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Android is one of the popular OS for mobile applications development. Currently, more than 90% of smartphone users use Android Phone. Android gives you a clear platform for creation of applications and also games in it. It also tends to be the open marketplace in the current industry.
Android software development is the process by which new applications are created for
devices running the Android operating system. Applications are usually developed in
Java (and/or Kotlin; or other such option) programming language using the Android software
development kit (SDK), but other development environments are also available, some such as
Kotlin support the exact same Android APIs (and byte code), while others such as Go have
restricted API access. All Java 7 language features are supported, and some Java 8 language
features (and additionally some Java 9 code has been back ported to work).
Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google, based on a modified version of
the Linux kernel and other open source software and designed primarily for touchscreen
mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. In addition, Google has further developed
Android TV for televisions, Android Auto for cars, and Android Wear for wrist watches,
each with a specialized user interface. Variants of Android are also used on game consoles,
digital cameras, PCs and other electronics.
Initially developed by Android Inc., which Google bought in 2005, Android was unveiled in 2007, with the first commercial Android device launched in September 2008. The operating system has since gone through multiple major releases, with the current version being 8.1 "Oreo", released in December 2017.
Android has been the best-selling OS worldwide on smartphones since 2011 and on tablets since 2013. As of May 2017, it has over two billion monthly active users, the largest installed base of any operating system, and as of 2017, the Google Play store features over 3.5 million apps.
The Android software development kit (SDK) includes a comprehensive set of development
tools. These include a debugger, libraries, a handset emulator based on QEMU, documentation,
sample code, and tutorials. Currently supported development platforms include computers
running Linux (any modern desktop Linux distribution), Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, and
Windows 7 or later. As of March 2015, the SDK is not available on Android itself, but
software development is possible by using specialized Android applications.
Until around the end of 2014, the officially supported integrated development environment (IDE) was Eclipse using the Android Development Tools (ADT) Plugin, though IntelliJ IDEA IDE (all editions) fully supports Android development out of the box, and Net Beans IDE also supports Android development via a plugin. As of 2015, Android Studio, made by Google and powered by IntelliJ, is the official IDE; however, developers are free to use others, but Google made it clear that ADT was officially deprecated since the end of 2015 to focus on Android Studio as the official Android IDE. Additionally, developers may use any text editor to edit Java and XML files, then use command line tools (Java Development Kit and Apache Ant are required) to create, build and debug Android applications as well as control attached Android devices (e.g., triggering a reboot, installing software package(s) remotely).
Enhancements to Android's SDK go hand in hand with the overall Android platform development. The SDK also supports older versions of the Android platform in case developers wish to target their applications at older devices. Development tools are downloadable components, so after one has downloaded the latest version and platform, older platforms and tools can also be downloaded for compatibility testing.
Android applications are packaged in .apk format and stored under /data/app folder on the Android OS (the folder is accessible only to the root user for security reasons). APK package contains .dex files (compiled byte code files called Dalvik executables), resource files, etc.
Libraries written in C/C++ can be compiled to ARM, MIPS or x86 native code
(or their 64-bit variants) and installed using the Android Native Development Kit (NDK).
These native libraries can be called from Java code running under the Dalvik VM using
the System. Load Library call, which is part of the standard Android Java classes.
Complete applications can be compiled and installed using traditional development tools. However, according to the Android documentation, NDK should not be used solely because the developer prefers to program in C/C++, as using NDK increases complexity while most applications would not benefit from using it.
The ADB Debugger gives a root shell under the Android Emulator which allows ARM, MIPS or x86 native code to be uploaded and executed. Native code can be compiled using Clang or GCC on a standard PC. Running native code is complicated by Android's use of a non-standard C library (libc, known as Bionic).
The graphics library that Android uses to arbitrate and control access to this device is called the Skia Graphics Library (SGL), and it has been released under an open source license. Skia has backbends for both Win32 and Unix, allowing the development of cross-platform applications, and it is the graphics engine underlying the Google Chrome web browser. Skia is not an NDK API, though, and NDK developers use OpenGL.
It is possible to use the Android Studio with Gradle to develop NDK projects. Other third-party tools allow integrating the NDK into Eclipse and Visual Studio.
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