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5 Things You Have To Understand Before Developing Your First Android Application

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of development platforms that can be used to create Android apps.

They include but are not limited to APks, React Native, SDKs, and Xamarin. However, there are hundreds of development tools and resources available to the Android app developer.

A basic Google search about Android app development will bring up a deluge of information that will seem quite overwhelming to the beginner.

I will proceed to present the required information in a structured and more comprehensive way.

First off, let us clear the air with five things you most definitely should know before developing an Android application.

You Must Have An Above Average Understanding Of XML Which Will Be Used For The Overall Process Of The Application Designing.

Also, you should have an understanding of the inherent concepts of Android and how to use the knowledge to program with Java.

A Good Understanding Of The Java Language.

This is self explanatory. There is just no way you will make progress without having even a basic knowledge of Java. 

Be patient with the creation of your app, don't work with the expectation of overnight results.

If You Are A Beginner, You Will Be Better Off Adopting An Integrated Development Environment.

There are quite a number of these tools available and they will make your task easier.

When You Face The Inevitable Snag, Employ The Use Of Stack Overflow.

Stack Overflow is one of the millions of online forums created for programmers and web developers. It has been an invaluable aid to a lot of developers over the years.

If the community does not work, turn to Android Subreddit where every enquiry will be answered in a timely and helpful manner.

With that, let me delve into the process of developing your first app.

This article should help you move your idea from being just that onto the virtual pages of a Play store listing.

The User Experience

Your primary focus as you engage in the thought process should be the user's experience while utilizing your app.

If the app involves features that are hard to use, your app will die before it has even started to draw breath.

Explore some of the apps you favor. Examine the features that make them such a fun tool to use.

Also, make sure you let a group of friends explore your app before you put it on the market.

Integrate their feedback into whatever improvements or adjustments you have to make.

Before the app is fully developed, you can engage in a bit of wire framing to represent the app's eventual visual outlook.

You can employ mobile applications or you could do it the traditional way; on paper.

The Idea

You must first have a clear idea of what you want to engage in.

This is usually built around an inadequacy or void you have observed in the mobile apps market.

This idea could be something as simple as developing an innovative way of browsing through the playlist of your music player or something as complex as to require the use of wirelessly connected devices. 

Your thought process does not have to be radically innovative, it simply has to be something that is better than what is already being offered on the market.

The Money

A deluge of adverts can be a pain in the neck and that is the honest truth. And ironically, that contrasts with the fact that adverts are exactly what you want in order to record higher profit figures.

You should plan to develop your app without looking at monetizing it at a time that can be considered as too early.

If you do otherwise, you run the risk of antagonizing your users and they will be discouraged from the continued usage of your application.

Amazon took a similar stance by rejecting adverts and although this affected their profit figures, they still stood by their legacy.

The Design

The importance of your app's physical outlook cannot be overstated. In developing your application, you must know that you are birthing a brand.

Therefore, you are advised to employ a uniform design through the application process and also in store listings by utilizing consistent colours, fonts and logos.

The Language

You should possess the ability to design the software your application operates by. Although this might seem an insurmountable task to the less tech-savvy, it is good advice.

There are quite a lot of resources at your disposal if you ever want to learn and this includes guides like Codeacademy and Scotch.

The choice of the language to be learnt often boils down to the use required of the application.

Also, other factors that can influence this are the available funds and the features and content you feel comfortable with.

In building an android application, there are usually two major programming skills to be considered: Android and Java.

Java is a language embedded in Android but the latter has additional features like employing XML for the overall outlook of the app, using Android concepts in programming tandem with Java, and understanding the complexities of Android.

After acquiring considerable knowledge in XML and Java, the next step will be learning how to connect the two with the aid of Android principles.

Other options, however include React Native, a programme written with the use of Web technologies like HTML, JSX and JavaScript.

Another tool called Xamarim can also be utilized. It was recently acquired by Microsoft and it employs both Visual Studio and C#

A very popular IDE tool in Android Application Development, however, is Android Studio.

It is a resource compatible with the Linux, OSX and Windows OS and it was created by Google.

The Backend

Not all applications require back end frameworks.

The back end can be simply described as a computer or function that interacts with every bit of data that your application will ever require or generate.

Examples of applications that will need a back end support will be instant messaging applications (Whatsapp, BBM) or social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). 

Smaller applications like calculators or very basic games do not need back end codes.

These codes are often written with NodeJS or php and they are usually supported by a database like Mongo DB or MySQL. 

After this, you are clear to test run your application.

This can be done through IDE simulators for the operating system in use.

Author's Profile

Matt O'Leary is a consultant with one of the biggest IT firm in New York.

He specializes in developing applications with Java codes.

Matt's alma mater is the University of Pittsburgh where he almost became head of the student body.

Luckily, he didn't and now he is working with computers.

Matt is a ginger whose Irish roots only come out to play on St. Pat's day.