This post originally ran on Galileo University’s Android Developer site.
While you build your career as an Android developer, there are important things you should always keep in mind if you want to increase your chances of success. No matter if you want to make your own project or work for a recognized company, there are some essential aspects to be aware of while developing an app.
We interviewed Noé Branagan about the best practices for Android development and Isabel Palomar about her experience in communities and as a developer. Taking all of this along with other experts insights in the Android field, we gathered 15 tips and tricks for new Android App Developers:
1. Know the latest trends
This is important because that’s how you’ll know what users normally expect about the features of an app today. As technology advances you need to contemplate all your options and be aware of some of the winning ideas for mobile app development.
2. Never underestimate design
As stated by Branagan: “Your app must impact users the moment they first see it on Google Play”. Nearly 2.2 billion apps are stored in Google Play, in order to stand out you should make an effort to build a product as visually appealing as possible.
But don’t worry, Google provides you with all the guidelines regarding good design principles.
3. Participate in communities
Whatever possible doubt you might have about Android App development, you can be sure someone has an answer for it. As Palomar told us: “Communities are perfect places to learn and teach about common interests. You can even find a job opportunity or a partner to start your own project.”
4. Listen to your users
This is the best way to earn users trust and loyalty, it can even make your user base grow. Every time you pay attention to what they have to say about your app, you have the opportunity to make some adjustments and offer them a better product. Remember: users always appreciate being heard.
5. Believe in your idea
If you are an independent developer, this is your first step to success. Your app idea could be completely revolutionary or the simplest one with added value. After you do research, determine the great things your app has to offer and think about what you are willing to invest, don’t hesitate on your road to success.
6. Be your own critic
Believe in yourself but also be the first one to criticize your work. Why should someone install your app? This might be the most important question you need to ask yourself as an Android developer.
Solving a problem and making life easier for users should be your main goal. Identifying a niche is always a good step forward towards that goal.
7. Build a portfolio
Whether you work as a freelance or want to find a better job, it is crucial that you create samples of your work, especially if you are a new Android developer. The importance of building a powerful portfolio is undeniable, as this is both how you get to practice and show all the things you can do.
8. Test easy solutions
Branagan reminded us of the cases of Flappy Bird and Instagram, as perfect examples of app ideas that against all the odds found success. The lesson might be to integrate easy solutions to an app, see how users react to it, and keep the features that have a positive response.
9. Understand the Android Market
You should also know how Android users normally behave. It is true that Android has considerably more users than any other Operating System in the world. However they don’t pay as much as iOS users, they are more likely to download apps that follow a freemium model and top revenues comes mostly from games.
Understanding all these elements is very important to plan a strategy that best suits your product. To learn more about this, make sure to read Business Models for Apps.
10. Study your competition
If you want to obtain revenues for your own app idea, you should know about apps that have already been released to the market. Learn from them: their unique features or business model. This could help you put a price on your app or think about the things you should work on.
11. Test as often as you can
As a general rule you should never release your app without any prior testing. Frequent tests for each phase of your development process are necessary to make tweaks, fix possible crashes or improve UX and UI.
12. Don’t give up so easily
None of the more successful application development cases occurred overnight. You should persevere, learn from your mistakes, get some feedback or even try new things to solve the same problem. You can always learn a lesson from apps that have failed.
13. Find your passion
It’s worth to remember that it is easier to work on a product if you believe in it. Once you have identified a problem and a viable solution, start convincing yourself you can make it. If you find your passion you’ll be more likely to create something really special.
14. Think Big
As Palomar stated: “You need to think your app will be downloaded by hundreds or millions users.” Scalability is important for technical reasons but also for mindset reasons. Unless you target a very small group of users and you are aware of what that means for your business, you must think big to start believing in success.
15. Build a career to be one of the best
The Professional Android developer MicroMasters program prepares you to take the Google Associate Android Developer Certification exam. If you want to grow as a professional, what better recognition than one coming from the company that created the product you love to use?
Achieving success as a new Android App developer is not easy, but is not impossible either. And with all the success stories that are out there, what makes you think that you can’t be one of them? All advice and recommendations could be useful to becoming a successful Android Developer.
Enroll in the Professional Android Developer MicroMasters program today. The next course starts April 24th.