Android is a free and open platform, which means that you can develop apps for various devices. These devices include, but are not limited to smartphones, tablets, e-book readers, GPS devices and netbooks.
As the popularity of mobile devices continue to soar, this is a wonderful opportunity to create a successful Android app regardless of your development background. However, you do not have to reinvent the wheel as there are plenty of resources available to help you make your app powerful.
#1. Background services
This is simply an application that runs invisibly in the background. A classic example is an antivirus application that runs in the background as a service on desktop computers. Modern mobile devices are inherently multifunction devices. Unfortunately, their small screen size makes it impossible for more than one application to be visible at the same time.
In order to make your Android app more effective, you need to incorporate background services. It makes it possible to create invisible app components that are capable of performing automatic processing without direct user action. Most successful Android apps run background services. This how you can check your email while listening to music.
#2. Make the most of hardware tools
Google offers a wide range of functionality in Android, thereby, providing mobile application experts the tools required to build innovative, full-fledged mobile applications. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of hardware tools to improve your Android application.
The Android Operating System integrated with a device’s GPS lets you access the location of a user at any given time. A classic example of this is the Foursquare social networking app. It uses this feature to track a user’s location. The ability of the Map application to identify one’s location on a map and offer direction to his/her destination is another example. Many applications utilize this functionality to show users where the nearest hotel, coffeehouse or gas station is located. Delivering messaging to your app’s users based on their location can be a powerful tool.
Real-time information is easy to access thanks to the internet. You can use the internet in your Android apps to access all types of data via the internet. Some of the application tools can also be stored on the web, something YouTube and other big name companies have been doing.
#5. Google APIs
You need to keep in mind that an Android Operating System is not limited to making and receiving phone calls, sending text messages or installing apps. You have a great opportunity to make your app more effective with APIs provided by Google. You can integrate features into your app such as maps. Google offers the maps API for free. You can embed the API in your app to show users the nearest hotel, coffee shop,or other relevant data as it pertains to your Android application.
Make sure your app has the ability to access user contacts. You can use this functionality to change the layout of the in-built contacts application. You can write an application that combines the GPS system with the contacts. This way, the user can be alerted when he/she is near one of their contact’s addresses. However, do not use the contacts information an inappropriate way.
#7. Include video and audio support
The Android Operating System makes adding video and audio in your app a seamless experience. Many standard video and audio formats are supported by the Android OS. Streaming videos, background music, instructional videos, sound effects and video from the Internet can all be included in your application with no hassle. The sky is the limit. So be as creative as possible.
The accelerometer, as the name suggests, is a gadget that measures acceleration. But what role does it play in your Android app? Well, the accelerometer is designed to tell users whether the phone is being shaken or moving. It can also tell the direction it is being turned. This feature can be used to control your app. This is one of the key functionalities that are giving mobile devices an edge over desktop computers.
#9. SD card
Android offers you the necessary tools you need to save or access files needed by your app. Android lets users install applications on the device’s SD card. This means that users will be less likely to uninstall apps in case space is needed.
#10. Think like users
When developing an app, do not design it based on your programming limitations or according to your database. Design it based on what your users want. Moreover, do not make users work to use your app. They dislike typing and do not want to read long sets of instructions. The best apps are easy to use.
#11. The power of touch
Android app developers do not stop until their apps feel right. If an app does not respond immediately to the touch, then you have to do something. Poor feeling apps can make users feel like they are using a desktop computer and not a mobile device. Use gestures to establish a powerful connection between the user and the interface.
#12. Do not overlook your icon
The icon is definitely the first impression of your application as it is found on the home screen. The best icons are not only aesthetically appealing, but also simple. They should stand out from the rest so that it can be easily recognized on the home screen.
#13. Go native
According to recent statistics, users spend an average of 3 hours a day on their Android and iOS devices. 80 percent of that time is spent on apps and only 20 percent on browsers. Users are becoming more and more comfortable with mobile apps and prefer them over browsers. That is why Facebook ditched mobile HTML and went native for its mobile apps.
Succeeding with your Android application development project isn’t as hard as you think. As you consistently work towards a quality app, you will develop critical practical experience that you can use to improve the application. It definitely requires commitment, but the payoff can be incredible.
Images: “HILVERSUM, NETHERLANDS – MARCH 17, 2014: Android is an operating system based on the Linux kernel and designed for touchscreen mobile devices. The mobile HTC Dream, was successfully released in 2008/Shutterstock.com“
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