This post is more geared towards those who may wonder what Android App Development is like. You may have questions such as:
- Is it easy to get into it?
- What sorts of hurdles are there?
- Can I just pick up my laptop and get started?
I’ll take my time in answering these questions later on down the post. But first my own opinions. Android App Development like any software development can be time consuming and sometime even costly depending on the resources you need. For example: If you’re creating a social space app, you’ll most likely need servers to store user information and display information. Renting those servers can cost quite a bit of money, the amount can only increase depending on the popularity and number of users within your app.
The costs can also play a role in hiring developers if you are not able to code and design the app yourself. But keep in mind that with developers it is not a fixed cost all the time, it can vary from person to person. Sometimes the cost may also scale up as the work goes on. And if you plan to run any paid promotions for your app (marketing is important), then that will factor into the costs as well. So unless you plan to design and develop an app yourself, and use free marketing tools, you better be loaded on a pretty reasonable budget for your app idea.
Now to answer the questions I asked before.
Q: Is it easy to get into?
A: The development bit, yes. The bit where you try to make money from it, not really unless you are sitting on a goldmine idea. There are loads of app on the Play Store, meaning loads of competition. Pretty much every trending category has been saturated from what I’ve observed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make any money, just don’t go in expecting trucks to drive up to your house with boat loads of money.
Q: What sorts of hurdles are there?
A: This depends on your competency with app/software development. If you’re comfortable designing and programming your own app, then congrats you’ll save some money! But you’ll also be able to work on your own schedule and keep on track more easily.
If you’re comfortable with marketing, great you’re another step closer to having your app reach out to many people. If not, either do your best or hire someone to do it for you which will only add to the costs. But social media is powerful and free to use (unless you run ad campaigns), so utilize it.
The major hurdle that may stand in your way is publishing the app. You need to get a developer’s account and setup a merchant account (if you monetize your app). However setting up a merchant’s account from my experience so far has indicated that Google really wants to cater to those who are in it for the long run, who are serious about this and treat it as a business. But that doesn’t mean that an independent developer can’t make a few bucks on the side. There are always ways to overcome hurdles.
Then of course another hurdle would be submitting your app for review and hope it gets through. But that is something everyone has to go through, so it is more like part of the procedure than a hurdle.
Q: Can I just pick up my laptop and get started?
A: Yes, the great thing about Android Studio (development environment) is that it will work on Linux, OS X and Windows. It is not restricted to one OS unlike XCode (iOS Development). So as long as your laptop or computer is capable of running Android Studio, and optionally an emulator to test your apps on the computer (else you’ll need a physical Android device), you should be good to go!
Every platform has its pros and cons and Android is certainly no exception. But I’ll say from personal experience, Android seems to be more open as far as entry barriers go. Hope this post helps someone out. Catch you all on the next one!