Android is an open source Operating system based on Linux OS. Android OS is owned and managed by Google which provides the code and the SDK under the ApacheLicense to mobile device manufacturers, TV manufacturers and other technology companies. Easy access to the code allows companies and even individuals to customize the OS to create a unique user experience for their products.
An important feature of Android is that it allows third party developers to create applications. Each application is a piece of software that can perform functions like streaming a movie or editing a photo on the mobile device. Applications can be downloaded from the ‘Google Play’ application store and be installed on the phone or tablet device using Wifi or 3G.
To create an Android application, a developer needs support from the developer community for guidance and resolving their queries. StackOverFlow (http://stackoverflow.com) is such a forum for Q&A and information exchange created by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky in 2008. It hosts questions and answers on a gamut of topics in computer programming and development.
The website allows users to ask for questions and clarifications and get answers. It also has the option to vote and thus rank the questions and answers and also edit the questions and answers. Stack overflow is actually a common error encountered when a program tries to access more memory than it is allocated on the call stack. The cause for the stack overflow could be deep recursion or an attempt to allocate more memory on a smaller stack.
The StackOverFlow website carries most of the information and links that a developer may require for Android application development and finding solutions to any other related issues. The links provide following aggregate information most of it from the http://developer.android.com website:
- Android versions released by Google till date
- Official API documentations
- Hardware Compatibility and country specific requirements
- Source code Building
- Links for developers to download the SDK, tutorials, blogs
- Free books on Android programming
- Recommended books for Android development
- Chat room for interacting with other developers for Android development related issues
The Android applications are developed using the Android SDK using Java. The integrated development environment, Eclipse, is used with the Android Development Tools’ plugins. The SDK includes development tools like a debugger and a handset emulator. Sample code, software libraries, help documents and tutorials are provided for development. Other tools like the Google App Inventor, Native Development Kit for extension or applications in C or C++ and other cross platform web related applications frameworks for mobile.
Learning and then developing the Android application would be a time consuming task. The StackOverFlow website helps developers to get all the information and help at one place and learn from the experience of others. Information on the StackOverFlow website can cut down on the development time and help developers bring the applications to the market in the shortest possible time.