Android software developer guide – options and costs compared

Last checked and updated on 17 March 2022

Apps are a big business in the modern world, and Android devices are used by millions around the globe. If you’re keen to take advantage of the potential of Android’s loyal user base, you’ll need the services of an Android software developer.

But what types of Android software developer are there, and what services are on offer? How do you know what’s best for the specific needs of your business? And how much should it all cost?

Read our complete guide to Android software developers to find out more and avoid common mistakes.


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Contents

What is an Android software developer?

An Android software developer will create apps for smartphone, tablet and smartwatch users that utilise the Android operating system.

What does an Android software developer do?

The typical responsibilities of an Android software developer include coding apps for use with Android devices; collaborating with a business to ensure the app meets needs and expectations; and testing and improving apps.

Is there a difference between Android and iOS software development?

There are some fundamental differences between iOS and Android software development. The languages of Android are Java and Kotlin. iOS apps, meanwhile, are coded using Swift.

What makes a good Android software developer?

A good Android software developer will have fluency in Java, Kotlin, HTML, C++ and C# languages;
be bursting with creative ideas; have a firm understanding of what your audience is seeking from an app; awareness of cyber-security; and flexibility and a willingness to adapt.

What software does an Android software developer use?

All Android software developers have preferred software packages, but among the bread-and-butter packages of this line of work are Android Studio.

Is it best to hire a freelance Android software developer, or an agency?

You’ll need to make an important decision – will you be best served by a freelancer, a contractor, or an agency? There are pros and cons to all three of these approaches.

How much does it cost to hire an Android software developer?

Expect to pay £10-£100 ($15 – $130) per hour, depending on the type of developer and their level of expertise.

How to work with an Android software developer?

When it comes to working with Android software developers, one wrong move can wreak havoc on your project. To avoid falling victim to such a scenario, abide by these core do’s and don’ts.

How to hire an Android software developer?

Ready to bring in an Android software developer to work on your app? Then follow this five-step process to make the best possible decision.

What is an Android software developer?

An Android software developer will create apps for smartphone, tablet and smartwatch users that utilise the Android operating system. With over 2.5 billion people using Android hardware across some 180 countries, this is an expansive target market for any business.

Android software developers typically work solo, either as freelancers or contractors, or as part of agency teams. Many app developers are educated to university level in the field of software development, but work experience will vary wildly from case to case. 

You’ll likely find that agency staff have more direct work experience, simply through the sheer number of clients that pass through the doors of such a business, while individuals build their portfolio slowly over time.

What does an Android software developer do?

The typical responsibilities of an Android software developer include:

  • Designing and coding apps for use with Android devices
  • Collaborating with a business to ensure the app meets the needs and expectations of a target audience while retaining the brand identity of the company in question
  • Testing and improving apps, both before and after launch, to troubleshoot and remove any bugs or pain points

It should not be difficult to find an Android software developer. It’s no secret that we’re living in an increasingly online world, and demand for this skill set grows with each passing year. 

A cursory search online will reveal many individuals and agencies (including Creative.onl) willing to provide these services. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss your Android software needs with us – but first, read on to learn more about the world of Android software development!

Is there a difference between Android and iOS software development?

There are some fundamental differences between iOS and Android software development. You must understand these before bringing somebody into your business to build an app for your company. These differences include:

  • The languages of Android are Java and Kotlin. iOS apps, meanwhile, are coded using Swift
  • Android apps are used on a wide variety of different appliances. Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Asus, and Huawei are just some manufacturers that use Android tech. This means an Android developer needs to create apps that can be used on an array of screen sizes and layouts – an iOS developer can focus on a handful of iPhone and iPad models
  • Android apps are most effective when made available for free and monetised through advertising if necessary. iOS users typically prefer to purchase an app and enjoy ad-free use. Android software developers should allow capacity for advertising without sacrificing performance
  • Android appliances encourage users to interact with push notifications, while those on iOS devices disappear once a handset is unlocked. Ergo, push notifications in an Android app should be rewarding

Many agencies and experienced freelancers or contractors will also be able to offer cross-platform app development – programming that works on iOS and Android alike. If you are looking to appeal to an Android-exclusive audience, this is needless. You’ll be sacrificing the strengths of working with Android-specific tech for no good reason.

What makes a good Android software developer?

An impressive Android software developer will boast the following traits. Be sure to query these when interviewing potential developers, and keep an eye out for that all-important creative chemistry between your existing team and the developer.

  • Fluency in Java, Kotlin, HTML, C++ and C# languages
  • Brain bursting with creative ideas – and the ability to communicate with your existing team when looking to bring them to life
  • Firm understanding of your business model and what your target audience is seeking from an app
  • Awareness of cyber-security needs and expectations
  • Flexibility and a willingness to adapt approaches as the parameters of a project change over time

What software does an Android software developer use?

All Android software developers have preferred software packages, but among the bread-and-butter packages of this line of work are:

Hiring options compared – freelancer vs contractor vs agency

Before you bring an Android software developer into your business to work on your app, you’ll need to make an important decision – will you be best served by a freelancer, a contractor, or an agency?

There are pros and cons to all three of these approaches, so before we go any further, let’s take a moment to define them.

  • A freelancer is an individual, usually working remotely, that takes on a task on a contract basis. Most freelancers bill by the hour and will work with you as long as they are needed
  • A contractor is also an individual, but they will likely agree to a fixed-term contract and remuneration package in advance. Contractors can work remotely or, as is often the case, in your office alongside your permanent staff
  • Agencies are businesses that offer app development in addition to a range of other services. These additional offers may include the maintenance and marketing of your app

So, which approach is best for your business? Take a look at this table to assess how you should proceed with your search for an Android software developer.

FactorGood to know…
CostFreelancers are invariably the cheapest option, especially if you hire from overseas. Just be careful of any mounting costs if the project overruns. Agencies are costlier, but you’ll get plenty of services for your outlay
ExperienceAgencies will usually have the most experience. An extensive staffing team will make a wide array of skills and experiences available. The expertise of freelancers and contractors varies on a case-by-case basis
AvailabilityContractors will typically have the most availability, as they work on an exclusive job-by-job basis. Agencies and freelancers may also fit you in quickly, but you’ll be one of many clients
SoftwareAgencies usually have enough resources to invest in the latest and greatest software. Contractors, and especially freelancers, may ask you to pay for upgrades and new programs

We recommend bringing in an agency if you have the resources to do so based on the above. Creative.onl is only ever an email away if you’d like a no-obligation quote from our team.

How much does it cost to hire an Android software developer?

As discussed above, the prices for Android software developers will vary according to experience – and the approach you take. 

This table offers an approximate idea of what you should expect to pay for such services, though you’ll need to discuss finances with any potential developer.

Type of Android software developmentFreelancerContractorAgency
Basic service level and experienceFrom £10 ($15) per hourFrom £30 ($15) per hourFrom £50 ($65) per hour
Intermediate service level and experienceFrom £30 ($40) per hourFrom £50 ($65) per hourFrom £75 ($100) per hour
Advanced service level and experienceFrom £50 ($65) per hourFrom £75 ($100) per hourFrom £100 ($130) per hour

Do’s and don’ts of working with an Android software developer

When it comes to working with Android software developers, one wrong move can wreak havoc on your project. To avoid falling victim to such a scenario, abide by these core do’s and don’ts.

Do…Don’t…
Find a developer with sufficient experience to do the job right first-time. A substandard launch can sink your app’s reputationGive the job to a friend or family member as they’ll do it cheaply, or free. You only get one chance to make a first impression
Choose the developer that is the best fit for your business, not just the first developer with availabilityWrite off a developer because they are busy for a few weeks – demand often dictates quality work
Find an Android developer that is comfortably affordable, even if the project expands and grows costlier than plannedMax out your budget immediately. If unexpected costs arise – and they likely will – you’ll need some breathing space
Give the developer a clear brief, complete with direct expectations. Allow for creativity, but make sure the developer understands the task at handGive your developer a blank slate, telling them to create whatever they think is best. No third party will know your business or audience as well as you
Discuss the importance of UX and UI design with the developer, ensuring they will factor this into the appAssume that any app developer will be skilled in UX and UI – it’s quite possible the developer will need some guidance
Encourage the developer to think outside the box and harness the unique potential of AndroidShow the developer an iOS app and say, “make us an Android app just like this” – that ignores the strengths of Android
Retain the rights to the intellectual property and coding of your company appSign over any ownership of your app or its coding to your software developer
Keep in touch with the developer once the job is complete, ensuring they’ll continue to tweak and upgrade the app as neededSend the developer packing and terminate your relationship at launch – you’ll likely need them for bug fixes and upgrades

How to hire an Android software developer 

Ready to bring in an Android software developer to work on your app? Then follow this five-step process to make the best possible decision.

How to hire an Android software developer

  1. Draw up a brief for your app

    You will not get very far without a brief and an understanding as to why you need an Android app. Complete this in-house as a business, ensuring that your wishes and expectations are clear before you start looking for an Android software developer

  2. Decide if you need a freelancer, contractor, or agency

    Refer to our section on these three working styles and confirm which will meet your needs. Freelancers are best if you are working to a tight budget and have a comparatively basic set of requirements. Contractors are ideal if you’d like an experienced developer to work closely alongside your staff to fulfil a particular need. Agencies are perfect if you need a full-service app development and marketing service.

  3. Research and interview Android software developers

    Once you have decided on what kind of Android software developer you need, start seeking potential developers. Do not settle for the first potential developer that you find – create a shortlist of several and arrange to meet with them. Personal chemistry is just as critical as work experience when hiring an Android app developer.  
     
    Potential screening questions to ask potential Android software developers before you choose one include:
     
    • What does the developer know about your industry and customer base?
    • What clients has the developer previously worked with, and will they be prepared to provide references?
    • How will the developer work with your existing team?
    • What software will be required to complete the software development task?
    • How will security concerns be handled within the app?
    • Can the app be monetised? If so, how?
    • What aftercare service will be provided, such as debugging and app store optimisation?

  4. Draw up a contract for your Android software developer

    You’ll need to be careful about any legal agreements with an Android software developer. Seek professional help to complete a watertight agreement that clarifies that your developer is working on a for-hire basis, and they hold no copyright or ownership of the content.

  5. Set targets for your Android software developer and review performance

    You will be paying your Android software developer for their services, and thus you’re entitled to expect a certain return on investment. Agree on fair and reasonable expectations with the developer. 
     
    These could be a targeted number of app downloads, a set number of five-star reviews in the Google play store, or even just a particular level of app performance. If these targets are not being met, investigate why – and consider terminating your relationship with your software developer, returning to step 3 and starting over.

Here at Creative.onl, our friendly and experienced team will always be delighted to discuss your Android software development needs. Just contact us if you’d like to receive a free, no-obligation quote and prepare to reap the rewards of Android’s vast potential

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