In this part, We Discuss Productivity tips for Android developers
In this Tutorial we are going to talk about some useful information for the Android developer, could be found during android app development. There are many such tools on web.
Useful tools for Development
I have listed down 15 useful tools and will be adding more later in the future. There are many others available, I might or might not have come across, but if you know then please share with me.
- Android Layout Finder
In android developers design XML layouts but feels bored while writing findViewById() kind of boilerplate code. If you are one of them then there are 2 possible solutions:
- Use Android Layout Finder online tool.
- Use annotation based library (dependency injection frameworks) like Android Annotations, RoboGuice.
Official document of Android suggests to avoid dependency injection frameworks like Guice, RoboGuice, reason being is it’s a reflection based library and it creates overheads at runtime. Even it tends to perform a lot of process initialization by scanning your code for annotations, which can require significant amounts of your code to be mapped into RAM even though you don’t need it. (Here I would say we can use Android annotation library because it creates a duplicate copy of annotated classes so it won’t create any overhead at runtime but at compile time.)
And if you don’t want to use any annotation based library then you can use Android Layout Finder tool which can automate the process of writing findViewById() code and thereby we can have JAVA code automated way and can save our valuable time.
You just have to paste XML layout code and it gives you JAVA code with findViewById and clicks listeners.
If your app highly depends on art/creative then you should think over optimizing and shrinking art/creative to decrease file size, it would help you to decrease APK size.
One such online website/tool is TinyPNG, which helps you to reduce the file sizes of your PNG size while preserving full alpha transparency. It actually uses smart and advanced lossy compression technique.
- Android Asset Studio for Material Design
This Android Asset studio provides a facility to create icons for Material design. Currently, it allows us to create icons for three different categories like ActionBar and tab icons, Notification icons and generic icons.
- Android Action Bar Style generator
The Android Action Bar Style Generator allows you to easily create a simple, attractive and seamless custom action bar style for your Android application. It will generate all necessary nine patch assets plus associated XML drawables and styles which you can copy straight into your project.
With using this tool, you just need to copy paste given resources into your application and you are done!
- JSON Validator
JSONLint is one of the JSON Validator tools, using which you can validate your JSON data. It especially useful when you are receiving JSON response from the web service which isn’t defined by you and you would want to validate the JSON output, just to make sure the JSON response data is valid.
- Android Asset Studio
The name “Android Asset Studio” itself is explanatory that it’s a studio having a collection of different tools like Icon Generators, Style generator, 9-patch image generators, launcher icon generator, etc. This tool is provided by Roman Nurik, Android Developer Advocate at Google.
- JSON Viewer
Online JSON Viewer is one of the online JSON Viewer tools, using which you can view the whole JSON data in well organized and structured way. At the same time, it also validates your JSON data.
- JSON to POJO Creator
While working on API based projects, JsonSchema2Pojo tool could be found handy. It helps to create POJO classes directly from either JSON or JSON Schema. Hence its automated way, it helps you to save your valuable time by not defining classes by your own to prepare POJO classes and use them to parse JSON response. It does support GSON and Jackson annotation styles too.
- DPI Calculator for Android
Android DPI Calculator helps you to calculate DPI values for other screens based on the XHDPI value entered. It calculates DPI values in 8:6:4:3:5.32 ratio (xhdpi : hdpi : mdpi : ldpi : tvdpi)
- Gradle, Please
Gradle, Please is very use full in gradel to find version no.comes handy when you are developing an android application using Android Studio IDE and you need to include various dependencies. It helps you to get exact maven artifact of the particular library.
- Android Button Maker
Android Button Maker is an online tool to generate code of buttons for Android Apps. This button is generating based on shape drawable XML code which loads very faster compared to normal png buttons. Android API provides a different type of Drawable Resources where XML file defines the geometric shape, including colors, border, and gradients. You can customize button properties in setting panel and get the source code.
- SQLite Database viewer
To view the SQLite database of your application, there isn’t any in-built tool provided with Android ADT or Studio. The major advantage of using any SQLite viewer is it’s GUI based WYSIWYG database editor, and it comes handy when you would want to write a joined query, verify tables and data and other SQL operations.
There are many such tools and software available, but out of them I have used 2 so far and have found useful and more than my need.
- SQLite Database browser
- SQLite Expert
SQLite database browser is an open source tool. Whereas SQLite expert is free for personal and commercial use, also have PRO version. Now, both the tools are good enough for me but I have found SQLite expert having more features than SQLite Database browser, one of the main advantages is you can open multiple databases at a time in SQLite expert.
- Postman – Rest client
The postman comes handy when you would want to check your rest APIs. One of the major advantages of using Postman tool is to check and validate rest APIs before starting actual implementation and integration in your mobile applications. It especially helps when API developed by other developers but you don’t know what it returns in response exactly.
It does provide a facility to test API using OAuth authentication. It does support almost all the HTTP operations like getting, POST, DELETE, PUT, etc.
I have installed Postman extension in Chrome browser. Over and all, I have found it more than enough than my requirement!
- ADB Idea – Plugin for Android Studio and IntelliJ
ADB Idea – It’s a plugin for Android Studio and IntelliJ, through which you can invoke ADB commands directly from IDE, like uninstall the app, clear and re-start app, etc. It ultimately helps you to speed up your development. Check GitHub link of this plugin to read about its setup.
Once you install it, you can call ADB commands in 2 different ways:
- The Warrior’s way: Each command is prefixed by “ADB”, so you can quickly filter through adb commands using the “Find Actions” shortcut
- Menu ways:Tools->Android->ADB Idea
- Android Studio Plugin for Android Parcelable boilerplate code generation
Check-in Github links for download and installs the plugin into your Android Studio. Once you install it, just press ALT + Insert in your editor and select Parcelable. It allows you to select the fields to be parceled.
- Selector Chapek for Android
After installing it, you just need to select a particular drawable folder, right click on it and select “Generate Android Selectors”. That’s it! It will create a selector files for those resources, which will appear into the ‘drawable’ folder.
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