Tag Archive for: android apps

Best Android Apps To Install On Your Phone

It’s never easy compiling a list of the best Android apps. After all, there are a plethora of excellent apps available for download on Google Play. But there are also many low-quality and gimmicky apps that are a complete waste of time. And then, some apps pose a serious cybersecurity risk, which you should avoid downloading in the first place.

Thus, the criteria for choosing apps to add to our list is straightforward. We focused on best-in-class apps that ooze quality, are snappy, and solve users’ problems effectively.

And we disqualified apps that have redundant features, lack regular updates, and suffer from ongoing issues. We also didn’t add any Google apps, as many come pre-installed with Android devices.

1. Brave Private Web Browser

Surfing the web has become increasingly risky recently. That’s because hackers use vulnerabilities found in browser extensions and websites to harm users. And given that the Android platform is often a target for these bad actors, most browsers don’t offer sufficient protection.

But that’s where Brave Private Web Browser comes in. It’s fast, lightweight, and secure and doesn’t overwhelm users with unnecessary features. And its built-in blockers are very effective at dealing with those pesky ads, cookies, and scripts.

2. GitHub

Every appreneur and software engineer should have the GitHub app installed on their Android phone. With many development teams working remotely, it’s essential to have a tool that allows them to collaborate while using the world’s most popular code repository.

GitHub makes it easy to merge and review pull requests, respond to comments, and provide feedback. It’s also lightweight and boasts a clutterless and intuitive user interface (UI).

3. Microsoft Office: Edit & Share

We couldn’t make a list of the best Android apps without including Microsoft’s flagship productivity app. Microsoft Office: Edit & Share is the swiss army knife of productivity tools, as it allows users to create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. It’s also great for taking notes and viewing PDFs.

And as a testament to its power and versatility, this very article was written entirely in Microsoft Office on a mid-range Samsung Galaxy. It’s such an essential app that every executive, office worker, or student should have it installed.

4. Todoist: To-Do List & Tasks

Todoist: To-Do List & Tasks boasts over 20 million users and has received Google’s Editor’s Choice in 2020. And while there are many good to-do list apps in Google Play, few have an equivalent and comprehensive set of features.

Its clean and simple UI makes it easy for users to organize tasks, set reminders, and keep track of progress. Moreover, it integrates flawlessly with Amazon Alexa, Gmail, Google Calendar, and Slack. And it’s designed to run on a wide variety of devices, including the Wear OS Smartwatch. With so much going for it, it’s little wonder that it made our best Android apps list. 

5. Viber – Safe Chats And Calls

There are many good voice chat and messenger apps on Google Play, so this was a difficult choice. But we opted for Viber for several reasons. For one, it’s renowned for its rock-solid end-to-end encryption, giving users high levels of privacy and security.

Secondly, Viber users can make low-cost international costs and even communicate with those using landlines. It’s a feature that makes it stand out from most of its competitors and a good reason for businesses to use it. And thirdly, it boasts a large and vibrant community of users and includes excellent group chat capabilities. And it even syncs and transmits messages to the Wear OS Smartwatch.

The Bottom Line

Our list of the best Android apps is short but squarely focussed on the applications that can unlock the true potential of your smartphone. You’re carrying a powerful device in your pocket that’s an indispensable business machine, provided you install the right apps.

Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal Android apps to empower and engage your users.

Android Or iOS: Which Is The Better MVP Platform?

Deciding between Android or iOS for your upcoming minimum viable product (MVP) project can be daunting. Both platforms are massively popular and have generated billions of dollars in revenue. So the answer should be simple, right? Why not release on both platforms? Yes, but only if it’s financially feasible and in line with your goals. 

But you could be wondering why financial feasibility plays a role at all. Aren’t MVPs supposed to be cheaper and quicker to develop than full-fledged apps? Unfortunately, that’s a common misconception when considering the funding and work required to complete MVP projects. 

There’s still a considerable cost involved, between $5,000 to $35,000 if you hire a company. It’s best to be prepared from the get-go to ensure that the project won’t run out of funding during development. Furthermore, it’s vital to understand what the development process entails and what you’ll need to consider when deciding on an MVP platform

1. Choosing The Most Feasible Platform For Your Project: Android or iOS

In the mobile development space, there are only two choices worth considering. That’s either Android or iOS, the two platforms that have redefined smartphones for more than a decade. And even with the emergence of Linux-based smartphones, these are too niche to make a dent in the market.

But must you choose between these two market leaders? Ideally, you should develop for both platforms for maximum reach. The benefits of making your app available in both the App Store and Google Play are immense. Both digital storefronts are established, organized, and quality-driven. Moreover, both facilitate the efficient and safe distribution of apps to over two billion users globally.

And while it’s wiser to release on both platforms, we understand that’s not always possible. Your team may not have the capabilities or resources to release on both platforms simultaneously. After all, cross-platform mobile app development costs could easily exceed your budget. Or perhaps, you’re developing a custom enterprise app that only needs to be made available on one platform.

However, it’s not necessarily a bad idea to target one platform when commencing a project. And this is especially true if you’re planning on developing an MVP. Your team may want to test an idea and deliver it to a territory where one platform enjoys market dominance. For example, your upcoming video chat app will do much better on Android if you’re targeting the Indian market.

Market forces will almost always play a primary role when deciding on a platform. However, there are other factors that you should also consider before coming to a decision. 

2. Apple’s Flagship Programming Language Saves Development Time

In most cases, your mobile app development costs will directly correlate with the amount of time it takes to complete your project. And if you’re a startup, it’s crucial to keep costs down to remain feasible in the long haul. So, you’ll want to target the platform that facilitates a speedy development process. But does one platform offer this distinct advantage over the other? Well, the answer is not as clear-cut as we’d like it to be, but we’ll aim to provide one.

Several years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to choose Android over iOS if development time was at a premium. And there’s a good reason for this, given how well-thought-out Apple’s ecosystem and development tools are, compared to its rivals. With Swift, Apple’s flagship programming language, developers can craft impressive native apps in record time. The language is modern and slick, making it easy for developers accustomed to object-oriented languages to pick up quickly and be productive.

And when compared to Java, the language commonly used for Android development, Swift seems like a breath of fresh air. That’s because Java feels cumbersome since it’s an older, more complex, and verbose language. Thus, Java developers often need to write more lines of code than their Swift counterparts to achieve similar results. From a productivity and time standpoint, the clear winner is Swift. At least, that was the case until now.

3. Google Moves Beyond Java

At Google’s I/O ’17 developer conference, the company announced that it would officially support Kotlin for Android development. And in 2019, Google took things further by announcing that Kotlin would become the preferred language for Android development moving forward. Undoubtedly, this news was met with much fanfare by Android developers, who welcomed the introduction of a more modern language.

And Kotlin is indeed a great alternative to Java because it’s far more expressive and allows developers to achieve similar results with less boilerplate code. Not only that, Kotlin is similar to Swift in that it offers an easy-to-learn syntax, plenty of built-in features, and a more functional feel. Moreover, both come with excellent declarative UI toolkits: Jetpack Compose and SwiftUI for building native UI quickly and efficiently. 

Ultimately, this means that the time and productivity gap between creating an Android or iOS app has narrowed significantly. The introduction of Kotlin has been a game-changer, and Android developers no longer need to lag behind their iOS counterparts. Therefore, choosing one development environment over the other is more a matter of preference than enjoying real productivity gains.

4. The Challenges Of Testing And Deploying On Multiple Devices

While Kotlin makes life easier for Android developers, they still have to jump through hoops when testing, profiling, and deploying on multiple devices. Unlike Apple, which produces a limited range of iOS devices and models, the Android ecosystem is an entirely different beast. A few brands that come to mind include Google, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Xiamoi. Yet the actual list of manufacturers is much longer than that, pushing the range of Android models to the tens of thousands.

Undoubtedly, Android developers have their work cut out of them. It’s a Herculean task to test and deploy when so much device fragmentation exists. Furthermore, this can increase mobile app development costs significantly if not handled diligently. And the hard truth is that no developer will have access to every Android device in the marketplace for testing purposes. Fortunately, there are tools available that make testing and profiling possible without having all these devices on hand.

Android Emulator, Android Virtual Device (AVD), and Genymotion make it easy for developers to set up and run virtual devices of any specification available. And while these aren’t the perfect solution, they’re incredibly accurate at emulating real Android hardware. But this doesn’t mean that developers should skimp on testing on actual hardware, regardless of platform. Nevertheless, iOS is the better platform for a quicker and more hassle-free testing and deployment experience.

5. Deciding On An MVP Platform Based On User Engagement

Before settling on an MVP platform, you should consider a crucial factor, namely, user engagement. The level of user engagement of your app will play a critical role in its success. If too few users engage with your MVP regularly, it means that they don’t find it interesting enough to warrant extended use. And, you won’t achieve the goals and return on investment (ROI) that your MVP was supposed to deliver.

Therefore, you must minimize risk by focussing on the platform that has the most engaged users. In this regard, iOS is the clear winner with an overwhelming difference. iOS users are not only incredibly engaged, but they’re big spenders too. According to AppleInsider, the App Store earned a whopping $72.3 billion in 2020 — almost double the revenue generated by Google Play. And games performed impressively, managing to generate $47.6 billion throughout the year.

Also, iOS is the better performing platform for apps offering registrations, subscriptions, in-app purchases, and one-time purchases. But you may want to consider Android if your MVP is an anti-virus, utility, or performance app, as these often do better on the platform. And while both Android and iOS users love discovering new content, iOS users engage and purchase more of it. So, keep these factors in mind when deciding on an MVP platform that best serves your goals.

In Conclusion

Choosing to go with either Android or iOS for your next project will be a vital decision. It’s necessary to consider your goals and what your MVP is supposed to achieve before concluding. In many cases, choosing iOS seems like the obvious choice, given the benefits the platform brings to the table. Its tightly integrated development tools, limited range of target devices, and high-quality users make it a platform you can’t ignore. 

But Android is no slouch either, boasting a rapidly improving developer experience and an ever-growing user base. It’s also worth considering if you want to create an antivirus or utility app, which Android users download in droves. Whatever your decision, do consider teaming with a professional development studio for the best results. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop a phenomenal MVP on Android or iOS.

Best Language To Develop Android Apps

Mobile apps are gaining popularity due to the rapid infiltration of mobile phone devices and the growing coverage of internet connectivity. The ability of mobile applications to connect people, support instant communications, and sustain social networks is what makes mobile apps a darling to many.

So, in a nutshell, smartphone applications are an integral part of our lives. They can pass information, create connections, obtain information, or have fun. And while creating a mobile application is fun, it requires more guidance, specifically in choosing the best programming language.

  1.   Kotlin

Kotlin is the official android language declared by Google Inc. since 2019. Kotlin is a cross-platform programming language used as an alternative to Java. Kotlin is the secondary official Java language. This programming language can interoperate with Java virtual machines. The only significant difference is that Kotlin eliminates the superfluous Java features like null pointer exceptions.

  1.   Java

Since it was established 25 years ago, Java remains one of the best programming languages among android developers. Despite all the new entrants that have made their mark, Java remains a frontrunner in android development. The reason Java is the most preferred by Android developers is that it’s easy to learn and get started with. In addition, there’s wide community support which is an added advantage to newbies or novice developers.

  1.   JavaScript

JavaScript is among the world’s leading programming languages. The emergence of frameworks like Vue, Angular, jQuery, React.js, and Svelte makes JavaScript popular. Even if you’re not using React JS or Angular JS, there are many other libraries (like jQuery) that are based on JavaScript. JavaScript also happens to be a superior option for client-side validation. The best thing is that it’s a full-stack programming language, you can create back-end servers, front-end GUI, and mobile apps.

  1.   C++

C++ can be used for android mobile app development using the android native development kit NDK. However, an app cannot be created using C++ and the NDK kit is used to implement parts of the app in C++ native code. While C++ is useful for android mobile app development in some cases, it’s difficult to set up and less flexible. It can also lead to more bugs because of increased complexity. So, it’s advisable to use Java as compared to C++ because it doesn’t provide more gain to offset the efforts required.

  1.   Python

Python can be used for native android app development. However, Android doesn’t support native python development. Using python for native android app development can be done using various tools that convert python applications into Android packages that run on android devices. Python is a great programming language for android app development because it’s easy to read, learn and write. Python leads to improved productivity, is free and open-source, and has vast library support.

NS804 – Simplifying Android App Development

NS804 is a trusted service provider with proven excellence in android and IOS app development. With a rising demand for mobile applications, individuals, businesses, and organizations are using mobile applications to optimize their business processes – marketing, sales, brand positioning, and outreach. So, if you’re searching for superior android app development – look no further.

Contact NS804 for inquiries on mobile app development.

Open Source Android App Development Software

It seems like everyone’s enamored by open source these days. From solo developers through to large corporations, the free software movement has left its mark. And, this is overwhelmingly positive since it liberates developers from the shackles associated with paid software, which may include mounting costs and dubious licensing agreements.

1. Why Opting For Open Source Solutions Makes Sense

The hard truth is that app development can get expensive in the long run. And one reason why this is a common occurrence is due to rising software licensing costs. If we look at the Android development landscape, the mission-critical Android Studio IDE is freely available. While this may be a boon for cash-strapped developers, others may not like using this particular IDE or programming in Java or Kotlin.

Some may opt for Embarcadero’s RAD Studio, while others may settle for Microsoft’s Visual Studio. But for the higher-tier subscriptions, both IDEs are prohibitively expensive. Moreover, many developers may require additional tools such as code obfuscators, profilers, and UI/UX design software, to name a few. And as indispensable as these tools are, they do drive up development costs further.

So what should you do if you find your app development budget getting out of control? Start by seeking free software that offers similar functionality to paid solutions that you’re already using. Now, keep in mind that commercial vendors often have free or trial versions available for you to try out. But these have limited functionality or allow full functionality for a limited time only. Either way, this is far from ideal.

Luckily, we live in an era where open source solutions have become readily accepted. And there’s a good reason why this has happened. Unlike paid solutions, open-source software is free with no remuneration expected from users. Not only that, there are seldom any restrictive policies or cryptic end-user license agreements (EULAs) that raise concern. Instead, open-source software complies with licenses and standards approved by the Open Source Initiative.

2. Several Great Open Source Tools For Developing Android Apps

There are a plethora of excellent tools that should be part of your tech stack. And since these are open source solutions, your team may extend and modify these to fit the requirements of your projects.

  • Eclipse – The popular open-source IDE used for creating Android, Java, and web applications.
  • Godot – It’s an intuitive, feature-rich, and powerful game engine suitable for AR & VR projects.
  • libGDX – A battle-tested, lightweight, and versatile framework for making games using Kotlin or Java.
  • LeakCanary – Spotting memory leaks can be tricky, but LeakCanary makes it easy by automating the process.
  • Flutter – Google’s cross-platform UI toolkit facilitates speedy development and compiles down to ARM machine code.
  • NativeScript – It’s a framework that makes Android app development possible with JavaScript or TypeScript.
  • Obfuscapk – Bad actors can decompile your APK and look at its source code, but Obfuscapk protects it with black-box obfuscation.

3. The Realities Of Free Software

It’s hard not to like software that delivers, especially if it’s free. But the question you may be asking is — is free software really that good? Isn’t there a quality downgrade when compared to commercial alternatives? Well, that depends. The quality of open source software has been rising consistently and is often on par, if not better, than commercial solutions. 

However, the opposite is also true. It’s not uncommon for open source solutions to lack polish, have too many bugs, and not undergo proper software maintenance. For better or worse, many open-source projects are in the hands of small teams of developers that tend to be underfunded. They’ll often self-fund these projects or rely on donations from the community for support.

The Bottom Line

Android app development can be a fun and rewarding experience. After all, the platform boasts several powerful tools that make it easy to create impressive apps. But don’t shy away from adding more tools in your toolbox that will improve your workflow without breaking the bank. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal apps with the most appropriate technologies.

Why Developing A Camera App For Android Makes Sense

Have you thought about developing a camera app recently? If that’s a yes, then you may be on the right path to creating your next killer app. And yes, we’re well aware that there’s plenty of competition in this space. We only have to take a quick look at the growing number of excellent camera apps for Android to confirm this.

But this is also a space that doesn’t stay static for too long. With constant smartphone camera innovations combined with the proliferation of content creation and social media use, there’s always a need for camera apps to evolve. So, if you plan on creating the next Android app that will drive strong user engagement, consider taking advantage of the camera.

1. Smartphone Manufacturers Are Constantly Improving Their Cameras

The Android smartphone market is rich and diverse. With vendors such as Google, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, Oppo, Samsung, Sony, Vivo, and Xiaomi servicing a global market, consumers have plenty of options. Unlike Apple, which serves a predominantly higher-end market, Android devices do incredibly well in lower-income territories. However, many Android smartphone manufacturers also target well-heeled consumers with their flagship phones. 

And one area that manufacturers are continuously improving is the camera functionality of their smartphones. Lately, they’re implementing depth sensors, monochrome sensors, macro cameras, telephoto zooming, periscope cameras, and ultra-wide lenses. Thus, allowing users to take phenomenal snapshots at almost any angle, distance, and light condition. It’s also possible to shoot 4K videos with many higher-end Android smartphones, making them ideal for content creators.

2. Why Google Camera Is A Game Changer

As impressive as all this hardware is, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. The other piece is the software, which makes all the difference in the world. We’re living in the age of computational photography, and that relies heavily on digital processing techniques. And these techniques are equally, if not more important, than what happens inside the camera lens.

Take Google’s Pixel line of phones, for example. These are neither the most expensive nor technically advanced smartphones on the market. However, they’re capable of capturing the most incredible pictures due to the processing initiated by the Google Camera app. And these post-processing algorithms are so good that ports of Google Camera have been made available for non-Pixel devices.

3. Every Content Creator Needs A Good Camera App

The average user will likely stick to the pre-installed camera app that comes with their smartphone. It may not necessarily be the best choice for taking breathtaking photos, but most users are only concerned about taking a selfie, at best. But there’s another type of user that cares about image fidelity, and that’s the content creator.

Popular platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube, have given rise to a new generation of content creators. And these content creators rely on high-quality video and digital photography to engage their audiences. Moreover, many of these creators are incredibly tech-savvy and always on the lookout for a good camera app that will give them an edge.

These are the types of users that regularly trawl Google Play to find an Android app that fulfills their needs. It could be an AI-powered camera app that automatically applies image filters. Or it could have improved UX design that makes it easier for the user to identify and adjust shutter speeds. The possibilities are almost endless! And with this growing demand from content creators, developers will need to rise to the occasion.

The Bottom Line

Developing an Android app that will take the world by storm is a challenging but not impossible endeavor. Luckily, smartphone manufacturers and content creators play a crucial role in driving forth innovation. Not only that, but they open up several opportunities that are worth pursuing, such as evolving the camera app. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop your upcoming Android app with trailblazing camera functionality.

How Much Time it Takes To Learn Android App Development

Exploring More Languages: Learn Android App Development

It’s widely accepted that our prime time for language learning is in the formative years of our life. Because of this, young children who learn multiple languages early on, are often bilingual or trilingual for life. This is true in many cases. In general, the further along we are on our life journey, the harder it is to learn something entirely new. Coding languages are a whole different ballpark altogether. However, the same principle applies. As such, in the last few years, educators have placed a higher emphasis on STEM and computer sciences in the early phases of education. For many, though, it makes more sense to seek external help than it does to try to learn android app development from scratch.

There’s nothing wrong with challenging oneself; and in fact individuals who prioritize mental-fitness often retain a sharpness into their deepest years of life. But for anyone looking to produce android apps on a more efficient schedule, utilizing an android app developer might be the preferred avenue.

Trying to Learn Android App Development

Those curious enough to pursue fluency in coding may want to start elsewhere. In coding for Apple devices, developers use a language called Python. Python has a strict set of definitions and a rather formal dictionary. These elements make learning Python more accessible and easier for beginners to latch onto. With a more rigid structure and semi-less customizability, Python is a great language for novice coders to start with. Allowing them to learn the ins and outs of programming, and get into a natural flow.

In trying to learn android app development, however, there is a lot more flexibility. Rather than a single coding-language with strict definitions and a rather formulaic approach to running and writing code; android app developers pride themselves on thinking outside the box, and doing things a little differently.

In trying to learn android app development effectively, one can’t just focus on a single language. Instead, a developer needs to possess knowledge over an array of coding languages, in addition to understanding how those languages relate to and play off of one another. As such, the coding can quickly become complex, convoluted, and hard to read for novice developers.

Working With Professionals Simplifies Things

While everyone should work on learning something new and keeping their minds active; some things in life are just simpler with outside help. When it comes to your business or app development company, using a development firm or professional designers will simplify the process significantly. Where trying to learn android app development yourself is a long and trying process. Therefore, collaborating on projects with design professionals who already know the ins and outs of android coding, will streamline the process. Not only that, but using a professional designer or firm for your mobile app will ensure that there’s a minimal amount of bugs and glitches that infest your application.

Wrapping Up

The market for applications in all their forms is bustling right now. From enterprise apps to mobile gaming apps and mental-wellness applications; the app market is thriving. Get started on your app-development journey with the professionals at NS804, ready to make your ideas into realities.