Faster and leaner Android App Development Trends to follow in 2020

Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, powering 2.3 billion smartphones worldwide. With so many mobile phones being powered by Android, the demand for Android app developers is skyrocketing, and Android app development has taken center-stage in the domain of app development.

Android App Development Trends

The Android ecosystem has flourished and has become one of the most prolific products of the search giant Google. Android must be one of the most closely followed subjects in the digital domain. Like all things digital, Android app development is also going through a transfiguration phase, and many significant changes are on the horizon.

Dominate the Android App Development market by applying some of these trends

Move from 32-bit to 64-bit architecture

Taking a cue from Apple, Google has announced that it will be stopping the support for 32-bit apps on its play store from 2021 and starting August 2019, all the 32-bit apps which are published on the Google play store must have a 64-bit version.

This was a necessary move, as with the manifestation of technologies like machine learning, AR, VR, and IoT, the computing speeds of current 32-bit processors installed on Smartphones were not going to be sufficient. While a 32-bit computer can give you 4 billion values, a 64-bit computer will provide you with the freedom of playing with 18 quintillion values. Thus a 64-bit processor will be able to process much more significant amounts of data within a considerably short period without much fuss.

It means that you will be able to play AR games, enjoy VR content, manage your IoT devices in real-time all at once without feeling the heat(literally!) from your smartphone.

Google had prepared well in advance for this shift and had started offering support for 64-bit apps right from Android 5.0 and above. As a result, more than 90% of devices are compatible with 64-bit apps.

The transition is expected to be smooth for Android app development companies and will usher Android into a new and exciting future.

Rise of Android Instant Apps

We all know the pain of installing an app, going through it to find out that although it has got more than four stars on the Google play store, the app is just not made for you. Mental fatigue sets in, and you give up feeling frustrated. What if the whole process could be shortened? Google has just tried to do that with its instant apps.

An instant app is a piece of software that lets the users try out an app before installing it. Instant apps have access to the hardware of the device, but they do not take up the ever-decreasing storage space on the mobile. This way, the users can have the best of both worlds; they can skip the installation process and instantly start using the app. It eliminates the need for installing the app and the pain of uninstalling an app which was found wanting in terms of features.

Google is putting its weight behind the program, and it has launched guidelines for Android developers to help them with the process of making their app an instant app. With the mobile storage space shrinking, users must latch on to this idea quickly, and the trend is expected to continue with strength in the coming years.

The emergence of AI apps

We, humans, are always excited at the possibility of an intelligent robot. With the materialization of advanced Artificial Intelligence algorithms, we are closing the gap between reality and possibility.

Smart assistants like Google Assistant and Siri have fired up the imagination of users. Artificial Intelligence has evolved from being a buzz-word to being a realistic possibility in Smartphones. By launching ARCore, Google has transformed the field of AR Android app development; they have empowered the Android developers by providing them the requisite tools to build good quality AR apps.

Improving App Functionality with AI

Some of the ways through which android app developers are striving to improve the app functionalities using AI are

· Landmark recognition

· Face recognition

· Labeling

Let’s now understand each of these to have a better insight into how they can be used more appropriately.

Landmark recognition

Companies such as Blippar are using Avant-garde AI algorithms to recognize famous landmarks with fair accuracy. Google has its app, the Google Lens, which identifies objects and famous landmarks.

The landmark recognition technology is just starting to scratch the surface of an AR goldmine. Tech-giants like Apple, Google, and Samsung are realizing the potential of AR in mobile and hence are beginning to pour money and mind into the arena. We expect the trend to continue, and we will see more sophisticated AR landmark recognition apps in the future.

Face recognition

As facial recognition algorithms improve using technologies like neural networks and deep learning, many industries are adopting this technology and implementing it into various areas. Artificial Intelligence has already proven it’s worth in areas like security and access control in Smartphones and on-premises.

Labeling

Many corporate companies are warming up to the idea of using AR-powered image labeling. Take the case of Jack Daniel’s, a premier whiskey brand based in the U.S.A. The company has created an app that lets the users take a virtual tour of the company’s factory by pointing their smartphone towards a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

Google has started giving out supportive resources related to instilling AR into the mobile app.

Google’s AR core kit is gaining momentum, with the app consistently scoring a top-10 position in the number of downloads in the play store.

Like AR, the field of VR is also galloping ahead to make an entry into the smartphone world. Google has already released the hardware Google Carboard, and it has now also released the Open-source Cardboard SDK for Android developers to accelerate the pace of Android app development in the arena of Virtual Reality.

Brands like Lego and converse are integrating VR into their apps, which allow the users to “experience” their products before making the purchase decision.

Android Enterprise

Google launched Android enterprise way back in 2010; back then it was called Android for work. Smartphones have become an inherent part of our lives, and employees wanted to keep business as well as personal data on the same device. To solve this issue, Google launched an Android enterprise whose main aim was to let enterprises use Android in a much more secure manner.

Android enterprise allows the enterprises to secure their data via UEM (Unified Endpoint Management).

Google has recently launched the Android enterprise recommended program with nine partners, which includes names such as I3 systems, IBM, Microsoft, Softbank, Blackberry, Google Cloud, MobileIron, SOTI, and Vmware.

Starting from 5.1, Google has allowed the employees of an enterprise to store work-related information separately within the same device. Moreover, Android enterprise provides the organization of the employee full control over the work profile in an employee’s device while not allowing access to the organization to the personal profile of the employee. Thus, it creates a win-win situation for both the employee as well as the employer. Such devices are known as BYOD (bring your device) devices, which is an increasing trend amongst IT companies.

Apart from these, companies that provide devices to their workers can also gain full control over the device. Android enterprise allows the organization to either opt for fully managed or fully managed with the work profile system.

Android Jetpack

Google is making the process of Android app development more straightforward. Android Jetpack is one such product that allows the developers to eliminate boilerplate code, build better quality robust apps, and shorten the time to market the app.

The Android Jetpack is a rich array of libraries and tools which are developed with the sole aim of aiding the Android developers in building a high-quality app faster and easier.

Google provides components like App Compat, Test, Multidex, and Android KTX, which helps the developers in maintaining backward compatibility. In testing the app UI components of the app quickly, support multiple dex files in an Android app, and assist in writing more efficient Kotlin code.

To wrap it up

Android is one of the biggest success stories of the 21st century, and Google has already equipped the popular platform with capabilities that have prepared it for the future. Integrating new technologies like AR and VR into an Android app is going to be much more comfortable with Google releasing the open-source developer kits for both.

Google is all in readiness to provide robust support to Android in the coming future, and the growth story of Android app development will move ahead with great vigor.

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