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Programming For Android Is Trickier Than You Think

Technology

Josue Castillo wrote this article

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As if learning an entire programming platform wasn’t hard enough, there can be unseen difficulties that developers often face when programming for Android.

At Chop Dawg, it is a well known fact that developing for Android from start to finish is a hassle, and we want to educate you about the entire process.

First, let us start with what Android developers should have in their developer tool belt.

The Android Developer Tool Belt

Android developers need to have in their tool belt:

 

1. The Java programming language

2. A Framework such as Spring, JSF(Java Server Faces), Hadoop, etc)

3. XML

4. Android Studio (or another Integrated Development Environment (IDE))

5. SQLite

5. NDK

6. OpenGL

The list of things that Android developers need to know goes on, but these are just the basics.

Java is a pretty tricky language to learn, but all the other small, but important, technologies developers need to know make being an Android developer time consuming and difficult.

Not only are there a myriad of things app developers need to know, such as programming languages and libraries, they also need to know how to program their app for all the different screen sizes available for the Android ecosystem.

Programming Across the Android Product Line

There are a whopping 2.5 billion active android devices, 24,000 different devices (and growing), and mobile operating system versions ranging from 2.3 to 4.31.

Also, check out what’s new in Android 11.

With all the available Android devices to program, Android developers certainly have their hands full.

Believe it or not, it is actually more difficult to program for smaller screens than larger ones.

It doesn’t help that one screen may require multiple files.

Functionality is very important in mobile applications. Developers need to coordinate correctly when to swipe, drag, drop, double tap, etc.

Not only do you need to worry about mobile, but apps need to be responsive for all screen sizes such as tablets. Each Android feature and functionality can take hours to get just right.

App developers spend most of their time doing this one thing.

If you guessed debugging, you’re probably either a developer, or very well-informed.

The development process includes programming, debugging, and testing, but the majority of a developers time is spend fixing bugs and debugging issues.

When programming, you are bound to run into issues. It’s simple; we are humans and prone to making errors.

At Chop Dawg, we try to mitigate errors by having a robust and lengthy quality assurance process throughout app development, so that programs come out relatively bug-free by the time QA testing arrives.

The Nuances of Programming

First thing first, developers need to have an idea who the target audience is.

This is important so that when programming all the features tie back to the target audience.

If your end-users are middle-aged women you don’t want to program the app the same way as you would for teenage young adults.

There are little problems that Android developers face that aren’t so on IOS.

One problem is outdated and non-secure API or JDKs.

Using outdated code in your programs can cause security issues or even functionality issues.

One very important part of programming is designing and implementing a secure database.

Databases are where all your app’s data is held and stored.

So, on top of all the other skills/technologies developers need to know, they also need to design safe and user-friendly databases.

While libraries automate project tasks sometimes you need plugins to augment each software tool being used (IE an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) plugin).

Android Studio has a list of plugins available.

While plugins aren’t 100% necessary they make the developers life easier and allow us to work more efficiently.

Lastly, we pride ourselves in using “meaningful code” by using comments to explain each line and styling our code so it is pleasing to the eye.

Styling code is actually very much necessary, especially if you plan to pass on your app to another developer or even after a few months, if you need to make some updates.

Security

The biggest issue when developing applications is security, especially when dealing with payments, sensitive user information, location information, social security, and the list goes on!

When developing an application for a health care system, you don’t want all of the patient’s data being leaked or even worse, hacked.

Imagine all the social security numbers, addresses, names, and other personal information that a digital thief could get their hands on.

That is why app security is our number one priority when developing apps.

Different Ways App’s Security Can Be Compromised

 

1. Data being intercepted at either end

2. Use of non-secure libraries

3. Using non-authorized APIs in code

4. Authentication

5. Privileges

6. Session management

7. Secure database storage

8. SSL security

9. Malicious user inputs

10. Server side controls

Publishing To Google Play Store

Checklist to publish an app to the Google Play Store: 

 

1. Understand the policies and agreements

2. Test for the “mostly used” Android devices

3. Determine your apps content rating

4. Determine country distribution

5. Confirm the apps overall size

6. Confirm the app’s platform and screen ranges

7. Determine if app will be free or priced

8. Consider using in app billing

9. Final check and publish

While programming for Android can be time-consuming, we pride ourselves on making stunning, secure, and responsive applications you and your users will love.

We are here to support you every step of the way to help bring your idea to life.

About ChopDawg.com: Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.

 

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