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MAY 2, 2024

How do you develop an app for Android using Python?

Programming #howto#python#android

    Python is increasingly used for mobile app development on Android devices. Mostly for backend services, but there are some packages that you can use for developing native Android applications using Python. Generally, other programming languages are preferred for Android applications, notably Kotlin and Java. But if you want to experiment with Python, then you are at the right place. Python is much easier to use and fully adaptable, and it comprises of an ever-growing ecosystem of packages and resources.

    Before we go on with discussing using Python to develop an Android app, it's important to understand precisely what Python is all about. From the start, we should point out that Python is a general-purpose programming language, ideally suited for cross-platform app development, features rapid prototyping, and is flexible enough for many use cases, including web development, data research, and AI.

    This high-level programming language is object-oriented, interpreted, and has dynamic semantics. It's also a powerful scripting language for performing server-side tasks and automation. The easy-to-learn syntax and simple format are ideally designed for readability.

    You can start learning Python here - Python Tutorial

    Python is an open-source programming language. You can download and install it on your local system for FREE.

    python for android app dev

    However, if you plan on using Python for Android App development, you must focus on the security aspect too. One resource that you can use is Checkmarx One. It enhances Static Application Security Testing (SAST) by leveraging Python's versatility in application development. Its next-generation SAST tool provides speed & security, with up to 90% faster scans, and significantly reduces false positives by 80%, ensuring Python developers can maintain rapid development cycles without sacrificing security.

    The seamless integration of this tool within Python environments simplifies securing Python-based Android applications from code inception to deployment. With this tool, developers using Python can ensure that they code a robust and secure application, optimizing the development experience and the end-user's safety in today's dynamic application landscape.

    1. How to use Python for Android App Development

    First things first - establish your app development environment. The development system/framework must have Python installed to get started. This must be done from the official Python website, with only the most up-to-date version of Python implemented. Once that is done and dusted, the Android Studio (the official integrated development environment for Android apps) must be set up for Android programming. The requisite SDK components must be installed, followed by the download/installation of Android

    1.1. Python Packages for Android Development

    Python is not that popular when it comes to native Android app development because it is difficult to compile Python code directly in Android applications. But, there are several frameworks and tools available that allow you to build Android apps using Python. Here are some options:

    1. Kivy: Kivy is an open-source Python framework for developing multitouch applications. It supports Android, iOS, Linux, OS X, and Windows. Kivy comes with its own GUI toolkit and is superfast and easy to use.

    2. PyQt: PyQt is a set of Python bindings for the Qt application framework. It is mainly used for desktop applications, but PyQt can also be used for Android app development.

    3. SL4A (Scripting Layer for Android): SL4A is a set of tools that allows you to write and run scripts in various scripting languages, including Python, on Android devices.

    4. Chaquopy: Chaquopy is a plugin for Android Studio using which you can use Python code in your Android apps. It provides seamless integration with Java, so you can write parts of your app in Python and use Java for the rest.

    We would recommend that you go with Chaquopy to use Python for Android app development.

    python for android app development

    To install the Chaquopy Plugin you can go to File > Settings (or Android Studio > Preferences on macOS), go to Plugins, and in the Marketplace, search for "Chaquopy".

    Install the plugin and restart Android Studio.

    1.2. Create Project

    Create a new project in Android Studio and integrate the Chaquopy SDK by opening File > New > New Module. Choose the Chaquopy SDK and click on Next to set up your project.

    1.3. Write Python Code

    The next step in the process is coding the app logic. You can create (.py) Python files and start writing Python code. You can even create Java code files if you want and Chaquopy will operate on both code files seamlessly.

    This is where the app's functionality is implemented, data is managed, and user interactions are better understood. Further testing and debugging are necessary to ensure the app performs according to expectations. Once you are done with a basic setup, you should try to Build and Run your app.

    End Note

    Although it can be fun to use Python for Android App development, but it is not a realistic or wise choice. Python has its own strengths like automation, AI/ML, web development, software development, backend services, etc. but Android development is not one of them.

    If you are doing this as a fun personal project then go ahead, otherwise pick Kotlin for developing native Android applications.

    If you want to check out some code examples for using Python for Android app development, then check out the following link:

    I hope this article helps you, and points you in the right direction when it comes to using Python for Android Application development.

    I like writing content about C/C++, DBMS, Java, Docker, general How-tos, Linux, PHP, Java, Go lang, Cloud, and Web development. I have 10 years of diverse experience in software development. Founder @ Studytonight