A complete guide to becoming a successful Android Developer
Nowadays, you can find a mobile app for anything, starting from fun games and social networks to the planner and trip booking apps.
In the era of smartphones and IoT (Internet of Things), the need for new technologies and professions arises. One of those professions includes Android app development. Mobile apps can connect users much better than web and desktop apps, and are easier to use. That said, how to follow up with the trend? How to become a successful Android developer and embrace new technologies that come with it?
Is being an Android developer a good career to follow?
Absolutely! Android is a market leader in most countries. Moreover, the Android platform is open source, meaning that the entire operating system source code is available to edit for free. That said, whether you’re just a beginner or an experienced developer, you can use the code to make something new and useful.
Android community is vast and provides support for everyone who wants to learn something new. By joining the community, you will understand the market and pick up tips and tricks they don’t usually teach at engineering schools.
Additionally, Google wants to gather as many developers as possible. So, the company releases tools like Google Play Services that come equipped with sign-in, authentication, location, storage, and more, so Android developers can focus on their independent core functionality.
How Can You Make Money From Android Apps?
There are several ways to earn as Android app developer, with some methods being more appealing than others.
You can always work as a freelancer and search for clients that need an app from scratch online. Android developers earn quite a lot with average salaries passing $97k US a year, while the minimal wages go above $75k. Clients you meet online will likely need a product that focuses on developing a mobile app based on their web or desktop application. However, there are some downfalls. Sometimes, clients will need both the iOS and Android app developed. While more often than not, you will need to work over someone else’s code rather than write from scratch. The method below is much more versatile, and it doesn’t limit your creativity.
The second option is to create your own app, publish it on Google Play Store, and generate revenue through ads, paid content, and sponsors. However, choosing the right niche and coming up with an original idea seems difficult in the sea of different Android apps. If you’ve made your app, it’s time to upload it, but you will need a Google Merchant account which you can use to monetize an app. Additionally, AppMachine can be used to help the process of uploading your app and publishing it to the store. The process will help to decide whether it should be a paid or free app and much more.
The vast majority of app revenue comes through ads. The best option yet to use is Google Admob, which collaborates with thousands of companies to deliver the right advertisements your target audience may need. In-app advertising appears as those apps on the bottom of the display when you’re browsing some app. After you’ve made your way with advertisements, you can squeeze additional income through in-app purchases. For example, if you want users to get rid of the ads and receive unique content through the app, you should opt to let users pay a subscription fee.
There are several ways to earn as Android app developer, with some methods being more appealing than others.
You can always work as a freelancer and search for clients that need an app from scratch online. Android developers earn quite a lot with average salaries passing $97k US a year, while the minimal salaries go above $75k. Clients you meet online will likely need a product that focuses on developing a mobile app based on the web or desktop application. However, there are some downfalls. Sometimes, clients will need both the iOS and Android app developed. In such cases, more often than not, you will need to work over someone else’s code rather than write from scratch.
If the way above doesn’t work for you, you can create a new product that you’ll develop the way you want it. Don’t work on something that already exists; come up with a better and more profitable idea. However, with so many similar apps available on the market, it might be necessary to give your app for free, once it reaches Google Play. Getting more downloads will increase your user base, and people who will leave positive reviews.
While ads may seem like a great way to start earning with apps, they don’t provide enough money to support the maintenance and other things that keep your app in a good state. That said, marketing also plays an important role in this strategy. Plan your sales, promote your app across social media networks. You will also need to plan the best times to do a price-cut. Once the user base grows, you can offer more features and add in-app purchases to make more profit.
How Do I Become an Android Developer?
Becoming an Android developer sounds both exciting and profitable, but is it easy? The answer is no. Those who already have experience with coding and different programming languages may find it more comfortable. But, it’s still a long path and requires a lot of hard work, patience, and time. You will need to learn code, different programming languages, and many other frameworks for the environment.
What do I need to learn to develop a new app?
Learn to code:
While there are many “drag and drop” apps such as AppInstitutee and Eachscape, the code behind their development is nowhere near easy. If you want to become a successful developer, you will need to learn new languages. Java, Kotlin, C Language (C/C++/C#), and Lua are just some of them. Make sure to practice every day. There are plenty of tutorials online, as well as books that can make the learning process easier. It’s worth noting that you don’t need to focus on all of these languages to make the app. It’s enough to focus on two languages and learn them to perfection.
Pick an IDE of choice:
Picking an IDE can sometimes be hard. Starting to code usually sees us use some basic environments where the learning process feels more convenient. However, as it gets more complicated, we need to embrace new IDEs that offer more functionality. Fortunately, Google’s Android Studio provides all the convenience one can get in mobile app development. It has a sleek user interface, emulator, debugging support, and much more. Another great environment is Xamarin, which offers much more functionality than just Android development.
Grasp the Android APIs:
So, once you picked your programming language of choice and picked the environment, you want to use, now it’s time to get to know the technologies that make Android app development possible. Those include:
- Activity Lifecycle
- Using Fragments and their lifecycle
- Optimization for different devices
- Uploading to Google Play Store
- Understanding the Object-oriented programming (OOP) concepts, as well as Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture.
- Debugging apps.
- Controlling versions with Git and more.
Find the right community:
When the whole idea of understanding new concepts and learning new things gets too hard to handle, there’s a large community to help you stay on track. The era of social media networks and different support forums have allowed both aspiring developers and professional to ask for help from other learners and experts alike. Surround yourself with new learners and follow each other on your journey. Many people are facing the same problem just like you and are happy to share their ideas.
Best Android App Development Courses To Enroll In
We listed 10 best Android development courses that focus on Java and Kotlin languages. Most of them are from YouTube and Udemy, although it’s recommended to check out some books that would assist you on the go.
- Develop Android apps with Kotlin
- Kotlin for Android: Beginner to Advanced (Udemy)
- The Kotlin Language: Fundamentals (Udemy) – excellent for getting to know the Kotlin languages and grasp the concepts of programming.
- Building an Android App with Architecture Knowledge – Free (Lynda/Linkedin course)
- Android Java Masterclass: Become an App Developer (Udemy)
- The Complete Android & Java Developer Course – Build 21 Apps – Udemy
- The Comprehensive 2019 Android Development Masterclass – Udemy
There are many more courses that you can find on Coursera and Udacity.
Best Free Youtube Video Courses for Learning Android Development
Android Studio for Beginner
Android App Development in 2019 from Installation to Coding and Publish Your Own Applications!
Kotlin Programming for Android: Beginners Tutorial [ FREE COURSE ]
What Tools Do You Need to Write and Test Android App?
We mentioned Android Studio and Xamarin above. However, if you’re interested in using a different IDE or additional tools, we listed additional software worth checking out, below.
- ADB (Android Debug Bridge)
Android Debug Bridge is the part of Android Studio which handles the communication between Android devices and other computers. It’s great for overall debugging and QA testing.
- AVD Manager
AVD (Android Virtual Device) Manager is an emulator which should run Android apps on a computer, which enables you to test them in terms of responsiveness and performance. It’s mainly connected to optimizing the app for different screen sizes, resolutions, and versions.
Early Android developers worked on Eclipse before Android Studio. Moreover, Eclipse is one of the most popular environments for Java, next to NetBeans. It also does various process, from simple procedural and OOP to complex data structures and web development,
Fabric is the platform that can be used for Android app development by providing a suite of tools that users can pick and use in different ways, including emulating, beta-testing, to advanced marketing tools that will help you promote your app. Google bought Fabric from Twitter in January 2017. Since, different giants such as Uber, Spotify, Square, Groupon, and Yelp have been built using Fabric. Interestingly, Fabric will be merged into Firebase which is backed by Google to combine the best features of two in January 2020.
- GameMaker: Studio
If your target audience includes games and you’re creative and know your way with the lore, then GameMaker: Studio is an excellent app for making games.
Is Android Development Still a Good Career Choice In 2020?
Yes. Android development is still worth pursuing in 2020. There are so many new technologies emerging on the market. New smartphones that support Android are well-capable of AR and VR, have their own AI personal assistant and in great matter rely on automation. That said, many new technologies are expected to emerge, so upcoming years with Android apps are genuinely going to be innovative.
5 Online Resources to start developing an Android app
Do you have an awesome idea for an Android app, but don’t know the first thing about app development? Never fear, as there are many useful resources available to help you to develop that perfect app. Use the online resources below, and begin your journey into Android development!
Official Android Development Site
When you need up-to-date information about Android development, go to the official source. The official Android development site is run by the maintainers of the Android SDK, so you know it has everything you will need to know to design that first app. The site also teaches you the official ‘best practices’ for designing your app.
Written and maintained by Gabor Pellar, My Life With Android reads less like a series of tutorials and more like a diary. The blog details his experience with developing on the Android platform. Although it is a useful resource for learning how to build your own Android app, the content of his posts may contain errors since he is writing as he learns Android development himself. Even so, it’s a great resource if you want to learn alongside someone that is learning Android development for the first time.
Sometimes, reading how to develop part of an app isn’t as effective as watching someone code. Enter YouTube. Using YouTube, you will be able to find professional developers that will share their knowledge about Android app development with you. For aspiring Android developers that are visual learners, YouTube is a must-use resource.
Tuts+’s (TutsPlus) Android section is packed with great information for both beginning and veteran Android developers. Mobile Tuts+ has over 150 development tutorials, each categorized via difficulty, the amount of time it will take to complete tasks in a tutorial, and so on. Although the tutorials are only text-based, don’t let that scare you as they are all formatted professionally and include an abundance of screenshots to help you in the event that you get confused.
If you want a large collection of Android tutorials that cover both the basic and advanced topics, you will want to visit Vogella. Every tutorial is written to perfection and the best part? Each tutorial offers links to other resources that explain the tutorial in more detail, so you can continue learning well after the tutorial is over.
This is a great time to be an Android developer. With the abundance of resources available to teach you everything you need to know about Android development, there isn’t a reason not to try your hand at Android app development. What are you waiting for? Stop reading and start learning!
We hope that this article summed up all the most common questions beginner developers tend to ask. While there are a lot of options to choose from, the choice of programming language and IDEs to focus on is entirely up to the learner. Keep in mind that the Android market runs incredibly fast, so if you plan to begin learning Android app development, better don’t slack around, as emerging technologies change at a fast pace.