As the most dominant operating system worldwide, Android development is present in smartphones, tablets, wearable devices, smart TV’s and smart cars. Over the years, different tools have been generated to help developers create amazing apps, including Integrated Development Environments (IDE), editors, libraries and plugins.
If you are a beginner in Android development, you should know there are plenty resources out there that you’ll definitely find valuable when it comes to test your code, use frameworks or generate icons for your app. That being said, we’ll like to present to you 5 essential Android development tools that you could benefit from:
1. Android Studio
It replaced Eclipse as the official IDE for Android App Development. Android Studio, based on IntelliJ IDEA was announced on Google I/O 2013, and it provides many tools for creating apps on all types of Android devices.
Android Studio allows you to code your apps (checking errors and file hierarchy) and test them using Android Virtual Device Manager.
It works as a smart code editor so you can write better code in less time. Its flexible compilation system helps you to integrate libraries to your projects and improve your app performance. It also includes Image Asset Studio, which is useful to generate your own app icons.
2. Corona SDK
A cross-platform framework focused on 2D games development, however, it can be used to create other types of apps. Corona SDK uses Lua, a programming Language “super easy to learn” as they quote. It also provides a real-time simulator to test your apps.
Created by Corona Labs, it is a free tool that allows you to publish on Android and other mobile platforms such as iOS, Kindle or Windows.
3. The Java Tutorials
As you know, a large part of Android uses Java so you need to learn as much as you can about it. A series of practical guides released by Oracle can teach you to strongly dominate this programming language.
The Java tutorials cover the essential concepts and features of Java, and help you to create Graphical User Interfaces (GUI). It includes hundreds of examples and dozens of lessons available as web pages.
A highly-recommended alternative for Android Studio’s Virtual Device Manager when it comes to testing apps and debugging. The main difference between them could be the greater speed of GenyMotion, its stability and performance gets you closer to the experience you’d have from a real device.
However, each one of them have its advantages and disadvantages, as AVD Manager gives you more support options and high customization.
5. Android Libraries
Being Android the great community it is, you can easily search and find lines of code you can use someway to build your app. Moreover, you can add libraries to your application and facilitate your work as a developer.
Github is a platform that stores repositories for collaborative development, and Android Studio allows you to integrate code from this platform.
There are several libraries you could make use of and each one of them has different purposes, such as improving compatibilities, providing additional convenience classes, or support across more devices.
Some of these libraries include Retrofit, Glide, ButterKnife, Universal Image Loader, Awesome Android Libraries, Picasso or Eventbus, just to name a few.
Being Android’s official IDE, Android Studio is Google’s effort to generate a complete toolset that helps developers create better apps. However, you should be aware of the hundreds of other tools you could use in your way to become a Professional Android Developer.