In 2017 alone, there have been more than 254 billion Android app downloads. Among these, mostly the social media, lifestyle, games and Google Apps have been the leading ones. Unfortunately, not all the apps could get to share such a success story. And this clearly indicates where Android apps can draw their inspiration from.
Faster development with simplified and straightforward Android app development process is becoming a necessity as the demand is rising exponentially. Android and app developers are constantly looking out for the best innovative designs, upgraded and rewarding user experience. With the introduction of technological advancements like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Android app developers have found progressive programming languages and edgy techniques to make the performance better, easier and convenient.
Some of the latest Android app development trends that emerged in 2018 are mentioned below.
- Kotlin: Kotlin has an extensive range of features resembling a modern programming language approach to build the Android apps. First disclosed as an official language during Google IO 2017 and developed by JetBrains app developers, Kotlin came up as a comparatively latest programming language which is capable of working on the Java virtual machine. Following are some benefits of Kotlin:
- Kotlin is compatible with Java.
- It offers better safety protocol.
- It provides quality extension function.
- It comes well equipped with Lambdas.
- It contains data classes.
Kotlin is fully supported by Android 3.0, it is rightly equipped to build high-performance Android apps. It is rich in extension tools to make the Android app development easier.
- Room Persistence Library: Room Persistence Library is a database library and a component of Android architecture. As an abstract layer, it helps to build queries using SQL easily and makes it easier for developers to split the description into various parts. The Room has evolved into a data architecture component for high-performance coding. The room is a versatile library which easily integrates with RxJava and the new Live Data. Three main components constitute the Room Library.
- DB (Database): It holds the database within.
- Entity: It represents the class within the database.
- DAO (Data Access Object): It basically represents an interface. It is the principal component which defines the methods allowing access to the database needed for rendering the user interface.
Majority of Android apps needs to deal with huge volumes of structured data continuously which get irrevocably benefited by Room as it allows persisting with this data locally. Where maintaining caches is a concern to allow access to relevant information without an active network, Room has a Persistent Library comes as a great benefactor. Whenever the work changes or interactions are initiated by the users, they are updated to the server as soon as the network is available and the user gets online.
- ObjectBox: ObjectBox was released last year by GreenRobot which is a performance-driven mobile NoSQL database that offers a powerful API to work on various objects such as GreenDAO and Realm. ObjectBox brings the best of NoSQL server databases for mobile app developers, which is built to boost the app performance. Its key attribute is its support for Multiversion Concurrency Control (MVCC) that allows concurrent and extremely safe transactions through online apps.
There are a few reasons which make ObjectBox a powerful language for Android app development:
- Fast-paced development: Speed and fast-paced development are the primary motivations behind building ObjectBox. On testing, it leaves behind almost every embedded database tested as of now.
- Object-oriented API: ObjectBox is a database which works with rows, columns, and SQL. It can be used for building objects from the basic level and uses only a fraction of the code when compared to SQLite.
- Flexible with all threads: ObjectBox, without any attachment of strings, can build objects that can easily work with all threads.
- Instant testing: The database comes with a well-equipped multi-platform capability which allows running instant unit tests on the desktop.
- Automatic update: The update of new names and properties of entities need not be done manually by the developers. It is done automatically with ObjectBox.
ObjectBox is a very flexible programming language which is totally compatible with latest development trends and languages like React programming, Kotlin programming, and other latest Android app development in the Architecture.
- MVVM Pattern: MVVM pattern is the most sought-after design pattern capable of making UI code simple devoid of complex business logic. The pattern helps in boosting the capacity of testing the app code and cleaning the architecture by separating modules with the help of design patterns. The three main components of the pattern are mentioned below:
- The View: The view is the component within the MVVM pattern that passes on the information about the user activities to the ViewModel.
- The ViewModel: This component within the MVVM pattern reveals only the kind of data that are relevant for the view.
- The DataModel: This abstract database works to save data fetched from the ViewModel.
This pattern wasn’t developed long ago but it succeeded in bringing a completely new approach to Android app development. With this pattern, the development has become easier than ever before.
- Android Instant Apps: We usually use selective apps in our device and then there are some which we use infrequently. Such apps create an overload of memory space and screen real estate in the device. To deal with the problem, Google came up with Android Instant Apps which consists of apps which can be instantly used by just tapping over them; they need not be installed. Instant apps have become tremendously popular as a niche beside the regular apps featured in Android Play Store. They’re extremely useful for the users as the users can use them without actually downloading them. More apps are expected to publish this additional feature allowing users to have the instant usability of their applications instead of downloading and installing them.
In the time to come, AI, AR, VR, and IoT will also continue to hold a particular niche in the technological field.