Android has come a long way since its humble beginning as Android 1.0 in 2008 to the recently released Android marshmallow, it is one of the fastest growing operating systems and occupies more than 3/5th of the global smartphone market share. Since its inception, Android has been attracting a lot of attention from the developers community and now it has superseded Apple’s iOS as the OS with the largest no of apps published in the marketplace. As the number of apps in android ecosystem increase, it becomes imperative for a developer to stand out among the competition. Just as an artist needs good brushes to forge a masterpiece, similarly a developer requires good tools which can aid and fast track the development of his world-class app. The best tools for android developer that should be a part of every android developer’s arsenal are:
Although eclipse integrated Android SDK has long lost its support from google, still around 90% of the app development happens in eclipse only, without a doubt it is one of the best tools available for developers who are pretty comfortable with eclipse environment; that being said, Android Studio is the officially supported IDE and it is recommended that developers who are just starting with android development, get accustomed to this IDE only. You can download the Official version of android studio from here
Genymotion is a fast and powerful emulator for android which contains more than 3000 android configurations. You can develop, test and view your apps running instantly on all combinations of large and small devices, low and high def screens, old and new Android versions, at full speed. For further information please check their site
Imagine you have a team of developers working remotely on an app idea. Maintaining Co-ordination and pushing timely updates become big challenges in this scenario. This is where revision control systems and code management systems come into the picture. Using a distributed RCS each developer can push changes to the central source code, using a separate branch. Also, as and when the source code is updated, all developers are notified thus ensuring better co-ordination. Github and Bitbucket are best revision control systems out there. Github is the most popular RCS nowadays and it supports unlimited public repositories. In order host a private repository at GitHub, you have to buy a premium membership. Bitbucket is the good alternative for GitHub where you can host unlimited public and private repositories, but as your team scales beyond 5 you will be asked to pay a premium.
As an independent developer, i know the struggle while working on app graphics and other designing stuff. The process of designing graphics can be extremely time-consuming as well as mentally taxing. Photoshop and gimp, come in handy when you have to modify 9-patch drawable or create beautiful graphics with minimum effort. Photoshop is paid, whereas GIMP is a free image editor. You can download GIMP for your OS from here
The only viable way to check if your app is market ready is by extensive testing. Testing is one of the most important stages in software development lifecycle. A good testing phase would ensure that your users enjoy the app without any unnecessary nuisance. Crittercism is a powerful bug-tracking solution that tracks your crashes in real time and classify them according to their frequency of occurrence; Its Integration is hassle-free and the free version offers basic bug-tracking functionalities; for advanced bug-tracking scenarios like business critical applications, you have to buy a premium membership. Crashlytics is another robust bug tracking solution and is great for users looking for a reliable but free way to manage crash reporting in their apps.
The tools discussed above are the suggested but not the only tools an android developer can use to facilitate his android developer journey. There are many other resources available that can very well aid and give you a smoother android development experience. Some resources are mentioned below.
Automation Tool: Wrecker