As of last month, Google Play has been around for fourteen years.
It wasn’t known as Google Play at the start: it was Android Market, a digital distribution service for applications created to work on Android, and it sold everything from ebooks to music, subsuming three of Google’s most popular products - the Android Market itself, Google Music, and Google eBookstore.
If you’ve read our first article about how the Apple store has changed, this is going to be familiar to you. Thehe world as we know it has changed significantly since the launch of app distribution centres such as the App Store and Google Play. More people than ever are relying on their phones as an all-in-one entertainment device; it stands to reason that apps need to develop in the same way.
With the rising popularity of techifying services and controlling their use through your phone, app stores are one of the most important tech developments of the last few years.
App stores themselves have changed ever since the first app was released.
Here’s how that has worked for Google.
History of the App Store: Google Play
The Android Software Development Kit
Android app developers must contend with a different set of ramifications to Apple, though much of the platform is similar. The Android SDK was released in 2007, with later updates coming in 2008 that included an updated API, better development tools, and a better home screen. Since then, multiple reiterations of the Android SDK have been released.
However, the Android SDK supports app development on Linux, MAC OS X, and Windows 7, rather than just on Android devices. Additionally, developers can use other integrated development environments, not just ones based on Android, though the official Android integrated development environment is Android Studio as of 2015.
Android Studio does support older environments, and developer tools can be downloaded separately, so older platforms can be downloaded easily if you want to test for compatibility.
How does the Android Software Development Kit work?
It primarily uses command line tools such as:
A set of programming tools for Java programming, split into categories that allow a developer to create, debug, and compile new apps. Android applications are mostly written in Java, so this is one of the command line tools that is required for developers, though developers can use any text editor to edit the code itself.
Another Java language, Ant helps automate software building processes as a replacement to an older tool known as Make. It uses XML, Extensible Markup Language, to store, transmit and reconstruct the data underlying the app.
A cross-platform programming language, Kotlin is designed to interoperate with Java, and it’s recently been announced as Google’s preferred language for Android app developers. While it was always included as an alternative to their normal Java compiler, Kotlin can now be used to gradually migrate away from using Java as a primary programming language.
How does coding for Android work?
If you’re just starting out with coding, Android’s developer training center is one of the best around. That said, a lot of coding for Google Play can be adapted from what you already know. If you’ve used Java and XML before, you’re already familiar with the basic underpinnings of Android programming.
The rest comes from the Android SDK tools, which can then compile your code into an Android App bundle and produce a .aab or an .apk file. Each app has its own unique secure environment post-development.t can run using just what it needs, which creates a lot of security in how it actually works since there’s no access between apps unless you program those ways in. It sounds restrictive, but it’s not.
There’s a lot of flexibility in the kind of code you can release and run for Google Play, so if you’ve got an idea for something that you think might not work, don’t discard it: drop us a line, and let’s talk about it.