The future of Android development

Android has grown to own 80% of the market share of smartphone operating systems over the last decade. And yes, if you’re wondering, iOS lies in this other 20%, along with other operating systems.

Android’s open source, meaning the source code is out there, and people can contribute to the development process. It’s free, easy to use and the community is just HUGE which brings forth a ton of applications and improvements to the Android experience. With the competition on fire between all the big names in smartphone OS, Android’s share is not shrinking. It is, at the very least, growing even larger at a massive scale.

It leads us to an important question, which is “What’s the future of Android development?

Is it a bubble that is soon to burst, or does Android has even brighter days in the future?

Android development will most likely be dependent on what it has to offer. So we need to relate the future of Android development to the future of Android itself.

So, what does the future of Android hold?

When you talk about the competition level of Google and Apple, you’re not talking about how to keep your market share. Both companies are eventually looking for total control over the market. Think of how SMS was knocked out by online messaging. That’s what both companies want for their technologies, to dominate.

Seemingly, you can’t dominate a market by introducing better performing applications or faster OS. You need to keep a constant control of the people’s current demands and future demands. That’s why new features are always surging up to Android and IOS systems. Here are two examples of potential features for Android that could affect the development.

  1. Android Pay:

Apple pay has been very successful ever since its release, so why not add the feature to Android?

Remember that these companies always are at a high level of competition. Which means that imitation is never off the table. Also, remember that the goal of smartphones is to replace all your everyday life gadget. Like the watch, the computer, the calendar, the planner, etc., you get the idea. However, the integration for Android might prove a little sophisticated. Android does, in fact, have a weaker standing when it comes to security.

  1. Android on every device:

We’re moving towards the digitization of everything in our lives. To do that, every device will have an operating system that supports a friendly, easy to use and functional user interface. Android has quite the reputation in terms of user-friendliness. Not only that, but it is actually supported on many other devices, other than smartphones. There are home security systems, refrigerators, and TVs, for example.

But Google knows that the real fight lies in PC operating systems, and when they aim for “every device”, they mean it. Google is currently working on a project called project Andromeda, for a new OS for laptops and PCs. This new OS is based on Android and Chrome OS. It aims to reach multiple devices and function regardless of the processor architecture, which is critical for the multi-platform integration. Andromeda will, if anything expand Android’s reach and elevate its authority.

What does it mean for development?

Android development will have to keep up with these changes and aspirations. As Android advances, developers will have to follow certain paths in order not to fall back in the line.

First of all, agile development is key here. The increased usage and demand will necessitate the agility in program deployment. Programs that run on the same patches for months might even turn obsolete. Development cycles will most likely be shorter than they are now, and businesses will take more into consideration the customers’ feedback.

There’s also the need for simple but extremely engaging applications for the audience. Users, in general, hate to spend hours trying to figure out how an application works. Remember that we’re not just talking about mobile applications anymore. These will be applications for TVs, laptops, possibly even refrigerators, and microwaves. It opens the door for a lot of possibilities to be explored but offers a lot of challenges in exchange. It makes you wonder ” what sort of application could be developed for a microwave?” but yet again, we always wonder until it’s already made.

Highly secure applications will present a challenge, especially with applications like digital wallets. The public always express their concern regarding the issue of privacy and security. And when you have applications with such a high level of reach and features, security becomes a matter that no one can concede over any other feature. That’s why Android development in the near future will target the matter of security in its every step.

Finally, The appearance of new languages like Kotlin will impact the Android scene. For example, Kotlin came out to answer Java’s weakness in certain areas like “nullable objects” which causes a lot of crashing and confusion. Not only that, but it also simplifies the development while maintaining the power of its predecessor. This will give developers time to orient themselves towards GUI’s and application’s simplicity.

Will Android die soon?

The other scenario out there is that Android would become obsolete by getting replaced. This would mean that the Android development force will vanish and redirected towards the new OS. It’s true that Android is facing is facing some serious challenges. First of all, despite the Google’s scheduled patches, it takes almost 4 years for a release to actually penetrate the Android ecosystem. In its first year, a new release only achieves approximately a 10% margin. 4 years is plenty of time in the tech world, and with such a competition at hand, it could mean future death. That’s not Google’s only problem, however.

There’s the fragmentation problem, which results from developers having to adapt their Android applications to the hundreds of devices expected to use the software.

For sure, Google’s not having an easy time ruling the market. Yet these threats could potentially deliver some development changes.

Final thoughts:

Android Development will change in the future depending on how the market changes. It’s impossible to tell where will it be headed. For now, Android development will be targeting bigger scopes and broadening its horizons. The advances in the developer tools out there, like the Android studio with its emulators, will make things better, that’s for sure.

We will most likely witness a pleasing change in Android application’s behavior very soon.

But how far will Android go? That will be the question that only future can answer.

Saurabh has worked globally for telecom and finance giants in various capacities. After working for a decade in Infosys and Sapient, he started his first startup, Lenro, to solve a hyperlocal book-sharing problem. He is interested in product, marketing, and analytics. His latest venture Hackr.io recommends the best Android tutorial and online programming courses for every programming language. All the tutorials are submitted and voted by the programming community.

Automation Testing for Android Mobile App with Java

Automation testing is a method of practicing an application to implement the entire life cycle of the software in a minimum amount of time and provides effectiveness and efficiency of testing the software. It is a technique where the tester itself writes the scripts and uses a suitable software that it apt for testing.

In other words, automation testing uses automation tools to write and execute the test cases. Generally, the testers write test scripts and test cases using the automation tool and the group them into the test suites.

Mobile Application Automation Testing

Testing of mobile applications can be relatively cumbersome because of sheer extent of testing is required on a variety of devices. Besides, the mobile apps require faster changes than other type of applications like Desktop or Web. Because of this, more and more organizations have started realizing the needs of using automation testing. Mobile App Automation Testing is a massive undertaking and one can end up complicating the process by selecting a bad tool. With a major trending shift to open source mobile application tools, there have been a wide variety of tools that are now available in open-source software markets.

There is no disputing fact that Mobile Automation Testing framework is a vital part of the software development cycle. So, you need automation testing to deliver the quality applications in a timely manner and particularly for the rapidly changing mobile apps.

To reap maximum benefits from your software delivery, automated tests should be planned carefully and scheduled in such a way that they are cost-effective.

Automation Tools for Testing Android Applications

Below are some of the following automation tools for testing android applications:

  1. Appium

Appium is an open source test automation tool that permits you to easily write functional tests that automate Android mobile apps.

Features

Appium has the following features:

  • It is a cross-platform open source mobile testing automation framework
  • It is best suited for QA teams to test the functionality of the mobile app across Android.
  • It can be written in any language including Python, Ruby and the most interesting JAVA and Objective – C.
  • It doesn’t require access to your source code
  • Its reports are limited from debugging and fast feedback loop.

 

  1. Selendroid

It is an open source automation framework that drives off the UI of Android applications. Also, it can be described as a powerful testing tool that can be used on emulators and real devices and still reuses the existing infrastructure of web, you can write tests using the Selenium 2 client APIs.

Features

The features of Selendroid are as follows:

  • Can interact with various Android simulators and devices simultaneously
  • It supports development tools using any Web Driver language including JAVA, Ruby, C#, etc.
  • Can simulate human actions like swipe, drag, touch, etc. on devices

  1. Robotium

It is widely adopted open source Android test automation framework. It can only be used if you have the source code for the app or either you can run it on either emulators or real devices. For Robotium, you need  apk file for the app or the source code, Android Development Tools, Java Development Kit and the Robotium.

Features

The features of Robotium are:

  • Handles multiple Android routines automatically
  • Easy to write powerful test scenarios
  • It supports native and hybrid Android apps

 

  1. UI Automator

It is an Android UI framework for mobile testing and its key features includes cross-app functional testing, switch between installed and system apps and has the ability to test the multiple apps. It is also known as black-box testing tool and is written in JAVA, the Google’s ultimate language of choice.

Features

Following are the features of UI Automator:

  • It is a framework that is developed and maintained by Google.
  • It comes with a very useful GUI tool to analyze and scan the UI components that are currently displayed on the device.

Conclusion

Automation testing is the best method to fulfill most of the testing goals with effective resources. Be careful before choosing the appropriate automation tool as it can fulfill 100% requirement of the application.

Author: Claire Mackerras, is a Senior QA Engineer & Editor associated with Bugraptors.  A CMMi5 certified company with extensive experience as a third party testing vendor in US. She is passionate toward writing on technological trends for manual & automation software testing.  She likes to share her knowledge, for the readers who are interested in exploring testing tact’s and trends.

Developing A Mobile App With Frameworks

One of the first things you need to decide when you want to develop an App, is which phones and/or operating systems that your app must be compliant with – ie what types of phones and tablets that your app needs to function with. Once that is out of the way, you need to decide is what type of app you want to develop, which functions it should encompass, and how all of these functions should look and feel.

These days, there’s pretty much 3 great choices, depending on your background, proficiency and skills, and ultimately, the desired functionality of the app itself.

  • HTML5 app: Technically, an app built purely on HTML5 is not an app at all, instead it’s just a website that is customized to display via the webview on the phone, and resized to the particular size of the various devices.
  • Hybrid app: This form of app is built with HTML5, but when the code gets compiled, the framework will compile one version for Android, and another one for iPhone, automatically. While this is not a true native app, it has become the most common, and easiest to use these past years.
  • Native app: This form of app indicates that all the code used to program it, is the original code for that particular device (ie. iOS code for iPhones). But that also means that if you want a Native App for both Android and iPhones, you need to program the same app twice, in 2 different languages. These types of apps also harvest some of the best conversion rates in the business.

In this blog post you can read about the pros and cons of the different types of frameworks, and you can become a little wiser on the difference between them, and hopefully you may better decide which type to choose for your app.

If you already know about the different types of apps, perhaps you’d be more interested in reading this article outlining some of the latest app development trends for 2016 and beyond.

Market shares: iOS vs. Android
Basically, it is our recommendation that you should always develop your app for both Android and IOS.
In this way, your app could be used on more than 95% of all phones on the market. According to marketingland.com the market share between Android and iOS covers 60% and 35% respectively on average in the world.

It is this authors personal opinion that in almost all cases, it would be cost-ineffective to produce apps specifically for Windows Phone users and other even less used operating systems.

If you are developing your own app, I’d suggest that you start with developing for Android, since both in Europe and the US, android has more than 60% of the total market share, and if you consider the cost of getting your app into the stores, Android is much cheaper than Apple. Another important factor to take into consideration, is the level of scrutiny your app will undergo before being finally approved for distribution on the 2 major app stores. Once more Android is the better choice for solo developers, since they have less strict requirements compared to Apple.

That having been said, of course it is possible to develop for iPhone first, or only, depending on your wishes. The process on average take a little longer than at Android, because you need more lines of code, along with the need to pass stricter requiremens, and the waiting time has been reported to be twice as long at Apple’s store.

Another thing to keep in mind is adding proper UI and UX elements. By not reinventing the wheel every time you build an app, and instead choose frameworks or toolkits, you can keep users consistently aware of all elements, and chances are they will feel more at home.