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App Development
5 minutes read

What Is a Mobile SDK?

By Jose Gomez
virtual hand touching SDK logo
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. SDKs are a huge part of web development too. 

Let’s explore mobile SDKs. First, we’ll explain what an SDK is and why they are so important in developing mobile apps. Next, we’ll explain why you must use a mobile SDK and other top development tools to build a stunning User Interface. 

What Is an SDK?

SDK is an acronym that stands for the software development kit. An SDK is a downloadable software package. 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 apps, but there are also SDKs that help developers build products and applications for specific platforms, services, and mobile devices.

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. So no matter what mobile device or platform your software developer wants to build for, there is a mobile SDK with code libraries and other resources to make the task easier.

Developers often use SDKs to easily implement HiTech features without having to write code to power functionality in their mobile apps. For example, developers would use an Augmented Reality software development kit to quickly add AR features to their project. 

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

An easy way to think about a mobile SDK is to think of a first aid kit. Inside the first aid kit, you have several different resources, bandages, gauze, aspirin, etc. A software development kit is very similar. Inside a mobile 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 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 development project. For example, if you’re building an Android app, you will want to use an Android SDK toolkit. Likewise, if you want to build an iOS app, you will need an iOS SDK. 

Since your project could very well be using more than one mobile 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 SDKs used in your project. For example, stability issues in the mobile SDK used to develop your mobile app could lead to your app crashing and jeopardizing all of the hours that went into development. 

Why are SDKs so Important for Mobile Development?

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

  • More efficient development 
  • Faster deployment 

The average mobile app uses anywhere from 7 to 18 SDKs. The average Android app mobile game typically uses even more SDKs than this. Coding every tool and feature in your mobile app from scratch would take developers an excessive amount of extra time. 

There is no reason for your developers to code common features that have already been built. 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 to enable this feature on an Android device. A mobile SDK speeds up the pace of development and ensures that you are using well-written, highly developed code, which leads to great product design, and allows you to deploy your app faster. 

Considering all of the common features that your app will require, using 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 development costs. 

Many software development kits are free 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 development would take a lot longer and cost 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 your app’s performance, there is little to no downside to using mobile SDKs. 

Final Thoughts

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

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