Android App Development
Android OS is the most popular operating system for smartphone and tablets by device, and Android OS is a key platform for your business’s customers or employees on a BYOD plan.
In 2016, Android Apps are essential as they either form the basis of a solid BYOD deployment plan, or as a cost-effective company-distributed solution, and businesses need to consider Android App Development as a key component of their mobility strategy.
Empirical Works can provide your business with qualified strategists, designers and developers to build apps for Android Phones, Android Tablets and Google Wear, at competitive rates to contractors without the hassles of hiring and management.
About Android OS – Android Phones, Android Tablets, Google Wear
Android OS – The world’s most popular OS platform
1 billion devices sold. 78% of the smartphone market share. 1.5 million hardware activations per day. The most popular operating system device in the world.
Android Phone Development
With over 78% global smartphone market share, Android smartphones are an essential platform for businesses. Whether it’s Samsung, LG, HTC or Sony, we have it covered, and we can help your business create the most flexible and effective apps across these different hardware platforms.
Android Tablet Development
Waterproof, drop proof, dust proof, different screen sizes and cost effective. The Android Tablet, while not as popular in the consumer space, has many hardware and cost advantages for businesses and enterprises looking to implement internal mobile apps and mobility solutions.
With multiple hardware options, Android Wear is the cheapest and most cost effective corporate and enterprise wearable solution available to businesses. Ideal for internal, targeted employee usage, Android Wear apps can provide that additional edge to your business processes that your competitors don’t have.
Fast, cost effective enterprise app development solutions for the Android Phone, Android Tablet and Android Wear
Empirical Works are the mobile experts that have helped our corporate and enterprise clients solve their business problems through Android Phone, Android Tablet and Android Wear app solutions. With a strict focus on business strategic thinking and working with business processes, Empirical Works can do the same for you.
Android App Development – Technical Details
Android is Linux-based although apps are usually developed against APIs that abstract anything Linux-specific. The OS mainly provides a platform to run instances of the DVM (Dalvik Virtual Machine).
Each Android app runs as its own user, in its own process, in its own DVM instance, and nn Android 4.4, Google introduced ART (Android Run Time) which will potentially replace Dalvik in the long term.
For a typical app developer, being Linux-based is mostly an implementation detail.
Android App Development – An App Developer’s Perspective
Android apps are developed in Java using the Android API. It’s possible to develop natively in C/C++ with some caveats but it’s generally not recommended.
Dalvik’s class libraries will be mostly familiar to Java SE developers but there are some differences.
Android’s class library is based on Apache Harmony 6 which is mostly compatible with Java SE 6.
Android App Development Tools
Previously, Eclipse + ADT (Android Developer Tools) was the primary IDE for Android development. However Android Studio is a new IDE that is being actively developed and is available for download now.
Android SDK Manager is used to install or update the Android API SDKs, libraries and the Android build tools used within the IDE itself. You’ll use it mainly to install files needed to develop and test for a given Android API. Note that not all of them are bundled in Android Studio!
AVDM & Emulator
Android Virtual Device Manager is used to manage a list of your virtual Android devices for use with the Android Emulator. It is used to define screen dimensions, Android API version, memory size and other hardware specifics, and allows you to test your Android app without requiring a matching phone with matching API version.
Layout Editor is a WYSIWYG editor used for editing views and their properties for a given layout. Layouts, like most other Android resources, are serialised to XML files. They can be edited directly if you prefer; it’s up to your personal preference, as both methods provide an up-to-date visual preview. The tool allows you to preview layouts with a given screen size, API version and theme, observe what happens when your layout is previewed in landscape, on a smaller screen, with a different aspect ratio etc.
Advantages of Android App Development
The first advantage of Android phones is the diversity of hardware. With iPhones, your only decisions when you’re buying one are around whether you want a big screen or a little screen, and memory size.
With Android, the reverse is true – there are more phones and interesting hardware choices than you can think of. Do you have customers or employees that have high quality photography requirements? Sony Xperia phones have great cameras that’s on par with their point-and-shoot offerings. Are your employees on-site crews that works in the middle of constructions sites, or are you an outdoor person that might be exposing your phone to dangerous elements? Kyocera makes military-grade phones that are water, dust and drop proof. What about if your business has voice control requirements for your internal-facing employee apps? Moto X is optimized for voice control, so you can listen to your text messages and reply back using its built in voice controls.
In addition to hardware diversity, the Android operating system is also extremely flexible compared to iOS. While iOS has remained mostly the same throughout its lifetime in terms of functionality, Android has changed significantly and is an extremely customizable operating system.
For example, while iOS’s home screens are icon based and simply laid out row by row, Android opens its home screens up to widgets, which are mini-apps that can be manipulated without going into the apps itself. So you can have two rows of app icons on a screen, with the rest of the screen covered by a widget that is essentially your email inbox. This means that you do not have to click into an app to see your emails, and this convenience can be extended to most apps that you use regularly. So you can control your music, add notes to Evernote, see your friend’s Facebook status updates, and see your calendar all on your home screens without having to enter into any app.
Other parts of Android operating system is equally customizable – remember when Apple made a big deal about iOS7 update with the new flat design and beautiful icons? On Android, customization and skinning of the icons and home screens is a default feature, so not only can you skin the home screen and icons to look like the Matrix or an oil painting using tools such as Go Launcher EX, you can also change the entire flow and functionality of your home screen to your liking (such as changing the home screen to a circle of buttons rather than rows using Smart Launcher, or have the icons swap themselves in and out smartly based on your usage habit).
Finally, Android phones are also cheaper than iPhones because of the lack of the “Apple tax”. For an equivalent top-tiered powered phone, Android phones by the major brands such as Samsung, Sony and HTC are at least $100 to $200 cheaper than their iOS counterparts. Some might even argue that these top-tiered Android hardware is superior and of higher quality – for example, most of the top tier phones are waterproof, while Apple isn’t, which makes the Android phones even better value for less money.
In addition, following their “different device to meet different people’s needs” goal, Android also has more mid-tier and low tier phones than iOS. So if you don’t need the fancy cameras or super-fast processors, you can still find quality Android phones from the major brands without sacrificing quality or user experience, starting from about $200, which is more than one quarter of the cheapest iPhone price.
As such, Android gives businesses & enterprises more flexibility on hardware provisioning, and can provide specialist hardware for unique business-orientated use-cases.