Recent Changes In The Android App Development Process

The whole mobile sphere has changed the past couple of years, and all this happened so fast that anyone could easily loose track of all this progress. Even the Android ecosystem has undergone many improvements- the users got new hardware (smartwatches), new software (Android Studio & Gradle) and the latest OS (Android Marshmallow). The tech giant Google made some important changes in the core functioning of its Android architecture.

Nowadays, device manufacturers, developers and the Google itself is contributing a lot towards the refinement of the Android App Development process. Companies associated with app development now have a stable OS, millions of apps, billions of users and at present they are planning to simplify and improve Android infrastructure. Now the question arises is how to make development process better?

Android app development servicesHere is the list of few things that help in making Android development easy & hassle-free:

1. Gradle

It is a project automation tool which has replaced the Apache ANT as a primary build system for the Android-powered applications. The primary reason behind its popularity is that this tool can automate almost anything- from dividing the apps into different flavours, signing with correct configuration, defining external dependencies and do several other things.

2. Android Studio

The Android Developers favorite IDE for Android development finally became stable with the version 2.2. The latest version comes loaded with some pretty amazing features and functionalities that allow developers to come up with superb apps that too in a stipulated time period.

3. Android Marshmallow

Google said that Marshmallow or Android 6.0 was one of the biggest improvement of the Android OS since the beginning of the Android development. Every part of the Android has undergone major modifications and users have really started liking all the features. Well, the new version won’t be running on old Android phones, but Google has said that they will fix this issue in upcoming versions.

  • Android Marshmallow on the outside- Material Design

You will read a lot about the bright new Android UI. The material design is considered as one of the most important innovations on the Android OS. This new UI design has completely changed the look and feel of the Android Apps. By adding vivid colours, animations at small & big steps, large fonts etc have made the UI live and more user-friendly.

  • Android Marshmallow on the inside– ART (Android RunTime)

Users generally talk about the design, UI components, animations etc but developers are interested in what’s under the hood. And the new Android engine is a masterpiece- a brand new runtime system called ART. With the introduction of Marshmallow, it has become a primary system that has completely replaced the Dalvik. ART is great because of several things:

1. It uses AOT (ahead-of-time) compilation, which helps in compiling the intermediate language which cuts down the execution time of the apps, less CPU usage and less battery drainage.

2. It offers a multi dex support right out of the box. The latest APT properly recognises the application in a way it quickly breaks byte-code in multiple DEX files which can be further packed together in a single APK.

Wrapping Up

To stay ahead of its rivals, Google keeps on launching new updates and software in the market which not only make the App development hassle-free and less time-consuming.

How Remote Code Execution Compromises Android Security

Scripting a code attack to gain unauthorized access into a third party network is no longer a far-fetched endeavor (it hasn’t been so in years, but things have become a tad too easier now).

Owing to the increasing use of new-age mobile apps, the threat of network intrusion have snowballed into serious possibilities. As Smartphone users, we more often than not find ourselves tempted to install in our phones some third party apps that come from totally unknown sources, and that’s where we put the security of our phones at serious risk. And it is the phenomenon of remote code execution that has been giving sleepless nights to the professionals in app development realm as well as to the general users (even if the term sounds gibberish to them).

How Remote Code Execution Snowballs into a Crisis
When certain individuals get to run their custom-created codes on your phone without your permission, you know the information stored in the phone is vulnerable to interception. Now, this might be a result of you installing an app from a questionable source or you rooting your device, but whichever way they come, they sure prove to be nasty burns.

It Creates an Environment Infected with Security Dangers
Once the malicious coders get the wherewithal to remotely inject and manipulate codes within your reliable Android app development platform, they can wreck havoc with not just your device, but with that of anyone you are connected to over a network or are sharing emails and files with through the Internet.

Android 4.2 Tried to Fix it
Oh yes they attempted to fix it, and succeeded to an extent. The Javascript vulnerability was carefully addressed but not in a manner where the fix would take along all the scenarios. Experts have continually observed and scanned a truckload of APK files from Google store and have come up with a revelation that more than 10% of them are vulnerable to security attacks – and that’s a pretty staggering figure when you convert that into numbers.


But that’s not the end of the woes. It has also been observed that many people still use the pre-4.2 version of Android, so the fixes made in the 4.2 version are not available to them.

Remote Code Execution Means a Free Rein Over the Device
If you are under the impression that the threat is restricted to the context of the app, you are mistaken. The remote code execution also enables these coders to change the permissions that are preset by the system. This gives them a greater access to your device and they can delve further to doctor your phone’s operation to suit their malicious sensibilities.

Now, the above sermon is not base don assumptions only. There have been studies done over as many as 102,000 app from the play store and it has been found out that close to 13 percent of them have backdoors. And here is how you can test the app’s vulnerability:

function findVulnerableObject() {
for (var prop in window) {
try {
// If getClass() doesn’t throw, the object is vulnerable
window[prop].getClass();
return window[prop];
}
catch(err) { }
}
return null;
}

The above Javascript usually employed by Top Android App Developers is injected to find out the objects that are prone to being attacked. It was also found out that ads were the biggest culprits when making your app vulnerable to security attack.

These ad frameworks call the addJavascriptInterface in an insecure manner, thus leading to serious security issues.

Using some proxy techniques can be an easy enough technique to diminish the security levels of an Android device. On your part, you can avoid using apps that keep displaying advertisements whenever you are on a network you can’t rely upon.

Android Apps: Giving Wings to Businesses

With the advent and the widespread use of smart phones, there has been a paradigm shift of the sorts in the business world. From mobile compatible websites and responsive design themes, to finally opting for mobile apps, in one way or the other, corporate houses are trying to tap into the flourishing business opportunities provided by mobile app development.

When we say mobile apps, we don’t necessarily mean iPhones apps. Giving the traditional market leader a run for their money are the easy to use and highly competitive Android apps. The traditional ways of conducting business are now clearing the pavement for a much smarter way, propelled by the world of smart phones and Android App Development.

In case the importance of android apps for your business has skipped your notice, here is a quick reminder of why a business needs them:

To stay in constant touch with your audience – An app takes a business to the very home screen of the mobile phones of the users. With just a touch of the finger, any user can simply get in touch with the business.

To ascertain the profits from niche marketing – These android apps are showcased fervently on the Google Play store. Besides, an app need not find the user as the user often finds the app; i.e. an app is downloaded, only when a user has typed the query for the same, or stumbled upon it from the Play Store. This significantly improves the chances of lead generation, since the user has already showed an interest in what the business does / offers.

Additional visibility – With the help of Android apps, businesses get easy and far increased visibility in the play store. Besides, now with apps, it is even easier to build an entire community around the business, all with the reviews and the feisty discussions that take place in the Play Store.

An increase in revenue – The point is so obvious that we feel silly in even stating that. But one cannot and should not and must not avoid the fact that mobile apps help in increasing the revenue drastically.

And that’s not all; businesses today are using other existing apps, in order to smooth track and streamline the way they work. Since it only seems pragmatic to change with the changing trends, you may want to try a few apps that would assist you in conducting your business.

Some of our favorite Android apps which assist in carrying out the businesses are:

Go To Meeting – this is one app which makes it very easy to organize a meeting, and ensure 100% attendance, even on a rainy day or if the participants are spread all over the globe. With the help of this app, one can organize and participate in meetings via tablets, exchange charts and Word files etc.

Fill and sign PDF forms – this app allows the users to easily fill-in and sign PDF forms simply with your Android device, in addition to allowing them to easily view, edit, save or send these PDF forms.

Cam Card – if you have a lot of business cards to manage, this app will assist you in the same. The cards are scanned and are kept at one easily accessible place in the phone’s memory.

That was all that we had to offer today. These android apps have significantly changed the way businesses work. Don’t lag behind, hire Android Programmers to get highly active, problem-solving and value-adding apps, and rejoice as you watch it give brand new wings to your business.