Mobile app development tools: A buyer's guide
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
Android Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) from Google that provides developers with tools needed to build applications for the Android OS platform. Android Studio is available for download on Windows, Mac and Linux. A one-time, $25 developer's license is required to publish apps to Google Play App Store. The foundation for Android Studio is based on IntelliJ IDEA.
The Android Studio IDE is free to download and use. It has a rich UI development environment with templates to give new developers a launching pad into Android development. Developers will find that Studio gives them the tools to build phone and tablet solutions as well as emerging technology solutions for Android TV, Android Wear, Android Auto, Glass and additional contextual models.
Android Studio is intended to be used by development teams as small as one person or as large as global teams. The Android Studio IDE can be linked to larger teams with GIT or similar version control services for larger teams. Mature Android developers will find tools that are necessary for large teams to deliver solutions rapidly to their customers. Android solutions can be developed using either Java or C++ in Android Studio. The workflow for Android Studio is built around the concept of continuous integration. Continuous Integration allows for teams to test their code each and every time a developer checks in their work. Issues can be captured and reported to the team immediately. The concept of continuously checking code provides actionable feedback to the developers with the goal of releasing versions of a mobile solution faster to the Google Play App Store. To this end, there is rigorous support for LINT tools, Pro-Guard and App Signing tools.
Performance tools provide access to view how well an Android application package file (APK) is going. The performance and profiling tools display a color-coded image to show how often the same pixel is drawn on a screen to reduce rendering overhead. The GPU rendering shows how well your app does in maintaining Google's 16-ms-per-frame benchmark. Memory tools visualize where and when your app will use too much system RAM and when Garbage collection occurs, Battery Analysis tools present how much drain you're placing on a device.
Android Studio supports Google App Engine for quick cloud integration of new APIs and features. You will find support for many APIs directly in Android Studio such as Google Play, Android Pay and Health.
There is support for all platforms of Android starting with Android 1.6 and later. There are variants of Android that are significantly different to the Google Android version. The most popular is Amazon's Fire OS. Android Studio can be used to build Amazon Fire OS APKs using these guidelines. Android Studio is replacing Google's support for Eclipse ADT.
The current latest release is 1.3. Support for Android Studio is limited to online forums.
Learn more about how native Android development could be right for your enterprise.
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When buying a mobile app development platform, be aware of these key features.