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Android SDK

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Android SDK vs Electron: What are the differences?

  1. 1. Target Platform: Android SDK is specifically designed for Android mobile devices, allowing developers to create native Android applications using Java or Kotlin programming languages. Electron, on the other hand, is a framework that enables developers to build cross-platform desktop applications using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

  2. 2. User Interface: Android applications built using the Android SDK have a native look and feel, following the design guidelines and standards of Android. Electron applications, on the other hand, can have a more customizable and flexible user interface since they can leverage HTML and CSS to create rich user interfaces.

  3. 3. Performance: Android SDK applications, being native to the Android platform, generally offer better performance compared to Electron applications. Electron applications utilize web technologies and rely on a browser engine to run, which may introduce some overhead and affect performance, especially for resource-intensive applications.

  4. 4. Development Workflow: Android SDK has a more traditional development workflow, where developers write code in Java or Kotlin, compile it into bytecode, and package it as an Android application. Electron, on the other hand, follows a web development workflow, allowing developers to use familiar web technologies and frameworks, making it easier to prototype and develop applications quickly.

  5. 5. Deployment: Android applications built using the Android SDK are typically distributed through the Google Play Store or other Android app stores. Electron applications can be distributed as standalone executables for different operating systems, making it easier to distribute and install them on users' devices without the need for an app store.

  6. 6. Access to Device Features: Android SDK provides extensive access to various device features and APIs, allowing developers to build applications that interact closely with the hardware and software capabilities of Android devices. Electron, since it is built using web technologies, may have limitations in terms of direct access to certain device features, requiring additional workarounds or the use of native modules.

In Summary, Android SDK is focused on native Android development with a strong emphasis on performance and direct hardware/software access, while Electron enables cross-platform desktop application development using web technologies, with a more flexible user interface and deployment options.

Decisions about Android SDK and Electron
Omran Jamal
CTO & Co-founder at Bonton Connect · | 7 upvotes · 569K views

We actually initially wrote a lot of networking code in Kotlin but the complexities involved prompted us to try and compile NodeJS for Android and port over all the networking logic to Node and communicate with node over the Java Native Interface.

This turned out to be a great decision considering our battery usage fell by 40% and rate of development increased by a factor of 2.

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Pros of Android SDK
Pros of Electron
  • 289
    Android development
  • 155
    Necessary for android
  • 128
    Android studio
  • 86
    Mobile framework
  • 82
    Backed by google
  • 27
  • 21
    Eclipse + adt plugin
  • 5
    Powerful, simple, one stop environment
  • 3
  • 3
  • 69
    Easy to make rich cross platform desktop applications
  • 53
    Open source
  • 14
    Great looking apps such as Slack and Visual Studio Code
  • 8
    Because it's cross platform
  • 4
    Use Node.js in the Main Process

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Cons of Android SDK
Cons of Electron
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    • 18
      Uses a lot of memory
    • 8
      User experience never as good as a native app
    • 4
      No proper documentation
    • 4
      Does not native
    • 1
      Each app needs to install a new chromium + nodejs
    • 1
      Wrong reference for dom inspection

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    What is Android SDK?

    Android provides a rich application framework that allows you to build innovative apps and games for mobile devices in a Java language environment.

    What is Electron?

    With Electron, creating a desktop application for your company or idea is easy. Initially developed for GitHub's Atom editor, Electron has since been used to create applications by companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Slack, and Docker. The Electron framework lets you write cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It is based on io.js and Chromium and is used in the Atom editor.

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    Blog Posts

    Android SDKBugsnagLeakCanary+3
    Jul 16 2019 at 9:19PM


    JavaAndroid SDKBugsnag+3
    What are some alternatives to Android SDK and Electron?
    Android Studio
    Android Studio is a new Android development environment based on IntelliJ IDEA. It provides new features and improvements over Eclipse ADT and will be the official Android IDE once it's ready.
    Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Use with Angular, React, Vue, or plain JavaScript.
    React Native
    React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
    Flutter is a mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android.
    Xamarin’s Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry’s most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
    See all alternatives