Android is unarguably the most popular mobile operating system in the world today. In 2023, Android is all set to attain a market share of more than 87%, which makes it an ideal platform for building personalized applications.
Just like mobile phones, Android applications are also dominating wearable, computers, tablets, home appliances, set-top boxes, as well as vehicles.
Apart from these factors, Android also enjoys the support of the worldwide developer community, which offers a higher degree of customizability and functionality. Therefore, most mobile application development services prefer to develop Android apps.
Android’s unprecedented popularity led to a rise in the development of a plethora of app development tools. Hence, it has become very cumbersome to choose the best android development tools for your app.
While choosing an appropriate android development tool, most developers or organizations lost along the way. Keeping this in mind, we have put together a comprehensive list of the best Android development tools to consider for your app development project in 2023 and the years to come.
Table of Contents
Best Android Development Tools
IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment, which offers an interface where you can develop, test, and debug the application code. It also comes with tools to automate tasks such as code generation, debugging and rendering, etc.
It is an official Android IDE conceived and built by Google. Android Studio is based on IntelliJ IDEA, and it is the most used tool for Android app development projects.
It let you work with Kotlin language, C++, and Java, and it allows you to develop applications for smartphones, tablets, wearable gadgets, android TV, glasses, android auto, etc. It is completely free to download for iOS, Linux, and Windows platforms.
Visual Studio (with Xamarin)
This IDE leverages C++ and C# and is primarily used for making Windows apps. However, now it has transformed into a brilliant solution to develop iOS and Android applications. It offers numerous templates for faster development and explores cloud-based tools with Azure.
Visual Studio offers a seamless interface that lets developers code, test, debug and deploy Android applications with ease.
It is a freely available IDE that let developers create android applications directly on their smartphones. It supports development in Java, Kotlin, and C++ languages, and it is mostly preferred for beginner Android developers. It let developers build, test, and debug android applications without any hassles.
Eclipse is an IDE used for Android app development. It contains an extensible plug-in system and base workspace which help developers in customizing the environment with ease.
Eclipse platform is used to build integrated development environments, rich smartphone apps, and various other tools. It can be used as an IDE for any programming language if there is a plug-in available for that. Eclipse offers an excellent interface to develop UI/UX and a visual code debugging tool to fix code errors.
Android Debug Bridge (ADB)
It is a flexible command-line tool that facilitates seamless communication with a device. The adb command invokes various device actions, such as installation and debugging of applications.
It enables developers to directly access the Unix shell to execute numerous commands on a device. It is a client-server program that consists of three fundamental components (a Client, a Daemon (adbd), and a Server).
Android Virtual Device (AVD) Manager
It is a command line tool that enables developers to build and manage AVDs (Android Virtual Devices) from the command line.
An AVD allows developers to define the characteristics of an Android smartphone, Wear OS, tablet, Automotive OS device, or Android TV, which are needed to simulate in an Android Emulator. It lets you create virtual devices based on the type of device you want to model and run your application on.
Fabric is a flexible and capable mobile platform that offers various features and useful kits to equip additional functionalities into your android applications. It also provides Crashlytics, a crash reporting service, which allows you to monitor your android crashes and take adequate remediation steps.
You can install the Fabric into Android Studio and then integrate Crashlytics into it. Crashlytics offers you an in-depth view of your app crashes in the real production world.
Unity3D is a formidable cross-platform 3D engine utilized to create and operate 3D experiences in real-time. It is an IDE that allows both beginners and expert level of developers to create mobile apps, desktop apps, 3D games, and consoles.
Unity offers features such as 3D rendering, physics, and collision detection to make a 3D game work. Unity also offers a visual editor that let creators simply drag and drop elements into scenes and change their properties.
It is among the most popular Android emulator based on VirtualBox. It let you experience the resource-crunching 3D graphic games, such as PUBG Mobile, on a laptop or desktop without any performance glitches.
It comes with Genymotion Desktop, which let you test your Android apps on a wide range of virtual devices and smartphones. It offers a plethora of sensors to ensure seamless interaction with a virtual Android environment.
It is a tool used by mobile app developers to track bugs, application crashes, and monitor app performance. It helps developers fetch detailed reports, that give a clear insight into any aspect of your application that is not meeting the desired software quality standards.
Instabug automatically collects a wide range of technical information, which makes it easier for mobile application developers to identify and fix app issues.
Best Application Development Frameworks
An application development framework is a collection of best practices and libraries, which offer you a fundamental application structure and let you build an entirely new application on top of it. App development frameworks are made to ensure faster app development and prevent other coding-specific challenges.
It is a Microsoft-supported cross-platform application development framework. It allows developers to craft native-like applications with seamless access to system-specific capabilities. Xamarin allows you to reuse 90% of app code while building an app for both Android and iOS platforms.
Xamarin is based on .NET, which allows you to access various .NET features such as asynchronous programming and garbage collector. You can also leverage the platform-specific functions and SDKs to enhance your application. It supports Swift for iOS and C# for Android platforms.
It is a massively popular framework that is used for developing cross-platform projects. It follows the philosophy of ‘Write Once and Run Anywhere’, which lets developers write single code and reuse it for all platforms such as iOS, Android, and Windows.
React Native is faster than its contemporaries and offers cost-effective app development, which makes it popular among the developer community. It comes with a Live Reload feature, that allows developers to write the code and see the changes immediately on another screen.
It has been developed by Google for cross-platform application development. Flutter includes app development frameworks, documentation, APIs, libraries, etc. It offers faster app development, and multiple widgets for UI/UX development, and delivers superior performance than React Native.
It also provides an amazing MVP builder which helps you develop solutions quickly. It supports the Dart language, which uses Java-like syntax to build applications for Android and iOS platforms.
Best Open-Source Libraries
A library is a collection of codes written to execute specific tasks. Libraries are developed to incorporate additional capabilities and resolve common problems with the help of reusable codes.
Here we have the most popular Libraries used for android app development.
Mobile apps function on the internet, hence they need capabilities to work with HTTP requests. OkHttp is a perfect library for android app development, as it offers various features to handle HTTP requests effectively.
It caches the HTTP responses automatically, compresses the data, and performs seamless pooling. It also offers recovery routes for situations like connection failures. It was developed keeping HTTP/2 in mind, that is why it supports both asynchronous and synchronous requests.
It is a full-fledged library for image loading. It has resolved the image loading problems and made image scrolling smoother. It allows you to fetch, decode, resize, and display images, video stills, and animated images with programmed resource pooling and user-friendly AP.
It also allows developers to load images from the Internet, display it in a circular view, resize and transform images, create various transition effects, and generate cache for enhanced performance.
Reactive Extensions for the JVM (RxJava)
It is used for building event-based and asynchronous applications using observable sequences. RxJava allows developers to augment the code and compose sequences declaratively. It also handles caching, threading, thread-safety, synchronization, manages concurrent data structures internally, and ensures adequate thread safety.
It was developed to simplify the communication between threads, services, activities, and fragments. It bypasses the complex life cycle issues and dependencies; thus, it is preferred for decoupling event receivers and senders. It is a small library with an easy API interface, which offers superior performance and additional capabilities.
Fast Android Networking
This library allows seamless networking functions in Android applications. It allows developers to download and upload files, use REST API, set priorities, and load images from the network. This library is widely used since the HttpClient in Android M was withdrawn. It supports OkHttp to improve the overall performance of applications.
This library has been designed by Facebook to support easy debugging of Android apps, specifically database and network requests. It gives you seamless access to the Google Chrome debugging tools. It becomes a native part of your browser if you enable it.
Related: Android vs. iOS- Detailed Comparison Guide
Best Code Collaboration Tools & Online Coding Environments
Code Collaboration tools are applications and services that enable developers to work together on applications remotely. These tools provide a wide range of features such as group debugging, audio and video chat, and real-time multiplayer editing.
Whereas an online coding environment helps multiple developers to work on a single project. These tools are used by remote teams and software development outsourcing companies. These tools help to mitigate events of unnoticed edits, repetition of tasks, and wrong task distribution.
It is the most preferred tool for developers who are working on the same feature or module. It hosts millions of app development projects and has attained the status of mandatory skill for every developer. It enables multiple developers to co-write, review, and co-edit the code in real-time.
It offers an attractive toolbox and features to track the changes, synchronize them with the project, and approve them. It also enables developers to move between different platforms and machines without losing their code.
Code With Me
It is an efficient plugin developed by JetBrains to perform collaborative coding in IntelliJ IDEA. It allows developers to write and edit code, debug on IDE, and share a server with other developers.
Although it allows countless code editors to work together, you can experience performance degradation if there are too many developers working on an application code. It allows developers to make a call or video call to their partners directly from the IDE.
Visual Studio Live Share
It is a collaborative coding tool that offers an adequate amount of code customization. It enables multiple users to work on the code while allowing them to customize the platform according to their preferences and settings.
Visual Studio Live Share offers robust security, co-editing, co-debugging, share ports, servers, and terminals. It also allows developers to connect with their counterparts and ensure faster app development.
Best Android Code Review Tools
Code Review tools are designed to identify code errors while writing or once it is completed. It automates the manual code review process, which is exhausting and time-consuming since developers had to review thousands of code lines and validate them. These tools automate this entire process, which saves lots of effort and time.
It is an automated code review tool, which not only includes standard code guideline requirements but also incorporates custom rules to cater to specific project guidelines.
It makes the entire process of automated review a lot more accurate and easier. It is used for scaled and complex projects, but it supports Java code only.
It has been developed to analyze Java byte code. It throws error notifications when it identifies issues with code correctness, multithreaded correctness, dodgy code, a vulnerability in code, slow performance, internationalization, or any sort of security threat.
It allows developers to integrate the Find Security Bugs plugin, which finds the security threats such as bad cryptography, sensible sections, or bad communication.
It automatically reviews the code and displays the list of potential bugs. It is an IDE-independent tool, which means it can function with any environment you have selected for your app development project.
Android Lint let developers detect the issues such as layout and icon issues, missing and unused translations, accessibility and internationalization problems, and inconsistent array sizes.
Best Android Code Editors
Code editor tools help developers in writing and editing application codes. They function like a text editor with some additional capabilities. They do not offer as much capability as an IDE but still offer enough ability to streamline your coding.
It is a freely available code and text editor, which allows developers to make changes in code from your android smartphone or tablet. It is a phenomenal tool that helps you to make changes remotely and quickly.
It is a cloud-based tool that supports more than 200 languages including C, C++, HTML, Ruby, and Java. As it works on the cloud, it does not overload your device with thousands of code lines.
Quoda Code Editor
It is a feature-rich yet easy code writing tool that allows developers to perform coding from their smartphones. It allows you to integrate cloud storage (Google Drive and Dropbox), SFTP/FTP(S), use cross-session editing, extended keyboard, perform brace matching, download URL source code, line bookmarking, auto-indentation, HTML formatting, etc.
Read Also: Java vs Kotlin – Which one to pick for Android App Development?
Best Android Game Development Tools
Android Game development tools enable developers to build games without having to code from the scratch. It allows developers to keep their focus on integrating unique features while reducing coding efforts.
These tools are quite popular among android game development companies, as they allow cost-effective coding with faster time-to-market capabilities.
AGDK (Android Game Development Kit)
It is a vast collection of tools, engine plugin libraries, and engine integrations, which assist developers in making captivating games in less time. It allows you to build, optimize, debug, and launch gaming applications on multiple platforms.
AGDK reduces the use of Java to a minimum and allows seamless launching of your gaming app on a Java-based Android environment. It uses C and C++ languages that ensure adequate interoperability and faster game development.
It is a top-tier game development tool that is preferred by major game development companies around the world. It offers numerous features that allow developers to incorporate 3D rendering and collision detection with ease.
It is equipped with an asset section that offers a plethora of built-in gaming effects, that could be integrated into your app without performing coding from scratch.
This is among the most popular game development tool, that has been used by game developers for quite some time. It offers various features such as rendering and lighting, worldbuilding, animation, effects, simulations, testing, etc. in a user-friendly platform.
It allows developers to build a gaming app without writing a single line of code, it also allows you to develop an advanced game with limitless customization.
Factors to consider while choosing an Android App Development Tools
While exploring various android app development tools in the market, you must consider the following factors:
The android application development tool UI/UX must be user-friendly and function as per developer’s expectations. Most developers prefer to have in-built collaboration features in tools as large teams work on codes from different geographic locations.
Therefore, the usability and overall functions of the android app development tool must be at the forefront of your mind while evaluating one for your project.
Development Budget is certainly a make-or-break factor while choosing the best android app development tool for your project when choosing the best mobile app development tool. These tools have various aspects such as licensing cost, backend cost, and deployment efforts, which makes the development process costly.
The best approach is to use a no-code platform that enables you to develop applications quickly at less cost. Such tools could be used by both developers and non-developers, that cuts down the development costs, time, and efforts.
Moreover, the ability to integrate with other services and systems is an essential aspect while selecting a tool. It helps us to build a user-friendly frontend and secured backend, which ensures a successful mobile application. Therefore, while selecting the app development tool, please ensure they should support easy integration with other tools and systems.
Security is a paramount concern for developers and app development companies. Everyone demands adequate security to make the app development process efficient and secure. You need to ensure that a specific tool must offer built-in security features and plugins to keep application safe and secure during development and after deployment.
An android app development tool’s performance, availability, and scalability can impact the deployment process. You must be aware of the capability of a tool, and how it can introduce the upgrades and assist in the maintenance process.
You must also validate if the intended tool can have adequate control over the app, and how it can ensure seamless integration with 3rd party API and components.
The range of Android development tools is quite diverse. They offer you an opportunity to focus on emerging challenges, evade grueling manual tasks, and enhance code quality.
Developers can leverage the unique features and capabilities of these tools to build the most unique and dynamic android applications.
Arka Softwares is a reputed Android app development company with a proven track record of delivering exceptional solutions to modern problems.
If you envisioning to usher a successful stint with your Android application, then you can connect with our consultants anytime.
In the meantime, you can refer to this guide to determine the best tools to make android applications. If you have any feedback regarding this blog, we’d love to hear from you.
FAQs for Android Tools
- Can you list some best practices for Android app development?
Here are some best practices for better app development outcomes.
• Select the appropriate development method
• Maintain good Code Quality
• Keep accurate Architecture and consistent coding method
• Prepare and use Android Documentation
- What types of Android development toolkits are available in the market?
We have the following types of Android App Development Kits available in the market:
• Android Native Development Kit (NDK)
• Android Software Development Kit (SDK)
• Android Open Accessory Development Kit (OAK)
- What are the fundamental components of an Android app?
An Android app has four fundamental components:
• Content providers
• Broadcast receivers
- Which is the best debugging tool for the Android platform?
ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is the most preferred command-line tool that helps you to communicate with an android device. The ADB command simplifies various device actions, such as the installation and debugging of applications. It also offers seamless access to a Unix shell, which could be used to execute numerous commands on a device.
- What is Android USB Debugging?
Android USB Debugging helps an Android device connect with a system that runs the Android SDK to perform advanced debugging and other functions.