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7 Major Tools For Android Developers

Posted by jiteshmanaktala on June 23rd, 2016

The modern age Android Developers are lucky to have the opportunity to use a variety of tools that facilitates them develop varied mobile applications for Android platform. These brilliant performance oriented tools are categorised into two groups:

Platform Tools – These can be customized in a fashion to support latest Android platform features.
SDK Tools – These are platform independent and must be used regardless of the Android platform you develop on.

1. Debugging Tools

Android Monitor is an important debugging tool nicely integrated into Android Studio. It provides users with memory, logcat, CPU, GPU, and network monitors to facilitate efficient analysis and debugging of app. Another tool is the Android Debug Bridge (adb). This is perceived as a versatile command line tool by most developers. It allows for communication with emulator instance. With this tool, it is easier to get connected to Android-powered device. The debug bridge also ensures easier access to the device shell. Tracer for OpenGL ES is another android debugging tool that facilitates you to capture OpenGL ES commands. It even helps capture frame-by-frame images to help developers get an understanding of how the app is executing various graphics commands. Some of the other important debugging android tools include ADB Shell Commands, Dalvik Debug Monitor Server (ddms), Device Monitor, and Systrace.

2. Development Tools

These tools are helpful in managing various projects, AVDs, and various SDK installed components. One of the main development tools is the Hierarchy Viewer that works towards providing a clear visual representation of the layout View hierarchy in conjunction with information on performance for each node in the layout. It also works towards ensuring a magnified view of display to facilitate close assessment of layout pixels.

3. Build Tools

There are many amazing build tools that android developers can use such as ProGuard, JOBB, ZipAlign, etc. JOBB helps with building APK expansion files (both encrypted and unencrypted) in Opaque Binary Blob (OBB) format. On the other hand, ProGuard helps with shrinking, optimizing, and obfuscating code via eliminating unused code and renaming fields, classes, methods with other obscure (semantically) names. Zipalign is yet another build tool that helps with optimizing .apk files via ensuring starting of all uncompressed data with a specific alignment in proportion with the start of the file. This must be used for aligning .apk files soon after they have been signed.

4. Image Tools

The set of tools allows Android developers to create a NinePatch graphic easily with the help of WYSIWYG editor. Developers can also preview a specific image's stretched versions. It is easier to highlight area where content is allowed with the help of an image tool. The tools facilitate a command line utility which facilitates developers encode PNG images to the ETC1 compression standard. They can also decode ETC1 compressed images back to PNG.

5. Platform Tools

These are an important tool for android developers. Platform tools are updated each time you install a brand new SDK platform. All updates of these tools is backward compatible with older platforms. ADB, an acronym for Android Debug Bridge can be directly used only one of the platform tools. It is a versatile tool capable of managing any Android-powered device. It can be used to install an Android application file. The platform tools listed below are called by android build tools:

aidl
aapt
dexdump
dx

Hence, you rarely require invoking the above listed tools directly.

6. Shell Tool

The tool can be used to interact with the Backup Manager. It also supports Level 8 of API or even Another platform tool is Logcat. It works towards providing a process for collecting and viewing debug output of system.

7. Android Virtual Device Manager

The AVD Manager promises an efficient graphical user interface wherein you can manage and create Android Virtual Devices (AVDs) running in the Android Emulator.

Also See: Platform Tools, Android Developers, Works Towards, Debugging Tool, Tools, Tool, Platform

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