With more than 1.2 billion smartphone users across the globe, individuals use mobile applications for several reasons be it shopping, entertainment or education. Mobile revolution has a zillion of opportunities for organizations to launch mobile applications aimed at driving customer’s loyalty, increasing revenue, or enhancing engagement level. Furthermore, organizations also increase mobile application development to increase employees/customers intuitive user experience.
Significant and lucrative opportunities exist in the mobile app development industry, as businesses of all sizes seek to provide highly contextual and personalized experiences for their customers. Before taking a plunge into mobile app development bandwagon, it is important to understand entire ecosystem. Know your audience, understand which platform to build for and features to include.
Today, Android app development services are dominating the global market. Android will continue to dominate the worldwide smartphone OS market in 2019. Android's smartphone share will continue to be around 85% according to the forecast. Volumes are expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7% with shipments approaching 1.36 billion in 2022.
With over 3.5 million Android apps available in the Google Play Store, it is important to ensure that your app stands tall above the crowd to increase app downloads. At the same time, the mobile app developers also need to identify and address a number of major challenges in Android app development to ensure success of their app.
1) Software Fragmentation
Ever since its launch Android has been grappling with the problem of fragmentation. With new version of Android operating system being launched every year the problem of fragmentation is getting complex every year. Unlike iOS, the adoption rate of the latest version of Android continues to be significantly slow. As a result, the developers have to target multiple versions of Android while developing mobile apps. This often makes Android app development challenging as it is difficult to build an app that leverages the features provided by the latest as well as earlier versions of Android operating system.
2) Device Fragmentation
Unlike iOS, Android is open source, allowing different device manufacturers to customize Android OS without any constraint. This adds to the dilemma of Android developers as the hardware features provided by differ considerably. Android devices can come with fingerprint sensors, whereas others devices may not support the functionality. This makes it difficult for developer to leverage fingerprint sensor, instead implement multiple authentications to complement varying hardware features of Android devices.
3) User Interface for Android
The different UIs make it difficult for mobile app developers to build an Android app which functions seamlessly with each device. Developers need to refer and implement the UI design guidelines recommended by Google to make their Android apps look appealing. But developers have to explore ways to keep the app layout responsive and adaptive to make the app compatible with individual devices.
4) Programming Language
The two official programming languages for Android app development are Java and Kotlin. Java is a mature programming language. On the other hand, Kotlin has been recently launched as a modern programming language. Kotlin comes with features to streamline Android app development and maintenance of app code. Several Android app development tools do not support Kotlin which makes it challenging for mobile app developers to select the right programming language for Android app development.
5) Security Issues
Due to its massive market share, Android is more vulnerable to security attacks. Developers combine security features and advanced encryption mechanisms to protect the app and user data. But developers are often perplexed in the quest to make the Android app and user data secure.
Top Android App Development Tools
Android development can be a daunting task. However, there are several tools that will help you navigate the treacherous world of Android app development. Here is a quick roundup of tools that will help with Android app development right from IDEs, libraries to plugins.
Android Studio: The official IDE, Android Studio provides the tools for building apps on every type of Android device. Powered by Gradle, Android Studio's build system provides a new level of customization to generate multiple build variants for different devices from a single project.
Eclipse is an integrated development environment (IDE) is among the most widely used Java IDE., containing a base workspace and an extensible plug-in system for customizing the environment. Written in Java, Eclipse’s primary use is for developing Java applications.
IntelliJ IDEA analyzes code and provides in-depth coding assistance, quick navigation, error analysis, and, refactorings.
An Android text and code editor to use on Android platforms. It allows coding while on the go, editing files from the cloud, as well as Syntax highlighting for 200 programming languages
Complete web and Android development environment, it also allows you to edit Java and PhoneGap apps.
Highly customizable, powerful and flexible library for loading, caching and displaying images on Android.
Java serialization/deserialization library to convert Java Objects into JSON.
Described as an “elegant solution for organising API calls”.
Collection of the best Java frameworks and libraries.
Library with very simple syntax to get regular View animations working smoothly.
The primary repository for IntelliJ plugins to extend the core functionality as well as offer integration with version control systems, application servers, and other tools.
GenyMotion is one of the biggest and most reliable testing and emulation tools for Android apps. It also offers Cloud-based Android virtual devices to enhance test automation or run your app in your website.
It is important to implement a custom mobile app development strategy to identify and overcome these biggest challenges in Android app development. In order to overcome problems associated with Android App development, it is important to select the right tool and partner with a top Android app development company.