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What is Android software development?

Android is a mobile/desktop operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software, designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Android is developed by a consortium of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance and commercially sponsored by Google. It was unveiled in November 2007, with the first commercial Android device, the HTC Dream, being launched in September 2008.

It is free and open-source software; its source code is known as Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is primarily licensed under the Apache License. However most Android devices ship with additional proprietary software pre-installed, most notably Google Mobile Services (GMS) which includes core apps such as Google Chrome, the digital distribution platform Google Play and associated Google Play Services development platform.

Android software development is the process by which applications are created for devices running the Android operating system. Google states that "Android apps can be written using Kotlin, Java, and C++ languages" using the Android software development kit (SDK), while using other languages is also possible. All non-Java virtual machine (JVM) languages, such as Go, JavaScript, C, C++ or assembly, need the help of JVM language code, that may be supplied by tools, likely with restricted API support. Some programming languages and tools allow cross-platform app support (i.e. for both Android and iOS). Third party tools, development environments, and language support have also continued to evolve and expand since the initial SDK was released in 2008. The official Android app distribution mechanism to end users is Google Play; it also allows staged gradual app release, as well as distribution of pre-release app versions to testers.

How to hire for Android development?

Define your needs

To find a perfect fit for your team, you need to establish who that would be. To give you some examples: a good teammate, excellent level of English, business knowledge, with 3 years of experience, growth-attitude, etc.

Build a process

To filter the best possible hires, you need a set of steps. We call it a hiring funnel (it’s a lot like a sales funnel). Establish how you want to check your candidate’s skills, way of thinking, culture, and team fit. Prepare questions in advance and take a team member to the interview.

Overcome obstacles

Hiring android developers seems difficult because there are a lot of them in the market (but not everyone as experienced and promising as you wish), and there is also high demand. A well-thought-out process is your key to overcome these obstacles.

Here are 10 common android development interview questions that can help you hire android developers that deserve a place on your team

Companies That Use Android

Android is so popular, quite a few major business enterprises are well-acquainted with the software. Companies that use Android include the following:

What Are the Advantages of Android?

1. Android is an open-source platform allowing UI customisation

Licensed under Apache, Android is an open source operating system whose codes developers can change to build customised User Interface. App developers building applications for this platform can get access to the core codes and are at a liberty to change the them to get the customised outcomes. This is not possible when it comes to iOS and app have to strictly adhere to the core code specifications when developing apps for the specific platform.

2. Supports cloud storage enabling sync of devices with G-account

Since Android is a Google product, users having Gmail account can have access to cloud storage that are supported by the tech company. This means that users can sync devices using Google accounts. Moreover, Google gives 15GB of free cloud storage to every user that is good for an average person using it for personal purposes.

3. Continual improvement & removal of old features

Google Android is supported by a huge community of developers and also users who continue to give feedback about the features, pros and cons. As a result, there is continuous check on the codes and features, making modifications and alterations, bringing in better upgrades all the time. This is one of the reasons why Android is always adding new features while removing older ones that users do not like.

4.Supports 3rd party widget & information display on screen

Android gives users the freedom to download 3rd party widgets and also display their content on the home screen. If a user wishes to view time and temperature shown by a specific widget on the home screen, it is possible with devices running on the platform.

5. Supports running multiple apps simultaneously

With Android running on a device with good hardware specification, as a user you can have multiple apps running simultaneously. You can continue to listen to music as you check your messages or download files that you’ve received or even upload them from your device or drive. There are a lot of Android app development companies who build applications based on Android that are very useful in our daily lives.

6. Expandable memory & runs on affordable large devices

One of the biggest advantages of using devices running on Android platform is that it supports expandable memory. iOS devices on the other hand do not support external memory expansion by adding memory card to the phone. Users of this platform enjoy the privilege of storing e-books, music, videos and games on their devices.

7. Wide range of devices to choose from

Android users are spoilt for choice of smartphone devices of different prices. There is something for people across all budget spectrum when it comes to smartphones running on Android. Almost all companies build devices that support Android platform giving users multiple options when buying. This is something that is very restrictive for Apple users who have to stick to the company’s expensive devices only!

Disadvantages of Android?

1. Runs slow on low-specification devices

Android operating system is huge and occupies a lot of space. This is the reason that phones with low hardware specifications run slow on this OS. Moreover, it comes with several default apps that further slow down the smartphone operation. This leaves no scope of downloading external apps and also leads to heating issues of the device.

2. Doesn’t offer premium virus protection

Android doesn’t come with default virus protection like Apple devices but, users need to download anti-virus systems to protect the device from getting affected. A lot apps in Google Play Store may contain viruses that will ultimately affect the device and its operations.

3. Apps continue to run in the background

Devices running on older Android versions still have apps running in the background that can also come to the foreground automatically. Newer version of Android of course does not let the apps come to the foreground but if the apps continue to run, it naturally consumes battery power.

4. Users boomeranged with ads in apps

Apps that are downloaded from Play Store usually come with a lot of advertisements that users have to put up with while using the application. To experience an ad-free users-experience, you need to buy the license.

5. Often totally new app ideas difficult to execute

Apps with totally new ideas have a difficult time entering the Android market as Play Store is already flooded with millions of apps. Companies are often wary of entering the Android market with latest ideas that will make a mark.

6. Often apps are bad quality disappointing users

A lot of apps on Play Store come with poor quality and bad user-experience as their only purpose is to earn money through ad display. You may also come across several apps that have not been updated for years that end up affecting the updated operating system.

7. Google account mandatory to use Play Store

Android is a Google product and you need a Google account to get access to Play Store and also sync devices of other Google users.All said and done, Android still continues to be extremely popular among smartphone users worldwide as all types of devices support it. Apps for Android can be customised giving users the effect that they want taking the platform’s popularity further ahead.

Android Alternatives

1. Native

The most obvious alternative to React Native is the separate development for native iOS and Android platforms. As mentioned before, this involves having two teams developing two different apps. This might result in the apps becoming inconsistent, and you won’t be able to reuse code.

If you want your app to really “feel native” or aim at achieving maximum possible performance, native apps are probably still the best way to go. Better documentation and the wider availability of off-the-shelf solutions to popular problems are some other advantages. Be aware of the cost and time implications though.

2. Flutter

Currently, the most popular cross-platform alternative to React Native is Flutter, a relatively new mobile application framework developed by Google.It is based on the Dart programming language and takes a different approach to implementing cross-platform features.We found out that it can provide excellent performance and a native look to the apps developed with the help of the framework. As Flutter is quite new, the community is much smaller than when it comes to RN. Also, bear in mind that it is easier for frontend developers to switch to React Native (especially those with some React experience) than to learn a completely new language and framework. Dart might be easier for Java or C# developers, though.

3. Other

There are many other alternatives for cross-platform mobile development. NativeScript is a framework that allows developing mobile apps using web frameworks like Angular or Vue.js. Xamarin uses the C# language and, like RN, it compiles the code to native controls.Ionic is based on rendering app inside a WebView, which can be slower than other approaches. An interesting alternative for a simple application might be developing a Progressive Web App, a special type of website adapted for mobile and offline use.

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