With Windows phone and Blackberry becoming practically non-existent, it is the Android which is ruling the apps market. Since it offers third-party application support to users, it has become even more popular over time.
According to research, 81 percent of Android market share rests with user-friendly apps which are completely different from their desktop counterparts. They are meant for the world on the go. Their touch interfaces are intelligent which employs the device’s hardware to its best, in addition to, the creation of customizable and wonderful experience.
Due to this fast paced Android apps development scene, a huge number of entrepreneurs are investing heavily to capitalize on it. Not every app that comes out on Google Play is stellar; some lag while some exhibit slow interface floating. Why? Because developing an awesome app for Android is not a cakewalk.
In this day and age, mobile users are smart and hence the name smartphones. They are tech savvy beings and will be quick to point flaws if does not meet their standards. So as to cater to this new generation a need for well-optimized applications is the need of the hour.
Creating optimized versions of the apps means staying clear of common mistakes that will never allow your app to function at its optimal efficiency. If you avoid these mistakes you can automatically optimize your app development process.
1. Not using asynchronous design
When designing cloud application, the assumption is that users are always connected to the internet and have access to high bandwidth. This assumption is wrong because if you tend to make an API call or employ remote services, there are chances that your application likely to hang.
So the small hangs that result in applications are because the app is processing in the background by checking for network resources. Thus, utilizing asynchronous cause and threads can very well solve the problem and will avoid “Application Not Responding” dialog box from appearing.
2. Writing apps that aren’t optimized for low bandwidth
There are developers which are only targeting users those who have access to high bandwidth when writing code for the apps. But this is wrong because the completely ignore the low-bandwidth users and in turn, the entire market full of such users.
To catch up to LAN speed, mobile devices may take a while but until then always consider the use of images knowing that there might be a low-bandwidth user trying to access your app and as result will have to pay increased data charges. Therefore, be mindful of designing apps and take into account that it is for mobile.
3. Using too much of the user’s battery power
On average a mobile battery gives the user the benefit of not running low at least for half of the day, after which it is advisable to recharge your battery. There are others which get a full day power to their phone from battery but are a rarity. In the former case, much is owed to increased number of apps being installed in phones which drain power.
Apps in the background run too many processes (not all apps though), that it drains the juice of the phone even when it is not being used. So the app should be such that unless it is absolutely crucial for it to consume your phone’s battery in order to function, there is no logical reason for it drain your phone’s battery when it’s lying idle.
4. Forgetting to test your apps on different screens
The most obvious reason for any app to fail is poor testing or no testing at all (in some cases). The developers are quick to release the code and deploy to Google Play which backfires when users report a countless number of bugs.
So make it a habit of testing your apps on all forms of smartphone and tablet screens plus their variants. A quality assurance tester can come in handy to help you with this task or if you have the resources, invest in developing your own testing environment.
5. Using UI elements that work better with a mouse and keyboard
“Old habits die hard” as they saying goes since for a number of years developers have been engaged in creating user interfaces (UIs) for keyboard and mouse input. Mobile apps development and that too on Android is a fairly complex ball game.
Thus, your UI components should take into account the touch and type factor. These elements should be big enough so that users can tap with their fingers and type with their thumbs such as in the search box field. Stuffing 20 small items and expecting users to experience seamless navigating when they tap is living in a fool’s paradise.
Ensure that menus offer options with minimal scrolling and that font sizes are large enough to be viewed by the user. Remember, there is a difference between a mobile app and a web app where in the latter case users have mouse/keyboard at their disposal – design accordingly.
Other tips to optimize Android apps development and increase productivity are as under:
6. Make user security a priority
Hackers are now shifting their focus to mobile devices and thus, it is imperative that you design your app’s code keeping in mind the user security and features should be such, that it reflects the part. Rather it should be a priority when designing apps and calls for thorough research so that no stone is left unturned.
7. Learn XML and Java
The above are two juggernauts of the Android platform. These languages serve as the backbone for coding apps but not the only means. However, if you wish to get the most out of your Android apps then it’s worth mastering (XML and Java). XML is a markup language and is intended as the basis for Android UI elements whereas Java is the back-end coding language and seeks to bind with your XML layouts.
8. Be mindful of memory
Memory usage is at the helm of whether or not your app will be liked by users and most mobile devices fail to keep up with the size of the app. Consequently, the app fails to install. The challenge is not pertinent to Android platform alone. Be very mindful of memory consumption and keep it to a minimum or else users will not be satisfied with the app experience.
No matter, if you are a newbie or a seasoned professional, make sure to take note of the above points and other best practices when designing code/interface for your next app.