Java products can be found at every turn. It is used for the most primitive and hardcore solutions in government, science, education, health, entertainment, the private sector for trading programs, server applications for banking, and many other corporate and enterprise solutions.
The biggest advantage of this language is that so many programs are already written in it that it will be difficult to move away from it. Plus, there are constant updates and relaunches of products in the language and updates to the language itself. The language is not dead. It is constantly improving and strengthening its position among other competitors.
Another argument in favor of Java is that it has occupied the application development niche for Android.
So what kind of applications and apps are developed in Java?
- All of the server parts of the Google+ service;
- almost all Android applications;
- The Pentagon’s official website.
Peculiarities of mobile application development in Java
The main feature of mobile app development is the form factor of the devices for which we write programs because these are smartphones, tablets that have a tiny screen, or non-standard (square, rectangular) screens. In addition, if we take a smartwatch, it is a 2×2-cm or even round screen. Therefore, a crucial point of creating a mobile application is the so-called User Experience: the interaction with the user.
The next important point in developing mobile applications is the wide variety of devices for which we want to create an application. When an app is created, it can be designed for smartphones only, or for smartphones, tablets, watches, for different augmented reality devices, or it can be designed for interaction between multiple screens simultaneously.
Another important feature is constant interaction with the Internet. Historically, mobile apps are fairly lightweight applications that don’t carry a lot of computational logic. In the beginning, mobile devices had relatively modest computing power, but now they can beat any computer from ten years ago. But even with today’s multi-core processors and plenty of RAM, performance is still a major factor in creating mobile applications. Therefore, most of the computational logic present in an application is the interaction with the Internet and with cloud services.
Stages of mobile app development in Java
Depending on your professor’s requirements, you will either have to prescribe the stages of app development yourself or follow ready-made assignments. Let’s look at the stages of app development if you don’t have a suggested plan.
The approach to defining the stages of application development should primarily be based on the principles of Human-centered design (HCD), i.e., focus on human (user) problems and rely on the interface. It is possible to allocate the following stages of mobile application development:
- Searching for the program’s main idea, its concept (development of something unique or improvement of an existing one). At this stage, you also analyze the market and existing products and analysis of the audience.
- Defining the basic functionality — the minimum viable product (MVP). Most mobile applications are born gradually. First, there is a demo version with simplified functionality, and then, gradually, new features are added in the next releases. The developer collects feedback from users and understands what to bet on in further development. At this stage of the mobile application development plan, the user experience map is determined, i.e., the set of basic functions and features available to the user and their interaction.
- UI/UX design is the job of the designer. At this stage, we can begin to work with specific functionality and a clear understanding of the client’s steps. This is where the information architecture is created, that is, the basic structure of the navigation system of the program:
- The use case is prescribed;
- System analytics are connected;
- Prototypes and design interactions are created; that is, the way the application will work is defined.
It is important to note that we are not talking about the application design itself at this stage. We work only with prototypes or simple layouts.
- Validation of prototypes in usability tests (very simple basic testing of layouts and prototypes). This stage also belongs to the designer’s work — whether our customers see the value in the application that we first defined and whether they can figure out how to use it. It often happens that the functionality of an app page is obvious to the customer but completely unclear to the user. Based on the results of the tests, the designer makes changes to the design.
- Creation of a requirements specification for the app.
- The development of a mobile app. During the creation of the mobile app, we continue to test and improve it constantly, but it is important to follow the plan of stage-by-stage releases.
- Retesting the functionality of the program and searching for bugs, re-evaluating its design, creating test documentation (test cases). Fix bugs and bring the application to the pre-release state.
- Finally, a release! When a series of developments are completed, and all departments are happy with the result of the work, the application can be released, or rather its first demo version can be downloaded to the application stores. But the work on the program doesn’t end there. Then you need to provide ongoing technical support for its performance, improving and extending its functionality.
As you see, developing a mobile app is a rather long and laborious process. There is no ready-made scenario, and your mobile application development plan can change and be adjusted depending on the project. Following the outlined roadmap, you only have to write the proper code and check it for bugs.