Offshore Android Application Development – Hire Android App Developer Or Find Freelancer?

Google’s Android has revolutionized the mobile apps market. For a while it seemed that iPhone would completely dominate the smartphones market, but the skyrocketing popularity of Android OS has changed the game. Programmers and developers love Android as it makes it easier for them to develop dynamic and groundbreaking apps. Professional android app developers also love the fact that Android OS is a free, open source software.

Android application development has rapidly gained ground in the mobile app development market because it delivers what the mobile users want. This platform is perfect for the development of feature-rich, speedy, dynamic, attractive and efficient apps. Consequently, a number of people opt for Android application development.

Offshore Android Development: When and Why?

If you decide to develop an app for Android, and you do not have the skills and workforce required for Android development, you need to get someone else to do it. If the person you hire doesn’t do a good job, your app is doomed to obscurity.

Also, an experienced professional android app developer may prove to be too costly. If you do not possess a deep pocket, you cannot ignore the cost advantage of outsourcing your project. When you outsource your project, you can either find a freelancer or hire a professional app develop from a software development company.

‘Freelancer’ and ‘Hired Developer’: What do These Words Really Mean in Terms of Android App Development?

A number of freelancers post their profiles on diverse sites that help freelancers connect with potential employers. Many of these freelancers are professional developers with full time jobs, while quite a few of the profiles are created by agents who try to grab projects and then pass on to developers for a commission.

A hired developer is a person who already works as a full time developer in a software development company (usually an offshore location). You pay the company a certain amount and ‘hire’ the services of the developer for a specified duration or for a particular project. The company takes responsibility of the project, and it promises to provide infrastructure and technical assistance to the hired developer.

Pros and Cons: Freelancers and Hired Developers for Android App Development

If you choose a freelancer for your Android application development project, you may end up waiting for a lifetime for him/her to finish the project. The problem is that you do not know a thing about the freelancer, and in absence of a legal agreement, there is not much you can do if the freelancer delays your project indefinitely.

Also, it is not easy to find freelancers for Android development, as this field of development is not yet as popular as iPhone developer in offshore locations. But you may get lucky and find a dedicated freelancer: in this case you can get good work done for a dirt cheap price.

As long as you entrust your Android development work to a professional developer from a reputed company, you do not have to worry about quality or timely delivery. While this approach ensures quality development, it costs a little more than freelance.

What should one do then?

Freelance Android app development is a rather risky venture, but if you know a reputed freelancer who has already worked for your friends or acquaintances, you have struck gold. However, if you crave security and surety that your Android application development projects finishes on time and on cost, you are better off hiring an app developer from a reputed mobile development company.

10 Free Android Apps That Will Actually Make You Money While Shopping!

Shopping is either pure bliss or torture depending on who you ask. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you are on, Android apps will help you save money and allow you to become a more efficient shopper (which I’m sure appeals to most of you). So what does that entail? It’ll give the shopaholics more bang for their buck, which is never a bad thing. Perhaps even more importantly, these Android apps will provide shopaphobes what they really crave- less time in the stores!

The pure power and functionality of these Android apps can really make shopping virtually an all new experience. No matter if these apps function as a shopping list, database, storefront or a supplemental knowledge source, they’re all squarely aimed at one thing: if you use them, they will save you money!

You’re getting a feeling like Android shopping apps, in general, might just help you, right? Well here are 10 Android apps that will save you money while they help you fulfill all your shopping needs and desires. Oh and did I mention that all these ten are completely FREE to download?

SnapTell

Want to know more about an item you saw on the rack? Just use SnapTell to scan the barcode of any CD, DVD, book or video game and you will be able to get all the information you could possibly need. What type of information? Well, if you just want some more cursory information, that’ll work. Most notably, if you want to see how the price stacks up to other distributors, it can do that for you in seconds. This app could be a big time money-saver for you if you take the time to use it before you make that next media purchase!

Key Ring Reward Cards

This is a very handy app to consolidate all your clutter in your purse/wallet while ensuring that you don’t lose valuable reward/loyalty cards. How does it work? All you do is take a snapshot of the barcode of your reward card (just about any decent sized company with a rewards program is in the database- over 650 programs) and enter some basic information about the store. That’s it; you’re now ready to use your phone as your reward card at that store in the future by pulling up your reward information from that store on this Android app. It’s probably not for non-techies or those who crave extreme simplicity. It is, however, a great idea and technology that will no doubt get crisper in the future.

If you don’t mind carrying all your reward cards and potentially losing one or two along the way (and having to suffer through the wait to replace the card), this free Android app sounds like a waste of time. But, if the extra inch of not-so-soft plastic padding for your rump (or the misuse of perfectly good purse space- not to mention the potential inability to use your chic tiny purse out shopping) isn’t idyllic, this app is worth the few minutes to download and get everything set up properly.

OurGroceries

This is the perfect app for the happy, busy family of Android phone users. It allows the kids to endlessly add all their necessary foods. When the items are purchased, they can be removed from the list (on all the Android phones it’s registered to) and then, 4 hours later, they can easily be added back onto the list! Joking aside, this is a great app to have for the new-age hyper busy, hyper tech families that want to become more efficient.

Hey, it costs a lot of money to keep purchasing that extra loaf of bread that your husband/wife (or even you- thanks to that undecided hmmm, don’t we need bread moment even though you just bought two loaves yesterday- yes you’re not alone!) just picked up and will end up turning green before anyone has a chance to make a sandwich with it.

OI Shopping list

To me, this app, fully named the OpenIntents Shopping list, is like the OurGroceries for the single folks out there. Not to say a family wouldn’t benefit from this app, it just has more features and it’s not a perfect fit like the other app is for families that need a simple solution to keep up on their latest shopping needs. That being said, this app is a powerful workhorse and can really end up saving you countless hours and some decent cash at year’s end.

US Yellow Pages Search

This is one of the more useful free Android apps available and I’ll be honest, it doesn’t 100% fit with the theme of helping you save money while shopping. I could argue that it does, but for simplicity, I’ll just use an old clich: Time is Money! Saving some time is just as good as saving cash on those busy days out and about. Having this app on your Android phone is like having 300 super-thick Yellowbooks from all over the US crammed into your back pocket. Not a bad thing if you travel a decent amount or enjoy living outside of your house. It’s just a great resource to have on hand for those times when you need to find a business’s number fast.

eBay

This official app brings eBay to your Android phone. It’s kind of crazy, but I think I like this UI better than the actual website on my computer. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad. Nonetheless, it gives you an idea that this Android app was developed correctly and really hits the mark. That is, if you’re an eBay fan; if you’re not, sorry!

Amazon.com

Similar to eBay’s Android app, this beauty from Amazon brings all the functionality from the full-sized website to your Android phone. It’s amazing how seamless this transition appears for these giant resellers. This is a great thing for us though!

Craigslist

The last of the GIANT resellers’ Android apps on this list, I promise. Well, kind of: if you don’t include Groupon in your list of “resellers”, I haven’t lied to you. So, if you’ve ever used Craigslist, you know how utterly important it is to check out a potential “killer item” within 5 minutes of it being posted and subsequently be the first handful of people to contact the seller to have any hopes of actually ending up with it in your possession.

That being said, if you use Craigslist and you have an Android phone, YOU NEED THIS APP NOW! Haha, sorry to scream, but if you’re going to use this portal of goodness with the hopes of eventually buying something you want/need, you have to have instant access to newly posted items. The only way to do that (I’m taking liberties assuming you aren’t a recluse and on your home computer 24/7) is to have access “on-the-go” to instant notifications for your set of items that interest you and also a way to view them. This app performs both of these necessary actions and does them well.

*Please, for your sake, if you want to be the guy (gal) bragging about the awesome deal you got on the “coolest thing in the world” instead of the not-so-happy version of you regrettably telling the story about “the one that got away” to anyone who will listen, download this app!*

Groupon

This is the official app from the immensely popular and rapidly growing Groupon website. This site has a “cult-like” following (not in a bad way!) which actually benefits its users. Essentially, the more people that use their services, the more offers are presented to the users and that helps all of us save a good amount of money! This free Android app ensures that you’re never out of the “Groupon loop” and you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of the appealing offers wherever you may be.

The Coupons App

Another money-saving coupon app? Yes! That’s all I can say- the prospects of saving a buck in this economy is a powerful force it seems. I’m almost a bit surprised at myself that I didn’t completely inundate this “shopping list” with coupon apps (patting myself on the shoulder for spreading out the love). If only I could go back in time to 1989 and use this app instead of clipping 500-plus coupons from the Sunday paper (for my mom). Well those were good times- minus the paper cuts.

What’s this Android app going to do for you? Anything and everything coupon related; it brings the coupons with you on your phone and allows you to find new ones even while you’re at the store! That’s pretty awesome for those of us not commanding “Top CEO” salaries…

Honorable Mention:

There’s only one free Android app that I would consider putting on this list. The reason is because it’s probably the most important app for everyone to download today. I consider it more of a “mandatory app” than an Android shopping app and that’s why it’s here.

The app I’m speaking of is the Barcode Scanner. Among other things, it allows you to browse the web on your computer and take a photo of the QR Code of an app you’re interested in downloading. Once the code is processed (which takes very little time- talking seconds), the corresponding Android app’s download page appears in the Google Marketplace! It’s that simple and works like a charm once you get past the short “operator error” stage that plagues most of us.

Top 3 Free Android Apps for Communication

The Android market is flooded with applications, and it can really get confusing for people to choose an app, that is perfect for them. There are a lot of articles out there, which have listed the best Android must-have apps. But, not a lot of them talk about applications that are specifically designed to solve your communication woes. I am going to list down some apps that are just amazing. And anyone, who has ever used these apps, has only good things to say about them.

# Handcent SMS

This free app can really spice up your phone, when it comes to texting people. Handcent SMS is one of the best applications out there, and the recent update has made it even fancier. The added features include…

  • The ability to backup your sms’.
  • You can schedule a sms.
  • You can send e-cards and greetings to your friends using the application.
  • Downloadable themes, fonts and smileys.

And if that doesn’t sound tempting enough, there are tons of other features, which make this killer app a must-have for any communication fanatic. Just give this application a try, and you will never go back to your default boring android texting application ever again.

# TiKL- Touch to Talk

If you often find yourself dialing numbers to call up your friend or girlfriend, you will find this application to be an absolute relief. It will literally turn your Android into a Walkie Talkie, and all you need to do is push a button and you can directly talk to your friends, who have the application installed on their phones as well.

The application is available free of cost on Google play, and has pretty good reviews from users all across the world. And the best part is that, the application only makes use of your data plan, and therefore, you are not charged for any calls. Great isn’t it?

# Opera Mobile

The Opera Mobile is undoubtedly, one of the best browsers for your android. It has many advanced features such as…

  • The ability to synchronize bookmarks, Speed Dial and more between your computer and your mobile phone.
  • Built-in support for Facebook and twitter, which makes, sharing web content much easier.
  • You can download games and applications from the Opera Mobile Store, directly from the Speed Dial itself.

Opera has a very strong reputation, and has been around since many years. And now, you can experience the power of this browser, on your phone as well.

The android marketplace is growing bigger and better with every passing day. But these 3 applications, in my opinion, are simply mind-blowing. I do agree though, that everyone has their favorites. And currently, there are applications that are slowly catching up with the apps that we just discussed. Just take a peek, and you might come across an app, that is worthy of being number 4 or better… on this list.

Top 5 Android Apps

As the iPhone continues to play second fiddle to an exploding Android mobile operating system it’s worth looking at the top Android apps. Developers are flocking to Android in droves and porting over apps left and right. To sort through the tens of thousands of apps, let’s start small to make sure you’ve got the basics are covered.

  1. Groupon: Groupon is gaining steam and could become one of the hottest things online since Facebook. The daily deal site has created an app that will let you view your daily deal as well as actually buy it! The app itself provides you the opportunity to kick your printer to the curb and even use your Groupon deals through your device. The Groupon deals will cost some mula but the app itself is free. money
  2. Urbanspoon: This long time iPhone favorite is further cementing itself as the top mobile restaurant guide with its entrance to Android. Your favorite features are all there-the slot machine style view, reviews and the unique Shake feature.
  3. Google Sky Map: Everyone can become an astronomer with Google’s free Sky Map app. Through impressive use of the phone’s accelerometer you can simply point your phone to the sky and get readout of the different planets and constellations up above. Now you can learn to point out more than the Big Dipper!
  4. Angry Birds: This game is genius. Move through levels by utilizing your tool chest of different birds to fling across the screen, knocking down various structures. The simple gameplay and quality graphics made it a long time iPhone hit.
  5. Foursquare: The competition for your location based fun is tight with Gowalla and Foursquare still battling it out. Foursqure may be breaking into the lead with substantially more users though. Download the free app now and rule the roost at your favorite local spot by becoming the Mayor!

Kongregate Arcade Review (Android Apps)

There, I said it, openly for the whole Internet to notice. I. Am. A. Big. Kid.

Naturally, the initial thing I do when I obtain a phone is to see what games are on it as well as what games I can acquire for it. Around a year ago, I by chance discovered an awesome Flash games site called Kongregate. The games were ALL free of charge and they had a lot of games I loved the first time I played them. Fast forward a year toward these days and I’m still an passionate fan. Kongregate became so prevalent that they were actually bought out last summer by GameStop as a way for them to get into online gaming.

Then the next big bad-ass event happened.

They made an Android App. And got it right. I resisted the alluring drag it had on my hand every time I switched on my cellular phone. I resisted until a few days ago when I had a flash of frailty and I downloaded the app and my first two games, Without Charge, which is the way I roll.

3 days later, I am still playing a game called ‘Zilch,’ which could very well be the second-most addicting game I’ve ever downloaded into my HTC Incredible. (The original was Angry Birds, naturally!) In the same way as the regular Kongregate site, the games are hit-or-miss. Zilch is brilliantly prepared as are a few of the other games that released mobile versions. A few of them still need work; although, that’s no different from their online site. Seeing that the app and the games are roughly all free you have persons of all knowledge levels attempting to develop games, frequently with startlingly high-quality results. I’ve played a lot of games at the site that are comparable with releases from major studios from back in the day.

All in all, this app is without doubt worth checking out. (Just do not download Zilch unless you have 2-3 days to kill!)

Spot the Best Android App Developers

It’s not tough to spot the best Android app developers. All you need to do is simply look at their applications. Even the brand-new Android owner can tell you which apps took talent and which were hastily done without regard to the end result. The best Android app developers release app after successful app, and all share similar characteristics. This holds true whether the app is aimed toward the gaming population or to the practical users who use their Android to make life easier.

The best Android app developers:

• Plan, plan, and plan some more. Before one single line of code is written, the best Android app developers can answer the following questions: Who is my audience? How will this app carve out a niche in the app market? Will this be a free or fee-based app? What is a fair charge if a fee will be collected? These answers have to be set in stone before a developer reaches the next step, which inevitably involves asking the question:

• What will the app involve? Graphics and typesets must be selected, but first, the best app developer must consider the entire app in question. He or she imagines it as a finished product and decides where any gaps pose problems to the user in terms of usability. Before he or she begins to actually design the app, these problems have been taken care of and the app begins to take shape.

• Great app developers are willing to admit if they have made a mistake with any part of this planning phase, and they quickly fix it and move on to the next step. If a certain protocol isn’t working, they immediately recognize the problem and fix it. Above all, the best developers keep their ego in check and realize that if the end user cannot understand how to work the app, it does not matter how intricately beautiful it is. The user will simply press erase, and that will be the end of that app.

Android App and Game Development – Scope, Approaches and Features

Android is spreading fast, more and more mobile manufacturers today are considering using it in their latest mobile phones. Android application development is thus gaining momentum. It is an open source mobile operating system used to develop applications to help customers satisfy their requirements. Android mobile application development can also be customized to meet varying customer needs. Android game development is used to develop out of the box games which would thrill all its players.

Better applications and games can be developed by hiring Android app development and Android game development services. No doubt Android development is a difficult process, and involves lot of complications, however whether a company will be able to successfully complete your project or not will depend on its approach to it. Most of the Android app development companies follow the below mentioned approach in their work:

Approach 1 – Agile Development: Entire project is further divided into small parts considering its scope and requirements. Small parts go through the entire application development life cycle ensuring that it is developed as desired. Overall project risks can be avoided using this method.

Approach 2 – Waterfall Method: This method is followed when Android application development or game development requirements are static and do not change during the entire life cycle.

Approach 3 – Extreme Coding: It is done when project requirements are dynamic and change frequently. This process helps in maintaining software quality and allows company to take necessary steps as needed with every change in client needs.

Approach 4 – Rapid Action Development: When an Android development project needs to be completed urgently then rapid action development is followed. It helps companies to meet the urgent project deadlines without spending time for pre planning.

When a company follows any or all of the above approaches to Android application development it is likely that it will have a solution to all its project requirements. It will be able to provide a solution to all clients considering both their project needs and the time constraint. But what features make a good application or game? Here are some of the features to help you decide as to which features make for a good Android application or game:

  • Ability to speedily collect and dispatch information as per the action
  • Tools which are simple to use
  • Web kit engine integration based browser
  • Memory usage and battery consumption
  • Rich internet application development usage
  • Support for various multimedia formats for voice, video and image
  • Easily adaptable to changing environment

To ensure that an application or game has majority of features as mentioned above, most of the Android developers use Android SDK for Android app development and Android game development.

Android Apps for Mobile Devices

Android as an operating system for mobile devices was introduced in late 2008 and soon after its introduction, it gained widespread acceptance in the tech and developers community.

The process of development of Android apps started accelerating at an impressive pace due to its open source nature since this opened doors for the third-party freelance developers.

Eventually, Android has become the most popular operating system for the mobile devices and at present and its market share is second only after iOS.

At present, there are more than 500,000 apps in the Android market and new applications are being developed at an impressive rate. Although Android still has a long way to go before it catches up with Apple app store, still the rate of application development in Android has surpassed that of app development in iOS.

Other than Google’s own developers, Android apps are also being developed by third-party developers since Android is an open source operating system and this gives it a clear edge over iOS.

Android market is stocked with applications covering all fields of life from education and science apps to medical and traveling apps. Some of the most important educational applications in Android market include NASA app, U.S Presidents, Kids Numbers and Math Lite, Kid TV, Kids Shape Puzzle etc.

These applications focus on providing education to kids through fun and friendly channels. In the category of Business & finance, we have such helpful apps as Business Travel, Card Scanner, Commercial Real Estate, Expenses, Inventory and Payment Processing.

These applications are perfect companions during business meetings and trips and help to manage the payments and transactions efficiently.

For music lovers, Android market once again offers a variety of apps to take care of their music taste. Pandora Internet Radio is a very famous app which is also present in Apple app store. This app was developed by third-party developers and provides you an easy access to a variety of online music channels.

Other than that, we have several other music apps such as Audiogalaxy Music, Amazon MP3, Winamp, PowerAMP Music Player, Slacker Radio and several others. Any app store is incomplete without scores of exciting and thrilling games and on this front once again, Android has a lot to offer to its users.

The games developed for Android have increased to an impressive number in a very limited time due to the interest of third-party developers. Some of the most popular games that have been developed for Android so far include Robo Defense, Live Holdem Poker Pro, Fruit Ninja, Doodle Jump, Sudoku Free, iRunner, Angry Birds, Abduction! 2, Star Legends and many more. These games are categorized under the appropriate categories so that users are able to choose them according to their taste.

The demand of Android based phones in the market is constantly increasing and with this increasing demand, need to develop more Android apps is also increasing. Android is attracting the attention of young developers through out the world because of its being open source. This popularity is constantly increasing at the moment and it is expected that within a few years, Android would take the position of iOS as the most widely used OS for mobile devices.

Best Paid Android Apps

So below I have made a list of 5 of the Best Paid Android Apps. Many Android apps have both paid and free versions, the apps I talk about below are worth purchasing for the extra features. There are many more but these are my five favorite. So we will start off with saying that there are over 300,000 apps available in the Android Marketplace; with an estimated 10 billion downloads.

Top 5 Best Paid Android Apps

Lookout Mobile Security:

  • Lookout Mobile Security lets you also backup and restores your phone, provides Antivirus and phone location features using GPS and also can make your phone scream remotely if you think you lost it in your home. You can remotely wipe your phone if lost which is great to keep your information secure.
  • The basic features are available through a free version but the paid version protects phone with advanced security and privacy detection. It keeps your web browsing safe and also allows you to find a lost or stolen phone quickly.
  • The app is 2.99/month or 29.99/year.
  • Titanium Backup
  • The Titanium Backup will backup and restore all data on your phone, which is critical for today’s mobile users.
  • Titanium Backup comes in both a free and paid version. The paid version gives you some more options. The Pro version allows Drop box sync, App Freezer and multiple backups.
  • The paid version costs $6.58 with a 5 star user rating.

Camera Zoom FX

  • A lot of Android smart phones have weak camera features, with Camera Zoom FX provides you with over 90 different effects.
  • Camera Zoom FX Lets you customize your phone buttons to handle different features.
  • This app costs $4.99.

Angry Birds

  • Angry Birds is an awesome game. It is available for free with ads and a paid version without ads.
  • This game speaks for itself.
  • This app costs $1.99

HD Widgets

  • HD Widgets is a universal app made for tablets and phones. It is considered the next generation of widgets, the app was designed with usability in mind, and everything is swipe able.
  • It has weather widgets and app widgets that were designed for high definition smart phones on the market today.
  • This app costs $1.99

Thanks for taking the time and looking at my review of the best paid android apps. Hope you found some use full information and it at the same time find an app you need!

How To Go About Testing Your Android App

Be it the enterprise market or the consumer market, the one aspect of Android that makes it a hard beast to handle is the fragmentation – device, platform and OS. If developing an Android app is a big enough deal, the fragmentation makes the testing of it an even bigger deal.

What is the first thing to do before you consider submitting your app to the Google play store – TEST… Test… test. A company that has had a Million downloads for their app has tested it in about 400 different devices. Well, the idea of testing your app in 400 different devices definitely creates a high barrier for entry into the Android app market – both in terms of cost and testing time. But the entire testing can be addressed in an intelligent way which makes it viable for an app developer.

Going by the 80-20 Rule for Devices

It is almost impossible for small companies and solo app developers to carry out elaborate testing of their apps across various devices. It is extremely time consuming to test manually and even worse, it simply is not cost effective.

One of the best ways to address this problem is to go by the 80-20 principle. As a general rule, 80% of the market is controlled by 20% of Android devices. What this means for you is that by testing on that 20% alone you have covered most of your market and that is a great start. Once you have seen traction for your app, you can invest more resources into catering to the long tail Android market.

So, what is the best way to go about finding the percentage distribution?

– Android website stats to find the popular OS versions
– Android website stats to find the most popular DPI-Screen size combination
– Devices that cover both the above

One of the points to keep in mind is that it is important to not spend valuable initial resources on testing your app on outdated phones and OS in an attempt to be thorough. If you have enough resources to start with, then it might be a good idea to test your app on the most popular devices across the price range – high, mid and low end.

Using the Android Emulator

The Android SDK ships with a device emulator that runs on your computer. This is an alternative for prototyping and testing your app instead of using an actual device. There are a lot of disadvantages in this option – you cannot make actual phone calls, the difference in terms of results when used on the actual device can be ridiculously bad. The general advice is to test the app at-least once on an actual device or use the other options described here.

Using a Third Party Testing Service

The success of the Android app marketplace has led to a plethora of services that contribute to the app ecosystem. Some of the most useful are the ones that provide offshore testing for Android apps. They offer a variety of testing services – functional, integration, load and usability testing.

Some of the bigger companies find it efficient to have the testing team in-house – especially those in gaming who push constant updates to their apps. But offshore testing can be a decent option for companies just starting out in the Android app market.

Some of the services available in the market are Testology, utest, Test-droid, App Thwack and Ranorex.

Design Tests While App Development Is On

One of the best ways to bring down the total development time is by carrying out test designing simultaneously with app design and development. This method saves time drastically especially if you are pushing a feature to a live app. Once the specifications for a feature are decided on, the specs for the test can be written when the development of the feature happens. These tests can be run right after the feature development is over and the feedback can be funneled into the system back again for refinements.

Android development and testing are not straightforward just because of the multitude of platforms and devices. The above options should help you def-rag your app development and testing process.