8 tips for Android app developers

If you got into Android development after doing research on various development careers, you might have noticed that Android app development is a behemoth. It was back in 2013 when mobile devices sales surpassed those of computers and made the switch from being an up-and-coming platform to a more dominant one today. Now as we head into 2019, Android devices continue to cement their position and reassure us that it wasn’t just a hype after all.Android sales take a whopping 81.7% of the entire mobile market today. Whether you are looking for tips that can help you in your learning journey to become an Android developer or increase your chances of success as one, here are our top tips:

1. Acquire as many programming languages as you can

Learning more than one programming language can be beneficial for two main reasons. The first reason is that programming languages have lots of similarities and common features that if acquired, would widen one’s skillset. The second one is that the industry is already unstable enough to stick to one core competency without exploring other options. It’s important to become versatile and ready to use whichever language is in demand. When learning new programming languages, try not to stay in the shallow we — take the plunge and learn as much as you can. Here is a list of the best Android development languages to learn.

2. Master Android Studio

The more time you spend experimenting with an integrated development environment such as Android Studio, the better you’ll get at optimizing your apps. Android Studio will surprise you with how many convenient features it has to offer. Here is a beginner’s tutorial if you’re just starting out, and here are 50 tips and tricks and resources to go along with it. Don’t be rigid and take shortcuts when developing your mobile apps, and make sure to keep your development strategy intact. In short, make a habit out of discovering new ways to make your development tools work better for you.

3. Contribute to an open source project

Devoting some of your skills to the development community will certainly be beneficial for you too. If you are willing to contribute to an established open source project, you will have to read a lot of industry grade code while adding to it at the same time. Never fear, you will learn a lot in doing so, and you will see how your code compares with that of others. If you want to take this path (which we recommend), this article has more than 20 open source Android projects for you to choose from.

4. Don’t make design your least area of interest

Even if your app’s target audience are hardcore philosophy disciples who are not concerned about looks or features, don’t treat application design as a mere complementary task. There are hundred of thousands of apps in the Google Play store that have great content to offer, but fail on capitalizing on it because of their poor user experience. It’s a crowded market out there, and you need to realize how important it is to stand out. Try to make your app look good to not deem your technical masterpiece a failure. Not sure where to begin? Here’s an article highlighting some up-to-date design features your app should have.

5. Upgrade your app with what is technically trending

Currently, most Android devices are on board with Marshmallow, Nougat, and Oreo. But they are expected to be updated with android Pie in the near future. If your app is developed with an old SDK like that of Froyo, or it doesn’t meet the requirements of the latest version of material design, users will most likely think that your app is old-fashioned. Users like to see the latest updates and features in their apps — plain and simple. Even if you get a rumor on how icons are going to look like in the — not yet existing — Android Q, try to experiment with it and see how your app can be better.

6. Care for your users’ feedback

Do you want to know why the apps on your phone keep bugging you to give them your feedback? It’s because they need to hear from you and see where they’re excelling or lacking. You should make user feedback a pivotal step of your operational strategy and act according to what your audience wants. The best way to build loyalty and keep your users happy is by listening to them.

7. Learn about monetization

One of the main reasons that have made smartphone users side with Android is that most of its apps are free to use, and a large chunk of the paid ones are actually worth their price. Android app developers can either sell their apps or make use of the freemium model to monetize their apps with ads and in-app purchases. Monetization is very important and every Android developer, no matter their role should learn at least the basics. Read this article to learn more about making money from android applications.

8. Optimize your app for all devices

Be aware of the fact that not all Android users own powerful devices. Many users still (happily) own low-end devices. For this type of audience, performance can be a determining factor on whether they want to switch to your app or not. And you need to cater to them as well. Make your applications as lightweight as you can, and optimize them to perform decently on all Android devices. Avoid unnecessary functions and take resource efficiency into consideration. This course from Udacity has all you need to learn how to optimize your apps for better performance.

9. Regulate your android app permissions

We’re in an era of government regulations and users have never been on such a degree of awareness when it comes to privacy. It will be flaky if an Android game needs to have access to your location right? Try to limit your requirements and collect as little data as you can. If you app does not need the camera to function, simply go ahead and remove the camera permission. Users will appreciate minimal “intrusion.” To avoid such results, this article has everything you need know about permissions.

10. Finally…

The best piece of advice one can offer to aspiring or established android developers is to know the capabilities of their platform and what makes it unique. Combine that with a life-long learning approach and you will be on your way to become a successful Android developer.
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