I’ve been developing Android apps for a few years now. During this time, I’ve had the opportunity to try a huge selection of software, some of which didn’t work as well as I’d hoped and some of which that exceeded my expectations.
Although these tools are my personal preference, I am confident they will change your Android development strategies and how you develop your apps.
When building a good app, chances are you’ll need a good code editor, fantastic graphic editing software, and an efficient way to test your creation. Without these essentials, your Android development process may be slow or feel incomplete. The following are some of the great software I use when I develop.
If you’re like me and can’t stand to code in an IDE, Sublime Text is a great text editor. It is quick, has a ton of useful shortcuts and plugins, and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. This lightweight text editor will crush Notepad++, TextWrangler, and Gedit in terms of appearance and ease of use.
If you need more than just a text editor and need the full IDE experience, Android Studio is probably the better choice. Based on IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio packs a punch with its WYSIWYG layout editor and nifty Android optimizations.
Everyone who develops for Android knows that the stock simulators are beyond terrible. They are slow, difficult to configure, and do a terrible job simulating apps. Genymotion leverages VirtualBox to create a very quick, easy to use emulator that just works. It is compatible with Linux, Mac, and Windows and uses very little resources.
This is by far the best graphic editor that I’ve used. It is lightweight, easy to use, and a fraction of the price of Adobe Photoshop. You are able to work with shapes and use tools to create stunning crisp artwork and icons for your Android apps and games. Pixelmator is definitely one of the best things I’ve purchased from the app store.
GIMP used to be my favorite graphic editor, until I found Pixelmator, but if you don’t own a Mac this is a great solution. It is open source, does a great job, and works for just about every platform.