What .NET programmers need to know about Android app development

Are you a .NET developer and want to get started with Android app development? Learn what .NET programmers need to know before starting with Android development.

I have been a Microsoft application developer since 1996 and have been working on .NET technologies since the time Microsoft launched the pre-beta version of the .NET Framework. During my 18 years of career as a software developer, I haven't used much of non-Microsoft technologies and never thought I would be able to comfortably switch to another technology unless there is some really compelling reason.

The increasing popularity of Android platform started worrying me a bit about my future career prospects. Also, I switched to an Android phone last year and I really wanted to get some custom applications developed for my own use for my Nexus 4 phone.

Thoughts about switching from .NET to Android world

Last 2 years, I have been considering switching from .NET to Android development. But my big concern was, the native language for Android development is Java and not .NET. Even though Java is similar to .NET, I failed to change my mindset towards learning it. Then I heard about the Mono For Android project, which allows developers to code in C# to create Android apps. I downloaded the Mono tools and started with it. However, I lost interest in a few weeks since I felt learning Mono platform itself has a learning curve and instead, I can learn Java language and write code for Android in its native language. Moreover, I was worried that I may miss the opportunities to work with latest versions of Android since Mono will take its own time to release updates to its platform when new versions of Android come up. Instead of spending my time for learning Mono platform, I can learn a new language (Java), which has much broader prospects. Finally, I abandoned the idea of learning Mono and developing Android apps using it.

My current plan is to download the necessary tools for Java based development just like most of the other Android developers. In the next chapter of this series, I will discuss the tools and SDKs required.

I do not recommend developing Android apps using .NET platform, primarily because that is not the native language for Android. However, if you are serious about using .NET platform, then take a look at the Xamarin.Android, which offers a set of tools to develop Android applications using C#.

About Android development tutorials

I am writing this series of articles while I am learning Android development myself. If you come to these tutorials after I finish all the chapters, you can go through the series, chapter by chapter. Until then, please be patient and you can learn along with me by following the completed chapters.

Follow Android development tutorials.

Read Top 5 mobile app development courses one should go for

Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.

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