The 5 Mistakes Every Android Developer Makes and How to Avoid Them
It may be easy to build Android apps (compared to building apps on other platforms), but the chances of making mistakes are also higher.
In addition to the five mistakes presented in this article, Android developers should also use a DevOps approach to overcome problems in communication and productivity. DevOps enhances collaboration between the IT, product and marketing teams, and helps you get faster and better results.
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Android has matured to a great extent and has evolved as one of the most beloved platforms among smartphone users. In fact, “Android accounted for more than 80 percent of all smartphone sales to end users worldwide in 2016,” according to Statista. Moreover, according to Gartner, “Google’s Android extended its lead by capturing 82 percent of the total market in the fourth quarter of 2016.”
With the introduction of Lollipop, Jelly Bean, Marshmallow, Nougat and O (which could come next month) updates, Android has enabled app developers to build intuitive apps that help brands stay ahead of the herd. It is, therefore, necessary for all businesses to build mobile apps for Android to expand their reach.
To ensure optimal user experience, however, developers must make sure that their apps work seamlessly across all devices. This means the apps should be free from bugs and glitches. Here are some common Android app development mistakes that must be prevented to ensure greater acceptance and success:
Not leveraging Android fragments
According to Android Developers, “A ‘Fragment’ represents a behavior or a portion of user interface in an ‘Activity’.” Developers have the ability to combine multiple fragments within a single activity to create a multi-pane UI or reuse fragments in multiple activities. This feature was first introduced in Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
Some common benefits of using fragments are:
They help in optimizing through different screens.
They help developers reuse the components in Activities, ViewPagers, and Navigation drawers.
They are managed by their own parent activity.
Fragments are of two types: Static fragments and Dynamic Fragments. Dynamic fragments can be further divided into Framework fragments and Support fragments.
Launching different activities separately for each app is not a good idea as it occupies more memory, space and can affect the performance of the app. It is advisable to use fragments whenever possible and simplify the app coding process.
Creating apps without considering battery usage
One thing that most smartphone users complain about is that their phone batteries don’t last long enough. The higher the number of apps installed, the quicker the battery is to get discharged. Battery consumption is a serious issue among smartphone users. However, modern users are smart and can easily identify which apps drain the battery, developers must, therefore, be careful when building apps. Apps often run too many processes in the background (even when the phone is idle) and this leads to battery drainage. This means the apps must not run processes in the background until it is absolutely necessary because apps that drain the battery are often uninstalled by users.
Some of the most popular Android apps such as the Facebook and Snapchat are among the top performance-draining apps that run automatically at phone start-up. According to the annual report published by Amsterdam-based security software company AVG Technologies, here are the top performance-draining apps:
However, these are also among the most popular apps, so users may not consider removing these, but other less popular apps that are trying to get a foothold in the market can get removed instantly if they consume the battery quickly.
The Android Developers website provides a great tutorial on making your Android apps battery-efficient. By following their guidelines, you can make sure your apps do not get uninstalled just because they drain the battery.
Not upgrading app development knowledge
Every industry is subject to shift in trends, so it is a must that app developers keep upgrading their knowledge from time to time. By upgrading their app development knowledge, developers can build apps that are relevant to current user preferences. This means they can create the visual design and functionalities in a way that is most appealing to the target audience.
Moreover, by upgrading their app development knowledge they can easily build apps that are supported by the latest Android devices. New updates are released to provide better security and functionality, and seamless user experiences. If you fail to upgrade your knowledge and skills with time, then be prepared to get washed away by those who take their skills seriously.
Gone are the days when iOS dominated the apps platform and controlled the design standards. Android now has a fair market share and apps can be designed predominantly for this platform. However, some developers have still not been able to come out of the former approach of creating iOS clones.
Android and iOS devices differ to a great extent and thus, users expect a certain degree of user experience when using apps on their mobile devices. In order to satisfy the needs of Android users, developers must stick to the Android app development guidelines and create apps for the specific platform.
Businesses often think that cloning an app (duplicating the functionality and the look of an app on another platform) will be less expensive and save time, but it is contrary. Cloning apps complicates the process further.
Take, for example, the case of Airbnb. The company built its app for iOS first and then considered converting it into Airbnb Android app to reach Android users. According to app developers, it took five months to build the Android app even though most of the features and functionalities were replicated from the iOS design. A number of different design and functionality considerations need to be made. If someone directly clones the apps, it will result in unhappy and unengaged users.
Neglecting various devices
Testing is the most important phase in any app development project. One of the most common reasons why Android apps fail is because the developers release the apps without testing them across various devices. Google Play Store allows users to post reviews for every app. So apps with bugs will receive poor reviews and ratings, which will ultimately damage the apps credibility.
It is a must that developers test their apps on various devices before launching them. In order to gain a foothold in the industry, you need to create apps that are secure, bug-free, and ensure high performance across various devices. Apart from offering seamless user experience, you must also protect user data. Thanks to the availability of a wide number of Android app testing tools such as Robotium and MonkeyRunner using which developers can test their apps without hassles.
Apart from these mistakes, Android developers should also use a DevOps approach to overcome problems in communication and productivity. DevOps enhances collaboration between the IT, product and marketing teams, and helps in getting faster and better results.
A DevOps approach guarantees shorter time-to-market, improved customer satisfaction and better product quality. You can hire DevOps engineers or your IT, operations, QA and other teams can take a DevOps training course such as Knowledgehut, which offers a hands-on approach to cloud deployments, performance and infrastructure enhancements, continuous integration and virtualization, among other solutions to smooth project implementations. This will help your team reduce risk from human error and eliminate quality problems as the app moves through various stages from coding to customer usage.
It may be easy to build Android apps (compared to building apps on other platforms), but the chances of making mistakes are also higher. This is so because a lot of considerations need to be made (such as screen size, type of device, etc.). By avoiding the above-mentioned mistakes, you can ensure success for your Android apps.