Why Is Android the Most Effective Mobile App Development Platform?

After the release of Android in 2007, it brought a revolution to the mobile application industry. Introduced by tech giant Google, this open source mobile device operating system has empowered the Smartphone app market. Today most of the Android applications are available for free to the uses as well to the Android app developers. Because of its open environment and development strategies, the Android based Smartphones have grown tremendously over the past few years.

Today Android app market is flooded with applications. It is growing at a rate of 32% every month. Android mobile OS has become the most important platform for mobile app development. With over 750,000 apps developed, numerous developers are looking forward to build application for Android devices.

With some of the major Smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, Sony and many more, who have joined the Android brand, it has successfully attracted a large group of consumers which eventually pulled the attention of mobile app developers for creating innovative applications. Android application developers enjoy a wide open market for publishing their apps. It is a Linux based open source platform, so it has fewer restrictions for development compared to iOS development. The core library support also offers great base for building and designing innovative Android applications. Android applications can also be developed on any platform such as Windows, Linux and Mac OS-X. Because of these features most companies prefer Android development over other mobile platforms. Furthermore, the demand for the application development has seen tremendous increase in the recent years. Developers prefer Android platform because of its wide capabilities, various functionalities and large developers’ community. Android applications are largely developed for its wide range of categories like health, education, real-estate, games and business applications. Most developers also prefer it for its wider range and offers great quality within a reasonable budget. Latest mobile devices come with high end graphics and other cool features, which boosts the quality of the Android apps.

The Android software development kit (SDK) provides a wide range of development tools for easier development such as libraries, debugger, device emulator, sample codes and documentation. It also helps the new developers to get a quick taste of Android app development. Developers can easily obtain access to the existing framework APIs to build solid and complex third party Android applications.

Some other advantages of Android development are: a complete library for 2D and 3D graphics, wide library for images, audio and video files CDMA, UMTS, GSM, Wi-Fi, EV-DO and Bluetooth technologies for sending and receiving data, Inter-process communication (IPC) message exchange, SQLite for data-storage. The Eclipse IDE technology ensures easier and faster Android application development. It makes extensive use of the ARM instruction to provide efficiency and performance to the apps.

Along with other numerous features, Android Application Development platform has surpassed other mobile platforms and has gained substantial market share in the Smartphone application industry. Businesses looking for profound mobile presence should opt for Android app development to meet their specific needs. Besides that an Android app can reach a wider audience than other mobile platforms.

Android Takes Lead In The Market

Google created Android has taken a step forward in the war of smart phone platforms that is growing at a fast rate. It has snatched market share of RIM and Nokia’s Symbian OS, unlike the popular myth of overtaking share of Apple’s iOS. The biggest loser in market share has been Symbian who has lost about 14% in a year having only about 2.6% share according to latest statistics, whereas RIM has lost about 5.7% during the same period, and iOS has lost 1% of its users. Well iOS and Android cannot be termed as competitors since they target a different customer base when the prices are compared. But still, it can be said to have taken lead in the market when the figures are compared.

One of the main reasons for the Android’s popularity is that it has operating system based on Linux that is very secure and user interface that is appealing to users. It also has special Dalvik virtual machine devised for its integration. One of the fact which is not known by many is that Google has helped Linux in making OS for smart phones and tablet computers based on Linux OS while researching for Android development. Due to its feature of open source, it is available cheap to manufacturers. Software applications based on Android are available for download at stores such as Google Play and third party websites such as Amazon.

The four types of android applications are: activity, services and content provider. Let’s look at each of them.

Activity: It is most visible part of the application. It presents UI to an application known as view. It implements various UI elements such as textbox, labels, etc. Application moves from one activity to another by using method known as startActivity()

Services: Like different multitask figuring domains, there are applications running “out of sight” that perform different obligations. It calls the aforementioned sorts of applications “services.” The service is an Android requisition that has no UI. The recipient is a provision part that gets solicits to process goals. Like the service, a beneficiary does not, in standard rehearse, have a UI component. Collectors are ordinarily enlisted in the AndroidManifest.xml index.

Content Provider: The Content Provider is the android mechanism for data-store abstraction.

Android is named after its initial developer before it was bought by Google. Google unveiled Android with Open Handset Alliance that is open standards for mobile devices in 2007. It has about 7 million apps as on Oct 2012 and about 25 billion apps are downloaded by users worldwide.

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.