One aspect that can make the difference between an inferior or quality application is choosing the IDE for Android application development. Also, as a developer you can simplify your life and this depends on the best choice, which will result in a fluid or frustrating experience depending on the option chosen.
That’s why we show you three excellent environments for the development of applications for Android. In each of these environments you will be able to visualize the main functions, advantages and disadvantages, so that the choice is easier.
In addition, you will be aware of the main environments that are available in this market sector.
1. Android Studio
We started with Android studio, is the official interactive development environment and was created by Google. In addition, it is the environment to which most of the official documentation that exists refers.
For this reason, it is the environment that facilitates the monitoring of design guidelines by Google and allows you to find new libraries for your projects.
Although Android Studio is a bit difficult to set up, it continues to improve every day and today it works faster, compared to its beginnings.
Android Studio was created especially for the Android operating system, which has been designed to provide innovative tools to support the development of applications for Android and a good alternative to other widely used environments, such as the Eclipse environment.
When you create a new project in this integrated development environment, the structure corresponding to the project is shown in much of the files in the SRC directory, a modification to the generation system that is based on Gradle, which provides greater flexibility in the construction process.
Thanks to the emulation system found in Android Studio, it is possible to visualize the modifications you make in the app, in real time. In addition, you can see how it looks on different Android phones, with different resolutions and settings in parallel.
An interesting aspect is that some functions are automated, so that developers can focus on the design of a native application, relying on a flexible system which provides a variety of opportunities to the developer.
Android Studio Benefits
Since Android Studio arrived, it has become an excellent choice for most developers when programming in Android.
Android Studio is the social development environment for Android, which was created by Google and has become an excellent alternative to the Eclipse service, thanks to its high level of accessibility. Below, we can see some of the main advantages of this environment for the development of applications for Android.
- It is possible to run the application directly from the mobile device.
- Quick compilation.
- Android Studio, thanks to the emulator allows the execution of the application in real time.
- Development for NDK does not support it (intellij using Android plugin, yes).
- If you use a stable version, it works pretty well.
- It has layouts rendered in real time and can use tools parameters.
- Android Studio has all the functionalities required for the creation of any integrated development environment.
- Android Studio can automatically associate files and folders with your performance in the app, deleted in values of the files, create new folders; something quite comfortable really.
Disadvantages of Android Studio
As you could see, Android Studio offers incredible benefits for the development of Android applications, but like everything else, it also has some disadvantages and have to do with the high requirements.
Android Studio, for the emulator to work properly you need a powerful machine. For this reason, it is considered the best development environment for Android applications. In addition to requiring enough resources from the computer, this causes the battery to wear out.
These are the only disadvantages we find, you can see that they are reduced, as they are linked to the requirements of the program.
It is a kit of elements for the development of applications for Android multiplatforms, through Xamarin is possible to develop native apps in Android operating systems, Windows, iOS. The functions are performed by means of Mono framework, having communication with the API interface (application program interface), common functions in smart phones.
Xamarin leverages code sharing to establish usability and compatibility across operating systems or multiple platforms.
It is a simple transition for C# developers, this is because it facilitates the creation of robust apps, using C# (programming language) which is set to .NET CLI (Common Language Infrastructure).
Xamarin is characterized mainly because the code can be shared between the different platforms; in Xamarin native user interfaces are developed, constant renovation and Open Source, it is based on Mono and it is possible to develop through XAML the interfaces.
Benefits of Xamarin
Through this Android application development platform, you can easily build cross-platform apps.
Its main advantage is the facility to develop apps that can work on different mobiles (either Android or iOS mobile devices) using the same code, which is written in C# using the .NET framework. Let’s see other benefits of Xamarin:
- Xamarin is easy to learn and use.
- This Android application development environment offers continuous integration.
- It is ready for use with advanced debugging and test elements.
- Xamarin uses .NET and C#.
- Complete API coverage.
If you were looking for an environment to develop multiplatform Android applications and use the same code to achieve a product in different operating systems, Xamarin is definitely an excellent alternative. The best thing about Xamarin is that it has been expanded by Microsoft, is included in Visual Studio and is free.
Disadvantages of Xamarin
We can’t deny that Xamarin is an excellent application development technology for Android, but it also has some weak points and you should take them into account when choosing it.
- It is not possible to share the user interface code.
- Xamarin has open source libraries, but access is sometimes limited.
- It also has some compatibility complications with other libraries.
- Compared to other native applications, the apps compiled here are larger.
- Xamarin has the latest updates, but on multiple occasions the support is quite slow.
3. React Native
Benefits of React Native
Now we will see some benefits of this excellent option for the development of Android applications.
- Although React Native was initially developed for iOS, it is now compatible with Android, currently the library allows to represent mobile UI for both platforms.
- The way it works is fluid and fast, since it meets with native and real codes.
- React Native is dedicated to developing native apps internally and is based on the characteristics that bear it, offering modern companies an excellent solution.
- Another great advantage of React Native is the reusability of the components.
- The development is highly efficient in React Native, since it offers agility and speed of development of web apps to the hybrid environment, but with native results.
- React Native supports third party plugin and memory usage is lower. If you want to add add-ons from others, you don’t need to rely on a new WebView.
- It will not be a problem to work on the settings of the app so that it provides excellent quality at all levels. In addition, it is very easy to correct errors, speeding up error detection and debugging.
- It is constantly renewing itself, since it admits different technologies and is open to work using newer concepts; achieving a high benefit by having diverse options to create native apps directed to modern companies.
Disadvantages of React Native
As you could see, React Native allows you to create native apps, with all the advantages and disadvantages that this entails.
Highlighting one of the positive aspects: the app will have a more native experience in user navigation, performance and so on. But the disadvantages are as follows:
- You won’t have the flexibility of working with a website.
- It’s essential that you learn new things.
- In addition, it is necessary to make the configuration of the native app.
- Without forgetting that a working environment is required to use with simulators these native applications, real mobile and others.
Normally, the debate closes right there, since both tools are totally viable for creating multiplatform apps and, on the other hand, we have the option of the development environment through Android Studio.
Regardless of the differences between Android Studio, Xamarin and React Native, each of these toolkits has its advantages and disadvantages.