In recent years, there has been a massive growth of Android mobile users across the globe. With the increased penetration of smartphones in the mobile market, there is a resulting vast scope for Android apps. People mostly use mobile apps for shopping, entertainment, banking, booking tickets, etc. The concerns on how an Android app works involves a lot of complex coding, such as deploying an ADB application.
Android apps work in several processes that happen in sequences. When programmers write the source code files and click run, plenty of operations will be started at the backend. IDE builds the application files and makes them compatible with devices which ensures that the application runs well on the phone. You can find more about the processes involved in the workings of an Android app in this guide. Read on.
How Does an Android App Work?
A few steps make up the bulk of the working of an android app. Through an android app blog site you can learn in depth. For now the following paragraphs will highlight some steps to show how an android app works.
● Compile Codes
The first step is building the apk file. An android app source file is written as Java or kotlin programming language. The syntax involved in writing code in Java and Kotlin are different; however, their compilation methods are very similar. Java and Kotlin generate codes that can be made into Java byte-code. And one can execute the codes using a JVM.
It starts by compiling either the Java or Kotlin source code. The codes are then translated into Java files. There is an extension of a *. class which contains the Java byte code. The javac and koitlin compilers will execute the compilation task.
● Convert Into Davlik Codes
The JVM Java byte codes contain the oracle code. However, the code cannot be applied to Android phones. There is a unique byte code for Android devices, the Davlik bytecode. The byte code is then translated into a Davlik code by a Dex compiler.
The class files and jar files are tied up by the Dx files when the compilation process progresses. This process will create a class—dex file as a single unit. Using a virtual machine, the newly made file can be executed in the Android OS system.
● Generation Of Apk File
The Android asset packaging tool(AAPT) will transform XML, fonts, images into a single compiled resource. The above can also create the R.Java file of the android app. Using the apkbuilder tool, the assembled resource unit, and the classes.dex files are compressed. This compression will create the Android package. The newly created apk has all the relevant information to run an android application.
● App Distribution
Developers can now distribute the generated Apk file as it is ready to be used. Although, developers will need to sign an app before it can be distributed using the google play app.
The self-signed certificate, which Android uses, identifies the app’s author. The developer holds the certificate’s private key, stored as additional files in the Android apk.
The jarsigner tool is provided by Oracle Java Development Kit(JDK). However, before the Android OS can read the compressed parts of the Apk, it will be required to be lined on the byte boundaries.
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● Establishing Android Debug Bridge Server
The second is the deployment of the application, and a big part of the step is establishing the ABD server. Android Debug Bridge(ABD) is used to deploy Android OS applications. Developers can communicate with an android enabled device; they will need to use the ABD as the command-line tool because it performs as an interface for such communications.
It is necessary to check if the Android Debug Bridge is already running on the device. This is a critical process in answering the question of “how does an android app work.” The server will automatically start the process with the Android Debug Bridge if the server isn’t running on the android device.
The TCP port 5037 will bind with the automatically started Android Debug Bridge Server. Then, the Android Debug Server will transfer commands to its client base using the TCP port.
● Transfer Apk File
The Apk file is transferred into the local file system of an android device through the Android Debug Bridge Server. The package name is what will define the location of the application.
● App launch Request
The third step is to run the application using an app launch request. The parent to all Android is the zygote process. When the user sends a request to the zygote, it will automatically launch an application.The kind of android process that allows code sharing between Android virtual devices is controlled by the zygote process.
The memory space of the zygote process is preloaded with classes, resources, and code libraries required by the application during the run time. A copy is created when a request to launch an application is sent to the zygote process. The new app is started when the zygote process uses the Linux system to create a copy of itself. The preloaded libraries are the reason for the efficient and fast launch app.
● Converting The Dex to OAT Format
Data will be optimized and generated when a new application gets installed using the zygote process. The process will result in generating an OAT file after the data gets optimized. The extraction of the Dex file in the apk file will Kickstart the process of creating the OAT file.
A different directory will house the classes. Dex and the Davlik bytecode is compiled by Android using the ahead-of-time, also known as OAT. User experience is made better because the Android system utilizes the OAT file. The application will start, and its first activity will appear when the above processes are carefully followed.
Even though Android apps have grown in popularity over the years, many people still don’t have an answer to the question of how does an android work? The process involved in the workings of an Android app is complex and involves processes like generating an apk app and converting the Dex code to OAT.
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