Tool case

Code like a pro: 31 tools for Android app developers

What are the best tools to improve your development productivity and build better Android apps? I've been using these tools for a while, and they have helped me and my team save a lot of precious time and deliver higher-quality apps.

Here are the tools that have earned a place in my developer's toolbox. Start here and you'll be well on your way to developing Android apps like a pro.

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FlowUp

This amazing tool helps you track the overall performance of your production apps, with in-depth insights on key performance metrics such as FPS, memory usage, CPU usage, disk usage, and more. FlowUp is priced based on number of users.

Stetho

A powerful open-source debugging platform for Android that developed by Facebook, Stetho makes debugging native Android apps as simple as debugging web pages using Chrome’s DevTools. It allows you to check the complete View hierarchy, inspect your SQLite database, monitor network operations, and perform other actions with ease.

JRebel for Android

We all get quite frustrated staring at the screen like a fool and waiting for Gradle builds that take forever to finish. But this awesome tool from JRebel comes to the rescue by drastically improving build times and making Android app development and debugging almost real time. JRebel pricing depends on the number of developer seats and the duration of the license.

Gradle, Please

If you are using Gradle as your build system in Android Studio, then you can add any external library in your project with just a single line of code. But how do you get that line quickly and easily? That's where this sweet little website comes in handy. Visit the site and you'll be able to quickly find the line of code for the library you want to use.

Android Asset Studio

An awesome (free) collection of easy-to-use tools that generate various types of icons (launcher, notification, generic, app shortcut icons) that you will need while designing and developing Android apps.

LeakCanary

LeakCanary is a powerful open-source tool, developed by Square, that makes the difficult and time-consuming job of detecting memory leaks much easier. Once set up, it will automatically start giving you notifications whenever memory leaks happen in your app, with a complete stack trace to help you fix the problem.

DryRun

DryRun is a really useful and innovative tool that can let you test-run any Android library hosted online in just a few seconds. This open-source tool makes it incredibly easy for my team to try out various libraries that we discover daily, with almost no effort.

Slides Code Highlighter

As developers and team leads, we have to give presentations and tech talks quite often, or just show a fancy code snippet to another developer. This is where a nifty (free) tool by Roman Nurik comes in handy by turning your boring chunks of code into a beautifully highlighted and presentable code snippet.

InstaBug

I have been using this tool for a while and find that it has significantly changed the way my users provide app feedback to me. They can now share screenshots, video and audio recordings, detailed logs, and so much more to help me identify and fix bugs easily. Pricing depends on number of team members, apps, and months of data retention.

Takt

Takt is a tiny open-source library that you can use to check the FPS of every corner of your app while debugging it. It is always better to catch bugs and significant lags in the development phase so that you're not letting your users have the potential for a bad experience while using the production app.

Android Debug Database

Android Debug Database is an awesome open-source tool that completely changes the way you debug the databases and shared preferences in your Android application. You can now view, edit, and delete all the data as well as run SQL queries in a clean and beautiful user interface.

Source Tree

Source Tree is a clean, simple open-source tool to make Git more user-friendly. You can visualize all your changes, commits, and branches in a beautiful way and never have to write a single command in the command line again. It can also be highly useful for all the beginners out there who tend to get confused with the vastness of Git.

GenyMotion

Back in the days when the Android emulator was slower than a snail, GenyMotion was the only emulator of choice for Android developers. Since then, GenyMotion has expanded from being just an emulator to becoming a complete platform for advanced app development, testing, and deployment. Pricing is based on developers per year.

Vysor

If you don’t like to develop apps on an emulator but want the ease of doing so, you should check out Vysor, which allows you to mirror your real device to your computer. Moreover, you can use this tool to easily show live app demos on big TV screens and projectors to your team members. Vysor has pro features that are cheap to buy for a single device.

Android WiFi ADB

With this open-source tool, you can now run your Android app from Android Studio on your device using Wi-Fi. You don’t need to keep your device attached to your computer through a cable and can enjoy the experience of developing and testing apps wirelessly.

FindBugs

This free plugin for Android Studio can be quite useful for detecting common Java bugs early in development. While building large applications, we tend to unknowingly introduce several small bugs here and there that get caught later in production, causing mayhem.

Drawable Optimizer

Using several image assets in an Android app tends to contribute a lot toward the size of the APK. But this nifty Gradle plugin can optimize these images and reduce the resultant APK size significantly for you.

Scalpel

This innovative open-source tool, created by Jake Wharton, lets you experience a 3D visual representation of the entire layout of your app. Beginners will find it really fascinating, since it can give them a completely new perspective when looking into their layouts.

BlockCanary

Another powerful performance-monitoring library, BlockCanary is an open-source tool that can help you detect instances of your app’s UI thread getting blocked long enough to make it lag. It's very easy to set up and it works very similarly to LeakCanary.

NimbleDroid

NimbleDroid is another awesome tool to test your app for memory leaks and critical issues before publishing it on Play Store. It works quite well and automatically tests various user flows of your app to find potential crashes and critical issues that need immediate attention. Pricing is customized after requesting a demo.

Methods Count

Who doesn’t love adding awesome libraries to their project to increase its functionality? But you always have to think about the dreaded problem of the 65K method limit. This free tool comes in handy when you need to check the number of methods each library adds to your app.

Android Tool for Mac

If you are an Android developer and using a Mac, then this tiny open-source tool can help you get bug reports, screenshots, and video recordings of the app that you are debugging with a single click.

DevKnox

There are several security flaws hidden inside our apps that developers are sometimes not even aware of, and it can take quite a lot of experience and effort before you understand various critical aspects of security enough to catch these flaws. But this awesome tool can help you detect security flaws, and it has a functionality that's just as easy to use as a spell checker in your IDE. 

JSONSchema2POJO

It can be tricky when you have a JSON and want to make an equivalent POJO from it. It can be boring and time-consuming, but there's a tool that makes the process much easier. All you need to do is paste your JSON into the JSONSchema2POJO site, and it will generate all POJO classes automatically for you.

ADB IDEA

This awesome open-source plugin for Android Studio can get a lot of things done and help you speed up your day-to-day Android development considerably. You can easily, start, restart, kill, clear data, and uninstall your apps right from the IDE—saving a lot of time.

Key Promoter

We all know how helpful and quick keyboard shortcuts are, but there are so many shortcuts for so many different actions that it is difficult to remember them all. This is where the Key Promoter plugin comes into play, making keyboard shortcuts easy to reference.

Fabric

You might already know how powerful and awesome Fabric is. It's a pretty popular modular SDK that allows users to pick and choose from a suite of tools. It was recently acquired by Google and is free to use. The tool suite includes beta-testing deployment, crash analytics, user analytics, and advertising tools. Give it a try if you haven’t already.

ClassyShark

With ClassyShark, you can inspect any Android APK to find a lot of valuable information about it, such as the classes, resources, manifest, dependencies, dex count, and much more. It can give you an idea of what other apps are doing and probably how they are doing it. ClassyShark is open source.

APK DeGuard

This is one of the best and probably the most accurate de-obfuscators for Android apps. It uses machine learning to analyze various apps and make sure they deliver the best possible result every time. It helped me a lot when I was inspecting some apps and trying to understand how they implement certain features.

Codota

Quite often we get stuck while developing something new and need to check some quick code examples from StackOverflow or Github. This plugin lets you do just that without even leaving your IDE.

Material Design Icon Generator

This plugin for Android Studio lets you get access to all Material Design Icons and customize them right from your IDE, saving you a lot of time when developing apps.

What are your top tools?

I am sure you found a lot of new and exciting tools on this list and will immediately start using some of them to boost your development productivity. You should also encourage your team members to start using some of these as well.

If you liked this compilation, please share it with your friends to help them develop better apps. And tell us about your top professional Android development tools in the comments.

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