Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, making it important to learn for any software application developer. In contrast to Apple’s iOS, which can only be used in iPhones, Google’s Android operating system is open source, which allows it to be used by manufacturers all over the world. As a result, now Android powers 2.5 billion phones, tablets, and other smart devices of all sizes, configurations, and price points, making it the operating system of nearly 75% of the world’s mobile devices.
Android app development uses Android Studio, the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Android apps. Within Android Studio, developers can choose to use common object-oriented programming languages like Java, Kotlin, and C++. The ability to use Java in particular can make Android app development easier than iOS development for programmers coming from a desktop software background. That said, the Swift programming language used in iOS requires writing less code, which generally makes iOS development faster and easier for experienced mobile developers.
Because Android devices are so popular, a background in building apps for this operating system is essential for any mobile app developer. This is especially true for developers of apps for the global market; while iOS devices are actually slightly more popular in the U.S., the availability of a wide range of Android devices from international manufacturers at significantly lower price points than iPhones has made this OS more popular in every other global market - and especially in Asia.
Becoming a mobile software developer with Android skills is a path to a high-paying job in a fast-growing industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers earned a median annual wage of $107,510 in 2019, and these jobs are expected to grow much faster than the economy-wide average over the next decade.
Absolutely. Computer science courses are among the most popular offered on the Coursera platform, and learners can choose from a variety of courses and Specializations in Android programming for beginners as well as intermediate learners. Wherever you are in the world, you can learn from top-ranked global universities including Vanderbilt University, Imperial College London, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. You can also learn by completing hands-on guided learning projects, with step-by-step tutorials from experienced instructors from the Coursera Projects Network.
Learning Android may be right for you if you love interacting with mobile apps on the Android platform. You might be thrilled by the creative environments developed in Android apps, their connections with back-end payment and data systems, and their overall customer user experience. You may also know that learning Android is right for you, too, if your goal is to create your own successful Android app as a software developer in the future. To learn Android takes knowledge and some experience with coding in Java, Kotlin, XML, SQL, and Git. If you have that know-how, then learning Android might be right for you.
The skills and experience that you might need to already have before starting to learn Android could be a thirst to create useful or fun apps, a dedication to learning Java, which is the main programming language for all of the development of Android apps, and a good grasp of necessary computer fundamentals like APIs and databases. You might also want to have some experience working in XML basics, SQL, and Kotlin and have some back-end programming skills as well. Add to those skills more basic soft skills like problem-solving ability, analytical thinking, and the sense of understanding technical data.
The kind of people best suited for roles in Android are mostly app developers or those interested in learning app development. Working with Android apps is a pretty specific work area, and those who are good at it can make a good income from creating mobile apps on Android. These software specialists will usually have a strong coding background, work experience in web development, and maybe some years spent working in a technical web dev job.
The types of places that hire people with a background in Android are software companies that make custom apps for businesses, schools, and other organizations. Other hiring opportunities may come from software firms that create mobile apps, online games, and enterprise software for businesses.
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