Top 5 Android Development Tools

Android operating system has been designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

Developed Initially by Android, Inc., backed financially by Google (later bought by Google in 2005), Android was unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance ( a consortium of hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices).

Android is the buzz word in technology today with a market share of 42% across various devices worldwide. Android apps are open source unlike their competitors like iOS and Blackberry. The tools needed for their development are free and there is no need for purchase of a special developer phone or register your hardware as a development device.

Here are the Top5 Android Development tools currently trending in the market

  • Android SDK
  • Native Development Kit(NDK)
  • Titanium Mobile SDK
  • Hyper Next Android Creator
  • ADOBE AIR

1. Android SDK:

The Android Software Development Kit (SDK) provides you with the API libraries and developer tools necessary to build, test, and debug apps for Android. It is one of the most popular SDK used for Android.

Aspiring New Android developers can download the ADT Bundle to quickly start developing apps. It includes the essential Android SDK components and a version of the Eclipse IDE with built-in ADT (Android Developer Tools) to streamline your Android app development. These are some of the important components in ADT Bundle

  • Eclipse + ADT plugin
  • Android SDK Tools
  • Android Platform-tools
  • Current Version of the Android platform
  • Current Version of the Android system image for the emulatorMore

2. Native Development Kit(NDK):

The NDK is a toolset that allows android developers to implement parts of their app using native-code languages such as C and C++.NDK can be proved to be a lot of help for the developers as they can reuse existing code libraries written in these languages.

The most important point to be considered here is that NDK will not benefit most apps. Developer needs to balance its gains over draw-backs, as the native code may not always increase the performance, but generally increases the complexity. Prefer NDK only if it is essential to your app, never because you simply prefer to program in C/C++.

3. Titanium Mobile SDK:

The Titanium SDK provides community developers with an unmatched ability to create quality native, mobile web or rich hybrid applications to all platforms from a single code base, using JavaScript. With over 5,000 APIs, Titanium allows you to deliver an immersive user experience at a fraction of the time compared with traditional native platforms.

Although the Titanium suffers with some disadvantages like flexibility limitations, User Experience issues and complexity issues, Titanium still stands in the first place for Android and other cross platform apps development

4. Hyper Next Android Creator:

HyperNext Android Creator (HAC) is an easy to use software creation system that allows almost anyone to quickly start building their own Android apps that work. Apps developed on HAC enjoys good support on a wide range of devices.

HAC operation is based on HyperCard, which treats software as a stack of cards, where only one card is visible at a time and hence is quite well suited for mobile phone applications which allow single window operation.

The programming language used in HAC is “HyperNext” is much more similar to English, making it user friendly to learn and implement.

5. ADOBE AIR:

The Adobe® AIR® runtime enables developers to package the same code into native apps for iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, and other Android™ devices, reaching the mobile app stores for over 500 million devices.Running on Action Script,HTML,CSS AIR allows users mostly to develop cross platform mobile apps saving the time and minimising the development cost.

Along with these Tools there are some other tools like PhoneGap, BatteryTech SDK that should not be missed out.

Mobile Apps – Why Is Android Mobile Application Development Becoming Very Popular

The world of mobile applications has just started evolving and we are already witnessing stiff competition, especially between Google which is the leader of the group that has launched Android and Apple Inc, which is the manufacturer of iPhone, iPad and iPod. Apple got the advantage of launching its smart phone earlier than Google, but on the other hand Google is said to be the undisputed leader among the search engines.

  • The Android applications can add a number of features to your mobile phone and convert it to a smart phone. Some of the factors that prompt the popularity of the Android applications are as follows.
  • The Software development kit (SDK) for Android application development is designed and made available through Google. There is a wide variety of tools in the SDK. The SDK includes the operating systems, middleware and APIs that are needed to start developing the Android application.
  • Android is an open source platform so the costs of designing the Android app are drastically reduced. Moreover if you are stuck anywhere when designing the application, there is a big community of Android followers to resolve your issue.
  • There are many core applications inside the SDK. This makes the task of the Android app developer quite easy. The SDK includes a handset emulator, tools for debugging, several utility functions, several business functions and other features too. This facilitates the application developer with a wide array of alternatives. It is the SDK that provides the platform for developing an application that offers better experience for the end-user.
  • The SDK is so advanced that the application developer has greater control over the features to be incorporated into the final Android application.
  • The open source platform allows the application developer to easily distribute the completed application. Once completed, the finished application is sure to be very user friendly.
  • When developing the Android mobile application, the designer is facilitated with P2P communication with the assistance of Google Talk. The designer can store the data with the help of SQLite.
  • The designer with the help of Android app development kit can publish an application and export it to be used by others too.
  • The Android app can be integrated with GPS, touch screen and video camera.
  • The SDK is equipped with quite a big library with books about GPS, Touch screen, and video camera.
  • The SDK enjoys the support of WiFi support as well as the Bluetooth and has a library of a number of 2D and 3D supporters.
  • With the Android SDK you can develop customized Android apps for sale or free distribution to particular clients or the public in general.
  • The Android application development facilitates the application developer, the business and the final user too.

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Android Takes Lead In The Market

Google created Android has taken a step forward in the war of smart phone platforms that is growing at a fast rate. It has snatched market share of RIM and Nokia’s Symbian OS, unlike the popular myth of overtaking share of Apple’s iOS. The biggest loser in market share has been Symbian who has lost about 14% in a year having only about 2.6% share according to latest statistics, whereas RIM has lost about 5.7% during the same period, and iOS has lost 1% of its users. Well iOS and Android cannot be termed as competitors since they target a different customer base when the prices are compared. But still, it can be said to have taken lead in the market when the figures are compared.

One of the main reasons for the Android’s popularity is that it has operating system based on Linux that is very secure and user interface that is appealing to users. It also has special Dalvik virtual machine devised for its integration. One of the fact which is not known by many is that Google has helped Linux in making OS for smart phones and tablet computers based on Linux OS while researching for Android development. Due to its feature of open source, it is available cheap to manufacturers. Software applications based on Android are available for download at stores such as Google Play and third party websites such as Amazon.

The four types of android applications are: activity, services and content provider. Let’s look at each of them.

Activity: It is most visible part of the application. It presents UI to an application known as view. It implements various UI elements such as textbox, labels, etc. Application moves from one activity to another by using method known as startActivity()

Services: Like different multitask figuring domains, there are applications running “out of sight” that perform different obligations. It calls the aforementioned sorts of applications “services.” The service is an Android requisition that has no UI. The recipient is a provision part that gets solicits to process goals. Like the service, a beneficiary does not, in standard rehearse, have a UI component. Collectors are ordinarily enlisted in the AndroidManifest.xml index.

Content Provider: The Content Provider is the android mechanism for data-store abstraction.

Android is named after its initial developer before it was bought by Google. Google unveiled Android with Open Handset Alliance that is open standards for mobile devices in 2007. It has about 7 million apps as on Oct 2012 and about 25 billion apps are downloaded by users worldwide.