This article is intended for beginners to answer the most common questions about Android app development, including which programming languages can be used and how you can learn to build Android apps. Let’s get you on your way.
Getting started with Android app development
Android is a mobile operating system (OS) developed by Google that runs on smartphones and tablets built by different manufacturers, including Google, Samsung, Motorola, and HTC. Needless to say, developing apps for the Android OS can be quite challenging given the large assortment of devices they have to operate on.
What programming language is used for Android apps?
The default Android app language is Java. The Android OS itself is largely written in Java. In 2017, Kotlin was added as another official language.
Aside from Java and Kotlin, there are general-purpose languages you can use to build Android apps, including C#, Python, C++, and more. Of course, there are some app programming languages that work better for specific projects than others. With Android app development, you have options so knowing your strengths is key.
TIP: Learn more about Java, the #1 programming language in the world. Write and run your very first Java program with this quick tutorial.
Learning how to create an app isn't as impossible as it seems if you have the right software. IDEs provide you with an interface to write, compile, and run your Android app. These tools often include additional resources and tools, like software development kits (SDKs) to make the development process a little easier.
There are a lot of factors that weigh into the cost of an app, such as its features, development method, design process, etc. Android apps typically take longer to build than iOS apps, which can make it a more expensive project. On average, most mobile apps cost between $100,000 to $300,000. Depending on the complexity of the app, you might be able to use a drag and drop app builder to get the cost down.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are also post-development costs associated with building an app, like Google Play Store fees. These marketplace fees include a $25 one-time publishing cost, plus transaction fees of 30% on all purchases for the first year. After Year 1, subscription fees drop to 15%.
How many Android developers are there?
There are 12 million mobile app developers worldwide, with almost half of them dedicated to Andriod app development. The total number of app developers is expected to rise to a staggering 14 million by 2020. So, if you’re really thinking about learning how to make apps, now is a perfect time.
TIP: Interested in learning more about iOS app development, too? Learn how it’s different from Android app development, down to the languages used.
Where can I learn Android app development?
While you can definitely teach yourself to code, I don’t recommend it if you’re seriously considering a career change into development. You’ll most likely end up with a piecemeal app that doesn’t stay true to core principles.
You’re better off using one of the many awesome online courses available to help you learn Android app development. Here are my favorite resources:
Udemy offers a variety of app development courses, taught by experts, all with lifetime access. The course on Android app development introduces Android Studio, Java, and additional Android features. With over 110,000 students enrolled, this specific course includes 32 hours of video, 100+ articles, and a ton of other helpful resources. Udemy is a great option for beginners just starting out. Costs vary per course.
Udacity offers a free Android development course to give you an idea of what you’re in for before actually making an investment. The next course on becoming an Android developer teaches you the best practices for app development and even shows you how to publish your own app on the Google Play Store.
How do I find the best Android app development company?
Android developers specialize in building apps for devices that run on the Android operating system. These firms typically offer support in every stage of the app development process, including app design, building, testing, and final release.
Crack the code
Whether you decide to move forward with a simple app on your own at first or hire a top Android development firm to build a more robust solution, there’s still a lot to learn. Think long and hard about what is best for your users and go from there.
Want to learn more about the future of the mobile app industry? Check out these must-know app statistics and trends for 2019
Bridget Poetker is a former content team lead at G2. Born and raised in Chicagoland, she graduated from U of I. In her free time, you'll find Bridget in the bleachers at Wrigley Field or posted up at the nearest rooftop patio. (she/her/hers)