The Ultimate Guide to Android Development

In order to develop new and powerful applications for Android, you need to understand the fundamentals required to succeed long-term. Many new developers are enthusiastic about their projects and overlook some of the basics that make for a successful Android application.

Understanding these essential principles will give you the tools you need to create new applications for the Android market.

ultimate guide to android development

Develop the Mindset

If you’re starting your new app making project, you need to understand that not all developers are created equal. There is a mindset that is inherent to successful app creation and that you need to understand before you get started.

Having the right mindset will help you see your project through to completion. You must think like a programmer—the type of person who is always on the lookout for new solutions to existing problems. You can apply this approach to many different areas of your life.

Strap in and Don’t Stop Until the Job is Done

Android app development requires a level of persistence in the process. Complex problems will no doubt come up. Keeping a clear and calm approach will allow you to produce the best possible solutions in the least amount of time.

In some cases, you may need to review endless lines of script just to identify the cause of a given issue. Stay committed to the process so that you can ensure the greatest chance for success.

You must also remember that there is help available from a variety of resources. Many first-time programmers assume that they can’t ask for help. But developing Android applications requires you to be open to receiving help from others. A quick online search will uncover plenty of articles, forums, and other resources. Using them will save you valuable resources like time and money while enhancing your learning process.

Design Guidelines

The design of your Android app will be based on a number of guidelines that you must be aware of. These guidelines relate to the display, resolution, tabs, and icons used with the app. Different devices will have its own guidelines for developers to use.

Interaction

Touch technology has revolutionized how users interact with their devices. It has eliminated unnecessary thinking in performing common tasks and allows for a more intuitive experience that makes it easy for almost anyone.

Customization

But more important than ease is the ability to customize the user experience. You can allow users to change certain features in order to suit their own needs. By implementing customization alongside your default design, you’ll provide the essential tasks that your app provides while increasing engagement and use. Customization can also occur over time as you begin to understand what your users prefer. Your app can track previous actions and prioritize them within the app.

Icon Scale and Size

The icons within your Android app should be designed accordingly as well. They should accurately represent a given action while taking up a small part of display. Icons should be placed in order of priority. In addition, be careful not to have too many apps at once. Use a menu function to minimize the space occupied by multiple icons. Your launcher icons should be 48×48 dp, while the icons that will be displayed in the Google Play store will need to be 512×512 px.

 

Text/Tabs

Your app will also need text to allow for increased functionality and clarity within the tabs. These tabs are critical to your app design, as they help create consistency in guiding the user through the interface. The number of tabs you will use will depend in large part to the orientation of the screen. Landscape mode will allow for more tabs to be displayed.

Android App Development Resources

There are plenty of resources available online for all Android developers. If you find yourself struggling with some element along the way, you can use the available videos, tutorials, and guidelines to quickly solve any given problem. Android Weekly is a newsletter that you can access for free to stay updated on the latest in Android app development. This resource provides some of the best development news and information for beginning Android app developers. For tutorials, Google Android Developer and Vogella are helpful resources. Sites like Ignition provide utility classes and components for you to use in your Android application.

For more resources on the design of your Android app, visit sites like Android Patterns, Android 4.0 Design Startkit, and OkHttp, an open-source library that developers use for Java and Android. Many developers also use Picasso to customize their images for app development. Picasso’s interface is easy for new developers and allows you to download and cache your images. This can let you load your images into a target for your Android app.

Communities

In addition to the resources at your disposal, there are many communities for developers to connect with and learn from each other. Communities and forums allow you to bounce critical development questions off of others who can share their own insights for you to use.

The following are just a few of those communities:

  • Android Forums – This covers a wide array of topics for Android developers.
  • Android Community – This forum provides a full listing of phones so that you can get information on your specific application.
  • Android Developers Google Group – If you’re coding your apps, this group is an invaluable resource. It also helps you stay current with future developments.

Open Source Libraries and APIs

The following are some of the many free resources that are available to Android app developers.

The Google Maps API – Developers who need to embed a Google Map onto a page can use a Flash or JavaScript interface. You can also localize your app to different languages and implement geocoding.

Twitter Micro-Blogging – You can access Twitter’s data, including status, user information, and timeline updating, using its REST API. Also, the Search API lets you use the search and trends data from Twitter for your Android app.

Promoting Your App

Developing your app is not enough to ensure a successful launch. You need to promote in order to develop awareness and demand among users. Here are some useful tips to help a beginning developer get their app out onto the market.

  • Build Relationships First

 

Much of the success of your app will be a result of connecting with key influencers, developers, and entrepreneurs whose interests are in line with the value your application provides. You need to identify these individuals and connect with them. Over time, they will be the ones who can share your project with their communities and expand your promotional reach. They are also positioned to provide you with invaluable feedback. Influencers can be found within forums, social media, and in-person developer gatherings. Using these resources lets you stay connected with them over time, which builds momentum in promoting your app.

  • Leverage Your Mobile Website

 

An existing community of followers or users is a great source for an initial promotional boost. These individuals can be thought of as a target market that can use your app and give you feedback on how it can improve and what might be unnecessary. If you have an existing website, include information and links to your application to help increase visibility. Make it easy for users to share this information throughout social media and other platforms.

  • Focus on Emails

 

You can still use email to get powerful results in promoting your Android app. A majority of people check their email inboxes each day, making it a prime spot for gaining visibility for your app. Newsletters can be used that feature your app and provide information to users on the benefits and features it provides. You can also include information in your email signature, helping you spread the word with each correspondence.

  • Create a Demo Video

 

The novelty of a new app is the biggest source of friction in gaining traction. You must make it easy for users to understand how to use your Android app to increase its growth. A demo video is a perfect way to do that. Your demo video can show the app’s features in a way that words simply cannot. Try to make your video entertaining while teaching users about your app. Include screenshots and troubleshooting to give viewers a sense of how they can use your app as a valuable solution. Demo videos can be embedded directly on a website or published on YouTube for easy access. Any promotional materials should direct users to the demo video for more information.

Developing your Android app requires a comprehensive strategy that begins with developing the right mindset and ends with getting your app in front of the right people. The steps in between involve learning, overcoming obstacles, and connecting with other developers. There are many resources available to help you accomplish all of these steps.

This guide has listed some of the most valuable resources for you to get started with. Applying this information and seeking out help when you need it will ensure a successful app development, launch, and growth. Here in Toronto, there are various mobile application developer programs. Such programs can help in making you more sound in Android development. Anyways, it is upto you to decide how you want to learn development. In the current century Android stands first among all the other mobile platforms and if you want to be successful, you need to stand out in the crowd.