Are you a developer looking for the latest trends for building an Android app?
We can all agree that Android use has gained popularity and has driven out rivals out in the market share race.
But that’s not all.
Android development still has a very promising future, thanks to a bunch of cool technologies. These technologies have improved the Android field as a whole, and they are expected to improve the process of growth and to incorporate best practices into users’ experience and architecture too.
Now, to stay competitive and increase user engagement, you should keep the latest Android trends in mind.
In this article, we’ll discuss the top Android app development trends to incorporate in your apps.
Are you ready? Okay, let’s jump right in.
1. Kotlin Multiplatform
Did you know that Kotlin now offers you as a developer a new exciting feature?
Yes, Kotlin has a new feature, the “multiplatform projects”. Though still an experimental feature that is only available in Kotlin 1.2 and 1.3, I already think that it’s going to become a really big deal in 2021.
Now, Kotlin encourages the sharing of code between platforms.
Because of this, you and other development teams can easily share your codes between these platforms. This in return accelerates the development process and saves you lots of time.
Additionally, by using multiplatform, you can build components that share as much code as required with others.
And you can also access the platform APIs anytime. For instance, by using this feature, you can build a mobile application with parts of the code shared between Android and iOS.
NOTE code reuse is a serious benefit. That’s why we’re going to see more and more teams taking advantage of Kotlin for Android app development.
To learn Kotlin, check out my other article on the best Kotlin courses on Udemy.
2. Machine Learning And Artificial Intelligence
This refers to a set of programming techniques that allow apps to automatically learn and improve from experience without being programmed to do so explicitly.
This approach comes in handy especially for apps that use unstructured data or solve problems that include a large number of parameters.
Let’s take an example of apps that predict what customers would like to see or buy next.
Now, luckily Android supports a wide range of ML tools and methods. This means that implementing this type of cutting-edge functionality is easier than you may have expected.
So, when developing an ML for Android, your development team needs to design a product, implement inference algorithms, and finally deploy the existing ML models.
Did you know that Google prepared two guides to help businesses succeed in building AI-powered apps? If you didn’t know, you should know that Google prepared these two guides: the People + AI Guidebook and The Material Design for Machine Learning spec.
These guides include design guidelines and patterns for ML-powered features like object detection and barcode scanning.
3. Instant Apps
This is another best Android app development trend to incorporate in your apps in 2021 because it helps to get more installs of the application.
Imagine if you could try a game before you get to install it on your device.
Sounds great, right? Well, Instant apps keep gaining popularity because it allows users to try apps or games before they can install them in their devices.
Now, this technology is useful for e-commerce businesses and games. From a developers point of view, I think it is relatively easy to create an instant app. This is because you’ll find two options from Android Studio.
These options are to develop an app from scratch and transform existing apps.
As an Android developer, you don’t need to develop two different apps while using Instant apps because it only requires the same android API, the same project, and source code.
Some of its main benefits are:
- Full access to Android applications without downloading the app.
- Great UI/UX design.
- The user experience of a native app.
- Opening the app as a web page, instant apps require less traffic than native applications.
- More storage. Devices won’t be full of various applications that users only open once.
4. Navigation Component
This top Android app development trend allows moving around different sections and pieces of content within your app.
Now, did you know that Jetpack comes with a handy Navigation component that helps you as a developer to implement navigation?
Okay, whether it’s a simple button click or a more complex pattern like a navigation drawer, Jetpack has your back. Additionally, the Navigation component ensures a consistent and predictable user experience. Since developers who implement it will follow established navigation principles.
Look, the Navigation component consists of three parts:
- NavController – an object that manages the app navigation within a NavHost.
- NavHost – an empty container that shows all the destinations in your navigation graph.
- Navigation graph – an XML resource that includes all of the navigation-related information in a single location (like individual content areas called destinations and possible paths users can take through the app).
But wait, there’s more.
This Android development trend also allows you to handle fragment transactions, manage the up and back actions correctly by default, and also implement deep linking.
Finally, the Navigation component also provides standardized resources for transitions and animations, as well as navigation UI patterns.
5. Android Jetpack and Jetpack Compose
This suite of libraries and tools helps you to write high-quality code faster, follow best practices, and simplify complex tasks.
Now, in 2022, Jetpack will become more relevant to mobile development projects because of the fact that it’s constantly expanded with new tools. Keeping this in mind, one of the tools that are going to boom in 2021 is Jetpack Compose, Android’s toolkit for building native UI.
This is a solution that accelerates the process of building user interfaces on Android.
This is good news to developers such as yourself because you can easily create apps with less code by avoiding entire classes of bugs. This also simplifies the code and makes it easier to maintain.
All you are required to do is describe the UI and Compose will take care of everything else.
When the app state changes, you should expect the UI to be updated automatically since Compose is compatible with all your existing code, which makes it easy to adopt.
At the time of writing this article, Jetpack Compose is in developer preview. The API surface isn’t complete yet, and you can expect some changes to be added to it.
According to the latest stats, 58% of businesses using chatbots belong to the B2B field. This means that chatbots are one of the top Android apps development trends.
Keeping in mind that customers appreciate chatbots for their fast responses and the ability to answer 24/7, there are many ways that you can utilize them.
First, considering that it may take approximately 10 hours for a human worker to answer the user’s messages as stated by the same reaserch, you can make your customer support better by incorporating chatbots.
Thanks to the fast answers that chatbots offer.
And a lot of enterprises like Facebook and Starbucks have already added chatbots to their routine tasks.
One good example of a useful chatbot is the Starbucks Barista app. In this app, customers can just tell the bot what kind of coffee they want and take it at the chosen cafe. Another example is Hello Hipmunk. This bot helps you to plan a trip, this in turn saves you a lot of time.
Integrating mobile apps with this popular virtual assistant will become a key goal among many development teams. So why wait?
Incorporating the Internet of Things in Android app development is another KEY trend.
Now, in the Android world, this trend translates into Android things, which allows you to build devices on top of popular hardware platforms like Raspberry Pi.
News flash! You don’t need any knowledge of embedded systems design to get started.
Instead, you can just develop apps using the Android SDK and Android Studio. The framework also allows easy native access to hardware, such as cameras and displays.
But that’s not all, you can also connect your app to Google services and integrate extra peripherals with the Peripheral I/O APIs. Get this, the Android things console also helps teams to push new features and security updates over the air.
And once your app is ready, you can start publishing your code to devices with the help of the Android Things Console. As it offers tools for installing and updating the system image on supported hardware devices.
MotionLayout is a type of layout that you as a developer can use to manage motion and widget animation in your apps.
This trend is part of the ConstraintLayout library and is backward compatible with Android 4.0.
With the library, your team can easily fill the gap between layout transitions and complex motion handling. This Android development trend offers a rich selection of features. Now, MotionLayout not only describes transitions between layouts, but it also allows the animation of any layout property.
Additionally, it supports seekable transitions, which enables developers to instantly show any point within the transition on the basis of a condition like touch input.
It’s worth noting that MotionLayout will only work with its direct children and will not support nested layout hierarchies or activity transitions.
If you want to create interfaces that use animation to help users have a better experience and also understand what is happening in the app, then you should use MotionLayout.
9. On-Demand Apps
One of the popular trends for Android app development is improving customer services.
And what better way to do this if not by using on-demand apps?
There are already a lot of on-demand apps like Uber or Postmates, these apps help us do everyday tasks faster and more comfortably. Now, these apps can follow various purposes. Some of them can be taxi applications, cleaning services, and so on.
Additionally, they can analyze users’ locations and offer required services. Plus, customers can get instant services with on-demand applications.
For this reason, a lot of businesses have decided to develop on-demand apps to bring a better experience to their customers.
It’s also worth noting that this Android app development trend helps achieve better results with routine tasks.
10. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Web pages displayed on mobile devices have become more enjoyable and intuitive than ever. That’s why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this year we will also witness more interest in Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) initiative.
I know you must be asking yourself what an AMP is right?
AMP is a brand new technology that offers a smart method for publishers to improve their visibility in mobile search.
Look, Accelerated Mobile Pages enhance search engine optimization and help companies to be more discoverable by users. Since Google’s search algorithms are constantly changing, it’s best to follow Google’s own recommendations.
Did you know that more people perform searches on mobile devices than on desktop devices? For this reason, the mobile scene is highly competitive, and companies are doing everything they can to gain visibility.
And Google is also going to give more prominence to AMP in search engine results pages, which will drive lots of traffic to your site.
These ten technology trends are just the tip of the iceberg in the constantly evolving mobile scene.
I hope that this article helps you to make the best technology choices for your Android development project in 2021 and beyond.
Among the most significant trends there are:
- Artificial Intelligence
- instant apps
However, the developers can also integrate Flutter and Android Jetpack to make the development process faster and more comfortable.
Are you also looking for the best courses for Android development?
You should check out my other article where I reviewed the best Android courses on PluralSight. These courses are suitable for both beginners looking to start from scratch and advanced learners who want to add more skills to their portfolio.
Have you ever used any of these trends on this list of the top Android app development trends to incorporate in your apps?
If yes, please share your experience in the comments below.
Lerma is our expert in online education with over a decade of experience. Specializing in e-learning and e-courses. She has reviewed several online training courses and enjoys reviewing e-learning platforms for individuals and organizations.