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Android apps are bits of software that run the Android operating system. They can be downloaded on Android tablets, phones and televisions. They’re very good at utilizing the camera, touchscreen, and GPS functions of the device. The addition of numerous apps to an Android device can negatively impact the battery’s life and performance.

Understanding the Android platform and its design principles is crucial for the development of Android applications. It also requires a proper app architecture, which can separate UI- and OS-related codes into components with shared responsibility. These components can be activated asynchronously by the system using the broadcast mechanism that is activated by intents.

Java is the preferred language for Android development, although Kotlin has gained popularity in recent years. Both languages are supported by the Android SDK. A large community of developers is available online to help newcomers to the language and troubleshoot problems.

The Android OS itself is divided into several layers, with the app layer consisting of the default apps that come with the operating system, along with the specialized apps that are bundled with a specific device like the phone dialer or music player. The Android app layer also comes with custom firmware such as CyanogenMod and OMFGB which can be installed on certain devices to alter their functionality.

Compatibility is yet another factor that prevents certain apps from working. If an app has been made available to the US market but is not compatible with your European device, it won’t work on it, and will be displayed as “incompatible” in the Play Store.