Developing Android apps requires a number of tools in order to complete the entire process. Android app development uses several tools, including IDEs, emulators, simulators, SDKs, and others. Other essential tools include source code editors, revision control systems, bug tracking systems, and continuous integration servers.
You will need the following tools in order to develop an Android app:
Top Tools For Android App Development
You will need a computer that runs either Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. Any laptop, desktop, or tablet will do.
All Android apps are developed using an IDE (integrated development environment). Eclipse is the most popular IDE for creating Android apps. It can be downloaded for free from Eclipse.org. Eclipse offers extensive support to developers through third-party plugins, i.e., IDEs are designed by experts in their fields that allow you to use their tools within your IDE of choice.
An emulator is a virtual mobile device in an app that you can run on your desktop. It allows you to view how your creation will look and operate on an actual device before uploading it to Google Play for publishing. On devices with high-end graphics capabilities, developers access more features such as OpenGL ES 3D support and control of hardware components such as the camera and accelerometer.
An alternative to an emulator is a testing tool known as a simulator. Whereas an emulator creates a virtual mobile device on your computer based on physical hardware, a testing tool called a simulator allows you to see how your project will look and function without having an actual phone or tablet on which to run it. The simulator is installed with the Android SDK; it’s not technically an emulator because you can’t test anything without a device to run it on. It allows users to develop and test their work using any desktop operating system (Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux).
All Android mobile devices include APIs (application programming interfaces) that provide the basic building blocks for creating apps. An SDK (software development kit) provides tools needed to develop apps with these APIs. The Android SDK includes debugging and optimization tools, a testing framework, and an emulator.
Source code editors
Source code is written in text files with a .java file extension using any plain text editor such as Notepad++ or UltraEdit.
Revision control system
A revision control system (RCS) manages any changes to a file and saves different versions while making it possible for numerous developers to work on the same project simultaneously. All modern programming languages, including Java, offer some built-in RCS. For Android, developers commonly use Git, although Google offers its solution called Android Studio.
Bug tracking system
Bug tracking systems are used to track any problems encountered when testing an app. All professional mobile app development companies already have in-house bug tracking systems, but many open source solutions are available for personal projects.
Continuous integration server
When developing an app, it’s essential to keep track of changes in the code. A continuous integration server is a tool that monitors source code repositories in real-time and notifies you when your team or other teams make new changes. For Android projects, an open-source solution called Jenkins is available for free download on GitHub.