Android app development as a career option for you
Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google, based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Today, Android phones have more than two billion users. This is due to the fact that Android is not linked to any specific hardware. Google has made the platform programmable on any compatible hardware. This has given rise to a new breed of programmers – the Android App Developer. The demand for Android developers is huge and you can be sure of better pay prospects based on your experience. Also, you can freelance anytime once you have gained enough knowledge on the programming platform. We are pleased to share information on Android and why you should consider Android development as a career option.
Android is popular
Today, there are more than two billion monthly active Android devices across the globe. 82 billion apps and games were downloaded between June 2016 and June 2017. Presently, 87.7 per cent of the world’s smartphones run on the Android OS, and the total number of smartphones is expected to hit 6 billion by 2020. No single arena of human endeavour has the potential to impact as many daily lives as the mobile developer. Further, the success of app-driven companies in the last few years has meant that there is a heavy demand for Android developers currently in the market. As more and more companies start adopting mobile-first strategies to engage with the more networked and mobile millennial consumer of today, the demand for mobile developers globally continues to increase.
Rising demand for Android developers
In India alone, a quick look at job searching platforms like Naukri, Indeed, LinkedIn and Angel List reveal that there are over 20,000 open Android Developer jobs today. Companies are moving more heavily into creating a consummate app experience, driven by projections of 66% smartphone penetration globally by the end of 2018. Nearly all consumer-facing industries have indelibly changed as the smartphone-wielding consumer has become their mainstream target audience.
Android Development is challenging
As new technologies have begun to emerge with great potential for mobile development, today’s developers might have some of the most incredible jobs of tomorrow. The Android Developers of today and tomorrow will be responsible for integrating exciting technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, and IoT onto existing applications on the Android OS, creating the new apps for tomorrow that people will use to access information and transact. Further, as smartphones evolve from entertainment devices to the primary gateway of commercial exchange, creating financial services on mobile platforms is an epoch-changing work in progress with great potential for the years to come. As smartphones become the holders of massive reams of personal data, Android developers of the immediate future will have to design security systems to prevent the loss of personal data for millions. The possibilities and potential are truly endless.
Steps to becoming an Android application developer
As with all great opportunities, learning Android application development isn’t easy. If you’re interested in developing new and innovative applications for the world’s #1 mobile platform - here are basic steps to becoming an Android application developer:
- Gather the Tools: Java, Android SDK, Eclipse + ADT Plugin
Android development can be done on a PC, Mac or even a Linux machine. More good news: all the tools you need to develop Android applications are free. First, download and install the latest version of Java SE from the Oracle website. Next, grab the Android SDK (Software Development Kit) from the Android Developers site. The SDK includes the Android code libraries, Android’s emulator, and some useful command line tools for Android development.
Eclipse is the mobile development environment of choice for Android developers, because it integrates best with the Android SDK, and it’s free. Download the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers from the Eclipse website (choose the version that matches your OS). Eclipse is a powerful text editor that offers a range of features mobile developers depend on, including syntax highlighting, API documentation and package organization. Finally, go back to the Android Developers site for the ADT (Android Development Tools) plugin. Using ADT with Eclipse makes creating Android applications much easier with features like the UI (user interface) editor and the Android-specific debugger.
- Learn the Java Programming Language
Most Android applications are written in Java (some are written in C++). A strong command of Java is essential for Android application development. Android utilizes Java’s object oriented programming model. In object-oriented programming, elements of the program are broken into pieces that mimic “real-world” objects. For example, in an Android video game, the player character and enemy combatant would each be objects.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive online training programme to go from beginner to skilled Android (and iOS) Developer, check out the Mobile Development Bachelor’s Program from Full Sail University or reputed institutes. It covers the business, marketing and programming aspects of professional mobile app development, you can break it down to take just the modules you need, and it’s accredited so state and federal financial aid is available.
- Understand the Android Application Lifecycle
Even if you’ve written desktop or web applications before, it’s critical to understand that writing apps for mobile devices is a completely different experience. With a desktop application, the operating system manages other applications and their priorities. In Android, it’s up to you to code your application to handle external events. For example, what does your application do if the phone rings in the middle of a resource-consuming animation? How does your application react to the receipt of a text message? Understanding the Android application lifecycle will enable you to create applications that “play nice with others,” thus providing users with the best possible experience.
- Learn the Android API
While Android applications are written in the Java programming language, the Android API (application programming interface) adds entirely new packages to the command-set. The Android packages (groups of classes) allow you to write code that controls everything from the on-board camera and the audio recording feature, to Bluetooth functionality and Wi-Fi access, and much more. Once you have a strong command of these packages, you will be able to implement the hardware and features of Android devices in your mobile applications.
- Write your first Android Application!
Writing your first complete Android App can seem daunting, but the process will be easier and more pleasurable if you choose a topic that you enjoy. Write your application in multiple iterations starting with the basic features and expanding its capabilities with each pass. Debug and test carefully along the way to ensure that your application works in all situations. Testing should be conducted on an actual Android device as well as in the emulator.
- Distribute your Android App
Android Applications can be distributed through the official Android Market, your own website, or through a 3rd party site, such as the Amazon.com Appstore for Android. To distribute your application through the official Android Market you must register as an official Android developer, which at the time of this writing is a one-time fee of $25. Unlike Apple’s App Store, Google’s standards for application acceptance are moderate.
- Android Developers - https://developer.android. com
- Stack Overflow - https:// stackoverflow.com
- DevBytes - YouTube - Watch the Google developers videos, learn how code.
Android Development is a challenging form of programming. However, the personal and financial rewards can be great. Keep in mind that the career of a programmer involves a lifetime of learning, and that learning Android application development is just part of that lifelong journey. Have fun and good luck!