In today’s world, we are surrounded by smartphones and apps. A mobile app helps our tasks get done quickly and efficiently for anything and everything. As per the app download and usage statistics, 2021, there are 2.56 million android apps available for users to download in the Google play store. Through these apps, we can run our lives from ordering groceries to having an online consultation with doctors and so much in between.
Now that we are discussing apps, we might discuss how they are built. Our primary focus would be the android apps here, coming to which an android app is a software application running on the android platform. Let us dive deep into android and how android applications are built.
Android is an open-source, Linux-based operating system for smartphones and tablet devices, developed by Google and later by OHA (Open Handset Alliance), an association of 84 firms to develop open standards for smartphones.
Android Architecture: categorized into five parts: Linux kernel, native libraries, android run time, application framework, applications.
The code names of android are named after dessert such as Astro, Blender, Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, Kitkat, Lollipop, Snow Cone, etc.
The mobile applications are built on the android platform using programming languages like Java, Kotlin, C++, etc. With Java being the best and most used across android apps until May 2019, when Kotlin replaced Java as Google’s preferred language for mobile app development. However, Java is still supported.
There are many categories of android applications in the market, such as entertainment, communication, Games, Social Media, Travel, Productivity, Music, Video, etc.
How are these android applications built? The most widely used platform to develop android apps is Android Studio across the globe.
Top Tools to Build Android Apps
Many tools are used while developing an android app, but we will discuss the top three used below:
- Android Studio
Android studio is a unified environment and official IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for android app development where you can develop apps for all android devices. It is a flexible Gradle-based system with a fast and feature-rich emulator and comprehensive testing tools and frameworks.
With Android Studio, you can manage your project, write, build and run your app, configure your build, debug and test your app.
Each -project in android consists of modules with source code files and resource files, and there are multiple modules. Modules include Library Modules, Android App Modules, Google app engine modules.
- Android Debug Bridge (ADB)
Android Debug Bridge is a comprehensive command-line tool that lets a developer communicate with a device. The ADB facilitates many device actions such as installing and debugging apps and provides access to a Unix shell, a command-line interpreter, that can be used to run various commands on a device.
ADB is a Client-server program that includes a client, adbd (a daemon, process running in the background of each device), and a server. The client sends the commands, and runs on the development machine, adbd runs commands on a device, and the server manages communication between the client and adbd. The server also runs as a background process on each device.
- Android Virtual Device Manager (AVDM)
The android emulator simulates virtual devices on the computer so that the application can be tested on various devices and Android API levels without the need for actual physical devices. It provides all the features and capabilities of Android devices. Testing the application in a virtual device is a faster and easier to test the application instead of using actual physical devices.
An Android Virtual device is a configuration that defines the characteristics of an android device such as phones, tablets, Android TV, etc.
The AVD Manager is an interface that the developer can launch from Android Studio that helps to create and manage AVDs using the type, name, play store, resolution, API level, Target, CPU, Size on disk,
To open the AVD Manager in Android studio, Select tools > AVD Manager.
Eclipse is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) used for computer programming. Eclipse is developed using Java and is primarily used to develop Java applications, although it can also be used for other programming languages. Before Android Studio came into the picture, Eclipse was used to develop android mobile applications using Java. Some developers still use Eclipse to create cross-platform android applications. The eclipse package for android development consists of Eclipse Git Team Provider, Eclipse Java Development Tools, Maven Integration for Eclipse, Mylyn Task List, Code Recommenders tools for Java Developers, Eclipse XML Editors, and Tools.
This is how the android applications you use nearly every time you open your smartphone are developed. There are many android app development companies and android app development agencies that create android app and provide world-class android app development services regularly due to the ever-increasing demands for mobile applications by businesses across many industries.
Mobile applications have become an integral part of our daily lives and, in a way, control our lives. Hence, they are practically never going to go out of business; however, only the technologies might change. The development method might change, but the very core of the apps will remain intact.