Mobile application development on Android

Everyone knows that there are more and more users of mobile applications every year. And business is trying to reach this audience by any available means. Before contacting an IT company, the question arises of which platform to choose - Android or iOS, both at once, or maybe even opt for cross-platform technology. Today Anatoly, our Android engineer, will talk about the features of developing a mobile application on Android.

Why you should pay attention to Android
Number of users. In 2020, there were 2.8 billion active Android users, and the share of this system in the global market was 75%.

Great opportunities. The system allows you to implement any ideas that need to be implemented for the convenience of users.

Affordable publication cost. To publish an application on Google Play, you need a developer account. It is paid once and costs $25. If we compare it with iOS, then the developer account there is paid every year, it costs $99.

Publishing speed. Publishing an application to the store takes no more than three days, in some situations - a week. Google Play does not impose specific requirements for the functionality of the application. The main thing is that it does not break the rules.

What you need to develop applications for Android
You can develop applications for Android on absolutely any operating system, unlike iOS, where you need a computer running MacOS. You will also need the Android Studio development environment - this is the official solution from Google, the best option for an Android developer. The JDK (Java Development Kit) is already built into the IDE (integrated development environment), so you don't have to think about it.

You don't even need to have an Android device to develop, because the IDE has a built-in emulator that allows you to create any kind of virtual device. Be it a watch, a car multimedia system or a TV on any version of Android. Even including those versions that have not yet been officially released, devices with any screen diagonal, which allows you to thoroughly test the application.

What are Android applications written in?
In 2019, Google announced that Kotlin is the preferred language for Android app development. I completely agree with them on this issue. Kotlin is a modern statically typed programming language used by over 60% of professional Android developers.

Expressive and concise - Kotlin's modern language features let you focus on expressing ideas and writing less boilerplate code.

Safe code - thanks to null safety included in the type system, Kotlin helps to avoid NullPointerException. Android apps using Kotlin crash 20% less often.

Compatible – Kotlin is 100% compatible with the Java programming language, so you can use as much Kotlin as you want in your project.

Structured Concurrency - Kotlin coroutines optimize asynchronous programming, making common tasks such as network calls and database updates simple and performant.

Kotlin fully supports Android development with tools and resources to help you succeed.

Android Studio - Android Studio provides top-notch Kotlin support. It even has built-in tools to help you convert Java code to Kotlin.

Android KTX - Android KTX makes Android development with Kotlin more concise, enjoyable and idiomatic by leveraging the features of the Kotlin language.

Kotlin-friendly SDK - Starting with Android 9 (API level 28), the Android SDK contains nullability annotations that help avoid NullPointerException. API reference documentation is also available on Kotlin.

Features of creating applications for Android
You can develop applications for Android on absolutely any operating system, unlike iOS, where you need a computer running MacOS.
In addition to smartphones and tablets, watches, TVs, car multimedia systems, AR/VR glasses, etc. also work on Android.
One of the best IDE in the world (based on Intellij Idea).
A wide range of libraries and frameworks that make life easier.
Developer account registration available.
High fragmentation of devices by OS versions and screen sizes.
How an application is published on Google Play
Publishing applications on Google Play takes a separate place. To host an application, you must complete the following steps.

1. Study the rules of the program for developers - Developer Program Policies
The Developer Program Policies are designed to ensure that Google Play remains a trusted resource for Android users. It is necessary to study them carefully, since there will be consequences for violations, including removal of the application.

2. Prepare a developer account
It is necessary to register a developer account and carefully check the correctness of the data. If you plan to sell products within the app, set up your merchant account.

3. Consider working with application localization
Android runs on many devices in different countries. To reach a large part of the audience, the application must support various localization options. Then, depending on the country, users will see text in a language they know, a date in a familiar format, etc.

With localization, you can take advantage of Google Play's worldwide reach and maximize your app's distribution potential. Localization requires attention throughout the entire application development cycle, so building the right architecture is essential.

4. Schedule a simultaneous release on all platforms
Releasing an app on multiple platforms maximizes advertising revenue, so you need to plan the release well in advance. If you can't release on all platforms at the same time, you can open pre-registration on Google Play. Or manually collect users' contact information and send them a notification about the app's release.

5. Check the application for compliance with quality guidelines
You need to thoroughly test your app for stability across different device form factors to ensure it looks and functions as expected for an Android user.

6. Target a fresh API level
Applications released from August 2021 must:
be published in Android App Bundle (AAB) format;
Use Play Asset Delivery or Play Feature Delivery to provide assets and functionality larger than 150 MB. OBB extension files will no longer be supported for new applications;
Target API level 30 (Android 11) or higher.

7. You need to create an Android App Bundle
Once the app development is complete, you need to create an Android App Bundle in Android Studio and upload it to Google Play. Google Play will use it to create, sign and store optimized APK files for each device, resulting in a smaller app size to download and install.

8. Conduct internal testing
Google Play allows you to submit your application for internal testing; up to 100 testers can participate. Before making a mobile application available to external users, it must be tested.

9. Prepare an application description for Google Play
Prepare a description, advertising banners, screenshots and videos that you will post on the application page. Be sure to include a link to the privacy policy if necessary. Provide the above information in all languages supported by the application.

10. Engage users with pre-registration
Pre-registration helps draw attention to apps and games and builds anticipation among users. This way you will increase your launch efficiency.

11. Run open or closed testing of the application
Open or closed testing stages can help find a significant portion of the problems. This will provide an opportunity to solve them and improve the quality of the first release.

12. Check compatible devices
Once you upload the app to Google Play, you can check which devices are compatible with your app. To ensure maximum app availability, review the lists of compatible and excluded devices regularly.

13. Check pre-run reports
When you run open or closed testing, you get a report after automatically testing the application on different real devices running different versions of Android. Using this report, you can identify issues and fix them before release.

14. Determine the price of the application and country of distribution
Once you've determined your monetization model, configure your app as free or paid and select the countries where it will be distributed. You can set the global cost of the application or determine it separately for each country. It is also possible to use pricing templates to make app pricing easier.

15. Configure distribution settings
On the Google Play distribution page, select specific devices and programs - Wear OS, Android TV and Designed for families (apps for the whole family). Google Play can then review your app for compliance with its program policies and, once approved, make it available to more users.

16.Create products and subscriptions for sale within the application
Select the countries where you are going to sell, study currency and tax issues. Next, set up your seller account and add descriptions and prices for your products and subscriptions in the app.

17. Set app content rating
Providing an appropriate rating for an application is a requirement of the Developer Program policy. It also ensures that the app is seen by the right age audience, which increases user engagement.

18. Conduct final checks and publish the application
Go back and double check that you have done everything on this list. Now you are ready to publish your application. If you release an app update, use a phased rollout to gradually make it available to more users. This will allow you to stop the update in time if you find a problem. This way it will affect fewer users.

19. Promote the application
Start promoting an app with the Google Play logo. Increase visits to your store page, learn and improve conversions, and find out what users are saying about your app.

20. View and respond to user reviews
Find out what users think about your app and respond to their feedback. Fix issues you may not have noticed during testing and listen to what users want. Replies to reviews attract the audience and convey a feeling of care, which increases loyalty. When you respond to negative reviews, if possible, indicate how and when you will respond to them. Users are more likely to leave a good rating and share your app after a positive interaction.

Android Application Development at Rs 2500/month in Bhopal | ID: 19035862491
21. Study performance indicators
Android Vitals displays application performance metrics: stability, power consumption, startup time, permission denials. Tracking these metrics allows you to identify and correct poor application behavior that directly impacts the user experience. This, in turn, increases the app's rating and leads to more installations.

In addition, reducing the size of the application can reduce installation time and the number of uninstallations. You'll also see when there's a sudden change in fundamentals, indicating anomalies you should investigate. And benchmarks will help you compare the performance of your application with the performance of similar or mobile solutions of your choice.

Apps with higher scores receive more advertising, which increases their search rankings on Google Play. They're also more likely to appear in the New & Updated and Editors' Choice collections and be nominated for Google Play Awards.

22. What's next
Take a break first. Then come up with a strategy to increase engagement, retain and grow your audience, and increase revenue.

Let's summarize
As you can see, development for Android is a rather long and complex process that requires a professional approach and knowledge in many areas. This platform is worth paying attention to because of the large number of users, wide capabilities, and easy and fast publishing.

If you are interested in how mobile app pricing works, take a look at our article. In it, we described in detail what stages the process consists of, how long it takes, and how much it costs.
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