While the Android platform provide rich functionality for app development, there are still a number of challenges you need to address, such as:
- Building for a multi-screen world
- Getting performance right
- Keeping your code and your users secure
- Remaining compatible with older platform versions
- Understanding the market and the user
Building for a multi-screen world
Android runs on billions of handheld devices around the world, and supports various form factors including wearable devices and televisions. Devices can come in different sizes and shapes that affect the screen designs for UI elements in your apps.
In addition, device manufacturers may add their own UI elements, styles, and colors to differentiate their products. Each manufacturer offers different features with respect to keyboard forms, screen size, or camera buttons.
An app running on one device may look a bit different on another. The challenge for many developers is to design UI elements that can work on all devices.
It is also the developer’s responsibility to provide an app’s resources such as icons, logos, other graphics, and text styles to maintain uniformity of appearance across different devices.
Maximizing app performance
An app’s performance—how fast it runs, how easily it connects to the network, and how well it manages battery and memory usage—is affected by factors such as battery life, multimedia content, and Internet access.
You must be aware of these limitations and write code in such a way that the resource utilization is balanced and distributed optimally. For example, you will have to balance the background services by enabling them only when necessary; this will save battery life of the user’s device.
Keeping your code and your users secure
You need to take precautions to secure your code and the user’s experience when using your app. Use tools such as ProGuard (provided in Android Studio), which detects and removes unused classes, fields, methods, and attributes, and encrypt all of your app’s code and resources while packaging the app.
To protect your user’s critical information such as:
logins and passwords, you must secure the communication channel to protect data in transit (across the Internet) as well as data at rest (on the device).
Remaining compatible with older platform versions
Consider how to add new Android platform version features to an app, while ensuring that the app can still run on devices with older platform versions.
It is impractical to focus only on the most recent Android version, as not all users may have upgraded or may be able to upgrade their devices.
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