Opportunities in Android App Development

Android based smartphones have captured the imagination of global users. Users are getting addicted with the unique applications developed on this platform. Consumer demands in terms of applications are on the rise and thus app development has acquired center stage. As a result, Android app development has presented a wealth of opportunity for developers, businesses and individuals looking to invest.

This platform comprehensively supports development of applications for different categories and verticals. Moreover, with the emergence of enterprise mobility, even businesses can harness the benefits of this platform to optimize their workplace efficiency. They can easily get customized applications developed on this platform.

Initially there were security and breakdown concerns. These threats have been eliminated with some of the latest and sophisticated technology advancements. This ensures that Android platform is less prone to vulnerabilities and reliable for complex developments.

Why Android development matters

Since the emergence, its popularity has sky rocketed. As per the recent stats more than 7, 00,000 applications have been developed on this platform and over 25 billion downloads across the globe. This has given rise to new applications and development support to meet the constantly growing demand.

Cell phones have made inroads in almost all walks of human lives. They are being used prominently for personal use, but are also compelling businesses to make a move on from legacy systems to mobile. These emerging trends require the development of complex applications. Enterprises can opt for mobile applications development based on Android to get tailored apps specific to their organizational purposes.

The Android brand is showing no signs of slowing down. The number of smartphones activated on a daily basis is also on the rise with every passing day. This would help enterprise to support the BYOD trend. There are numerous benefits associated with Android application development, these are

  • It is open source and free, this cuts down the development cost substantially
  • It is affordable, and does not restrict the development process with license expenses
  • It is best suited for inter application integration
  • It also allow development of custom apps for online stores

As this platform is booming, many professional development firms have started providing development services. Everyday more and more development teams are showing up. However, development of applications based on this platform is not a cakewalk. It demands high level of expertise and tons of experience in developing apps for different verticals. No matter if it is an individual app idea or development for business; it requires developers having robust skill set. An ideal development firm would be capable of developing apps for different verticals such as –

  • Sports
  • Social networking
  • Finance
  • weather
  • Business
  • games
  • Travel
  • News
  • Utilities
  • navigation, etc

As the competition in the digital world continues to intensify, it becomes imperative for business to grab opportunities by making investments on Android apps development. This is a perfect platform to get easy-to-use, customer oriented and technologically advanced applications.


How To Go About Testing Your Android App

Be it the enterprise market or the consumer market, the one aspect of Android that makes it a hard beast to handle is the fragmentation – device, platform and OS. If developing an Android app is a big enough deal, the fragmentation makes the testing of it an even bigger deal.

What is the first thing to do before you consider submitting your app to the Google play store – TEST… Test… test. A company that has had a Million downloads for their app has tested it in about 400 different devices. Well, the idea of testing your app in 400 different devices definitely creates a high barrier for entry into the Android app market – both in terms of cost and testing time. But the entire testing can be addressed in an intelligent way which makes it viable for an app developer.

Going by the 80-20 Rule for Devices

It is almost impossible for small companies and solo app developers to carry out elaborate testing of their apps across various devices. It is extremely time consuming to test manually and even worse, it simply is not cost effective.

One of the best ways to address this problem is to go by the 80-20 principle. As a general rule, 80% of the market is controlled by 20% of Android devices. What this means for you is that by testing on that 20% alone you have covered most of your market and that is a great start. Once you have seen traction for your app, you can invest more resources into catering to the long tail Android market.

So, what is the best way to go about finding the percentage distribution?

– Android website stats to find the popular OS versions
– Android website stats to find the most popular DPI-Screen size combination
– Devices that cover both the above

One of the points to keep in mind is that it is important to not spend valuable initial resources on testing your app on outdated phones and OS in an attempt to be thorough. If you have enough resources to start with, then it might be a good idea to test your app on the most popular devices across the price range – high, mid and low end.

Using the Android Emulator

The Android SDK ships with a device emulator that runs on your computer. This is an alternative for prototyping and testing your app instead of using an actual device. There are a lot of disadvantages in this option – you cannot make actual phone calls, the difference in terms of results when used on the actual device can be ridiculously bad. The general advice is to test the app at-least once on an actual device or use the other options described here.

Using a Third Party Testing Service

The success of the Android app marketplace has led to a plethora of services that contribute to the app ecosystem. Some of the most useful are the ones that provide offshore testing for Android apps. They offer a variety of testing services – functional, integration, load and usability testing.

Some of the bigger companies find it efficient to have the testing team in-house – especially those in gaming who push constant updates to their apps. But offshore testing can be a decent option for companies just starting out in the Android app market.

Some of the services available in the market are Testology, utest, Test-droid, App Thwack and Ranorex.

Design Tests While App Development Is On

One of the best ways to bring down the total development time is by carrying out test designing simultaneously with app design and development. This method saves time drastically especially if you are pushing a feature to a live app. Once the specifications for a feature are decided on, the specs for the test can be written when the development of the feature happens. These tests can be run right after the feature development is over and the feedback can be funneled into the system back again for refinements.

Android development and testing are not straightforward just because of the multitude of platforms and devices. The above options should help you def-rag your app development and testing process.


Android Apps Development Ideas – 6 Points to Keep in Mind

Android is currently the most popular OS for smart phones, with an estimated number of 300 million plus, users worldwide. For developers this opens up a large market for promoting their apps, but there is also fierce competition in this segment with around 450,000 apps on Google Play. Unless an app stands out from its competitors on the store, the chances of cashing in on this opportunity are meagre.

Here are 6 ideas for developing Android apps that will set your cash registers ringing.

1. A Unique Idea – Whether it’s a gaming or a utility app, in order to succeed on Google Play, it should be unique and indigenous. Rather than trying to emulate the success of an existing top grosser like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and apps like Instagram, it is better to come up with a creative new approach to entertaining the user or find a niche segment that is still unexploited. Dmastore’s Italian Cooking app for Android is a good example of an app that has tapped into a niche by providing traditional Italian recipes in Spanish to the large Spanish speaking population throughout the world.

2. Good User Interface – In a market place that is crowded with offerings, an app should have excellent design coupled with a good ‘User Interface’ in order to increase its chances of getting noticed. The design should not be complex. Some apps such as Smart AudioBook Player have seen success just by concentrating on a simple design and user friendly interface that gives customers exactly what they need.

3. Rich features – Since there already are a large number of apps on Google Play, a new app needs not only to be unique but also feature-rich in order to witness a large number of downloads. In a market which already had several well-known sports related apps, Apppli’s Cricket World Cup 2011 app was successful because of the multiple features that it offered users. Besides live updates and the latest news about the Cricket World Cup, the app provided users with a range of options such as ball-by-ball commentary, listing of match fixtures and results, which other sports news apps lacked.

4. Continuity – As unique or feature-rich an app might be, there will come a time when the user gets bored with it and wants to try something new. In this scenario, it’s a good development strategy to look at the long term and offer content with continuous updates. Many apps, including Angry Birds, have used this technique by offering a free app as well as a continuous stream of new versions for which the user has to pay.

5. Be Social – With social networking becoming almost a way of life, having an Android app development idea that can benefit from the use of social networks such as Facebook or Twitter can help in increasing the reach of the app while satisfying a customer need. Instagram and Viddy are two apps that have leveraged the use of social networks for sharing photos and videos, which has resulted in a large number of downloads.

6. Customize for Android – Even though iPhones are considered to have a superior user interface, Android presents flexibility by offering features such as alternate keyboard formats and automation. When developing an Android app, rather than just adapting it for the android system, looking at how to incorporate some of its cool features into your app can result in success on Google Play.

You can develop your Android app with either one of these ideas or by using a combination of them. While trying to come up with a unique idea for an Android app, keep in mind that the user also has to see a need for it. For instance, having an app that does trigonometric functions for students may not help if they aren’t allowed to use mobile phones in the classroom. Similarly, an app that merely replicates a popular social app by offering better features may not work.
By keeping the consumer in mind while using these guidelines you could see your app sales soaring on Google Play.