In today's highly competitive market playground, businesses – small or big – must find ways to stay ahead of the curve. With mobility and mobile-dependence increasing at an exponential rate each day, a mobile app is definitely one of the sure-fire ways to for a business to widen its reach and gain considerable influence over the market. Given these facts, a mobile application should therefore be built with the utmost care to not let it fade into insignificance among the hundred thousand other apps that are in the market.

Given today's fierce competition, hiring a mobile app developer or agency requires a careful vetting process that involves knowing exactly what you should need and expect from them. To that end, here is a list of five questions that you should ask a prospective app development company that you are planning to hire.

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Mobile App Developers


1. What is your previous experience? Can I see a published app from your portfolio?

This should be one of your primary concerns while taking on a new developer. Knowing how long they have been in the business can give you an idea of how capable they will be of taking your app on. In addition to that, asking them about apps that have been published will give you an assessment of their ability to give you exactly what your business needs. A good developer/agency will provide these details, complete with working app store links, with no hesitation.

2. Can I speak directly to a few of your previous clients?

Word-of-mouth and personal recommendation can do far more for a company's standing than anything else. Ask your prospective agencies for some of their recent references. Talking to their clients can help you gauge the kind of relationships they forged during the projects: will they be responsive enough when you need them to be or if are they realistic in setting up their milestones and sticking to them? Any reluctance to provide these freely is a red flag.


3. Tell us about your communication strategy during development.

One of the major factors that will determine the success of your app is your agency's ability to understand your business objectives thoroughly. A good company will ask a good number of questions, to ensure they are on the same page as you. They will not leave anything up to interpretation or assumption. During the development process, they will keep an open channel of communication to show you that all your requirements are being addressed and any roadblocks they run into are honestly conveyed during the process.

4. What are the core services you offer during development?

A good development team will offer everything from business analysis, development, QA beta testing and even, marketing. One key factor you need to also look at is the amount of importance that is given to making your app's design. Remember, that no matter how unique your app is, if the UI is clunky and difficult to use, it will not succeed. Extensive research on a company's previous projects is always a good idea: do the products they have developed comply with the latest standards? Do they have experience working with the latest tools and frameworks for development?

5. Will you provide any post-development/release support?

As we've said before, you need a long-term contingency plan for your mobile app. What comes next after your app has been published is probably just as, if not more, crucial. Bug-fixes and improvements will be inevitable, and you'll need to be able to address them as soon as you can. The longer the post-development support offered, the better you can trust their reliability.

Finding the right developer for your project does indeed come with a fair amount of risks, and in a way, does need a certain amount of trust to go with it. But, going in forearmed and forewarned will aid you in discerning what's right for your project.

Author Bio:
RobuestTechHouse is a Singapore-based mobile app development company (iOS & Android) focusing on eCommerce, Mobile Commerce and FinTech web. Our expert mobile app developers deliver high-end mobile app development services for consumers and large enterprises for the success of their business. You can also follow us on Facebook.

Brief history of Android app

Android application development has been a growth in the recent times. In the present scenario, the market for Android apps development is growing at a fast pace and the apps developed are getting a big round of applause from the people across the world. The chief beauty of Android-based apps is that they are easy to handle and manage.

Android, an open medium framework, widely and most commonly used to develop mobile apps is dominating the mobile app development market. There could be no denying to this fact that the platform of Android Apps Development is great when it comes to open up new and great possibilities for Android application developers, businesses, and marketers as well Of course, from creating eye-catchy and attractive games that are seductive, that sell like hot cakes, so as to making apps that users love to get their hands on and share with their loved ones, the alternatives of Android apps development service offered are almost infinite.

Reasons Why My Business Needs A Android App Development Platform

Android has a wide variety of libraries that can be utilized to extend the capabilities of an app. Android Software Development Kit can do wonders when it comes to enabling developers to create unique and creative applications that are sure to improve the utility of your equipment. To be very honest, Android OS gives customers the complete freedom to portray their imagination which results in a development of innovative applications.

Android app in Business


Almost every business person has a dream to expand their business frontier and take it to a whole new level. Now, applying android app development service, you can make your dream come true. Android have a broad range of features that brings tangible as well as intangible benefits to your business. If you are seeking for new and more simplified methods to supervise, track data as well as reports, a custom Android application can do great when it comes to making it happen for you The fact is that Android apps not only simplify your business operations but also assist you with effectively managing the varied aspects of your business. In general, they act as a powerful and lucrative means of advertising and promoting your business to lure new users, simultaneously assisting you to create brand awareness. In simple words. Android app development can leverage and benefit your business to the next level, expand your client/customer base and let you earn a considerable amount of money to help you make your business successful.

Uniqueness off the Android


For a unique presence, an app that is both robust and scalable is required, and there are a plethora of companies who specialize in offering comprehensive Android app development service. Such organizations maintain a team of highly-skilled and experienced developers who have a good experience of working for certain industry verticals and are well aware of the framework. Hiring the services of an experienced and highly skilled Android app developer who has good technical knowledge and possess the requisite skills makes sure that app developed is in the best interest of your business. To find more information about the topic, you can use the internet technology. Just browsing few websites you can approach the one that will help gather relevant stuff.

Author: Martin Brown
Martin Brown is a senior marketing executive at Top App Creators, a comprehensive listing service that acts as a platform for app development companies to showcase their services to prospective clients. You can also follow us on Facebook.

Firebase is a cloud service provider and backend as a server for mobile and web app. Firebase was founded in 2011 and launched with a real time cloud database in April 2012. Firebase has many features; most of them are free while some are paid. Firebase include mobile app analytics (Android, iOS, etc), cloud messaging, firebase auth, storage, hosting, remote config, test lab for android, crash reporting, send notification to the users, app indexing, dynamic links and send personalized email and SMS invitation, measuring the impact of invitation.

In this tutorial, you will learn to integrate or add Google firebase analytics to your android project. Firebase analytics collects usage and behavior data for your application or game. If you already integrate any of the firebase services in your android app or game then adding firebase analytic is very easy. If not, don’t worry. In this tutorial, I will show you step-by-step guide to integrate Google firebase and firebase analytic in your android application with simple example and you can download this sample project source code from GitHub at last.

Related:
Android Push Notification Tutorial Using Firebase
How to Integrate Google AdMob in Android
Google Maps Android API Getting Started Tutorial : Part 1

Integrating Google Firebase Analytics to your Android Project: Get Started with Firebase Analytics for Android


Before starting to add google firebase analytic to your android project, make sure your device is running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or newer, and Google Play services 9.2.1 or newer and Android Studio 1.5 or higher.

Integrating Google Firebase Analytics to your Android Project: Get Started with Firebase Analytics for Android

1. Create a new Android Project using Android Studio


Create a new android project with the package name: Add Firebase Analytics to Android Project and select minimum SDK: API 9 Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher.

2. Install the Firebase ADK to your Android Project


To integrate the firebase libraries into your own android project, you need to perform certain tasks.

2.1. Open your project level (top level) build.gradle file and add classpath 'com.google.gms:google-services:3.0.0' as a dependencies. Your project level build.gradle file will look like below.

Project level build.gradle file

2.2. Now open your app level build.gradle file and add compile 'com.google.firebase:firebase-core:9.2.1' as app dependencies and apply plugin: 'com.google.gms.google-services' at the bottom. Your app level build.gradle file will look like below.

App level build.gradle file

3. Adding Internet Permission in your Application AndroidManifest.xml File


In your app’s AndroidManifest.xml file you need to add internet user permission. Open AndroidManifest.xml file and add android.permission.INTERNET which is look like below.

AndroidManifest.xml

4. Add Your App to Your Firebase Project in the Firebase Console


4.1. Go to Google Firebase Developer Console

Add Your App to Your Firebase Project in the Firebase Console

4.2. Create new project.
4.3. A dialog box will appear, add project name: Google Firebase Analytics and choose your country and click Create Project button.
4.4. After creating new project in Google firebase developer console, new screen will appear like below.

Add Your App to Your Firebase Project in the Firebase Console

4.5. Click add firebase to your android app. Here you need to provide your app package name.
4.6. Add project package name in the box and click Add App button. A file google-services.json is downloaded. Click Continue and Finish button.

5. Adding google-services.json File to Your Project


5.1. Go to android studio. Switch to the project view in Android Studio.
5.2. Add google-services.json file that you just downloaded to your android app directory like the screenshot below.

Adding google-services.json File to Your Project

6. Adding Firebase Analytics for Android to Your Android App


In android studio, again open app level build.gradle file and add compile 'com.google.android.gms:play-services-analytics:9.2.1' as app dependencies. Following is the final content of app level build.gradle file.

App level build.gradle file

7. Check Your App Report in Google Firebase Analytics


7.1. Go to Firebase Developers Console.
7.2. Choose your app
7.3. Click Analytics from left menu. For the first time, it will look like below.

Check Your App Report in Google Firebase Analytics

After some hours or day you can see your app’s complete reports like below.

Check Your App Report in Google Firebase Analytics

That’s all. You have done all things. Now you can see your application’s complete report in Google firebase analytic. It’s very easy and simple to integrate.


8. Java Activity File and XML Layout File


Following is the content of XML layout file.

res/activity_main.xml

Following is the complete content of java activity file.

src/MainActivity.java

Download Complete Project Source Code

You can download complete example project source code from GitHub.

Firebase is a powerful platform for building Android, IOS and web based applications. Firebase offers real time data storage and synchronization, user authentication, analytics, hosting, database, remote configuration, notification, cloud messaging and lots more. Before the Google I/O 2016, we used Google Cloud Messaging service (GCM) to send data: notification, messages from the server to the clients or android app users. Google introduced the firebase cloud messaging in Google I/O 2016 and it makes developers very easy and fast to implement in their applications or games.

In this tutorial, you will learn to connect your android app to firebase to store data and push/send notification to the android app/game users using Google Firebase. Firebase is totally new and not the part of Google Cloud Platform.

Firebase offers both free plan and paid/pro plan. You can use analytic, app indexing, dynamic links, invites, authentication, notification, remote configuration, crash reporting, real-time database: 100 simultaneous connections, 1GB stored, 10 GB transferred and file storage: 5 GB storage, 30 GB transferred, 50,000 each uploads and downloads and lots more in free plan.

Related:
Show and Clear Android Notification Example
Adding Badge (Notification Count) to Android ActionBar Icon
Adding a Share Action to Android Application

Android Example: Android Push Notification Tutorial Using Firebase


Make sure you have installed Android Studio 1.4 and higher before creating new android project using android studio. Following are the simple steps to connect your android app/game to firebase to send/push notification to your app users.

Android Example: Android Push Notification Tutorial Using Firebase

1. Create a new Android Project using Android Studio


Create a new android project with the application name: Push Notification Example Using Firebase, company domain: viralandroid.com. Select the minimum SDK: API 14 Android 4.0(IceCreamSandwish) and empty activity.

2. Connect your Android App to Firebase


To connect your android app to firebase follow the following steps:

2.1. Go to Google Firebase Developer Console.

Push/Send Notification Tutorial Using Firebase in Android

2.2. Create a new project by clicking Create New Project button.
2.3. Add your application name in project name and select your country and click Create Project button. I have written Push Notification Firebase as project name.

Create New Project in Firebase to Send Notification/Message to the Users

2.4. After creating new project in firebase, you will see in the screen something like below.

Choose Platform in Firebase to Send Notification/Message to the Users

2.5. Click on the add firebase to your android app. Here you need to provide your application package name. After adding package name in the box click Add App button.
2.5. A file google-services.json is downloaded. Click continue and then finish button.

3. Adding google-services.json file to Your Android Application


3.1. Go to android studio. Switch to the project view in Android Studio, you will see project root directory.
3.2 Add google-services.json file that you just downloaded to your android app directory like the screenshot below.
Adding google-services.json file to Your Android Application Android Studio


4. Adding Google Services Plugin to Your Android Application


4.1. Open your project level build.gradle file and add classpath 'com.google.gms:google-services:3.0.0' as dependencies. Project level build.gradle file will look like below.

Project level build.gradle file

4.2. Now open your app level build.gradle file and add apply plugin: 'com.google.gms.google-services' and compile 'com.google.firebase:firebase-messaging:9.0.2' as dependencies. And then press Sync now. Following is the content of app level build.gradle file.

App level build.gradle file


5. Adding Internet Permission in your App AndroidManifest.xml File


Open your AndroidManifest.xml file and add android.permission.INTERNET as user permission. AndroidManifest.xml file will look like below.

AndroidManifest.xml

6. Sending a Notification/Message to your App Users from the Notifications Console


6.1. Go to Firebase Console.
6.2. Choose your project that we recently created.
6.3. Click Notification from left menu.

Sending a Notification/Message to your App Users from the Notifications Console

6.4. Click send your first message button, if you have not sent before.
6.5. Type your message in enter message area, enter message label, choose your app and click Send Message button. Review your message and click Send button.

Sending a Notification/Message to your App Users from the Firebase  Notifications Console

Run your Android Push Notification Tutorial Using Firebase application before sending above notification. Don’t open your application while sending notification. After rending notification to your android application users. Notification looks like below screenshot.

Android Push Notification Tutorial Using Firebase

AdMob is one of the most popular, high paying and world’s largest mobile advertising networks. AdMob is multi platform mobile advertising network that allows you to monetize from your android, iPhone, iOS, windows and others mobile application and game. If you’ve published a free app to the app store and want to earn money, AdMob is one of the great ways to earn extra money from your free games and apps. In this tutorial, you will learn to integrate Google AdMob step by step to your android application or game and display banner and full screen (Interstitial) ads.

Integrating Google AdMob to your app or game is very easy; you don’t need to know any more advanced thing. Currently AdMob supports four types of ads; banner, interstitial (full screen), rewarded interstitial and native ads.

Related:
YouTube Android API Integration: Getting Started with YouTube Android API
Google Maps Android API Getting Started Tutorial : Part 1
Load Images Using Picasso Library in Android

Android Integration Example: How to Integrate Google AdMob to Android to Earn Money from Free Apps and Games


Open existing project or create new project to integrate AdMob and earn money by displaying ads on your application.

Android Integration Example: How to Integrate Google AdMob to Android to Earn Money from Free Apps and Games

1. Sign in to AdMob Account and Create Ad Units


1.1. If you already have AdMob account then sign in to it and if you don’t have then create a new account.
1.2. Click on Monetize tab and select or create new app.
1.3. If you’ve already published your app to the play store, you can search app or developer from search for your app tab.
1.4. If you want to add your app manually (not published yet) click on add your app manually tab and give your app name and choose platform. Or you can select from apps you have already added.

Sign in to AdMob Account and Create Ad Units

1.5. Select Banner ad format and give name to ad unit and then click save button. There is other setting like ad type, automatic refresh, text ad style.

Sign in to AdMob Account and Create Ad Units

1.6. Likewise, again create a new Interstitial (full screen) ad unit.
1.7. After creating ad units, you can see the Ad Unit ID on the dashboard which looks like: ca-app-pub-5717827144758520/8297887893


AdMob Account Ad Units ID

You can create other many ad units if required for your app.

2. Adding Google Play Services Dependency, Ad units ID


2.1. Open your app build.gradle file and add compile ‘com.google.android.gms:play-services-ads:8.4.0’ dependency. Build.gradle file will look like below.

build.gradle

2.2. Now open your strings.xml from res/values/ and add your ads unit ID to your app strings.xml file.

strings.xml

3. Modifying AndroidManifest.xml File


Open AndroidManifest.xml file and add the android.permission.INTERNET and android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE user permission, google play services version meta-data and AdActivity with android:theme and android:configChanges attributes. Following is the complete content of AndroidManifest.xml file.

AndroidManifest.xml

4. Adding AdMob Footer Banner Ad in Android Application


Banner ad can be added on any place on the screen. In this example project I am adding banner ad at the bottom/footer of screen.

4.1. Open your XML layout file and add com.google.android.gms.ads.AdView inside RelativeLayout with attributes like android:id, android:layout_width, android:layout_height, android:layout_centerHorizontal, android:layout_alignParentBottom, ads:adSize, ads:adUnitId. Following is the complete code of XML layout file.

res/layout/activity_main.xml

4.2. Open your java activity file and add following code. Don’t forget to change test device id with your device id. Follow the step 6 to get your device id to enable testing ads on your device only.

src/MainActivity.java


5. How to Enable Test Ads of AdMob in Android Application


AdMob policies do not allow you to click on your own live ads. If you click your own ads google may suspend your account. To protect your account from being suspended, you can use test ads while developing. For that, you need to provide your testing device id, I have added my device id like above .addTestDevice("4DD0986B8BB49093161F4F00CF61B887 ") and if you are testing app on emulator add .addTestDevice(AdRequest.DEVICE_ID_EMULATOR). To get your device ID to enable AdMob test ad follow step 6.

6. How to Get My Android Device (Real Phone) ID for AdMob Test Ads


6.1. To get your real device id for AdMob test ad, first replace Device ID with some text like .addTestDevice("Device ID") in MainActivity.java file and run your application.
6.2. After running your application on real device, open logcat and search for addTestDevice. You will see like AdRequest.Builder.addTestDevice("4DD0986B8BB49093161F4F00CF61B887") in your logcat, 4DD0986B8BB49093161F4F00CF61B887 is your device ID.
6.3. Add device ID in addTestDevice of your java activity file like step 4.

How to Get My Android Device (Real Phone) ID for AdMob Test Ad

Now run your application, you will see Google AdMob test ad at the bottom of screen like below screenshot.

Android Integration Example: How to Integrate Google AdMob to Android to Earn Money from Free Apps and Games

7. How to Add Full screen Ad (Interstitial Ad) of AdMob in Android Application and Game


7.1. Create a new java activity file call it ActivityTwo.java and add fullscreen ad (Interstitial Ad) code in your activity file. ActivityTwo.java file will look like below.

src/ActivityTwo.java

7.2. Create a new XML file activity_two.xml and add following code.

res/layout/activity_two.xml

Android Integration Example: How to Integrate Google AdMob to Android to Earn Money from Free Apps and Games

Now run your Google AdMob Android Integrate application, you will see google banner ad on bottom/footer of home screen and if you click the Open Interstitial (Fullscreen) Ad, you will be able to see full screen ad on your application.


Download Complete Project


You can download complete example project of How to Integrate Google AdMob in Android from GitHub.

There are many popular android chatting and messaging application available in Google Play Store. Chat/messaging app like Facebook Messenger, Viber, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Kik, Skype, SnapChat, IM+, EvolveSMS, BlackBerry Messenger and Line are some of the most popular android and iPhone/IOS application. These applications have different UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) design with similar and different features. If you want to develop such types of android application, you need to focus user interface and user experience not only programming part. So in this tutorial, you will learn to make simple android chat/messaging application UI design with XML.

Android app UI is created with XML and here we will make chat application UI with android TextView, ImageView, EditText and so on.

Related:
Android Music App XML UI Design
Android FlexboxLayout Tutorial with Example
Bar Chart XML UI Design For Android


Android Example: How to Build an Android Chat/Messaging App UI Design with XML

Let’s start by creating new android application with project name Android Chat Messaging App UI Design and with blank activity.

1. Creating XML Drawable File

Create two XML drawable file rounded_corner.xml and rounded_corner1.xml to create chat application ui design. In these two file we will create rounded corner rectangle with different background color for two users. Add solid color, stock color and width, corners radius, padding inside shape of drawable XML file. Following is the complete XML code of rounded_corner.xml and rounded_corner1.xml file.

res/drawable/rounded_corner.xml

res/drawable/rounded_corner1.xml

2. XML Layout File

Create type_message_area.xml file inside res/layout directory and add EditText and ImageView inside LinearLayout. Don’t forgot to add ndroid:layout_weight attribute to EditText and ImageVIew and android:gravity bottom to LInearLayout. type_message_area.xml file will look like below.

res/layout/type_message_area.xml

Now open your XML layout file and add ScrollView, RelativeLayout, Linearayout and include type_message_area at the bottom of root layout LinearLayout like below. I have also added other more views like ImageView and TextView with different attributes. Don’t forget to add android:layout_weight attribute in ScrollView and include of type_message_area. There are many other important attributes in TextView, ImageView and layouts which will look like below.

res/layout/activity_main.xml

Following are the necessary images, just download and add in drawable folder.

Images:
user_pacific.png
user_pratikshya.png
arrow_bg1.png
arrow_bg2.png

3. Java Activity File

Following is the default code of java activity file.

src/MainActivity.java

And colors.xml file will look like below.

res/values/colors.xml

Screenshots of Output:

Chat/Messaging App XML UI Design for Android

Chat/Messaging App XML UI Design for Android

Chat/Messaging App XML UI Design for Android

You have done all things. Now, run your Chat/Messaging App XML UI Design for Android application, which will look like above screenshots. You can add other things according to your needs this is only sample project to create chat or messaging app xml ui.

4. Download Complete Source Code

You can download complete example project source code of Chat/Messaging App XML UI Design from GitHub.

Android SDK does not have a good way to get images from web and display it to android app. Almost every popular android application display images from website, web server or anywhere from the internet. To solve this problem, numbers of third party libraries are available. In this tutorial, you will learn to load images from internet using Picasso image loader library; this is one of the best and powerful image downloading and caching android library. Using this library, we can easily fill an ImageView with an image from the internet.

Picasso library have lots of features like load images from web, resizing images, cropping images, place holder and displaying error images. Picasso from Square is open source and one of the popular& easiest libraries used to download and cache images from web in android. You can also load images without using any libraries in android application, check out my tutorial: Load Image from URL (Internet) in Android.

Related:
Check Internet Connection in Android
Turn ON and OFF WiFi Connection Programmatically in Android
How to Get Current GPS Location Programmatically in Android

Android Example: View Images from Web using Picasso Image Loader Library


Create a new android project with the project name Picasso Image Loader Library. You can setup Picasso image downloader and caching library with gradle dependency or mavne. Open your app build.gradle file and add compile 'com.squareup.picasso:picasso:2.5.2' as application dependencies which will look like below.

build.gradle

XML Layout File

Open XML layout file and add ImageView with different id. Here I have added many ImageView and TextView to make look like news reader app with in LinearLayout and ScrollView. Just copy and paste following XML code in your layout file.

res/layout/activity_main.xml

Java Activity File

In java file, defile variables for different ImageView, add images URL like strings. Link to your layout image view with findViewById and load the images in ImageView from web using Picasso library like Picasso.with(this).load(imageURL4).resize(250, 200).into(image1);. Following is the complete code of java activity file.

src/MainActivity.java

Before running your application don’t forgot to add user permission android.permission.INTERNET in AndroidManifest.xml file. Android manifest file will look like below.

AndroidManifest.xml

Picasso image downloading android library offers much more than just downloading image. You can resize images, display error image when image is unable to download, rotate, place holder, transform before image is displayed in ImageView.

Picasso.with(this)
      .load("Image URL")
      .error(R.drawable.error_image) // optional
      .placeholder(R.drawable.placeholder_image) // optional
      .resize(200, 200) // optional
      .rotate(60) // optional
      .into(imageview1);

Output:

Android Example: Create a Music Player Android Application XML UI Design

You have done all things. Now, run your Load Images Using Picasso Library in Android application, you will see images in ImageView which are loaded from internet. Make sure your phone or emulator have WiFi or mobile network turned on.
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