Android app development is one of the most popular and powerful ways to create custom applications for mobile devices, compatible with Android. It has a range of features that allow developers to build apps with innovative functionalities, while also ensuring user-friendly interfaces. With the OS customizability options, IT specialists offer tailored solutions that meet their clients’ specific needs.
At Surf, we have been developing both native and cross-platform apps for market leaders for >12 years. In this article, we share some tips that can help you learn more about the best Android mobile app development practices.
Tip 1. Start developing an Android app with pre-project research
To kick off the journey of developing an Android app, we recommend you start with analyzing a product idea, competitors’ solutions, and your business goals, and, of course, gathering information about your target audience’s specific needs. A comprehensive project plan that outlines all deliverables in great detail will set the tone for successful product implementation.
Tip 2. Choose a strong IT team to increase the development speed without losing quality
The development speed primarily depends on the skills and processes of the team. If your in-house or vendor team consists of experienced specialists who can listen to each other, organize themselves, and build the workflow in an effective way, it goes easily and quickly.
But even the strongest team ever has less experienced software developers who require attention and support from other members. It’s normal, because building IT products means solving different tasks, from very easy to very complicated ones. Smart division of roles and responsibilities inside of the team helps businesses save time, money, and create a cohesive and motivated team.
Tip 3. Use Kotlin for Android software development to create your future-oriented app
Unveiled in 2011, Kotlin has not only gained the trust of software engineers, but has also managed to penetrate many areas: from mobile and back-end to game development and machine learning. A huge number of tools and libraries for this programming language only confirms this.
By the way, Google Corporation actively supports Kotlin, while Jetbrains develops it. That’s a guarantee that the technology will evolve as much as any technical needs arise.
Mobile app for a TOP-15 European bank. Built with Kotlin (for Android) and Swift (for iOS) by Surf. Read the case study
Tip 4. Monitor the resources consumption for reaching high performance
Modern Android devices are quite powerful. They have multi-core processors, much random access memory (RAM), and rich built-in storage. But this is not a reason to refuse to monitor the consumption of these resources—especially in terms of battery consumption. Controlling it, you can motivate users to choose your app for operating faster and more effectively than others.
Fortunately, there are many tools that help Android developers track resource usage.
For example, on the device itself, in the developer settings, you can enable layout rendering and graphics processing unit (GPU) load profiling; emulate different screen densities; enable strict settings that will highlight long operations and resource overruns.
Android Studio also has a profiler that helps track the consumption of RAM, central processing unit (CPU) and network. The profiler can also catch memory leaks, which often lead to an application freezing or crashing. By the way, after the product is released, you can monitor performance, using Firebase Performance Monitoring.
Firebase Performance Monitoring: key capabilities. Source: firebase.google.com
Tip 5. Use popular SDKs and libraries to optimize the Android software development process
There are several libraries known to everyone who is interested in Android development. Many libraries are provided by Google (Jetpack libraries, Dagger 2). Also, a modern stack cannot do without the Kotlin programming language and such libraries as Kotlin Coroutines, Kotlinx.serialization, Kotest by Jetbrains.
Google has taken a huge step by splitting the Android library into Jetpack libraries. It has greatly helped developers in introducing new technologies into the development process and creating custom features in a faster and easier way. In particular, we at Surf easily switched to the Data store library, which helps to simplify the work with the storage and its encryption. Compose helped us facilitate UI building t. Hilt made it easier to work with dependencies in classes. And the list goes on.
Tip 6. Adopt your application for users having poor vision
Implementing UX/UI designs for people with poor vision requires thoughtful and thorough consideration. A few things to take into account: usability, accessibility, learnability, and aesthetics.
- Usability should be focused on creating an intuitive UI that is easy to navigate using assistive technologies such as screen readers and alike.
- Accessibility should be aimed at making sure users with poor vision can access all of the information on a website or application without any difficulty.
- Learnability refers to how quickly someone can get familiar with an interface, and this is especially important for people having weak eyesight as they may need more time to process the content.
- Aesthetics should be considered to ensure that the design is inviting and attractive for all your users.
By focusing on each of these components when designing for your users, you can develop UXs that are both accessible and enjoyable. This will not only help to improve the usability of your product but also encourage more people to prefer it to others.
Here are some Android services to adopt an app for different users.
Tip 7. Optimize your custom app for different devices
The Android ecosystem includes not only the phone, but also many other wearables and devices for the home and office. A few years ago, Android watches were more of a knick-knack, and foldables were only seen in sci-fi movies. Now you can talk on the clock, while they will tell you the state of your health and call an ambulance.
Foldables are still far from the average user, but they have great potential. Now their total number on the market is not that big. However, everyone can choose a set of devices for their lifestyle and needs to assemble their own ecosystem that will make their life better.
Google Duo interface optimized for foldable devices
Tip 8. Last but not least: take general measures to provide data security
100% security is hardly achievable, but we must strive for this. And, unfortunately, this process is two-way. Not only developers, but users should take care of it.
A developer should understand that the app must securely store the user’s personal data. Especially when we speak about banking applications.
- Everything that is stored on the device must be encrypted.
- The traffic transmitted to the server must also be encrypted.
- It is necessary to monitor the presence of Root rights and warn the user about the risks.
- It’s important to remember about code obfuscation and the prohibition on debugging release builds of the application.
From the user side, there are not many measures to take. However, they aren’t less significant. Educate the users and remind them that they should use applications only from the market or directly from the trusted developer and strictly avoid installing from third-party sites or from chats in instant messengers. Without an urgent need, users shouldn’t install Root-rights, since other applications in the system also get full access.
Now you know what to begin with while creating an Android app. The next step is to choose a reliable contractor.
Entrusting your project to the Surf team, you will get high quality products and enjoy collaboration with an experienced IT company. Working on the clients’ projects, we
- dive into the client’s processes to recommend improvements,
- select a modern tech stack that meets business goals and saves resources,
- strictly follow the necessary standards and processes to help our clients reach excellent business results with their new apps.
Passionate and talented Android and iOS developers, a well-established management system, and transparency in everything make us a contractor trusted by world-famous startups and large companies.