Android Open Source Development: An Overview

January 17, 2014

Open Source Android Featured Image


The world of Android open source is helping ideas everywhere go from scratch-paper to product. From applications to video game consoles, open source encourages innovation and the destruction of the phrase “that’s impossible.” Here are open source canvases:


Android Kit KatAndroid 4.4 is versatile. What does this mean for developers? Reach. Your application can now be put in the hands of anyone with even an entry-level device. Some key features include:

  • NFC-based transactions through Host Card Emulation (HCE) - The new open source feature is exciting to those customers and developers that enjoy operating on the go. Android HCE does require an NFC controller to be present in the device, but this exists on most devices already. Phones are on their way to replacing standalone GPS units, music only devices, and even alarm clocks. With Host Card Emulation technology at developers’ fingertips, the days of carrying a credit card, membership card, or tickets are soon to be a thing of the past too.
  • Printing - While most things are stored electronically these days, Android apps can print any and all types of content through Wi-Fi. For all you printing manufacturers out there, KitKat gives you the opportunity to be user-friendly through easy-to-use pluggable components that add vendor-specific logic for your printers. If you build a welcoming printer for Android, developers will come.


OUYA android gamingOUYA’s website proudly proclaims “We’ve removed the impediments that keep brilliant people from bringing console games to market.” OUYA should also credit Android for providing the building blocks for open source innovation. All credits aside, OUYA has taken a community (the gaming community) that spends a good chunk of time in created worlds and given them the power to create these worlds themselves. The great part about Android gaming products like OUYA or free open source applications like WordPress and XBMC Home Theatre Software is that they wear the open source badge with honor; promoting their quest for greatness by admitting that the smartest people in the room… might not be in the room.

Where To Start?

If you have a big idea but don’t quite know where to start, you’re certainly not alone. We’ve got a great resource for all things open source, and taking a look at some source code on open source apps is also a good place to get your bearings. The Android website has great docs and tutorials on getting started and ultimately how to publish an application to the Google Play store. YouTube provides a great (but un-edited) glimpse into the wild-west of basement programmers and DIY screen-shares too. But you don’t have to go at your next project alone. If you’re looking for a development partner, contact us today and let us know how we can help you.

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