You already know what platform is the most popular, accessible and with the highest number of apps! You are correct! Google’s Android is the market leader, with over 2.5 million apps in its PlayStore, so it is only natural to assume that developing them requires specialized tools.
Many different tools are available for Android app development, but not all are created equal. There are a few general-purpose Android development tools that are essential for any dev working with Android, and there are a few niche ones too. But the best tool for you will depend on your specific needs and goals.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the best tools available for Android app development and how they can help you create better apps.
1. Android Studio
One of the most important tools for Android app development is Android Studio. This is the official IDE(integrated development environment) from Google, and it offers a wide range of features and tools to help you build high-quality apps quickly and easily.
For example, it has a built-in emulator that you can use to test your app on different devices and a powerful code editor that can help you write better code.
2. Android SDK
Another great tool for Android app development is the Android SDK(software development kit). This is a set of tools that you can use to develop Android apps, and we could say it is the ultimate developing starter kit. It includes a debugger, compiler, and modular downloadable libraries. It also includes the Android emulator, which allows you to test your apps on a virtual device, as well as documentation, resources and even Google’s API.
If you’re an Android developer, you know that a great IDE can make a big difference in your productivity. The right IDE can help you write better code, find errors more quickly, and generally, just make your life easier.
AIDE is an integrated development environment for developing real Android applications directly on Android devices.
AIDE comes with many features specifically designed for Android development, such as a built-in emulator, support for Android Studio projects, and a Gradle build system. But it also has all the general features you’d expect from a great IDE, like code completion, syntax highlighting, and code refactoring.
Having a reliable debugging tool at your disposal is crucial in the development process. This is where Stetho comes in as the new Android debugging tool developed by Facebook.
With Stetho, you can easily inspect your app’s SQLite database, view the network requests being made, and more. Plus, it’s easy to set up and use.
Stetho is an open-source library developed by Facebook and designed for quick application debugging. Stetho gives the application a website experience by making the allows access to a Chrome Developer Tools feature native to the desktop browser.
With the Chrome DevTools, you can easily view the hierarchy of an application, monitor network activity, manage an SQLite database, monitor shared SharedPreferences, and more.
Also check – Benefits of native mobile app development
5. AVD Manager
A useful tool from Android Studio that stands for Android Virtual Device. It enables developers to create emulations of all Android devices on a single computer to test an app’s performance and responsiveness. AVD manager eliminates the need for having each type of physical device, screen size, and resolution.
6. Android Debug Bridge
This is a versatile command-line tool that lets you communicate with a device. ADB allows you to exchange data with a running Android emulator or a real connected (via USB, Wi-Fi network) Android device (tablet, phone). The tool belongs to Android SDK tools and is included in the Android SDK Platform Tools package.
As we mentioned above, there was Eclipse before there was Android Studio. For a long time, Eclipse was the officially preferred IDE for all Android application development.
Even though Google no longer offers support for Eclipse, many developers still use it to create Android and other cross-platform apps, as it works very well with many different programming languages.
Fabric is a tool that helps your mobile app development team build better apps, learn about your users in real time, and grow your business based on analytical data. From development to launch and beyond, Fabric provides a complete, real-time app performance and health status for everyone on your development team. It also gives developers data about user activity and where users are most likely to interact with the application.
9. Leak Canary
Powerful memory leak detection tool developed by Square. Once installed, it will automatically launch and notify you of every memory leak in your application. To rectify the problems, there is a built-in stack trace available for use.
Gradle is an open-source build automation system that appeared in 2013. Combining the best of Apache Maven and Apache Ant, this system is ideal for multi-project, large builds. Gradle makes it easy to add a third-party library with one line of code. Gradle is mainly used for Android software development using Java, but there are also Groovy and Scala plugins.
11. IntelliJ IDEA
JetBrains created a Java IDE with Android support. It’s a good alternative to Android Studio, mainly used for simpler apps. IntelliJIDEA is fast and comes with a variety of development tools right out of the box: smart code completion, instant code analysis, refactoring, and JetBrains plugins.
Instabug is used by some of the most recognizable names in the tech world, including Yahoo, PayPal, Lyft, BuzzFeed, and Mashable for beta testing and bug reporting. Instabug allows beta testers and user groups to share screenshots and detailed error logs with developers during the QA and debugging process.
You can sign up for a free trial of Instabug and then it’s custom-priced based on the number of team members, apps, and overall length of the project engagement.
13. Nimble Droid
NimbleDroid is a testing platform that allows you to check your finished Android app for memory leaks, bugs, and other issues prior to publishing on Google Play. Using NimbleDroid helps to free up app developers’ time and speed up the overall QA process, helping to get the app to market faster.
Companies such as Mozilla, Yahoo, and Pinterest have all used NimbleDroid to test their applications. Personalized pricing is available based on customers’ specific needs and number of users.
14. RAD studio
RAD Studio is an integrated development environment that allows you to write, compile, package, and deploy cross-platform applications. It provides support for the full development lifecycle resulting in a single source codebase that can be recompiled and redeployed.
RAD Studio is the most expensive solution on the list, with the professional edition starting at $2,286.00. A free trial is also available
15. Unity 3D
Unity 3D is a cross-platform game development environment used for creating complicated, graphics-intensive mobile games such as those containing virtual or augmented reality.
You can still use Unity 3D to create simpler 2D-based gaming experiences, but it is more typically used for advanced gaming development.
16. Source Tree
A simple and free tool that provides an easy way to manage Git repositories using Git GUI. You can visually visualize all your changes, commits, branches without having to write even a single command in the command line. Available for Mac and Windows users.
Vysor is a tool that brings Android to the desktop so you can display and interact with the device right from your computer. It lets you type from your keyboard, show your screen during meetings, and work more efficiently. Vysor is compatible with all operating systems.
Mobile apps require a server to perform tasks such as authenticating users and synchronizing user data across multiple devices. However, building such a server requires a skill set that most ISVs lack. Fortunately, there are several back-end service platforms, often referred to as BaaS, that you can use today. Google’s Firebase is one such platform.
Firebase provides essential services like analytics, crash reporting, user authentication, and cloud messaging for free. Its freemium services include real-time NoSQL database, file hosting, and static website hosting.
19. Flow UP
FlowUp allows you to monitor the performance of all your production apps. Handy dashboards let you keep track of your stats and metrics, including CPU and disk usage, memory usage, frames per second, bandwidth, and more.
FlowUp is a monthly subscription-based SaaS solution with pricing determined by the total number of users in the company.
20. Game Maker: Studio
This is one of the most popular game engines from YoYo games that allows you to develop 2D games for Android and other platforms. GameMaker: Studio is a powerful yet simple, easy-to-use tool with a convenient drag-and-drop interface. It’s also a good tool to kick off your game development career.
Explore more about IDE here – Best IDE for Android App Development