Custom built enterprise Android apps

We specialise in the development of affordable bespoke Android apps for UK businesses...

Secure & Scalable Android app development

Security and scalability are at the heart of the low-cost bespoke Android apps we develop...

Bespoke App Developers you can trust!

Many of our clients have trusted us with their app development requirements for more than a decade each...

App Developers for Android

If you are looking for a low-cost, cutting-edge, custom-made Android app you have come to the right place. We have traded as New Media Aid Ltd in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK (only 30 minutes from Central London and Cambridge) since the year 2000 and we provide low-cost Android app development services throughout the UK by leveraging 20 years of skill and expertise in commercially-proven app development.

The Android apps we create and code are developed with the best Android developer tools and our mobile app developers follow all the latest Android development tutorials from Google’s Android engineers to make sure our custom-made Android apps are cutting-edge whilst still being robust, stable and secure.

In short, we are a UK Android app development company providing UK businesses with low-cost bespoke Enterprise apps for Android devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets and barcode scanners).

Bespoke, secure and scalable Android apps
Delivered on time and on budget
Highly competitive rates
Happy to sign NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements)
All work done in-house
Only 30 mins from London and Cambridge

How we develop our Android apps

We have been developing custom Android apps for UK businesses since the first stable version of Android in 2009, using a blend of cutting-edge development methods and deep knowledge and experience to deliver bespoke solutions for exchanging data between a client’s corporate systems and bespoke Android apps. Our flexible and client-focused approach uses the latest methods and technologies whilst remaining within the client's comfort zone (e.g. when integrating with legacy system EDIs).

Keep using without an Internet connection!

We code all our Enterprise Android apps so any data which needs to be pulled from the cloud or data, photos, signatures which need to be pushed to the cloud (e.g. for real-time management reporting) is synced whenever there is an available Internet connection. This means your staff will be able to use the Android app we develop for you even when they are in an Internet connection black spot. Any operations or reporting they do on the app can be safely carried out and then this will sync with the web-based cloud systems (which we can develop for you) as soon as a connection is established.

How we transfer data from the Android app to your cloud systems?

Most of the bespoke Android app solutions we develop for companies will be made up of an Android app which can be installed on your Android phones or tablets and a secure web-app which can be used for setting up Android app users, adding data which populates forms on the Android app, setting up customer sites, setting up technician jobs, etc.. We usually also develop an API as part of the web app so the web app can integrate with other corporate systems (CRMs etc.). We then tend to code the Android app and web apps to exchange data in JSON format. JSON is an acronym for JavaScript Object Notation which is an open-standard file format used to transmit data between devices. For photos taken, or signatures captured, on the Android device, we tend to convert the photos into a Base64 array (basically a very long string of data in ASCII format where each digit represents exactly 6 bits of data) and this is sent as JSON to the web app and then on the web app we convert that string back to an image so the photos and signatures are saved on your cloud systems as images.

How we build our Android apps

We develop our Android apps in the Java programming language (the latest version is Java 9, released by Oracle in September 2017). In the early days of Android (back in 2009 for us) we used the Eclipse IDE with the ADT plugin (IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment which usually comprises a source code editor together with build and debugging tools; ADT stands for Android Development Tools and this plugin developed by the Android team at Google provided an integrated environment for the development of Android apps). In June 2015 Google announced that they would soon stop supporting ADT and any security bugs would not be fixed. Developers were therefore told they should migrate their apps to the new version of Android Studio which would become Android's official IDE. We of course followed this advice (we take security very seriously) and now all our Android apps are developed using Android's official IDE, Android Studio.

How does this help you the client?

Well, Android Studio has a number of great features which help speed up the coding and testing of Android apps. The less time we spend coding and testing our bespoke apps, the cheaper the development costs for you.

Instant Run

A great feature of Android Studio is called “Instant Run” which allows us to see coding changes in real time on a running app. We can connect any of our Android devices to the development computer via a USB cable and as we change the Android app’s source code in Android Studio we see those changes instantly on the app running on the phone/tablet without having to restart the app or rebuild the APK. This makes our lives as Android developers so much easier compared to the lengthy process we used to have to follow when developing Android apps in Eclipse.

Code Editor

The code editor in Android Studio is excellent and helps us work faster (and write more accurate code) because it offers code completion (i.e. start typing and if offers suggestions), refactoring (i.e. restructuring existing Java code without changing app behaviour) and also code analysis.

Super-Fast Android Emulator

An emulator is a screen on your computer which simulates various Android phone, tablet, Android Wear, and Android TV devices. When using the Eclipse IDE, trying to test Android apps on the device emulator was painfully slow and kept crashing. The Android device emulator which comes with Android Studio is a great tool as it comes with configurations for popular devices and can transfer data faster than a real device connected via USB. The Android Emulator also allows us to simulate features such as GPS location, network latency, motion sensors, and multi-touch input. Together with the real Android devices we test our apps on, the emulator allows us to test the Android apps we develop on any number of device configurations so we are sure they will work as intended on the many Android devices out there in the wild!


If testing doesn't pick up a bug?

Don't worry! We've got it covered! We build bug and error monitoring into all the Android apps we develop so we know instantly if there is a problem! We integrate ACRA (a leading open-source bug/crash reporting library) into our apps. This means we get instant notification if any of our apps crash or throw any type of error. This allows us to deal proactively with any issues which were not identified during our extensive pre-release testing.
Android app error reporting

Developing Android apps for the future

The recent Google developer product launches have provided a solid platform to transform app development and create the next generation of Android apps allowing for Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities via a smartphone or tablet. Our target is to incorporate the latest best-of-breed app development technologies into the custom-made Android apps we develop for our clients.

Here below you can see just some of the exciting new developer products released by Google which we intend to harness to the full to add value to our bespoke app development solutions.

Compute Engine

Google Compute Engine provides virtual machines running in Google's data centers and using their worldwide fiber network. This allows us to scale from single instances to global, load-balanced cloud computing.

App Engine Flex

App Engine allows us to focus on writing code and the App Engine flexible environment automatically scales the app up and down while balancing the load. We can customise the runtime and even the operating system.

Cloud Storage

Google Cloud Storage allows for the world-wide storage and retrieval of any amount of app data at any time. Particularly useful for storing large data-sets and for disaster recovery (as well as distributing large data loads).

Cloud Datastore

Cloud Datastore automatically handles replication and provides a durable database that scales automatically to handle your application's load. Cloud Datastore provides a myriad of high-end database capabilities.

BigQuery

BigQuery allows us to capture and analyse massive amounts of data in real-time using its powerful streaming ingestion capability. BigQuery is free for up to 1TB of data analysed each month and 10GB of data stored.

Cloud Pub/Sub

Cloud Pub/Sub is part of Google Cloud’s stream analytics solution, the service ingests event streams and delivers them to Cloud Dataflow for processing and BigQuery for analysis as a data warehousing solution.

Cloud Dataflow

Cloud Dataflow is a fully-managed service for transforming and enriching real-time data with virtually limitless capacity to solve your biggest data processing challenges, while paying only for what you use.

Android Things SDK

Android Things development is similar to traditional Android mobile development and involves writing apps to be installed on embedded boards running the Android Things operating system (e.g. smart home devices).

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

Whilst Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been around for many years it is only in the last year or so that Deep Learning architectures, such as deep neural networks, are within reach of specialist enterprise Android app developers. Deep Learning architectures allow mobile app developers to integrate Machine Learning (i.e. allowing apps to use data and then learn for themselves) into low-cost bespoke apps. Think of Machine Learning as teaching applications to think like humans whilst being far better than humans with regard to speed of computation and eliminating human error.

We have been busy getting to grips with artificial intelligence and machine learning for our bespoke Android apps and we are simply blown away by what we can achieve in the sphere of image recognition. Even more amazing is the news that an algorithm developed by Google’s Artificial Intelligence unit Google Brain (previously known as DeepMind) was able to beat world-leading specialist chess software Stockfish 8 just four hours after being given the rules of chess and being told to learn by playing simulations against itself. The opportunities really are limitless for software applications which can learn for themselves and we are glad that we are positioning ourselves at the forefront of providing bespoke Android apps with artificial intelligence capabilities for our clients.

Please feel free to read the paper published by Cornell University on 5 December 2017 for more information. We have included a link to the actual paper on Cornell University's server as well as a local copy on our server in case Cornell University's server is deluged with requests.
Local Copy Cornell Copy

We are about to enter very exciting times when combining Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities into the custom-made Android apps we develop for clients.

Android Neural Networks API
Released in November 2017, the Android Neural Networks API (NNAPI) is used to perform demanding, in-depth, data-processing activities for Machine Learning on smartphones and tablets and contributes a foundation for powerful Machine Learning frameworks like TensorFlow Lite which instruct and teach neural networks. The API is available on smartphones and tablets running Android 8.1 (API level 27) or higher.

NNAPI aids "inferencing" (i.e. deduction, the steps needed to move from assumptions to conclusions) by applying data from Android devices to previously worked out models such as categorising images, forecasting user behavior and providing pertinent responses to a search query.
Android Neural Networks API

TensorFlow Lite API
TensorFlow™ is an open source software library for high-end computation developed following many years of work by researchers and engineers working on the Google Brain Team within Google's Machine Intelligence research organisation and is the AI technology which powers Google Photos to Google Cloud Speech. Released on 14 November 2017 as a "developer release" (i.e. bleeding-edge but work in progress), the TensorFlow Lite API allows Android apps on smartphones to accomplish Machine Learning.

Machine Learning will change the computing landscape radically over the coming months and years, especially as users become accustomed to voice operated intelligent personal assistants such as Amazon Alexa/Echo and Google Home where thay have human-like interactions with their devices via the camera and voice interaction.
TensorFlow Lite API

Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine
Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine allows us to create machine learning models that work on all types of data with no size restrictions. It can take any TensorFlow model and perform large scale training (i.e. the software learns from the data) and support thousands of users and many terabytes of data (a terabyte = 1,024 gigabytes).

The service is integrated with Google Cloud Dataflow for pre-processing, allowing us to access data from Google Cloud Storage and Google BigQuery should we wish to. Basically it allows us to harness the power of Google's global data centres and networks to perform high-end Machine Learning which was previously only available to the likes of massive research organisations such as CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) when analysing data from the Large Hadron Collider to confirm the existence of the Higgs boson.
Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine

Democratising Deep Learning
A big step towards making deep learning accessible to everyone as deep machine learning transitions from an area of research to mainstream software engineering.

For example, a video is simply many individual frames stuck together and by passing say a video from a smartphone app to TensorFlow Lite, this can break out each video frame as a single image and from each image it can break out each element as numeric data points and then compare those in real-time to millions of stored data points in pre-compiled models to tell what each frame of the video contains and what the video is about. The opportunities are limitless for enterprise apps (i.e. create an Android app to take frequent photos or video of your factory production line and any products not meeting quality control guidelines could be flagged and an action taken instantly).

TensorFlow without a PhD

How to construct and train a neural network to recognise handwritten digits.

TensorFlow on Android

Implement a machine learning model that is tailored to a custom dataset.

TensorFlow Models

The latest open source TensorFlow models for image classification.

Keeping abreast of Android developments

When developing Android apps the only constant is change! Android is evolving so quickly that sometimes it is hard to keep pace with developments. However, we try to keep ahead of the curve by continuously learning about advances in Android development by following the resources shown below.

Android Developers YouTube Channel

This is where Google's Android team place demos, tutorials, and anything else related to Android development. This is invaluable information for developers.

Google Developers Blog

Google's latest news and updates for Android app developers. Here we find out first about new APIs which will allow us to code state-of-the-art Android apps.

Build Out

Build Out is where Google engineers present competing architectures to demonstrate how Google's developer products can be integrated into cutting-edge Android apps.

Google I/O

Google I/O is an annual developer festival held at Mountain View, California. Here you see presentations, demonstrations and codelabs for the latest Android developments.

Google Developers Codelabs

Here you can see videos from Google's Android engineering team that guide developers through integrating new cutting-edge features into their Android apps.

Android Architecture Components

A collection of libraries that help us develop testable and maintainable Android apps. A library is a collection of precompiled routines that our apps can use.

Android API Package Index

These are the Android API packages. A package is a namespace that organises a set of related classes and interfaces, essential reading for app developers.

Android API Class Index

Each Android API package contains classes which are the building blocks of Java. A class is a template that describes the data and behaviour of instances of that class.

Our Work

Please find below examples of some bespoke Android apps we have developed for clients.

Weblight

With clients like Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Barclays, TK Maxx & Sainsbury’s, the number one commercial lighting company in the UK needed a bespoke Android app for their lighting engineers. We developed the Android app.

Phoenix Group

With their bottling systems handling 15 million bottles a year, the UK’s largest cold pressed seed oil producer required an Android app for real-time production reporting. We developed the Android app for them.

Wing Parking

Managing car parks on behalf of many local authorities such as Islington, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster they needed a bespoke Android app to plan their parking control operatives' rounds and report on issues.

Parker Hannifin

With annual sales of $12 billion, Parker Hannifin is a global leader in motion and control technologies. We developed a bespoke Android app for just-in-time stock conrol integrating with their EDI systems.

Leathermarket JMB

As Southwark’s largest resident-managed housing organisation, managing 1,500 homes between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, their maintenance officers wanted an a custom-made Android app to manage their rounds and tasks.

Just Filters

With clients such as Compass, Fullers, Black & Decker, Mercedes Benz, Panasonic & Royal Marsden Hospital, the technicians maintaining canopy grease filters at the UK’s busiest kitchens needed a bespoke Android app to manage jobs.

Hammond Produce

Producing over 50,000 tonnes of fresh vegetables each year for leading retailers and supermarkets throughout the UK, they required a bespoke Android app for Production Line Management & Quality Control. We developed it for them.

Curries Online

This online take away ordering system allows real-time ordering of curries from thousands of restauarants and take aways in the UK. They needed a bespoke Android app to manage orders and send to printers in the restaurant kitchens.

What is Android?

Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system currently running on almost 90% of all smartphones worldwide.

The Android operating system is developed in-house by Google and then for each new version the source code is made available to the Android Open Source Project members (e.g. hardware manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, LG, etc.). These manufacturers then tend to spend time adapting the Android source code for their devices. As we always like to be developing against the latest version of Android (with backward compatibility of course) we make sure the core Android devices we have here in the office are from Google's Nexus range (or since October 2017 from their Pixel range) so we get the latest "pure" version of Android to develop and test our apps against and of course we get the very latest updates and security patches before they would be released by OEM manufacturers such as Samsung on their devices.

Android has the largest installed base of any operating system, more than Microsoft Windows!

Whilst Android apps can be written in a number of programming languages, for now we are sticking with the tried and trusted official Android programming language, Java. However, we are keeping an eye on Google’s new Android programming language Kotlin to see how this pans out in case it allows us to offer better Android apps in the future. Once we have coded an app in Java we then use the Android SDK to compile that code into an APK file (the Android Package) and it is this .apk file which users then install on their Android smartphone or tablet (or for that matter any number of different Android-enabled devices).

How times have changed!

When we first started developing Android apps back in circa 2009, the developer support was terrible i.e. Android development software was very poor and kept crashing - there was basically only the Eclipse IDE with the Android Development Tools (ADT) plugin. At that time the Android API and operating system documentation was forever out of date and always changing.

Thankfully these days there is a choice of robust Android development software (we use the latest version of Android Studio as this is maintained by Google and allows us to stay cutting-edge) and the Android team at Google are now great at providing detailed APIs with up-to-date documentation.

A prehistoric Android app from 2009!

Below is an example of a first-generation (almost prehistoric) Android app we developed for an aviation logistics client back in 2009 when Android was first released (this allowed their fleet of 30 trucks to get real-time job details so they could for example get an aircraft braking system component to an aircraft stuck on the ground at Heathrow airport).

Hammond Produce

These apps developed by App Developer for Android mark a new turn towards technology for an industry that’s been slow to adapt until now. With no suitable ‘off the shelf’ solution available below costly, enterprise level software, we were involved in the development process from the start, getting the right solution that suited our operations and our customers.

Ben Guy, Managing Director
Hammond Produce - Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Weblight

Having recently moved to Android PDAs for our mobile workforce, we identified a need for a Bespoke App and a Web-based Management System to control it. App Developer for Android demonstrated a real understanding for our needs and a "can do" attitude that we found extremely helpful. Their solution was provided on time and within budget and has exceeded our expectations. We will be happy to work with them again when we have further requirements.

Trevor Wright, IT Manager
Weblight - Ware, Hertfordshire
Wing Parking

App Developer for Android quickly understood what we needed and were able to develop exactly what was required with minimal input from ourselves. As this was the first Android app we had developed we were pleased that it was done on time and within the quoted price. We would gladly work with them again and recommend them.

Mark Austin, Managing Director
Wing Parking - Luton, Bedfordshire
Parker Hannifin

Alastair was great at understanding our needs and building a new android app and web-facing management interface that met all our requirements. The solution was delivered within impressive timescales and at a competitive price. He kept us up to date throughout the project, was happy to be involved in conference calls to discuss setup and deployment, and was always incredibly responsive to our questions and requests for further enhancements. It was a pleasure working with Alastair and we look forward to the opportunity of working with him again in the future.

Stephen Connolly, Technical Team Manager
Parker Hannifin - Warwick, Warwickshire
Just Filters

Excellent service, clear pricing and Alastair is so easy to deal with. Would definitely recommend. We're very pleased with our new App!

Mary Stealey, Operations Manager
Just Filters - Harlow, Essex
Kelly Turkeys

New Media Aid has been the app development partner for Kelly Turkeys since 2006 and has developed a number of mission-critical bespoke apps for us and we highly recommend them for bespoke application development.

Asa Howard, Finance Director
Kelly Turkeys - Danbury, Essex
Woodhouse College

New Media Aid has been our development partner for both our website and virtual learning environment since 2004. The quality of service has been consistently exceptional in every way. I would be very happy to recommend them for any development and as a highly reliable long term partner as well as for short term projects.

John Rubinstein, Principal
Woodhouse College - Finchley, London
BAE Systems

New Media Aid has developed a number of advanced, bespoke apps for BAE Systems and we are happy to recommend them for bespoke app development.

Rob Morris, Vice President Marketing & Analysis, Asset Management
BAE Systems - Hatfield, Hertfordshire
British Chiropractic Association

New Media Aid has successfully developed a number of bespoke applications for us over the last few years - we have always been pleased with the results and with the ongoing support and assistance we receive.

Anne Barlow, Marketing Manager
British Chiropractic Association - Reading, Berkshire
Dry Cargo International

New Media Aid undoubtedly fulfils the requirements we have for our company’s app. Not only did they provide us with all the features we needed from the get-go, they also promptly come up with solutions when we have new requests.

JD Venter, Deputy Editor
Dry Cargo International - Colchester, Essex
Easton Design Studio

The app has been designed in such a way that we’re able to have it updated when our needs as a company develop. Our trade customers love the fact that they can login and view historical orders as well as viewing new products and ordering online themselves. I would definitely recommend New Media Aid for bespoke app development.

Shona Easton, Managing Director
Easton Design Studio - Cranleigh, Surrey
Excelerate Resources

We have worked closely with New Media Aid for over 10 years and they have always been immediately available to sort out any of our issues on our app and have accommodated any changes we have needed to make - always prompt and efficient service.

Sue Sanders, Operations Manager
Excelerate Resources - Warwick, Warwickshire
Gateway College

New Media Aid develops business-critical bespoke applications for Gateway College and we are happy to recommend them for bespoke application development.

Paul Taylor, Network And Corporate Data Manager
Gateway College - Leicester, Leicestershire
GE Little Radiator Covers

We are delighted with the flexible and efficient service we received from New Media Aid. Highly professional and personable which works well for us as a small business. No hesitation in recommending their services.

Gordon Little, Managing Director
GE Little Radiator Covers - Basildon, Essex
Gigacom Telecommunication Engineers Management Services

New Media Aid developed Gigacom Tems a bespoke and fully integrated project management system. New Media Aid fully support all our IT requirements and must be congratulated on the valued and excellent support that we continue to receive from the New Media Aid team. I have no doubt that without the high level of innovative support that we receive we would not be able to efficiently deliver the services that we provide for our customers.

Phil Taylor, Operational Management Team
Gigacom Telecommunication Engineers Management Services - Alton, Hampshire
Lincoln College

Alastair was really easy to work with, understood what we needed to achieve with our app and built it accordingly. The app was linked to our database and has been brilliant for us. We have needed a few tweaks to the app as we've moved forward and Alastair has been able to quickly put these tweaks into place. The app has really helped our customer experience. I'd highly recommend Alastair.

Rachel Bothamley, Senior Examinations Officer
Lincoln College - Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Mason Information Technologies

New Media Aid has supported the development of a complex store and back office system that significantly helps improve the accuracy of our processes whilst improving the efficiency and service to our clients. Couldn't be happier with a supplier (who we genuinely consider as a partner).

Stephen Mason, Managing Director
Mason Information Technologies - Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Team London Bridge

New Media Aid has provided an excellent, responsive service to our organisation for over 10 years. They find fast fixes to most issues and offer creative, affordable solutions to improve our digital comms.

Donald Campbell, Marketing Manager
Team London Bridge - Southwark, London

Contact Us

New Media Aid Ltd
8 Bunyan Road
Hitchin
Hertfordshire
SG5 1NW
United Kingdom

☎ 01462 627 848
ab@android-app-developer.co.uk