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7 Steps To Build An Android MVP App

Are you sitting on the fence of whether or not to build an Android MVP? Given the global proliferation of Android smartphones and other devices, it makes sense to support the platform. But it’s also a platform that’s harder to develop for than iOS, making some developers balk at the thought. While Android development does have its fair share of quirks, it’s still worth supporting in the long run. Follow these 7 steps to build an Android MVP app and reach users around the world.

1. Why You Need An Android MVP App

The market for Android apps is dynamic and ever-growing. Unlike Apple’s tightly locked iOS ecosystem, Android is truly open. While most users download their Android apps from Google Play, that’s not the only choice available to them. Popular Android digital storefronts such as Amazon AppStore, Aptoide, and GetJar are several good alternatives. And smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei and Samsung have their brand-specific app stores, namely: Huawei AppGallery and Samsung Galaxy Apps.

Also, the Android platform makes it easy to sideload apps, allowing users to download and install apps from any source, including directly from the developer’s website. Undoubtedly, all these storefronts give developers ample opportunities to leverage their apps and grow their respective audiences further. Moreover, these storefronts make the perfect testing ground to try out new app ideas.

What all this means is that you should be developing an Android MVP if you’re targeting this platform. An MVP will allow you to reduce your costs and risks by focussing strictly on essential features. Then, you can test the viability of your ideas on a variety of markets and audiences. And once you receive feedback and analyze all relevant data points, you can then iterate your app MVP accordingly.

2. iOS MVP Example Takeaways

While Android’s a platform that every app developer should consider supporting, we have a few takeaways regarding iOS. From recent findings, iOS apps have higher engagement and retention rates. Furthermore, iOS users buy more purchasable apps and spend more on in-app purchases than Android users. And from a developer’s standpoint, it’s usually a faster and smoother process to develop and test iOS apps. Thus, iOS is better suited for creating an app MVP in most cases.

And to give you a brief idea about what this entails, let’s go over an iOS MVP example. NS804 developed Brew Trader, which is an app aimed at craft beer enthusiasts. The app helps them track down fellow aficionados located nearby and trade bottles in an efficient manner.

To develop this app, we set out to make our MVP ideation as simple as possible. While we initially listed down plenty of cool ideas, we eventually narrowed these down to the most relevant. The Brew Trader MVP ended up with three screens: a map showing bottle locations and the latest offers, a user profile, and a messenger so that users can DM each other. We built this MVP using the modern Swift programming language and by implementing a view controller design pattern.

3. Start With A Clear Purpose

One lesson that the above iOS MVP example offers us is that having a clear purpose is vital. As we’ve already revealed, Beer Trader is a simple and incredibly focused app. And that’s what defines most of the best and successful apps in the marketplace.

Before embarking on Android MVP development, you’ll need to ask yourself what problem you’re trying to solve. Ideally, you’ll come up with a no-frills solution that solves this one problem exceptionally well. Never try to solve many problems in your MPV, as it will lack direction and suffer feature creep.

4. Define Your Audience

We’ve mentioned how Android’s wide variety of storefronts make it easy to target a large audience beyond Google Play. However, audiences vary widely from storefront to storefront, and they all have different expectations. For example, Amazon AppStore users are more accustomed to purchasing apps and games in particular. But that’s not true for Aptoide users, who predominantly seek free apps without any geo-restrictions. On top of that, Google Play’s audience is incredibly diverse given the popularity of the platform.

So, what’s a busy Android developer to do? As always, you’ll want to keep things as simple as possible. Don’t try to target all these users and stick to one or two app stores initially. If you’re developing a premium app with in-app purchases, it makes sense to target Google Play and possibly Amazon AppStore users.

But you’ll need to narrow down your target audience even further. Perhaps you’re creating a VR architectural visualization app that depicts Brutalist architecture. In that case, you’ll want to target architects and designers based in Canada, the Czech Republic, the USA, the UK, Russia, Serbia, and Sweden, where this type of architecture is prominent.

5. Think About What To Scale Back

Scaling back and finding your true minimum is one of the most important things you can do. But you should be careful, as you don’t want your Android MVP to be so devoid of features that it becomes useless. Aim for the least amount of features but ensure that they all work flawlessly. Be sure to implement or retain all core functionality relevant to your app and avoid or remove any fluff. While there are no guarantees, most users will find such an app valuable.

6. Create A Detailed Explainer

Clients, users, and stakeholders will want to know what your app MVP is all about. This presents the perfect opportunity to create a detailed explainer. Carefully lay out your plans, even if they don’t all make it into the MVP. Also, consider adding a roadmap so that your audience knows what you have planned in the months ahead. And use video, especially if your MVP relies heavily on graphics and other visual elements.

7. Design The UI and UX

You’ve worked hard on creating the logic for your app, so don’t skimp on the design work either. Ensure that you’re following best practices and guides aimed at Android developers. As you go about building your user interface (UI), consider how your app bar, bubbles, dialog windows, menus, pop-up messages, and other UI elements work together. Ultimately, you want a clean and cohesive UI that flows naturally. And look closely at engagement and usability, as these correlate with your MVP’s user experience (UX).

8. Choose Your Language

A key benefit of Android development is that you can choose from several programming languages to create your project. Most developers will probably go with Java since this is the official language of the platform. However, in recent years, Kotlin has been gaining popularity since it’s similar but easier than Java.

For game developers, C++ is an apt choice, especially when optimal performance is essential. But Unity that uses the C# language has become a popular option amongst cross-platform and mobile game developers. And for simpler 2D games where performance isn’t a big concern, JavaScript and LUA are valid options.

9. Create A Testing Group

Try to create a community that backs your app as early as possible. Even if you only manage to gain a small following early on, these users can be invaluable. Entice them with competitions and insider early access initiatives to test your app. Then, set up a robust feedback pipeline so that these users can conveniently share their thoughts with your team. Keep track of all this feedback and ensure that your team makes the necessary iterations. Finally, always thank and credit your users for all their contributions.

In Conclusion

Developing for Android can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. However, it’s possible to overcome the more challenging aspects of the platform by following these 7 steps. Contact us today to find out how NS804 can make your next Android app simply amazing.

What Are The Best Tools For Android App Development?

When embarking on the Android app development journey, you’ll need to choose the right tools. Google provides several excellent tools at no cost to developers to help them get started. But third-party vendors such as Microsoft and Unity also offer Android developers powerful and versatile solutions. We’ll be covering these in more detail below.

1. Choosing The Right Tools For Android App Development

The world of Android software development can be fascinating and rewarding, provided you choose the right tools. Fortunately, there are several mature and robust tools on the market that facilitate a smooth development process. Here’s a shortlist of tools that every Android developer should have as part of their toolchain:

Android SDK – The official software development kit (SDK) that makes Android mobile app development possible. It contains several battle-tested libraries and tools for building, compiling, debugging, monitoring, and testing apps.

Android Studio – All developers need an integrated development environment (IDE) to make their ideas come to life. And Android Studio is the quintessential IDE for Android developers, even though there are many alternatives in the marketplace. Moreover, it’s the official IDE for the Android platform and comes with an emulator, image files, and SDK.

Unity – If you’re developing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps or games, consider using Unity. It’s a versatile game engine, renowned for its powerful and user-friendly editor and ability to build games for the most popular platforms with a single click. To target Android, you’ll need to download the Android Build Support module together with Android SDK/NDK and Open JDK.

2. When To Use Another IDE Instead Of Android Studio

If you’re building native Android apps or targeting the platform exclusively, you’ll probably want to stick with Android Studio. But if you’re targeting Android, iOS, and Windows, you may prefer a cross-platform solution. And one of these is Xamarin, which utilizes Microsoft’s rich .NET ecosystem and tooling and offers native performance. However, Xamarin requires Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2019 IDE as a prerequisite.

3. Why You Should Consider Using Firebase

For a simple mobile app, you probably won’t need to access cloud services. But if you’re developing something more complex, you may require a suite of tools that allow easy integration to Google’s back-end infrastructure. And if you need analytics and authentication together with AdMob integration, then Firebase is a solid choice. Before forging ahead, consider Firebase’s pricing and hidden costs to see if it fits within your budget.

4. Always Profile And Test Your Mobile App

Your development team may be incredibly talented, but it would be a mistake to ship your app without profiling and testing beforehand. The good news is that both the Android SDK and Android Studio come with powerful profiling tools.

Android SDK includes the Dalvik Debug Monitor Server (DDMS) that allows developers to emulate phone calls, examine threads, profile methods, view the heap, and gather information about the CPU, GPU, and frame rate. And the Android Studio IDE offers real-time monitoring of the CPU, GPU, memory, and network.

5. Android Software Development Is Constantly Evolving

Without a doubt, Android app development will be around for a long time still. There’s a massive international audience with an insatiable appetite for innovative apps released on the Google Play Store.

And while most developers will want to support both iOS & Android, they can’t go wrong if they can only support Android at the start. Moreover, they’ll find that Android’s tooling will only get better and more diverse with time. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you with your Android software development endeavors.

4 Major Obstacles With Android Freelance Projects

Major Obstacles Emerge With Android Freelance Projects

When it comes to mobile app development there are a few paths you can take. A modern, and popular option is to go with a freelance developer. However, as with any freelancing industry; it can be difficult to find the right match. Almost like dating. This is specifically true in the Android freelance projects market. Since Android is such a versatile Ios that really allows developers a sand-box-like feel, experts can make Android apps that are top-notch. Unfortunately, though, the average Android developer is likely not an expert.

That’s not to say it isn’t worth pursuing app development for Android, rather, that if you hire a freelance android developer – you should take caution to vet them thoroughly, and require multiple references.

Four Major Obstacles Faced in Android Freelance Projects

Getting to the heart of the matter, if you do choose to develop an Android project with an Android developer; you should be aware of these common obstacles that may emerge, and take mitigating preparatory steps.

Finding The Right Developer

This was already alluded to above, but there is an art to finding the right freelance developer, no matter the ios. In fact, there’s an art to finding the right freelancer period. Regardless of industry. However, there are ways to vet the freelance developers that you come across, such as requiring references and a proven portfolio.

Even with all of that, however, freelancers have a tendency to disappear. Create a written contract to further ensure yourself against the risk of using a freelance developer over an agency.

Ideas Don’t Belong To Anyone

While this may seem like a pleasant and idealistic statement, in the world of mobile app development, and western business in general, this is a very stark contrast to the way we operate. In some regions recreation or mockery, in the sense of copying someone’s success, is the highest form of flattery. However, in mobile app development – standing out and paving new paths is one of the best ways to be noticed.

No matter where you lay on the principal of the matter; protecting your informational property in the mobile app world is absolutely vital. Don’t let someone take your brilliance and make it their own.

Android Freelance Projects Take Longer

There is a library of reasons that freelance projects take longer in general, but specifically android freelance projects. Some of that has already been touched on in this article, with flakey developers who vanish, or timelines being extended beyond a reasonable limit. The list truly goes on and on. However, with the help of an agency app developer; your timeline will be strict and your app ready to launch before you know it.

Outdated Looks, Styles, Tones

Finally, the last risk that comes with hiring a freelancer for your android project is an outdated look, feel, and style to your finished application. This is simply because freelancers aren’t always up on the latest trends and preferences in the mobile app development market.

Final Thoughts

For more information on mobile app development through an agency vs a freelancer, visit NS804 today. NS804 is the mobile app development agency for everyday people.