Android offers a ton of opportunities for developers: it is a versatile, open platform used by millions of users worldwide with a fantastically easy distribution platform to help reach a large audience. Fortunately, there are also plenty of Android developer tools to get you started and plenty of support. Better yet, the number of these tools is increasing all the time, while each one continues to become more efficient and intuitive. There has never been a better time to create your own Android app!
In this post, we’ll run down a selection of the best tools for Android development, from IDEs and game engines to emulators and design tools.
Top Android developer tools
No list of Android development tools would be complete without Android Studio. This is the official IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for Android, making it the number one choice for the majority of developers looking to make basic apps in-keeping with Google’s Material Design and with access to all the advanced features of the platform.
The IDE is where any developer will spend most of their time: it acts as an editor for the chosen programming language (Android Studio supports Java, C++ and now Kotlin, though Java is the official language of Android), a compiler that can create APK files and a file system for arranging your project. It also includes an XML editor and ‘design view’ for arranging elements on the screen. Android Studio offers an entire suite of additional tools too – some of which we’ll examine in this post – and thankfully most of this will now come bundled together as a single download. In fact, it also comes bundled with the Android SDK itself, though you will still need to download and install the Java JDK separately. You should also check out our full Android Studio tutorial for beginners.
Developing with Java and the Android SDK does have a somewhat steep learning curve, but in terms of integration, support and features Android Studio can’t be beaten.
The AVD Manager tool is bundled with Android Studio. AVD stands for ‘Android Virtual Device’, so essentially this is an emulator for running Android applications on your PC. This is useful because it means that you can test your apps quickly without having to constantly install them on physical devices. More importantly, the AVD Manager allows you to create lots of different emulators with different screen sizes, specifications and versions of Android. This means you can see what your creation will look like on any given device and thereby ensure support across the most popular gadgets. Performance is getting better all the time, especially with the fast virt mode, which runs an Intel version of Android on your PC and removes the need for instruction level emulation.
Android Device Monitor
Another built-in Android development tool, the Android Device Monitor allows you to monitor your device or virtual device during runtime and get access to information such as how many processes are running on what thread, network stats, the LogCat – Source