Android is the operating system that you use on your tablets, smartphones, and even some smart cars. It is a Linux-based operating system that is mainly used to provide an interface for users. Android comes with a unified approach to application development. That is, if you create an app for Android, it will work on all devices that use Android as their operating system.
However, whether developing an Android app is a viable solution or not, we will discuss it in this article today. In addition, we will discuss the differences between Android and iOS. What are the advantages of using Android app development? In addition, we will demonstrate both sides of Android development. As a result, you’ll have a much better idea of whether to use it or not.
History of Android
Google formed the Open Handset Alliance in 2007, which includes dozens of technology and mobile phone companies such as Intel, Motorola, NVIDIA Corporation, LG, Samsung, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile. The consortium was formed to promote third-party applications and their open-source operating system, which will be used on every smartphone created by these companies. Wireless networks are used by Android-based devices to fully utilise features such as Google Docs. Chrome by Google Android technology enables access to Google Maps, the Google search engine, and a variety of other services.
The first smartphone that came out with Google’s Android operating system was the T-Mobile G1, which was released in 2008. By 2012, Android had become one of the most popular operating systems for almost 60% of the smartphone market. It even surpassed Apple iOS, and right now, more than 75% of the mobile devices activated all around the globe are using Android as their operating system.
What is Android Development?
Android has “paid its dues,” so to speak, in the smartphone market for over a decade now. The success of Android was so great that it rendered the one-time business mobile device market that Blackberry used to rule. Millions of devices right now are powered by Android in over 190 countries worldwide. Google was not the first company to develop Android; the Open Handset Alliance created the first Android operating system, which Google backed.In 2008, Google acquired the company and launched the first-ever Android-powered device.
Android development comes with massive community support, which also has enormous customization. Apart from Apple, most of them use Android to develop Android-compatible smartphones. Thus, more and more companies are inclined to use Android as their operating system. Moreover, there is an advancement in code libraries and their popularity among developers. It has become a complete set of software for all devices like tablets, wearables, set-top boxes, Smart TVs, and many more.
What are some different versions of Android?
We will not show you all the different versions of Android in this list because that would require an article of its own. In this list, we have mentioned some of the most popular and well-loved Android versions, which shaped Android and made it what it is right now. Before we start the list, we want to mention that Google in 2018 changed its naming scheme from alphabetical order to a numeric naming scheme.
Android KitKat 4.4
In October 2013, Google released the new version of Android KitKat, which is also considered a 4.4 version of Android since its release. The minimum RAM requirement to run this operating system was 340 MB. On the other hand, devices with RAM of less than 512 MB will be notified as low-memory devices by the operating system. So it can automatically adjust itself for better performance.
This feature came with wireless printing. WebViews are made into the Chromium engine. There is also a sensor batching and built-in-screen recording feature. Also, the camera application is now directly linked to Google+ Photos instead of your smartphone gallery.
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Lollipop was the first operating system in a massive line of Android versions that came with Material Design. This was a significant design change, and since its inception, this change was arguably the best one Google has ever made.
You can see tons of change on the surface, but the same goes for under-the-hood changes. Android made the leap from Dalvik to ART (Android Runtime), which improved the application’s performance. As a result, tons of apps, even to this day, come with the support of Android 5.0 and above.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
The 5.0 version has some minor bug issues, which were fixed with the introduction of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It didn’t have the fanfare of other releases, but it was pretty important in the end. Marshmallow also changed how it handles app permissions. Now, you don’t have to grant permissions when you are installing apps, but when they are needed. As a result, you are only giving access to apps to specifically do something that requires your permission in the first place.
Why build apps using Android?
Every business needs to work on its creativity to capture customers’ attention, which is lured towards more established brands. The ultimate goal of a business is to generate revenue. The Android development platform offers cost-effective and scalable opportunities to develop apps. Below are some of the significant benefits you enjoy when developing your business app for the Android operating system.
One of the best things Android has done is lower the cost of creating an app for millions of mobile users. Development has become much easier because of the easy availability of the Android SDK. The development team can also take help from material design so as to build more interactive apps. But still, developers need to pay a one-time registration fee for the application to get it listed. Once that is done, you can leverage any of the computer devices to create and test their applications for various smartphones. As a result, the investment is kept low while engagement is increased.
Android apps for business need to have a rapid development cycle that should not exceed a few hours. With Android development, you get a competitive edge, and your apps take less time to be launched with a new idea. The Reduced Time To Market (RTT) is then considered the best benefit of creating apps for Android.
Target more than one platform
When creating an app for Android, you typically will use Java to programme the app. This language can be used to make it easy for your app to be portable to multiple operating systems, such as Symbian and Ubuntu. As a result, a single app can target more than one platform. This is also a significant factor for small-scale businesses choosing Android over other platforms.
With the arrival of Android Studio, the OS now comes with flexibility and adaptability. When you create the app using Android Studio, you can choose whether to provide integration with all the smartphones and the version of the OS. Or you can select it according to your liking. Moreover, this one application is enough to develop apps for smartphones, TVs, tablets, wearables, and more. Google is working to make its apps more compatible with IoT, AR, and VR technology. So users can take full advantage of it.
Better Security Features
iOS and Apple will keep on telling you that Android is unsafe for your smartphone, but that’s not true at all. Android includes a number of extra and built-in security features to keep your smartphone users as secure as possible. This prevents your smartphone from being hacked or infected with malware.
Freedom to make changes
Android doesn’t care if you make changes to their system. Even after all the minor tweaks, your OS will still work with ease and have no problems at all. In addition to this, if there is something significant that went wrong, you can start the factory reset, and things will be fine as usual. This makes Android a playground for enthusiasts; they can do whatever they want with the OS, and still have it functional for use.
Customization for Developers & Marketers
Android is an open-source platform that gives you complete customization features. That’s why Android applications are a much preferred choice for developers all over the globe. The multimedia tools can be added to provide Android users with even more feature-rich performance.This also allows businesses to add data management functions to their existing business processes. As a result, companies can broaden their customer base by accommodating the changing business requirements.
Why is Android better than iOS for Developers?
Since the inception of smartphones, there has been a continuous tug of war between Android and Apple users. It’s a battle to be the best. Well, in some cases, Apple does a better job. But when it comes to developing an app for iOS, you will face many challenges that might put you off your development. Given below are some development features of Android that make it stand out from iOS applications.
We can’t emphasise how giant the Android ecosystem has become over the years. Android currently holds a 74.4% share of the total smartphone market. This percentage is only going to go up with more and more smartphones being released each year by different companies. On the other hand, Apple only releases a single lineup each year, and those cost a fortune in most countries. As a result, in developing nations, people prefer Android over iOS. As a result, if you want to reach more people in a short time, Android is the way to go.
Post Launch Maintenance
Android users are less likely to update their operating system.Right now, 50% of the people who own Android smartphones use outdated OS versions of Android. This results in crashes and then unexpected bugs that eventually fill the new apps. But otherwise, these apps are pretty functional. On the other hand, iOS users will have a constant prompt for updates, and apps too will have to add in the new changes according to the OS. Thus, with each iteration of the OS, the apps need to launch their newer versions as well.
Publishing on App Store
It is much easier to publish an app on the Android PlayStore than to get it posted on the Apple Store. The Apple App Store is much more selective towards who is allowed to be listed on the app store. At the same time, an individual developer can create the app and list it on Android’s App store.
Limitations of Android
Well, we have talked a lot about how Android is a powerhouse of an operating system, but we have to show our readers the other side of the coin as well. So, given below are the limitations that developers and users need to keep in mind when using Android. These limitations are not significant, but it is a good idea to know about them in the first place before taking the leap.
Apps Remain Active In Background
Even after so many years, apps that were once opened will remain active till RAM is full or the user doesn’t close them. Also, when these apps work in the background, they tend to keep on utilising the battery, resulting in battery drain at a much faster speed.
Developers have rough time
Training and understanding of the concepts of Android web development take time. You are not going to learn it in one night, or one week, or even a month. It’s a slow and steady process. So, if you are in a rush, you need to look for some other options.
Low Spec Smartphone Runs Slowly
Android is considered to be an extensive operating system that comes with a number of utilities and other resources. Aso, some of the applications have their own small operating system in the first place. As a result, lower-spec smartphones have issues running those apps. Moreover, with time, your smartphone may have overheating problems and batter draining problems as well.
Many In-App Advertisements
Now, this is up to you; for developers, this won’t be a problem, but for users, it might seem like a make-or-break deal. Many companies use this strategy to gain extra money by showing ads. In addition to this, some companies like Oppo, Realme, and other Chinese companies that have lower price tags on their smartphones add bloatware to their operating systems as well.
Not a User-Friendly OS for aged
For the elderly who want to use smartphones but don’t want to find themselves stuck in the hassle of operating one, they should not get into the Android ecosystem. Android provides a greater level of freedom, but that might not be required for some users, which results in confusion and nothing else.
Tips to be a Good Android Developer
Becoming an Android developer is not an easy thing; it takes time to be successful. Moreover, you need to stand out from the rest of the developers as well. Given below are some tips which can help you get started on the road that leads to becoming a successful Android developer.
- First, you need to be familiar with the different frameworks that are present in Android and required to make an application worth the download.
- Also, don’t overthink missing out on the latest in the field. Sure, having one step ahead is a good idea, but moving on to the next thing without learning the first one will have its own consequences.
- Start reading a lot more code than you used to before; most developers don’t think about reading the code that is written by other developers. But that should not be an idle case. The only way to become an excellent coder is by reading a lot more code.
- Think about which languages can help you become a better Android developer. You can live your life with Java and its frameworks, but how long? That’s why in order to be a good Android developer, you must know more than one programming language.
- Learn Java design patterns. A design pattern can be a lifesaver when you are stuck in the middle of an error or an issue.
- Be a contributor and help out fellow Android developers on open-source forums. It is an excellent idea for an active participant in a big open-source community. From there, you will find most of the answers to your questions. Along with that, you will also get instant information about the new changes that are taking place in Android with the latest releases.
Future of Android Development
From where we are now, the future appears to be only getting better. If you look around, you will notice that more people than ever before are using smartphones. Not everyone can afford to spend a lot of money on Apple products. As a result, the majority of new customers prefer to use Android, indicating that Android development is in high demand. As a result, the future of Android development appears to be brighter than it is today. So Apple might need to put on a few more pairs of sunglasses to see what has truly struck them.
So this is what Android is all about: wherever you go, you will find Android in a variety of devices. Android will have a lot of business in the coming years, and this skill will be more important than ever. So now is the time to begin your learning process and prepare your career for the future. Have fun coding!!!