Android apps are not very hard to develop, but in order to understand android application development, it is necessary to understand the core idea of android and its applications. Android started out as an idea for an operating system for touchscreen devices, and later developed into the giant smartphone operating system we know today. A couple of years after Google took its possession; they developed an open-source platform for mobile phone devices and the rest is history. At the end of 2019, the market share of android rose to 87% compared to 85% in 2018, and experts only project it to go further up in the coming years.
The underlying reason behind android’s success is its accessibility. Whether it buying an android phone, signing up for its signature Google Play store, or downloading or developing applications. The fact that it’s an open-source mobile phone OS makes it easier for developers to program and some users find it stress-free to tweak. However, there are four fundamentals of android app development:
- Making it live
In order to understand the basics further, let us break them down separately.
Layout and Design
One of the reasons android applications have soared through the market in the recent few years has been their simple UI/UX design. A proper layout is your application’s map; one user finds it easy to navigate. The creation of UI with a basic building block known as view divides into 3 main groups:
- Primary View Group
- Secondary View Group
- Subsidiary View Group
For example, you open the Facebook app on android; the homepage is its primary view group with various buttons that lead you into secondary view groups, such as messages and notifications. Then when accessing those groups, going further inside that application with options such as message deletion and friend confirmation, these UI and UX creations we know as subsidiary view groups. Primary View Group, as the name suggests, is your homepage. The secondary view group takes the user further, and the subsidiary view group provides supplementary options.
The programming in order to create a mobile app for android, in its initial stages, it solely depends upon the type of programming you decide. In recent times, you may have heard about Hybrid and Native applications. Native applications, though they are very smooth in functioning, are a bit hard to develop compared to hybrid apps. Hybrid applications are not that smooth in operating compared to Native apps, but they are very adaptable. For example, a hybrid application does not need to be developed separately for iOS.
However, the application’s programming consists of four main fundamentals.
- Broadcast Receivers
- Other Services
The activity component keeps close track of user activity occurring on screen, in order to ensure the smooth running of the process backing it. The component of service deals with background applications running whereas the broadcast receiver deals with system delivery of outside-the-app events, i.e. push notifications.
The best way to test an application within strict environments is through android simulation software or live devices. Testing through live devices has its pros and cons. Pros of testing on a live device include the acute understanding of how the application would look and behave on a mobile phone screen. Whereas the main con of live device testing is that it does not provide error codes or information about when and if something goes wrong.
Android Simulation can provide vital background information that causes failures, and it is very important in the after-development stages of an application. Additionally, it allows developers timely modifications before release if they are working within a deadline. However, developers making personal apps can benefit greatly from it, as they have no restrictions regarding time.
The testing of applications separated into a few main app functions can be:
- Code Testing
- UI Testing
- UX Testing
Code testing would identify any problems within the core programming; whether it is causing any trouble with activity components such as activities, services, or broadcast receiving. An application user interacts with app buttons, and view groups the most, and UI/UX testing allows identifying of problems within the layouts or design.
From layout to programming, to testing, android application development requires an acute understanding of the market, as well as Google’s play store guidelines. Remember, once you are done with these fundamentals, the final step of android application development is putting it live on the Play store. Then comes the part where you gather feedback, and make valuable changes according to them. A user’s feedback on the application is its scale, and in order to assure your application keeps rising on that scale, you may have to program modifications or entirely update your applications with new UI and core programming.