Build an App for Android Nougat

Just a few days ago, we discussed Apple’s release of the seventh Beta of iOS 10. This is just a few weeks ahead of the main release, rumored to be in mid to late September. But ahead of iOS 10, Google went ahead and dropped their newest OS, Nougat.

As an Android app development company, we naturally stay on top of the ball. But behooves entrepreneurs to pay attention too – especially when it comes to Google. The company that does no evil is extremely friendly to third party development. Why is that important?

Because it means that app owners (want to own your own app for android or iOS? Contact us now!) can take advantage of Android’s awesome onboarded features. What Android focuses on tells the savvy entrepreneur what’s going on with the market.

Nougat is no different. While the baseline features are streamlined and improved, there’s a new focus that we haven’t seen before – virtual reality. While Google has already made significant investments in the VR arena, this emphasis with nougat points to one thing: VR is here and apps for VR are going to make money.

VR Apps For Cardboard and Daydream

If you own a VR app, or are interested in building one, now is definitely the time to get your foot in the door. Apps for VR and AR already had a lot of support in the tech world, but now Android has made it official.

Android has made it clear that Nougat is specifically designed to deliver a high quality VR experience for mobile devices, specifically through their highly anticipated DayDream platform. If you want to know more about Daydream (set to be released this fall) and Cardboard, you can read about both in-depth here.

Currently, Nougat has two SDKs for developers: VR for Unity (for devices like Samsung’s Gear VR) and VR for Android (for all Google mobile devices). Technically, Android also offers a VR SDK for iOS, but it basically lets you build VR apps for Cardboard.

The VR for Android SDK especially promises to have a huge impact on VR apps. With features like headtracking and binocular rendering (to help reduce disparity), this SDK is going to support some truly awe-inspiring VR apps!

But there is a lot more to Nougat than VR. Specifically, we want to talk a little bit more about a trend that we’re seeing with both iOS 10 and Android. Both mobile OS’ are heavily emphasizing Mobile First, especially for Enterprise purposes.

Nougat and Enterprise

Both Google and Apple are heavily investing in Mobility. Both companies understand that the Mobile First trend is more than just a flash in the pan. As a population, the US has become largely mobile: from work to play, we do it all on the go. And the rest of the planet is moving towards mobile devices even faster.

Nougat is clearly designed to help people work on their mobile devices (both phones and tablets). Much of the planet is bypassing the desktop phase of enterprise entirely, and Android clearly recognizes this trend:

♦ Direct Reply, already a feature for Messenger Apps on Marshmallow are now expanded to more notifications. Personally, I love this because I frequently write documents on my phone. Direct Reply lets me easily respond to messages (and now any notification!) without breaking my flow;

♦ Nougat’s Quick Switch feature lets mobile workers easily toggle back and forth between two screens with a simple double tap. This makes it easier to multi-task without missing a beat, but even better is the next feature;

♦ Multi-window allows users to actually have two simultaneous apps running next to each other. For example, if you have field techs, they can be viewing your enterprise app and GPS map at the same time (though you can hire us and we can code a Map API right into your app!).

These changes are especially important for those who own Android enterprise apps. Android already controls roughly 75% of the market and will likely continue to grow this share as more of the world comes online. Android has a distinct advantage over Apple when it comes to enterprise: it’s cheaper.

As we all know, Apple is end-to-end. While they have stellar features and pretty awesome phones, they are expensive (and there aren’t cheaper alternatives). Android on the other hand is largely an OS company – they (mostly) leave the hardware for others.

The plethora of Android devices means that a CEO can easily buy a ton Android phones and tablets (you can even get a tablet with your company logo on it!) for their employees. Google has clearly recognized this and is growing its support for enterprise apps and a mobile workforce.

Enterprise apps specifically designed for business purposes, like our partner company, Moxtra. These apps help to grow companies, improve organizational communication and provide data analytics on the go, just to name a few things. Truly, an enterprise app is one of the best business growth tools available.

Enterprise apps are especially useful to CEOs and SMB owners and, because of exceptional need for them, make a lot of money for their owners. The best part of an enterprise app is that, like a SaaS program, you can build it for your industry – and then sell it to you competitors!

Want to get your app updated to Android’s API 24 and ready for your users? Give our Android Nougat developers a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us! Don’t have an Android app yet? No problem! We can build one for you in 4 weeks!

Building your First Android App -Tutorial

There are a lot of ideas in the world. People have them every day, but most of these ideas are never executed. Innovation requires knowledge, action, and devotion that most people aren’t ready to commit to their ideas. Apps are a hot new frontier for ideas to flourish in, and for tinkerers and experimenters, Android is the platform of choice as the openness enables pretty much any idea to work. So how do you elevate yourself above those crowds of ideas that never go anywhere?

There are multiple avenues to turning an app idea into reality. The two basic options are to either build it yourself or to work with a development team.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons and break down the basics of these two options.

Doing it yourself

This route requires a lot of learning. Android app development involves knowledge in many areas like coding the app, designing the UX, and sometimes requires supplemental technologies, such as web design or server architecture. Learning all of these skills will take a lot of time and effort, but if you have the patience and drive, then the skills you pick up will be valuable. Don’t expect to make anything too complex on your first go around though!

To offer a very barebones Android tutorial: apps are coded in Java, so that’s the language you’ll need to learn. There are tons of great learning resources out there online, or perhaps you’ll find something offered at local community colleges. This will be the first big hurdle to overcome, but once you are familiar with the language and are comfortable coding in it, you are ready to crack open the Android SDK. Many startups & entrepreneurs have built successful android apps powered by SDI.

Preparing the app is done through the Android Studio, which is available to Google Play developers. The Android SDK is very well documented, and there is a big community behind it which will be more than happy to help you when you get stuck. You’ll find plenty of detailed Android app tutorials to get you started with the basics. Android apps have a widespread reach in various sectors.

You’ll also find from Google a very comprehensive breakdown of design, which you should follow when creating the UI. You’ll probably need to pick up Photoshop or a free equivalent like GIMP 2 to do your design work and image manipulation. If you don’t know how to use those, it’s probably worth looking for some online classes or tutorials, because they aren’t exactly intuitive.

It takes a lot of time to build these skills, but with the resources available online, it is often free to develop them as long as you are willing to put in some effort and eventually call yourself an independent android app maker.

Work with a team

Where doing it yourself costs time, working with a team will instead cost money. Funding either comes out of pocket, or from investors, and is used to hire an android app development company to complete the project. The clear advantage here is that you get to work with people who are experts in the field, which means you’ll be free to pursue ideas and concepts that are as deep and as complex as you can imagine. Find out more how to build an app in 3 easy steps today and start your startup.

The downside is, of course, that you have to pay them. Pricing will vary greatly from company to company, so you’ll spend a while finding a good fit before the project can move forward. You can look for a portfolio of work to help gauge the potential expertise of a company as well.

If money is a barrier, you can approach the project in steps; build a prototype or interactive presentation which you can use to pitch the idea to investors. Regardless of your individual situation, you can always get in touch with SDI to start planning a path forward. Feel free to call us on 408.802.2885 or email team@sdi.la and let’s get started.

Beginners Guide: How to Make an Android app

So you’ve got an app idea that you want to bring into the world? Here’s how to go about making that dream come true.

Concept

First things first: you need to write out what the app is and what it does. Start with a mission statement, like: “this app will assist users in finding and rating local dog parks.” A simple, to-the-point description of your goal goes a long way in helping you communicate the app’s purpose, as well as focusing your ideas around the central functionality.

Next you’ll want to detail the user experience that you envision: what elements does the user navigate when using the app? You’ll outline the “flow” of the user experience, each step along the path to achieving a goal, which screens lead to which other screens, and what information is displayed.

Design

The latest version of Android (Lollipop) introduced a new set of design standards called Material Design. This is mainly a flat design, but includes a shallow 3D layering for elements, giving the appearance of sheets of paper. App makers should take a look at Google’s Material Design documentation to see what that all means.

If you don’t have experience doing design and making assets in Photoshop (or other image manipulation tools) you will probably want to hire someone to help do the design for the app. It is imperative that the app look good and be clearly understandable at a glance if you want it to succeed.

However you go about creating these assets, you’ll need to have each screen’s content ready to go when programming the app.

Programming

Android apps are generally coded in Java through the Android SDK provided by Google. Google Play developer accounts are $25, this is a single-time payment which grants you access to everything you’ll need to build and publish an app on Google Play. This includes a very large knowledge-base and a good community of helpful app-makers who can help you out.

If you’re interested in reading a very comprehensive guide to the app development process, mainly aimed at aspiring coders, then Google provides a valuable “Building Your First App” guide that you can explore.

If you intend to hand off the programming duties to someone else, then you’ll still need to make your own dev account for submitting the app to Google Play. Your developer will use your design documents to create the app as you specify, and you can test each new build to make sure everything is proceeding on the right track.

Publish

Publishing is incredibly easy on Android. Once the app is finished, tested, and ready to go live, you simply log into your developer account and go to the Publish section to set up the launch of your app. Either you or your programmer will need to export the app as an APK (that’s a single file which houses the entire app. It’s what people download when they want to install your app).

You’ll need to provide the app’s official name, content rating, country’s for distribution, upload the APK, as well as the app’s icon & screenshots, choose a category and write a description which will display on the app store. There are a lot of options to fill in when it comes to how your app is listed, and it is important to use them if you want to maximize your visibility. If you are a startup ready to take the next step forward find out why startups and android app development go hand in hand.

Once all that information is given, you just have to accept the Terms & Conditions and click Publish. After a few minutes it will be live for the world to discover and download! Easy.

Conclusion

Android’s open nature makes it very friendly for app makers. There are fewer barriers to entry on this platform, and it brings an enormous potential audience, so there’s a lot of advantages. If you don’t have the expertise in any area—whether that’s design, programming, marketing, etc.—you can supplement your own efforts by hiring Software Developers India as an affordable app specialist to fill in the gaps.

You can get in touch with us at 408.802.2885 or by emailing team@sdi.la to learn more about our Android app development services. Our team is equipped to start your project right away!