apps platform and android app development online, schedule a consultation to discuss your project.

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