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App Development
5 minutes read

What Is a Mobile SDK?

by Jose Gomez
App Development
5 minutes read

If you’re interested in mobile app development, you’ll need to know what a mobile SDK is. SDKs are essential tools used in app development projects. They aren’t just used for mobile apps either. In fact, SDKs are a huge part of web development too. 

Let’s explore mobile SDKs. We’ll explain what an SDK is and why they are so important when it comes to developing mobile apps. 

What is an SDK?

SDK is an acronym that stands for software development kit. There are a large variety of SDKs available for developers to use. As we touched on in the introduction, there are SDKs for mobile and web development projects, but there are also SDKs that help developers build products and applications for specific platforms and services. 

For example, if you want to create a Bluetooth product or app, there is an SDK to make the job of development easier. Likewise, if you were building an app for the Android platform or iOS, there are other SDKs for those types of projects too. 

Basically, there is an SDK specifically tailored to almost every type of platform, project, or product you can think of. Now that you know a little bit more about what SDKs are, we can go over what they do.

An easy way to visualize what an SDK is to think of a first aid kit. Inside the first aid kit, you have a number of different resources, bandages, gauze, aspirin, etc. A software development kit is very similar. Inside an SDK, you typically will have:

  • APIs
  • Code library
  • Documentation
  • Tutorials 
  • Debugging 

All of these individual tools help developers create software products. In fact, on any given development project, your project management team lead may decide that it is in the project’s best interest to use multiple SDKs. 

How to Choose the Right Mobile SDK

Picking the right mobile SDK will depend largely on the nature of your mobile app development project. For example, if you’re building an Android app, you will want to use an Android SDK toolkit. 

Since your project could very well be using more than one SDK, it is important to make sure you choose quality SDKs to use in your project. Here are some things that you should consider and look for:

  • Is the SDK easy to use?
  • Does it provide thorough documentation?
  • Does it negatively affect device or app performance?
  • Does it work well with other SDKs?

Thoroughly review the performance history of all mobile SDKs that are being used in your project. Stability issues in the SDK used to develop your mobile app could lead to your app crashing and jeopardize all of the hours that went into development. 

Why are SDKs so Important for Mobile App Development?

The importance of SDKs in mobile app development comes down to two main benefits:

  • More efficient development 
  • Faster deployment 

The average mobile app uses anywhere from 7 to 18 mobile SDKs. Typically, mobile games use even more SDKs than this. Coding every single tool and feature in your mobile app from scratch would take developers an inordinate amount of extra time. 

There is no reason for your developers to code common features that have already been built before. For example, let’s say that you want your users to be able to share photographs they take in your Android app directly to Instagram, Facebook, or another social media platform. 

Instead of writing the code for this feature, your developers could use the Instagram Android SDK toolkit to get the code necessary for this feature. This speeds up the pace of development, ensures that you are using well-written, highly developed code, which leads to great product design, and allows you to deploy your app faster. 

When you consider all of the common features that your app will require, using mobile SDKs in development is a no-brainer. There is absolutely no reason to reinvent the wheel. If you don’t utilize SDKs in development, you will lose valuable time to market and spend more money on the cost of development. 

Many software development kits are free to use because companies want to encourage app developers and users to use their platforms and services. Plus, since these SDKs are so widely used and readily available, your developers know that they are using a quality tool that works at a high level. 

Modern mobile app development would take a lot longer and cost a lot more if it were not for software development kits. As long as your team takes the time to understand how your SDKs will work together and how they will affect the performance of your app, there is little to no downside to using mobile SDKs. 

Final Thoughts

Mobile software development kits are crucial tools in development projects. We know that there are a lot of different choices you are faced with when beginning mobile app development. 

If you need help sifting through the vast amount of available information and finding the right SDKs for your development project, reach out to an app development partner. Trust the expertise and industry experience of a development partner to help guide you through the key decisions you will need to make. 

The mobile SDKs that you choose to use can have a major impact on how your app will perform and the User Experience it provides.

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