Commonly Used Components in Android Development by@lokesh94

Commonly Used Components in Android Development

Android is one of the most popular and commonly used mobile operating systems. The process of developing software only for Android devices is called Android software development. We have mentioned four primary components used in Android development, along with some other essential components. All these components are loosely-coupled. The application manifest file is responsible for coupling these components together. An Android application, even if it is small, consists of at least one activity class. Developers build the user interface of any Android application around the extensions of the Activity class.
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Lokesh Joshi

Lokesh Joshi Graduated in Computer Science from a famed University in India.

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Since mobile phones have become an integral part of human lives, the software development industry is booming at a greater pace and striving to deliver high-quality software. Different types of software are available out there to accomplish various tasks.


For example, if you want to find a specific location from your mobile device, you can install Maps that provide directions to your location.


When it comes to mobile devices, software development companies produce software products compatible with different operating systems, such as Android, iOS, LuneOS, Tizen, and many more.


Among all, Android is one of the most popular and commonly used mobile operating systems. And the process of developing software only for Android devices is called Android software development.


However, have you ever wondered what components software developers use in Android development? Or what are the essential building blocks in Android applications?

Well, this blog post helps you get acquainted with some commonly used components or building blocks in Android development.


So, let us get started!

Commonly Used Components in Android Development

In this article, we have mentioned four primary components used in Android development, along with some other essential components. All these components are loosely-coupled. The application manifest file is responsible for coupling these components together.


This file consists of information about each component and how they interact with each other. Moreover, it also entails an Android application’s metadata, hardware configuration, external libraries, platform requirements, and required permissions.


Let us now shed light on some commonly used components in Android development.

Basic Components in Android Development

  1. Activities

They are the presentation layer of any Android application. Alternatively, we can say that activities are the starting point for users that represent a single screen. Any Android application, even if it is small, consists of at least one activity class. It is like the main() method that we use in other programming languages.


Moreover, each activity is independent of another activity. Developers build the user interface of any Android application around the extensions of the Activity class.


When you wish to implement an activity, you need to extend the Activity class in the subclass as follows:


public class MainActivity extends Activity { 

//code 

}


  1. Services

Another component in Android development is services that work in the background as invisible workers. Since they run in the background, they are responsible for updating data sources and activities. In addition, services broadcast intents and carry out various tasks when applications are not active.


An example of a service is using any other application while listening to music.

To implement services, you need to extend the Services class in the subclass, as shown below:


public class MyService extends Services { 

//code 

}


  1. Content Providers

Content providers are typically responsible for managing an application’s data and interacting with the SQL databases. Also, they are responsible for sharing data beyond the application, i.e., with other applications and accessing data from other applications.


With content providers, you can read and write the application’s private data. Also, they hide the details of the database from other applications and users.


To implement Content Providers, you need to extend the ContentProvider class in the subclass:


public class Provider_Name extends ContentProvider {

//code

}


  1. Broadcast Receivers

Broadcast receivers are the intent listeners that enable your application to listen to the intents that meet the specified criteria. Also, they are responsible for making our application responsive to the received intents. In simple words, broadcast receivers enable the Android application to respond to broadcast messages that it receives from other applications.


To implement broadcast receivers, you need to extend the BroadcastReceivers class in the subclass, as follows:


public class Broadcast_Name extendsBroadcastReceiver {

//code

}


Additional Components in Android Development

  1. Intents

An intent is an inter-application, message-passing framework that facilitates communication between different components of an Android application. Moreover, other responsibilities of intent include transmitting data between Activities, starting and stopping a Service or Activity, and broadcasting messages system-wide or to an explicit Activity or Service.


  1. Widgets

Widgets are visual application components that are present on the home screen of the devices. Generally, they are the variations of the Broadcast Receivers through which you can create dynamic application components for users to include on their device’s home screen.


The following are the different types of widgets:

  • Information widget
  • Collection widget
  • Control widget
  • Hybrid widget


  1. Notifications

They are the application alerts used to draw the attention of users to a particular app event without interrupting the user’s current activity. They generally make the user alert about the specific application when it is not active. These alerts flash on the screen while the user is busy with some other activities and disappear after some time.

The best example of notifications is email pop-ups, messenger pop-ups, etc.


  1. Views

Views are simple user interface (UI) elements that are drawn on-screen. Developers use these components for design and event handling purposes. Some of the most popular views are ImageButton, EditText, ImageView Button, and CheckBox.


  1. Fragments

A fragment is a small part of the application’s user interface. It includes Views or ViewGroups inside it. Generally, developers combine multiple fragments into one single Activity. Also, they can reuse a single fragment in multiple activities.


  1. Layout XML Files

An XML file sets up the layout of an Android application. It lets you create different designs or layouts for your application. In addition, you can even transfer from the database to the layout file using XML.


  1. Resources

As its name indicates, resources in Android applications store various things, such as font style, colors, strings, animations, images, etc. Whenever you require these elements, you can get them from resources.


Conclusion

This was all about the commonly used components in Android development. In this article, we have discussed the four most fundamental building blocks and a few other essential components required in Android development.


Using all these components, it becomes possible for developers to create interactive applications for Android devices.


We hope you found this article useful and interesting.

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