Developing Android applications requires a profound understanding of programming and design. When approaching a new technology for the first time, you need to break it down into pieces. If you’re an experienced web developer, many of the concepts and technologies involved in Android app development will be normal to you – although building apps for mobile devices often requires mastery of several more various concepts. Mobile devices have smaller screens, simpler processors, compared to desktops, and – in the case of Android – many developers need to keep code flexible and account for various user interface scenarios.
So what you must practice becoming a successful Android developer? Let’s see…
1. KNOWLEDGE ABOUT JAVA
2. GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF XML
XML was created in the first place as a standard way to encode data for internet-based mobile applications. It is a structured markup language, sharing many features that are close to HTML. You will identify the angled brackets, the tag types similar to HTML syntax, and the deep nesting structure of elements.
In a nutshell, it lets information be passed between devices in a way that can be understood reliably. Inside the world of Android, developers use XML to create layouts that serve as the foundational UI definition for Android applications.
3. KNOWLEDGE ABOUT ANDROID SDK
SDK stands for Software Development Kit, is a decorative name for a set of pre-packaged code. The SDKs are modules of Java code that give developers access to mobile device functions like the camera and accelerometer functions.
One significant component of the Android SDK is a library named Gradle. Let’s consider a scenario of installing a social media app like Twitter. You will download a code library (aka SDK) from Twitter, and then you will tell Gradle that you’re using it so that when your app compiles, your code stays well organized. New Android developers will spend most of their time learning how the various SDKs for Android can be pieced together in different ways to put together a new Android application.
This process will take a while, and each Android SDK comes with a lot of examples that can be found in the official documentation, making it very easy to understand what each package is designed for and how to plug that package into your app.
4. ANDROID STUDIO
Android Studio is one of the Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) that can be used in developing Android apps. IT is based on the well-respected IntelliJ IDE, and it comes with excellent out-of-the-box support for many of the common Android SDKs.
Android Studio also features many of the skills developers expect of a full-featured IDE. Code auto-completion helps make auto-complete suggestions as you type. Well, remember to use this feature every time you code, because most of the time, manually written codes and functions won’t work in this environment. Using autocomplete to find out functions will help you a lot in writing error-free code. Code debuggers let you identify the source of errors if there are any.
There are even more advanced monitoring tools like memory and CPU monitors, that will help developers make sure their code will maintain excellent performance on a mobile device. Android Studio is a must-have IDE for both the beginner and experienced developer.
An Android developer must want to interact with many other services. For example, you may want to allow your users to access a calendar from third-party service or check your current location of yours.
Android app development companies usually offer APIs and will state to you exactly how to query them for data in a reliable, secure way. While you’re free to interact with any present API, Google is also making it very easy to connect to their APIs from your Android app.
For example, it is very easy to use Google APIs to monitor the location of your users, let them search for local or international places, and reference a map from within your app to get a service. All you want is to get comfortable exploring the different APIs and recognize that no two APIs are exactly alike.
If your app handles large sets of data, most of them probably won’t live on your device at any given time. It will be easy to interact with a database living outside of your phone. Cloud services like Firebase or Parse provide simple APIs to store data in the cloud and make it available across devices anytime and anywhere.
These platforms also often provide Java libraries that you can plug into your app, which allow you to save some data as cache in the user’s device. Syncing of data between local storage and the remote database is mandatory if you’re going to make your app’s function available offline.
Another way to store data locally is through Android’s SQLite database. This supports SQL to store data. However you choose to handle data in your application, you’ll need to learn and understand how databases work, especially these cloud-based databases, and the ways to query data in your app.
7. UNDERSTANDING IN MATERIAL DESIGN
In contrast to contestants like Apple, Google has not historically maintained a consistent design aesthetic diagonally their products. In the past few years, it has changed in a new way. Google has released a set of futuristic interface guidelines and set of standards called Material Design, which is being moved out across all their products.
These standards include pieces of advice for how to layer various elements on the mobile screen and use specific styles like drop shadows. You’ve probably experienced Material Design in real life if you have used the new Google Drive app or the new Inbox by Gmail application mobile apps.
This is not compulsory, yet Google recommends that to use these guidelines as a foundation for user interfaces. The online documentation for Material Design provides a great foundational understanding of the principles of Material Design.
Like any other mobile app out there, good execution and performance only matter if users find out that it is useful. Before starting to develop an app, take time to think twice about what are the functions this app going to have? And what kind of problem will be solved because of this app.
Then design a wireframe using any wireframe design software, and show it to your target demographic. Get their feedback on the idea maybe you will iterate these steps for a while. Forget your fear of feedback as a mobile app developer and be ready to iterate your idea until it becomes a fully finished mobile app.
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