The American market research and analysis firm International Data Corporation reported that in the third quarter of 2013 the Smartphone market was dominated by android, accounting for 81% of sales while iOS enabled phones came in second with only 12.9%. With such figures an enterprising app developer may want to develop apps for Android systems and when it comes to designing apps for Android, there are a few key things that every app developer should keep in mind.
1. One Need Not Restrict Themselves To Just Java
Java is a class-based, object-oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems in 1995. It is intended to let app developers “write once, run anywhere,” meaning code developed on a PC can be expected to run on Java enabled phones and other devices, without having to write a different version for different operating systems and platforms.
While apps for Android are usually developed using Java, there are other popular alternatives available, such as PhoneGap, HTML5 and Scala which can be used to develop apps.
2. You Have To Stay Updated
Fragmentation is still an issue on Android, and app developers will have to make sure that their apps work on the latest versions of Android. Also, with every update there are new things developers can use. For example, with the release of Android 4.4 KitKat, there are new design techniques developers could implement in their apps. Some of these new design concepts and trends include the new translucent status and navigational bars.
Users not only appreciate the use of new features and staying constantly updated, they’re coming to expect it, and if an app developer hopes to stay at the forefront of the competition, they will have to keep up with the latest updates.
3. Limit the Number of Required Permissions in an App
With such a high sales market, Android devices are more prone to malware attacks. In 2011 Google had to remove more than 100 malicious applications from its app store.
Seeing a long list of permissions required for an app could potentially turn away a user away from downloading it. Therefore, it is necessary that the developer limit the number of permissions their app needs.
4. Keep Android’s Sales Market in Mind and Develop Accordingly
Unlike iOS, Android runs on a variety of devices that have different screen sizes. As a developer, it is nearly impossible to test your app on every Android device currently out there.
Therefore, in order to maintain consistency through many devices there are a few things app developers can do. For example, in order to support multiple screen dimensions, the developer can use density-independent pixels (dip or DP) in their layouts. Android will then automatically calculate the right amount of pixels needed, thus leading to more consistency throughout different devices.
5. Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Options
There are many IDEs a developer can use to make apps for Android. While previously Eclipse was a popular IDE, last year on 16th May, Google announced its own IDE called “Android Studio” and it is designed specifically for developing apps for the Android platform.