Android Apps: Standing the Test of Time and Technology

android application development What has been the greatest challenge faced by inventors? Perhaps, the quest of creating something that is timeless, does not age or become obsolete, but stay useful for eternity. Considering the tremendously dynamic field of technology and science, this is a feat rarely achieved. When we juxtapose this with some of the cutting-edge technologies that power the world today, similarities emerge thick and fast. Let’s talk about Android, Google’s path-breaking mobile operating system and the associated Android application development that companies engage in by looking out to hire Android developers. The quest that every Android development company today embarks upon is sustained ROI, which is only possible through the development of apps that will function seamlessly in spite of the slew of new OS versions and updates that issue from Google’s stables.

Our effort here is to try and identify pitfalls that are sure to eat into the utility lifetime of your app, which is especially important if you are an Android developer for hire. If any of the points listed below seem familiar, it’s time to prepare yourself to resurrect and revamp your Android app.

Pitfall #1:

Usage of Internal APIs

Unsupported or internal APIs are the biggest threat to an Android app. It is strongly advised not to code your app using these. An astute example here would be the usage of internal brightness control and Bluetooth toggle APIs that were a part of the 1.0 and 1.1 Android SDKs, which broke on the Android v1.5. These APIs were improved, enhanced and repaired in the subsequent v1.5 versions. So if your app still hosts any of the above mentioned relics from the earlier APIs, don’t waste time. Upgrade to save your app.

Pitfall #2:

Direct Manipulation of Settings

A sort of a rearguard action demanded the elimination of a feature that allowed apps to change system settings without notifying the user of the device about the change. What necessitated this change was the observation that many developers were introducing stealthy tactics to silently switch system settings. While this may seem like fun, it is highly irritating for users to suddenly realize that their data roaming or other apps are active, draining their data packages. As a result of this observation, all apps have now been necessitated to signal their intent of changing system settings to the user by initiating the configuration screen.  This means though, that your app is intended to maybe automatically turn on the GPS, won’t do it anymore. This holds true for only those settings that were moved to the Setting.Secure class.

Pitfall #3:

Layout ODs (For the uninitiated, ODs = Overdoses)

Are you in love with layouts, especially larger and wider ones? Let’s put a number to it, deep to a level of 10 or more and wide up to 30! You ought to change your mind, because with the revamping of the View rendering infrastructure these heavy and complex layouts are sure to crash your app. If need be, you should simplify your layout with the more advanced classes, such as FrameLayout and TableLayout.

Pitfall #4:

Poor Hardware Foresight

There is a cure for short-sightedness, but none for the loss of foresight! The latest versions of the Android SDK support soft keyboards (touchscreen keypads), which are a regular feature on most of the mobile devices these days. Well, we could go ahead and say that we can predict the extinction of physical keyboards in the years to come. So, if you designed an app that uses a Custom View and uses keypress events by assuming that a physical keyboard is available, you should ideally have ensured that these events sync seamlessly on soft-keyboard devices too. If not, then it’s time to get back to the drawing board.

Pitfall #5:

Disorientation; literally!

Remember the cool feature of the app rotating itself to portrait or landscape mode on user mobile devices based on the orientation of the device? Yeah, though, there’s a catch! There exist automatic settings within Android SDKs 1.5 and above to do the orientation automatically, or on specific setting selection by the user. If your app integrates code to do its own re-orientation using an accelerometer or anything else, this might lead to some shaky stuff. If an app assumes that the screen rotates only when the physical keypad is on display, then consider what would happen for devices that do not have a physical keypad. This is a coding error that can lead to some pretty unpredictable behavior.  As a developer, what must be always implemented is the seamless re-orientation of an app on the screen of a mobile device, with or without a physical keyboard.
If your app minds its own orientation business, while the mobile device tries to wrest orientation control for itself, this can again generate confusing and odd results. Not locking into portrait or landscape modes when using motion sensitivity can also lead to the incessant cycle of screen orientations, which is extremely irritating to users. This can be avoided using the android:screenOrientation attribute in the manifest file, which locks the app’s orientation to portrait or landscape.

So, that’s our list of the seemingly-inane faults that your app might possess. This will not only be an optimization folly, but can also lead to an app crash on the upgraded versions of the Android OS. If you recognize any of these, shake your developer self out of its sleep, bring your app onto the operation table and start its repair operation. This will not only help you in the long run, but also keep your app compliant with Android OS revisions thus ensuring sustained ROI for years. We have been imbibing these attributes into our applications and thus, have managed to achieve a high degree of client satisfaction. We are an Android application development company and you can hire Android developers from us. Being at the forefront of the offshore software development services arena has afforded us with genuine and generous expertise that we impart to all our solutions. So if it’s Android and a conceivable idea, we are game for it!


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