Developers with an Android phone or tablet and a desktop or laptop can create Android apps for free using Google's official development tools. Android devices can run programs that users create by enabling developer mode on any Android device, but Apple products require users to pay to run apps they create.
Several tools are available for creating Android apps, but Google's software development kit is available for free. Android Studio, which is based on the open source Eclipse integrated development environment, comes with tools specific to Android development. Users also need to download the SDK Manager program to ensure they have the right components installed for compiling and running their programs.
Android apps use the Dalvik bytecode, which is compiled from Java Virtual Machine bytecode, so developers use a language that can compile to JVM bytecode; Java is the most popular programming language. After setting up the program and compiling the APK file, users can sideload it to their Android device. Android requires users to enable developer mode to run apps not from the Google Play store.
In order to release an app in the Google Play store, users need to pay a one-time fee of $25 as of 2015. This fee covers all apps the developer or a company creates. However, developers can also bypass the store and offer downloads or use a third-party app store.