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An Android app is a software application running on the Android platform. Because the Android platform is built for mobile devices, a typical Android app is designed for a smartphone or a tablet PC running on the Android OS.
Although an Android app can be made available by developers through their websites, most Android apps are uploaded and published on the Android Market, an online store dedicated to these applications. The Android Market features both free and priced apps.
Android apps are written in the Java programming language and use Java core libraries. They are first compiled to Dalvik executables to run on the Dalvik virtual machine, which is a virtual machine specially designed for mobile devices.
Developers may download the Android software development kit (SDK) from the Android website. The SDK includes tools, sample code and relevant documents for creating Android apps.
Novice developers who simply want to play around with Android programming can make use of the App Inventor. Using this online application, a user can construct an Android app as if putting together pieces of a puzzle.