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Can I make an Android app with Python?

Python's immense and varied usability makes it one of the best languages to learn and experiment with. Most beginners to programming tend to start with Python-based on what one can do with it. Python has different libraries, and you can use them for a variety of purposes. You might have heard of NumPy, Keras, among others for Data Science. A similar case applies in case you want to build apps for Android with Python. Additionally, you can also use tools such as Beware and see similar results if you're going to deploy your apps on the Play Store and test them on your Android smartphone.

Android Studio, among other Android development tools, makes heavy use of Java and similar languages to make apps for the Android ecosystem. You can use Python for similar purposes as the tools above translate Python code into system bytecode and then code similar to Java. The framework that you would use for Android app development with Python would be the Kivy framework.

Most of the third-party projects and libraries would make help you write code in Python, and they would develop it into bytecode and then Java as mentioned. But in some cases, you can write and execute directly on Android devices, with tools like py4a and sl4a. Moreover, you can also use Python for graphics in mobiles to some extent with Pygame.

All these frameworks, libraries are tools to help you develop code for Python that plays well with the Android mobile ecosystem, which means roughly translated and working as an experiment to work on Android devices. So, these tools and methods are at best makeshift and experimental (which doesn't mean they don't work). This means the apps you develop might end up having a lot more issues, and with little support to fix them as Python doesn't have its Android development feature yet.

The apps that you develop with Python wouldn't perform the same as when natively developed with dedicated Android development tools. This is because it is first translating your variables into machine-understandable bytecode and then into the Android system Java. It should ideally be developed straight for Android OS. You will face these issues with any tool, not just Python if its default framework and additional libraries do not directly support Android development.

Apart from the tools mentioned above, Briefcase, Beware, VOC, among others, are the tools that can be useful if you want to develop an Android app with Python. Android isn't Python friendly because the OS doesn't have any compiler for it. However, Android is friendly with Java because of the JVM compiler encoded in the system. So, while you can create applications for Android, it is not the best way to go ahead with some serious application development. If you are working on Python development and want to see what it can do with Android or for academic purposes, it is a makeshift method to test and use applications.